Hosted by the Defense Leadership Forum, the summit brings together congressional and government civilian leaders, Pentagon officials, military base commanders and business representatives to identify solutions that will help defend the United States’ armed forces and the nation.
With nearly 300 attendees, the summit offered insight into the 2020 defense budget and the latest information on contract opportunities. Guest speakers informed businesses about the mission and contracting priorities of the U.S. military and other government agencies and connected businesses with federal contracting resources.
As a part of the Navy small business programs and opportunities panel, NAVWAR Director of Contracts Nancy Gunderson educated attendees on NAVWAR’s mission areas and functions, small business goals and contracting opportunities.
“Industry partners are a vital part of our team,” said Gunderson. “As our technological environment continues to change and threats continue to evolve, being inclusive of small business creates the potential for agility and innovation. That’s a huge priority for NAVWAR and for the Navy.”
Additional panels and discussions focused on financing strategies for government contracting, accounting in the age of automation and artificial intelligence and information on the U.S. Small Business Association 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities.
Other government and defense speaking sessions featured leaders from:
-Naval Air Systems Command
-March Air Reserve Base
-Edwards Air Force Base
-Vandenberg Air Force Base
-Defense Intelligence Agency
-U.S. Small Business Administration
-U.S. General Services Administration
-National Aeronautics and Space Administration
-County of San Diego
NAVWAR’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) was also available at the event’s matchmaking session, which allowed attendees to meet face-to-face with defense leaders, contracting specialists and prime contractors.
“The conversation has to start somewhere,” said Angela King, acting director, NAVWAR Small Business Programs. “Events like the West Coast Small Business Defense Contracting Summit are just one way that we can cultivate and strengthen relationships that will be critical to future solutions.”
NAVWAR OSBP is a dynamic advocacy that provides training, advice and guidance to ensure quality solutions for Navy and Marine Corps acquisitions and maximizes contracting opportunities to small businesses.
"This was my first federal contracting conference and I'm really glad I was able to attend,” said Dave Collins, small business owner and summit attendee. “As the founder of a small business that's been mainly focused on working with the private industry, I came to the conference looking to find new and innovative ways to get my foot in the door with federal contracting. I found the speakers to be extremely clear and concise in their advice: I need to do my research, focus my offerings and make it clear how I can solve an agency's problems.”
The summit also featured the Defense Leadership Roundtable, an invitation-only focus group discussion between summit speakers and other special guests with no formal presentations or audience. In this session, the group discussed real issues and challenges with the diverse group of experts, while generating possible solutions in real time.
For more information about NAVWAR OSBP, visit https://www.public.navy.mil/navwar/Pages/SmallBusiness.aspx.