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What is the best way to Network with other (Healthcare IT) SDVOSB?


Chip Hopkins Castle Rock, CO

Years ago when I was about to leave the military, a company approached me to assist them (after I was out) with the technical aspects of building an interface to a US Government (USG) Healthcare IT system and therefore enable them to compete for a USG Prime contract.

I did help them via our own contract and helped them create the healthcare IT system that they needed to have in place to go after the DoD contract. They eventually won the initial $500M contract and the follow-on $500M contract. After I finished helping them get the contract and get a majority of the sites up and running (worldwide), they didn't need/want my further assistance, and eventually, I had to close down because I did not know how to get 'other' prime or subcontracts with the USG.

So now I want to restart the business, 5 years after not pursuing more work. Currently, I only have me to start and if needed, expect/hope to be able to pull others in, and with almost no funds in which to do so.

My current "Capabilities Overview" is fairly limited and I could expand it, depending on what requirements are needed. Which makes this a chicken and the egg question. Do I wait for the requirements from a company to build a more robust capabilities statement (using my current limited Capabilities Overview), which means it may be more difficult to land business?

Or do I say I have capabilities that I do not currently have in hopes of landing business and then hiring the people to support it?

There are several/many Large USG contracts out there that are geared towards SDVOSB (CVE verified) businesses, so I have begun to reach out to a couple of SDVOSB companies to see if they would have any opportunities to bring me on as a sub. One recently said that if I find an opportunity, to let them know and they 'presumably' would work with me to evaluate and potentially pursue. The other company has not replied...and probably will not...

Of course, I understand that my capabilities will be the largest factor to determine whether another company would consider bringing me on, or not. I do expect that most companies who I 'could' partner with will see me as a potential competitor and will not work with me or help me understand everything that needs to be done to go after, bid on and potentially win contracts.

And then the whole bidding process is likely another set of questions, so I'll hold off on that for now.

Essentially, I don't know what I don't know...!

Ideally, it would be great to find a person or company that would be willing to answer questions about how this entire process works.

No huge rush at this point, and any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Chip Hopkins

19 July 2020 3 replies Small Business



ACP AdvisorNet Staff New York, NY

Hi Chip,

Thank you for your question. I encourage you to utilize our Community feature to reach out to advisors who have experience in IT. You can search by location, experience, and expertise, and reach out to as many advisors as you would like.

Additionally, ACP has a year-long mentorship program that might be of interest to you:


21 July 2020 Helpful answer


Nancy Brooks West Chesterfield, NH

Hi Chip,

To be honest, I can not speak specifically to the IT industry. However, there are many great resources out there for veteran entrepreneurs. (You can find a list here:

How do you intend to scale the business? Have you completed a business plan? Would love to learn more and am happy to help you any way I can! Happy to speak with you offline, if you prefer.


22 July 2020 Helpful answer


Chip Hopkins Castle Rock, CO

Hi Isabel, thank you, I have already applied for the mentorship program and will have my initial call tomorrow to help to sort out what direction I'm going. Thank you, Chip

Hi Nancy, Thank you for your response, the website link you provided above does have a lot of valuable sites to connect with.

Another program available for those transitioning from Active Duty, veterans and spouses is from Syracuse University's IVMF program who sponsor a course called Onward to Opportunity (O2O), which is how I came to know about ACP.

They typically hold these courses in-person at various locations around the country, however I'm not sure what the current status is, if still live and socially-distanced, video conferenced...or not holding the courses at all? Please look at the website for more info and locations.

O2O allows the student upon completion of the course to be granted access to an industry certification course, e.g., PMP and many others, and upon completion of the course take the exam for that certification, which is paid for one time only by IVMF. It's a sweet deal if people take full advantage of the opportunity!

I see that you found me on LinkedIn, I'll connect further with you there.

Thank you very much for your response,


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