March 8, 2013
Lockheed. Boeing. Deloitte. Booz. At first glance, these names could all qualify as German existentialist philosophers; however, here in Washington, DC, we’re all pretty familiar with these government contracting studs. With direct access to government offices and international organizations, government contracting is (unsurprisingly) big business in the DC region. You cannot live in the DC area and not know at least five people working for one of these firms. Consequently, you cannot live in the DC area and not know at least five people occasionally complaining about having lost a contract. Next time that happens, do your friend(s) a favor and tell them about hōrd.
Hōrd is an iOS app that aims to increase a contractor’s competitive position through easier access to information. The $4 app relies on the efficiency of modern smartphone technology to let users become aware of new opportunities at immediate availability; users can find and track federal opportunities, competitors, contracting officers, and categories of information, all from their iPhone.
The first app from startup GovTribe, hōrd was created to alleviate the high costs of government procurement data. Currently, contractors rely on a handful of websites and various email distribution lists to receive notifications on new RFPs (requests for proposal). However, these sites and emails often provide limited useful information, send delayed updates on opportunities, and require individual contractors spending valuable time finding and tracking new opportunities.
“Government procurement data is stymied by three factors: it is too cumbersome, too slow, [and] too expensive,” says CEO Nate Nash. “One important concept that differentiates hōrd from all of these [websites and emails] is the concept of context. . . . Our users add [people, organizations, or topics] to their hōrd and are better informed about things they actually care about.”
Whether it’s a topic (e.g., global health), organization (e.g., USAID), or person (e.g., a specific contracting officer), users can search through hōrd’s data and add things to their “hōrd.” From there, they receive real-time notifications on their hōrded items, allowing them to be among the first in spotting and pursuing new opportunities. If you’re unsure of what to track, hōrd has a trends feature for exploring the most viewed or most hōrded items. The app also allows users to track competitors and see their contracting histories, as well as send notifications when they win contracts.
The GovTribe founders have a collective 30 years of experience working for large government contractors, and it was their experiences that led to the creation of hōrd.
“During that time, we were frustrated with the majority of technology that served [this] industry,” says Nash. “GovTribe builds products for people who are interested in using technology from this decade to better understand and compete in the world of government contracting.”
GovTribe showed off hōrd at Tech Cocktail’s recent DC mixer and startup showcase.
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