Small Business Opportunity Fair 2018

The Small Business Opportunity Fair for 2018 was at held in the Pasadena Conference Center on May 22, 2018.

The event was a collaboration of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Small Business Programs Office (JPL SBPO), the City of Pasadena, and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. Its purpose was to provide small business owners/representatives the opportunity to network and match make with government agencies and large business prime contractors.

Around 20 government agencies and large business primes exhibited at the event providing attendees information on how to do business within their organizations, potential procurements opportunities, and build small business relationships.

Mary Helen Ruiz from JPL SBPO facilitated the matchmaking sessions during the Small Business Opportunity Fair. Small Business attendees were able to present their business capabilities to government and large business prime representatives during one-on-one 15-minute interval matchmaking sessions. A total of 128 appointments were offered on a first-come first-serve basis.

In addition to matchmaking and exhibits, the event featured three workshops and one panel.

Marina Laverdy, a Commercial Market Representative of the Office Government Contracting in Los Angeles, CA, led the “SBA Mentor-Protégé Program and Joint Ventures” workshop. Topics discussed in the workshop defined joint ventures, size standards, limitations on subcontracting, different types of small businesses, and the requirements necessary to enroll in or participate in the SBA Mentor-Protégé Program. Mary Lou Dorgalli from the JPL SBPO led the “Social Media Impact on Small Business” workshop. Topics discussed were how to use social media platforms, search engines optimization, staying connected with online procurement opportunities, and social media brand awareness. Jay Chhugani, Program Director for NASA/JPL Contracts for Millennium Engineering and Integration, moderated the “How to Do Business with JPL, City of Pasadena, and NASA Field Centers” panel discussion. The panelists were Antonio Watson from the City of Pasadena, Robert Medina from NASA Ames Research Office of Small Business Programs, Matthew Christian from JPL SBPO, and McKenna Kunes from JPL Acquisition. Topics discussed during this workshop were how to do business within their organizations, recommendations on how a small business can become a successful supplier, and upcoming organizational outreach events.

Over 400 small business owners/representatives attended the 2018 Small Business Opportunity Fair. This event created a positive and informative opportunity for attendees to learn how they can become potential suppliers for government organizations and large business primes by promoting networking opportunities, matchmaking sessions, and instructive workshops.