Colorado Springs Chamber using grant to help cybersecurity firms win contracts

Gazette |

--The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC is seeking applications from up to eight small to midsize Colorado Springs defense contractors to help them compete for government contracts and similar commercial work.

The chamber is getting funds from a nearly $1 million grant that Pikes Peak Community College received in March from the Office of Economic Adjustment within the Department of Defense.

Companies must apply by at tinyurl.com/springscyber to receive up to $50,000 in strategy training and workshops as well as branding and marketing help.

The training and workshops will be provided by Simon Everett, an Arlington, Va., research and consulting firm that has completed similar programs to help defense contractors in Indiana, Kentucky and South Carolina.

The branding and marketing help will come from kglobal, a public relations and public affairs unit of Washington, D.C.-based defense contractor Zenetex.

To be eligible, applicants must be in Colorado Springs. They must provide cybersecurity goods and services through Department of Defense contracts, generate at least 25% of annual revenue from those contracts, have lost or face the loss of at least 5% of annual revenue resulting from reduced defense spending or be able to demonstrate potential to increase revenue to commercial clients. The applicants also must match 10 percent of the value of the services they receive, or up to $5,000.

The Pikes Peak Community College grant is the second phase of an $890,000 grant awarded by the same agency in 2017 to help the college get its cybersecurity program certified by the National Security Agency.

The grant also is intended to help veterans with cyber skills find jobs and develop a plan to help the local cybersecurity industry, in part, by taking advantage of a pool of talent that is leaving military service.

"We developed a strategic plan to grow a nationally recognized cybersecurity hub, then sought funding to implement that plan with a program that supports the DoD mission of making communities with a large military presence more resilient and (economically) diverse," said Vinnie Perischetti, the chamber's director of cybersecurity programs.

"We have asked some of the larger prime (defense) contractors to help us find subcontractors who would benefit most from this program."

For more information, contact Perischetti at (719) 575-4340 or vpersichetti@csedc.com.

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