What is GSA's Startup Springboard Program?
GSA Schedule | 4 Min Read
In modern society, information and processes have become faster and simpler. Now you can order online ahead of time, pay as you shop for groceries, the list goes on. Thanks to technological advances, delayed gratification of many processes has become a thing of the past. If you’re a looking to get on a GSA Schedule, luckily you have one more way to simplify getting what you want. Through GSA’s Startup Springboard Program, all government agencies can have more access to essential products and services, and most importantly for prospective GSA contractors, you can submit a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) proposal with fewer than 2 years of being in business.
Several prospective contractors come to us worrying about meeting GSA Schedule proposal requirements, especially if they are a small business. Well, if you are a new, innovative business with fewer than 2 years in business, you might be able to bypass one of the main requirements. Now that the Springboard Program is expanding from IT companies to all MAS Large Categories, more prospective contractors will have an opportunity to get a GSA Schedule. Here's what you need to know.
What is the Startup Springboard Program?
Companies looking to get a GSA Schedule contract must generally meet certain eligibility requirements including being in business for at least 2 years, following the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), and offering your solutions commercially. However, the 2-year corporate experience requirement can often pose as a barrier for small businesses, particularly start-ups.
Instead of the strict eligibility requirement of two years of experience, GSA has created a process by which new and smaller companies can streamline the process of getting on a GSA Schedule. This especially benefits small start-up businesses who cannot meet the standard requirement of 2-year financials. As a result, agencies in high demand for the latest solutions can speed up procuring products and services.
The Startup Springboard Program is a part of GSA’s Making It Easier (MIE) initiative. The MIE initiative has successfully made the process of doing business with the government more efficient through this startup program. It's important to note that this program was previously reserved for IT companies and was called the IT Category Springboard Program. But as of May 16, 2022, this option is open to all Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Large Categories.
Eligibility and Requirements for the Springboard Program
Although a big hurdle for start-up companies has been removed, there are alternative documentation requirements that must prove your business is financially and professionally responsible. GSA will allow any potential offeror with less than 2 years of corporate experience to submit a GSA Schedule offer by:
- Substituting 2 years of corporate experience with professional experience of key executives and key personnel.
- Substituting relevant corporate past performance with the project experience of key personnel.
- Providing financial documentation that demonstrates your company's financial responsibility in place of submitting 2 years of financial statements.
Companies that participate in the Springboard Program must still comply with other requirements such as offering "fair and reasonable" pricing, and complete required training modules. It’s also important to make sure all information provided in your proposal is current, complete, and accurate.
Benefits of the Springboard Program
The Startup Springboard Program benefits both contracting agencies and contractors alike. Emerging companies have an opportunity to expand their companies experience and financial development, and the Springboard Program makes it easier for federal, state, and local agencies to operate more efficiently by obtaining the latest solutions available through GSA Schedules.
GSA's recent expansion of the Startup Springboard Program has also made the GSA MAS program more accessible to prospective contractors of all industries instead of just IT. This program eliminates some barriers for new small businesses that would benefit from a GSA Schedule and do not have 2 years of corporate experience yet. The federal government is working toward creating and improving more opportunities for small businesses in government contracting, and this program is one way for contractors to gain access to government customers and build a successful government pipeline early on in the life of their company.
Applying for the Springboard Program
If your company is a start-up that sells innovative products and services and you are considering getting on the GSA Schedule, we recommend you check the 12 different MAS Large Categories through GSA’s eLibrary site and find out what Special Item Numbers (SINs) your company may be eligible for.
If you want to learn more about general GSA Schedule proposal requirements that you’ll need to meet (aside from the 2 years in business), you can check out our blog on “A Guide to Preparing Your GSA Schedule Proposal.” If you have questions about the Springboard Program or getting a GSA Schedule, we are here to help.