It didn’t take long for Sachin Pawaskar, Ph.D., to know he needed assistance in completing registration and other processes so his Omaha startup data analytics company, Prairie Ideas LLC, could better identify and successfully bid on government contracts.
“I had done considerable legwork, but I quickly realized there was a lot more information about the processes that I needed to be aware of,” Pawaskar says. “I had worked on government projects through the university, so I reached out to a friend who said we have a great resource right here in Mammel Hall: the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC).”
Pawaskar began operations at Prairie Ideas in 2019. In addition to data analytics, Prairie Ideas is a custom software development, web application, visualization and agile methodologies company. “We work directly with organizations that seek to harvest insight from existing data sets,” he says.
He approached NBDC’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) in January and, with PTAC consultant Taylor Law’s assistance, completed Prairie Ideas’ System for Award Management (SAM) registration.
Law also helped Pawaskar create his company’s Small Business Administration (SBA) Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) profile. Contracting officers in the United States are required to spend 23 percent of their contracting dollars on small businesses. The DSBS is a database created by the SBA where contracting officers can search for SAM-registered small businesses that are eligible to work with the federal government.
Additionally, the PTAC office completed market research to determine which government agencies have a buying history in Pawaskar’s industry, and examined his company’s first sub-contract prior to award. Prairie Ideas also utilizes the center’s BidMatching services to find other potential federal, state and local opportunities.
As a result of PTAC’s assistance, Prairie Ideas secured a sub-contract task order on a federal contract with the General Services Administration (GSA) to perform lab and mission support services with SNA International, a company that specializes in forensics and human identification.
Pawaskar says that in this particular project, Prairie Ideas will assist SNA International as it works to match the remains of deceased United States service personnel with the correct individual.
“It is an opportunity to serve my country,” says Pawaskar, who immigrated to the U.S. from his native India and came to Omaha in 1995. “I see this as a great honor.”
He says the NBDC and PTAC have been instrumental in helping to answer the many questions he has as a new business owner.
“They have also made me aware of a lot of resources, such as government incentives for minority-owned small businesses,” he says. “I hope to continue working with the NBDC to take advantage of these mechanisms and grow my business.”
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The Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC) helps Nebraska businesses start, grow and develop, by strengthening Nebraska businesses for a healthy economy and prosperous communities. NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center that provides confidential consulting business development services across Nebraska to entrepreneurs and business owners for the life cycle of their business. NBDC partners with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Wayne State College, and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the U.S. Department of Commerce (EDA), and other federal, state and private organizations support NBDC. Visit nbdc.unomaha.edu for more information.
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