First Small Business Vendor Fair at Lincoln Laboratory

Fair showcases small businesses that provide a good match for Laboratory

The Small Business Office, in conjunction with the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), hosted its first vendor fair at the Laboratory on 15 November.  The event was an opportunity for small businesses to "meet and greet" the Laboratory community, while offering a short synopsis of the services they provide. The 24 local NDIA vendors, specializing in defense and homeland security, were given the opportunity to present their products and services to Lab employees, and came equipped with brochures, capabilities statements, and business cards to better answer questions of Laboratory employees.

Small Business AwardLaboratory employees visit with the vendors present at the first annual small business vendor fair.

Laboratory employees were able to discuss ideas and gather information from the vendors through one-on-one interactions with the intent that employees were able to identify vendors that could meet future requirements. This type of interaction may help small businesses to be included on future solicitations and help satisfy the technical staff’s requirements. Josh Phypers of American Acoustical Products said, "It can be difficult for a small business to contact people, so this is a great way to talk to actual employees who might have a need for our products."

Michelle Simoes of the Laboratory’s Small Business Office said, "The fair provides a way for small businesses to expose themselves to the possibility that they can contribute to the plethora of projects that exist at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, while providing companies an opportunity to see if their capabilities match up with the needs of the Lab. It also provides a face-to-face, personal connection with Laboratory personnel."

The majority of the vendors were local, with 13 coming from Massachusetts, four from New Hampshire, three from Rhode Island, and others from Maine, Maryland, and Kansas. Christopher Coombs of C2iAdvanced Technologies, said, "A vendor fair such as this is a great way to meet potential customers." After explaining C2i's Remote Aiming System, Coombs indicated that "a working relationship with a DoD affiliation is important to a small business such as ours. C2i would make a great business partner with the Laboratory." Phypers added "There is an incredible amount of knowledge at Lincoln Laboratory, and we're excited about the possibility of doing business with them."

Small Business AwardAmong the organizers of the fair were (left to right) Bill Wise, Vice President of Small Business Innovation, NDIA New England Chapter; David Polatin, Assistant District Director – Business Opportunity Specialist – Government Contracting for the SBA; Michelle Simoes, Small Business Liaison Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory; Elaine Swenson, Alternate Small Business Liaison Officer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and Frank O’Donnell, Vice President for CSMI Mission Support.

Some of the showcased small businesses at the fair that have never before provided their services to Lincoln Laboratory included

  • Annapolis Micro Systems, Inc.COTS Field Programmable Gate Array FPGA Based High Performance Computing
  • CMSI, Mission Support Services
  • First Electronics, Specializes in building cables with MIL-spec connectors or other connector types
  • Interactive Tactical Group, Inc., Imaging and Visualization Technology
  • SemiGen; Engineering and Testing Services
  • Integrated Defense Solutions, Inc., Acquisition Management Support Services for test equipment & certified multimeters
  • Rite-Solutions, SW engineering, systems engineering & acquisitions, HW & SW development and modeling & simulation
  • Saltwhistle Technology, LLC, Microwave and radio frequency solutions
  • Saratoga Data Systems, Inc., Network optimization and optimization software
  • Torotel Products, Inc., Custom magnetic components
  • Custom MMIC Design Services, Inc., Microwave components, amplifiers, control devices, mixers
  • Triton Systems, Inc., Electronic enclosures and invexus surface treatments
  • Enercon Technologies, Design, prototyping and manufacturing for industrial electronics and military/defense/aerospace
  • S12 Technologies Inc., Services: System integration, design & manufacturing, assembly & test for antennas & arrays
  • mZeal Communications, Cyber security, network technology, R&D, SW development and system development
  • Digital Results Group, Inc., Rapid application development, data fusion, sensor integration,  & geospatial integration

The Small Business Office plans to hold a fair each year in order to provide small businesses the opportunity to educate Lab employees about the products and services they provide and to compete for Lab procurements.  The possibility of tailoring future fairs to specific missions or Divisions is being considered.

When asked if the vendor fair was a success, Simoes replied, "one concrete measure of the success of this type of emphasis on small business is that the Lab has significantly exceeded the prime contract percentage goals for the amount of subcontract dollars awarded to small businesses for the last three years."  That’s good news for small business as well as Lincoln Laboratory.

 

Posted January 2013

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