A small start-up company at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park is looking to make some big waves in Indiana defense contracting.

GeoConvergence is a company with nine people located at WestGate. The start-up firm though has been named as a contract vehicle to provide services to the Navy and Marine Corps on a contract with a $20 billion value over the next five years.

The company not only will have a spot as a prime contractor, but their sub-contractors include nine Indiana based companies, and among those is Daviess County based Artisan Electronics.

“This $20 billion contract vehicle will open a new channel for business with the Navy and USMC,” said Prem Radhakrishnan, geoConvergence co-founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to have a strong Indiana team of companies all capable of providing first-class service to the DoD.”

“We are a small local business, striving to make an impact on the local economy, by capturing work,” said Chris Walls, co-founder and CEO of geoConvergence. “We are looking to grow and at the same time help out sub-contractors in the area to grow with us. We have brought along a lot of local businesses with us.”

Most prime contractors for military business are big time operations with longtime ties to the armed forces and that makes geoConvergence a virtual David among the Goliaths.

“It certainly feels that way anytime we chase an opportunity like Seaport NxG with the federal government until we remind ourselves not to lean on our own understanding,” said Walls. “Any small business can relate to the complexity involved with government contracting but we have been blessed to be surrounded by great advisors, mentors and large business such as Dioltas, Artisan Electronics and General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) respectively. These firms have provided much assistance in our pursuit of playing a role in supporting our nation’s warfighters. “ SeaPort-NxG is the Navy’s electronic platform for acquiring support services in 23 functional areas including engineering, financial management, and program management.

“These defense projects can run into the billions of dollars,” said Daviess County Economic Development Executive Director Bryant Niehoff. “It looks like they have built a strong team to pursue them. This is a company that came to WestGate to make a difference and become involved in the defense industry. They have been working out of the business incubator at the WestGate Academy. That is just such a great place for a company to get a start and grow into a larger and more long-term operation.”

Just like race-car shops like to be located in the same area, there are advantages that being located at a place like WestGate can have when it comes to building relationships in the defense industry and acquiring expertise.

There is a tremendous synergy that comes from being surrounded by more than 30 small businesses and Fortune 500 companies creating jobs, prosperity, and partnerships, said Walls. “The state-of-theart facilities at Westgate has allowed us to have affordable office space with shared amenities near the gates of Crane Naval Base. The staff that supports Westgate have been extremely helpful in providing marketing opportunities such as social mixers, ribbon cuttings and trade show events that involve officials from Crane. It is easier for industry to meet with Crane off-base because of security and Westgate provides a convenient location for these interactions to take place. We are grateful for the ones before us who have paved the Westgate road and provided the platform for success.”

Besides being in as part of the Navy Seaport NxG projects, geoConvergence is seeking to become a vehicle for a separate set of projects through the Marine Corps for small businesses that totals $50 billion over five years. Announcements on that is expected sometime later this summer.

Currently, the vehicle designation has not produced projects, jobs and development at WestGate, but it leaves the entire area with a lot of potential.

This contract vehicle will open a new channel for business with the Navy and USMC” said Walls. “It is hard to forecast what it will equate to in terms of employment and capital outlay in the area but it is easy to say that this contract will bring more opportunities to import DoD dollars into the State of Indiana.”
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