The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Pittsburgh District participated in a day-long networking event, Dynamic Networking for Small Business (DyNet), April 2, at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center in Fairmont, W.Va.
This free dynamic event brought large federal prime contractors and federal agencies to the networking table with potential small business partners.
DyNet, in its fifth year, is a regional outreach event and was organized through collaboration with the I-79 Development Council, the event host. USACE Pittsburgh and the West Virginia Small Business Administration (SBA) Clarksburg Office assisted with planning and organizing, performing all activities needed to make it happen at no cost to either the government or the attendees.
Through the sponsorship of the I-79 Council, the collaborative efforts of the Pittsburgh District and the SBA, and the marketing efforts of all, DyNet is fast becoming one of the region’s premier small business events. To quote a satisfied attendee, I-79 Development Council's DyNet with the SBA and the US Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, exceeded expectations once again by providing small businesses with outstanding educational and networking opportunities. It is one of the events I always attend because the value far exceeds the investment. " Jeannette King, President & CEO, SRE, Inc.
This year, 254 registrants from 10 states networked with 35 Prime contractors, 15 major federal buying agencies and received advice and assistance from 12 assistance agencies (procurement technical assistance and small business development centers, banks, insurance agencies, etc.), bringing a well-rounded choice of networking for the more than 72 individual small business companies in attendance.
The theme of 2014’s event, Start Small – Build Big, was conceived by the DyNet Team and all activities were planned around offering classes, networking, and assistance designed to help the small businesses who “start small” to “build big.” Over 10 classes were taught by the USACE Pittsburgh, the SBA Clarksburg, WV, Office and other invited guests and federal agencies. Information provided in classes included mistakes commonly made by companies when submitting offers to the government; effectively responding to solicitations; financially managing federal contracts; and selecting great teaming partners.
Networking was steady throughout the day and continued during the lunch break following the keynote address from Ms. Ngozi Bell, the Small Business Administration’s Region III small business advocate, who provided relevant information concerning her office’s mission and the assistance she renders to small business in the states of Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Her address was inspirational and energetic and very relevant to the theme of the day.
While DyNet benefits the USACE Pittsburgh District as one of its major outreach events of the year, it also benefits both small and large businesses by bringing them all to the same place at the same time, minimizing outreach efforts everyone. When asked how events like DyNet for Small Business helps them to grow, another attendee remarked, “You can get a good survey on what other companies are looking for from a small company. What are their needs? What are the things that they think a small business would do well in? And, what small business is out there ready to delivery that service. So, it’s a big advantage to meet so many people in one place that you could potentially do business with or you could potentially learn from, and potentially develop mentoring relationship with. So for me and small businesses in general, it’s a great opportunity and a great networking opportunity.”
“The format works… the cost works… the venue works… it’s a win-win for all attendees. It’s pretty amazing what can be accomplished over a ham sandwich.” – Barbara Weaver, Government Commercial Market Representative, US Small Business Administration.
Planning is underway for the sixth annual DyNet event, slated for April 2, 2015.. To follow Dynet and see testimonials, pictures and more, visit the webpage at www.dynetworking.com
. A second DyNet event will be held in Erie PA as a regional event for the USACE Pittsburgh and Buffalo Districts and is scheduled for 19 June 2014 at the Bayfront Convention Center. The Northwest Commission PTAC hosts DyNet Erie; this event is also a totally free event for all attendees and participants. Information for DyNet Erie is posted on the DyNet webpage and registration is now open.