For startups creating the next big thing on the tech and health scene, govtech consulting firm EverGlade has a new resource for those focused on pandemic response.
The DC-based firm recently launched its new arm, EverGlade Cares, offering pro-bono consultations for tech startups working on pandemic-response products. The initiative, according to EverGlade, is designed to connect small companies, entrepreneurs and researchers with the federal funding necessary to get their designs off the ground. Startups must apply and showcase financial need to qualify.
Eric Jia-Sobota, principal-consulting leader at EverGlade, told Technical.ly that the idea came after the company noticed that startups have largely fallen off the radar of the federal government. Much of the current funding, contracts and awards, according to Jia-Sobota, were instead being targeted at larger tech and healthcare companies like Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and even Gaithersburg, Maryland’s Novavax.
In fact, he said, many startups are unsure where to start when it comes to gaining government funding.
“We wanted to at least make an effort to help some of the smaller startups at least be able to talk through the process, understand the process and explore it,” Jia-Sobota said. “Because most of the innovation and some of the unique technology is still at the startup level, it’s just that the [funding] trend has gone in the complete opposite direction.”
After startup leaders apply, Jia-Sobota said, EverGlade will offer them a consulting session on their best avenues for potential funding. This could include anything from focusing efforts on a specific agency, grant opportunities, loans, contracting or cooperative agreements. He hopes offering the knowledge to startups can help them compete with some of the larger tech and research firms that have the ability to lobby the federal government for funding.
“Having that entry-level consultation to say, OK, you’re at phase one and you have this type of technology, the Air Force might be interested, here’s the right funding, here’s what you need to do,” Jia-Sobota said. “That’s the kind of consultation we’re interested in helping people navigate.”
Going forward, for pandemic-response tech firms, Jia-Sobota said he’s keeping an eye on the Pandemic Preparedness Plan from the White House, as he sees a few opportunities for healthtech and pandemic-tech companies within. He’s also interested to see how a Reconciliation Bill might impact tech. (As a general rule, he also thinks the Department of Defense is a great first stop for tech firms seeking funds.)
“We’re just interested in and really trying to bring more opportunities and highlight the fact that these smaller companies are still viable options for the government,” Jia-Sobota said.