“It actually got started when I was running my own small business — a government contractor. By any outside stretch of the imagination, we were a great success and and had, in fact, doubled in size almost every year. . . . It was a wonderful success, but it was way harder than it had to be.”
White said his company struggled around two points: contract acquisition and resource utilization.
So, he began thinking about how to connect opportunities in the federal contracting world, which is how mySBX came to fruition.
“It’s about connecting businesses in the market place. There is one predominant schematic, which is helping large businesses connect to small; helping large companies find niche small businesses; helping them form better teams and win more work. Also, it’s about the smalls helping one another.”
The Web site employs a matching algorithm, much like those used on dating sites, though my SBX is a bit more powerful. White calls it eBay on steroids.
“Every time there’s an opportunity into our network, whether that be a subcontract request, a teaming request a resource request, an opportunity around resources that are available, it goes into our engine. That engine takes that opportunity and finds the most likely, possible outcome for that opportunity.”
White said this allows those who have a need to quickly connect with those who have a service, which he feels is a win-win scenario that’s become quite popular, “last week alone, just to give you a data point, we sent out almost 2,700 [match alerts] across all of our members.”
The popularity of the site surprise White. He said he never expected government agencies to sigh up as quickly as they did, though he understands why.
“Certainly one of the biggest pain points across the government is actually [the] discovery of capabilities that exist in the market — market research. So, more and more, [agencies] are coming on [the site] to find what capable, competent businesses are out there that do this kind of thing, particularly on the small business side.”
Agencies, in general, struggle with using small businesses as the government is increasingly keeping an eye on those sorts of practices.
White said, in addition, agencies have problems finding small businesses that perform specific work in the first place.
On the flip side of the coin, smaller businesses often don’t have the resources to put into large advertising.
Therefore, even though mySBX has been up and running for very long, White said it’s already evolving.
“We’re becoming more and more of an outreach tool for [small businesses] to allow their integrators to connect and collaborate together. So it’s a win-win for the agency. They can affect small business utilization, but allowing mySBX to become a platform though which these integrators to connect, they can actually effort their mission in life better. So, their own customers are actually forming the better team — or bringing the best of breed solutions — to the use of mySBX.”
White emphasized that this is not a social networking site, however. He said his site should be categorized as a business collaboration tool, rather than a place where people simply go and chat.
“We’re about a business platform that allows business to get done and allows real, meaningful revenue and contracts and those kind of things to flow.”
Since the federal government has small business requirements for many of its agencies, White said his site has become a valuable service in helping smaller businesses grow and do more.
“[It’s] why we’ve grown faster than we ever thought we would have. When we serve the mission of the government agency or the mission of a large contractor, it is the small businesses that win. . . . Government, more and more, if their serious about that mission, there’s no better place than us to help them do that.”