Although I’d always argue for a dose of scepticism when it comes to the claims made in tech land, it’s difficult not to get caught up in the hype when it’s happening. In fact, a case in point is playing out right now. Venture backed firms with valuations over $1 billion-the tech unicorns- are currently being spoken about disparagingly. Yet in the not too distant past, the topic was being discussed in awe-inspiring terms.
Of all the terms used to describe tech startups, the most ubiquitous has to be “disruptive”.
We’ve seen this term used to describe how various tech companies have brought innovative products and services to market. In many cases, tech innovation has caused rampant upheaval to existing marketplaces and value networks. We can name
The huge valuations and profits that are part and parcel of the story for the tech behemoths are, of course, the reason why being described as disruptive is seen as the highest accolade for tech companies.
— TenderScout (@tenderscout) April 21, 2017
Building on what already works
So why then am I building a startup that aims to work with, rather than disrupt, the status quo? I have three reasons.
Firstly, the size of the opportunity is the largest in the world. Public procurement contracts account for 18 percent of global GDP. This means they are (at least) a $3 trillion opportunity for businesses. In Ireland alone, tenders are worth €9 billion annually.
From a revenue point of view, public procurement contracts are a sales pipeline like no other. Furthermore, no matter the political climate, governments will always have goods and services that they need to procure from businesses.
Secondly, there is a tried and tested process to win tenders. I’m not going to argue that public procurement, anywhere in the world, is perfect. However, any business who wants to compete for tenders has access to platforms that list public contracts (TenderScout is one of these. There are others), and the rules of engagement and award criteria are clearly outlined.
Competing companies are also allowed to ask for feedback on their tender proposal and an explanation as to what set the winning bid apart from others. This is not information that’s readily shared or available in the private sector.
Thirdly, my company, TenderScout, uses technology to help SMEs compete and win tenders regularly by matching businesses with the tender opportunities they are best placed to win. SMEs that work with TenderScout can increase their win rates, on average, to around 70 percent.
— TenderScout (@tenderscout) April 5, 2017
How are we doing so far?
We offer our SaaS on a subscription model with two options for customers to choose from: a standard plan or a Pro plan.
Both plans provide access to our platform, templates and processes. Customers who choose to work with us on our Pro plan receive an added benefit in that we help them to compile their tender proposals. Pro plan customers take a strategic view of tendering and, in addition to winning tenders, are seeking to build high value sales pipelines.
We’re deeply invested in working with Irish SMEs, but we’re also focused on building a global presence. TenderScout opened offices in the UK, USA and Canada earlier this year and we already work with companies in all of these countries.
In 2016, we helped 200 companies win tenders worth more than €200 million. This is just the beginning. There are so many opportunities in this space for companies to explore.