The Nebraska Business Development Center Procurement Technical Assistance Center(PTAC) is consulting a Lincoln brand that designs, manufactures and distributes orthopedic and performance bracing — including advanced 3D-printed bracing — as the company seeks business with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
ARYSE (pronounced “arise”) is the parent brand of a family of companies launched in 2016. In early 2019, Erin Dutter, director of legal and compliance, was introduced to NBDC services while attending a meeting concerning economic development grants. This led to discussions with consultants about pursuing military contracts for ARYSE.
NBDC PTAC consultants Catherine Walsh, business development specialist; Josh NicholCaddy, tech commercialization specialist; and Quentin Farley, government contracting specialist, helped ARYSE prepare for pitching to DoD tech scouts at the annual Encountering Innovation conference. NBDC regularly conducts workshops to help businesses develop pitches, posters and other required documentation for this showcase event in Kansas City.
“The practice session we attended included other companies hopeful to capture the attention of the tech scouts,” Dusty Bowder, ARYSE sales engineer, says. “It was very beneficial to see how they went about pitching their products, and the feedback we received was extremely useful. We altered our pitch significantly.”
NBDC consultants helped ARYSE polish their presentation, and in September, company representatives traveled to Kansas City.
“The third day included a poster session much like a science fair,” Dutter recalls. “We had the opportunity to meet and share our technology one-on-one with the tech scouts who would be in the pitch room the next day. It was a good icebreaker for the pitch session. We had examples of our products with us, so it was a very hands-on session for the scouts. It gave them a chance to start thinking about how our products might meet a DoD need.”
ARYSE and other companies presented to a group of tech scouts representing various government and DoD entities including the Department of Homeland Security, United States Strategic Command and United States Central Command.
“Our pitch went incredibly well,” Bowder says. “Being able to display and demonstrate the company’s bracing products in person helped raise the interest of the tech scouts.”
Nichol-Caddy says NBDC has since assisted ARYSE with applying for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) solicitation with the DoD. Consultants helped the company with the grant application and provided feedback on the company’s final proposal.
Bowder describes the NBDC assistance as “vital.”
“I don’t think we would have been able to do any of this without the insight that the NBDC has provided,” he says. “It’s kind of like going to your grandparents with questions and gaining their wisdom and experience.”
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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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