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Wyoming Business Tips for Oct. 5-11

September 26, 2014

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Andrea Lewis, Wyoming Entrepreneur procurement specialist

“I have been searching FedBizOpps for business opportunities for my company. Occasionally, I come across a link that sends me to a site called ‘FedConnect.’ Could you explain the site and how it is used?”  Autumn, Cheyenne

FedBizOpps.Gov (https://www.fbo.gov/) is the federal website where opportunities greater than $25,000 are required to be posted.

Although opportunities are posted there, federal agencies sometimes use companies with response systems to manage their opportunities. One of these companies is Compusearch, which owns and manages FedConnect.

FedConnect (www.fedconnect.net) is a cloud-based Web portal which is publicly available. Government agencies can purchase subscriptions to the system. They can then post procurement opportunities, auction events, grants or other types of financial assistance and manage each through its life cycle.

There is no cost to vendors to register and use FedConnect. The “FedConnect Ready, Set, Go!” manual is available on its website. It explains how the system works and how to use it.

It is highly recommended that you read the manual before attempting to use the system, because it explains that FedConnect offers two distinct communication features: a “Message Center,” for asking questions concerning a solicitation; and a “Response Builder,” for submitting responses to a solicitation. When someone submits a proposal through the “response builder,” he should receive a confirmation number from FedConnect.

Opportunities, awards, auctions, grants and other federal assistance can be viewed without registering on the FedConnect site by clicking on the link that says “Search Public Opportunities Only.” If you want to respond to an opportunity, you’ll have to register on FedConnect.

Registration is free; however, your company will already have to have been registered in the System for Award Management (SAM, www.sam.gov). During the SAM registration process, you create a “Marketing Partner Identification Number,” otherwise known as an MPIN. You will use this MPIN when setting up your FedConnect registration.

Once you have a registration with FedConnect, you can log in and use the “Response Builder” to respond to opportunities such as grants, contracts or other types of financial assistance; or the “Auction Viewer” to respond to an auction. The “Type” column gives more detail on the opportunity, whether it is a “funding opportunity,” “reverse auction,” “solicitation,” etc.

The complexity of responding to any given opportunity will depend on the type of opportunity. The “FedConnect Ready, Set, Go!” manual offers details on how to respond to each type of opportunity. The Wyoming Entrepreneur PTAC offers assistance with all aspects of government procurement, including using FedConnect, so don’t hesitate to contact us if we can guide you through the website.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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