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1st String or JV for Polaris GWAC?

capture management gsa May 04, 2021
Polaris GWAC IDIQ from GSA

Three key challenges and benefits to consider.

If the buzz on webinar attendance (register here), GSA’s Polaris GWAC IDIQ evaluators are going to have a handful to deal with this fall. One hundred or more Contract Primes are expected to meet the “bar” and make it to Polaris’ “Varsity Team”. If you don’t know or don’t think your company can make “Varsity” don’t sweat it; there is always “JV” team.  

Nope, not that one, we are talking Joint Venture (JV) teams here.

Before going too far, I recommend that you take a moment to download and complete the Polaris Eligibility Checklist that Trident Proposal Management has put together in an effort to simplify the life of the small business seeking a Prime seat on this massive 10 year, $$B IDIQ. Let’s say that you complete the list and you determine that it is a “steep climb” addressing all the shortcomings identified in your checklist. Let’s say that there is no practical way for your company to qualify alone; should you pass on bidding?  What if there is a way to join forces and make the grade?

Enter “Joint Ventures”

For the purpose of this exercise and IAW 13 C.F.R.§121.103(h), a joint venture is “an association of individuals and/or concerns with interests in any degree or proportion intending to engage in and carry out business ventures for joint profit over a two-year period, for which purpose they combine their efforts, property, money, skill, or knowledge, but not on a continuing or permanent basis for conducting business generally.”

Translation - At least two companies that come together on a non-permanent relationship that lasts a couple of years to pursue a specific interest.

There are different kinds of JV’s - some of them are independent of any government program; some of them are governed by the All-Small Mentor-Protege Program (APP). Either type works for the purposes of Polaris so long as:

  1. The “Prime to Be” in the JV is a small business with a 51% controlling interest

  2. The JV does at least 40% of the work

Ok then, here are three challenges and/or benefits to consider:


This one is a kicker! With a JV; - you CAN use the past performance and CPARs of ANY member of the team. If you have completed your Polaris Eligibility Checklist you know where you are gapped. Focus on finding a teammate for a JV that can shore up your plan!


There are plenty of details to tend to, and as we well know, nothing is simple when on paper is already convoluted… If you think that you can’t qualify for Polaris, but have a great relationship with a large company that you team up with, this may be the time to call in your favors and build that dream team that will get you from JV to a Varsity Player on Polaris’ GWAC. When should you start to do that? “Yesterday would be fine” is the best answer I can think of. Time is of the essence and waits for no one… so jump on it!


If you are overwhelmed by the lift or don’t have the manpower to answer the proposal AND look for a partner, stop on by here and let us give you a hand on doing the work and/or teaming up. Everyone is an expert at something, and some outfits are simply rock solid at helping would be “Primes” make the grade and qualify.

Don’t pass on Polaris for the wrong reason (read this blog). It’s too big of an opportunity to stay on the bench and not even make the JV team!

If you are interested in pursuing the Polaris GWAC IDIQ, here are some recommendations for you:

  1. Download our eligibility checklist here

  2. Download our self-assessment and gathering project documentation

  3. Sign up here for our Polaris newsletter and get alerts on the contract as they happen.

  4. Sign up for updates from the GSA Small Business Community of Interest

  5. Verify your WOSB cert is in order or make updates at

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