Like many kids, Geoff spent his youth bouncing from school to school across the country without a real sense of community. It wasn’t until his mid-twenties, when Geoff joined the Marines, that he discovered the true nature of community. Fast-forward 15 years and two deployments later, that same kid bouncing around the country seeking an identity is helping others find one in the government contracting space through Eastern Foundry.
Our very own Geoff Orazem, co-founder of Eastern Foundry, sat down with Renny McPherson last week for an interview on Numbers and Narrative, a podcast series on start-ups and entrepreneurship.
Listen to the podcast here, or check out our recap below.
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Over a five year stint in the Military, Geoff traveled the world in both peaceful and hostile locations. From Singapore to Djibouti, and San Diego to Iraq serving in the United States Marine Corps. He then transitioned into the civilian world and got accepted to Harvard Law School. After receiving a phone call from his buddy who was shipping out for his sixth deployment, Geoff realized he needed to go back. “I was there when we kind of broke everything in Iraq, I felt I should go back and be part of the rebuild.” And so Geoff’s community-building career blossomed. He joined a team that helped construct the Iraqi Transportation Network, which was so successful that Geoff was asked to lead the re-creation of the program in Afghanistan.
Jumping ahead to his time back in the states, Geoff spent three years in management consulting at McKinsey, where he got acquainted with how the public and private sector interacted and was able to work on a few contracts. Then Geoff had a revelation, "Hey, you know what I'm spending all of my time thinking about how to make the government procurement process better and the government contracting market more efficient, and I'm actually not thinking that much about my own company getting government contracts. Hey, maybe I should go ahead and adjust fire here."
Geoff set off, along with the help of a few friends, to flip the contracting world upside down. By taking best practices from across the tech industry, Geoff’s mission was to help small companies succeed in the government contracting space, help find partners, and in the long run, help federal agencies meet their small business targets.
Here we are more than a year later, and Eastern Foundry has taken off. Geoff, ever-mindful of community, now looks towards expanding his into the digital realm. “We want to make Eastern Foundry location agnostic. With new educational content and resources, our members will be able to use our service wherever they may be.” As Eastern Foundry continues to grow, Geoff hopes to not only help those in the D.C. area learn the procurement process, but to be a resource nation-wide.