Panel shares ways for businesses to engage with the IC
USGIF CEO Keith Masback joined other Intelligence Community (IC) leaders July 21 in a panel discussion about doing business with the IC. The panel was hosted by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce as part of its GovCon Series, a monthly event offering educational enrichment opportunities to emerging and middle-market government contractors and entrepreneurs. July’s panel discussion focused on how organizations, particularly small businesses, can gain opportunities with the Intelligence Community.
Speakers included: Dr. David A. Honey, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for science and technology with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI); Scott Jackson, director of small business programs with the National Security Agency (NSA); Keith Masback, CEO of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF); Cherreka Montgomery, president of P1 Strategies; and moderator Brig. Gen. William “Bill” Jacobs, chief of the federal sector at Assured Enterprises.
Honey spoke about ODNI’s Intelligence Science and Technology Partnership (In-STeP) initiative, through which participating businesses can present their science and technology projects to Intelligence Community stakeholders in one-on-one meetings.
“There are 200 needs at the unclassified level that are now available to the broader community—everything from investing in internal research and development to leveraging developments you’ve made against IC problems,” Honey said.
Jackson discussed NSA’s Acquisition Resource Center (ARC) as another resource for companies looking to gain a foothold with the IC. ARC is a business registry database that offers members of industry a one-stop shop for gathering acquisition information.
Masback shared the importance of growing your network by joining professional organizations serving the IC, such as USGIF, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA).
“Understand the spectrum and be ruthless about your focus and how different organizations can give opportunity space to you to further your business goals,” Masback said.
Having industry experience working closely with both the IC and the Department of Defense, Montgomery offered advice to small business representatives in the audience.
“Be clear about your purpose and position in the market and understand the unique missions of each agency,” Montgomery said. “I cannot emphasize enough how critical partners and your channel strategy are to penetrate the market. “
Montgomery also suggested attendees read ODNI’s most recent “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community” document as a resource to better understand the IC’s hard problems.
To learn more about how smaller organizations can build relationships with the federal government and the Intelligence Community, check out USGIF’s Small Business Advisory Working Group.