The competitive landscape for the Federal IT and Consulting sector is dynamic, with companies entering and exiting every day for a range of reasons. A goal for any Government and GovCon leader is to identify, establish relationships with, and support firms, and their respective leaders, which are positioned to serve as the next generation of highly successful GovCon small businesses.   

Every other week, we will highlight a handful of very small, but rapidly emerging businesses that are NEW (have been formed and/or launched in the last 30 months), and that should be on your radar as both a potential partner and competitor.   

This week we cover several specialists focused on IT management and IT services, digital transformation and aPaaS, IA and data services, and supporting health care quality and equity, that are making big investments and seeing immediate returns across VA, HHS, DOD and USDA. 


With so many major procurements on the near horizon, 2023 is going to be an important time for the SDVOSB community and this emerging company has been quietly making all the right moves to be positioned for a big year. Led by Larry Massey and Mallory Massey, a duo who can lay claim to nearly 30 years of combined experience providing IT management and IT services, to include providing technical, administrative, and operational leadership for a $30M DOD and VA portfolio, this group has made a number of strategic investments of late, to include recently announcing its acceptance into the 8(a) program and hiring senior staff to support growth, all while being recognized as an Elev8 GovCon honoree and Government Contracting company who is Doing It the Right Way.  

Leveraging direct prior experience having supported a fast growing VA partner; expertise in areas such as data governance, program management, IT operations and maintenance, software development, IV&V and help desk support; and a set  relationships and experience supporting key agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Internal Revenue Service, this team will be #onetowatch in 2023.  

Disruptive IT 

There is a clear recipe for success in the Federal sector and any time we see a new company formed by a growth-minded leader who has been there and done that time and again, it piques our interest. Coming out of the gate hot, this HUBZone woman-owned small business, focused on providing leadership and innovation in the areas of strategic planning and enablement, digital transformation, application platform-as-a-service (aPaaS) and business process automation, wasted no time in its first year of operation, picking up several key subcontract wins while fast tracking its GSA MAS schedule and HUBZone certification, and gaining work supporting a modernization on a single cloud platform in DOD.

Led by an experienced Federal Health IT SME and award-winning leader, companies looking for a  partner who understands growth and delivery of major programs would be wise to align early and often with Lana Hadzihasanovic and to benefit from her ability to lean into her relationships and experience connecting dots, while providing fresh disruptive solutions that innovative government leaders are looking for … if not, your competitors will.  

Laurel Health Advisors 

Federal Health companies should take note. Guided by Dr. Yael Harris, an industry veteran who brings two decades of experience and a 16-year career within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), serving in leadership positions at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH), this small, disadvantaged woman-owned business brings some serious street cred to any conversation around the use of technology and innovation to improve health care quality and equity. 

Did we mention this team is also led by President and COO Jason Goldwater, who has been in the field of health information technology (health IT), quality measurement, rural health, and health services research for 27 years? A few resume highlights include leading a number of projects on research and evaluation of health IT on access to care, electronic clinical quality measure development and implementation, Medicaid payment, and health care reform. Add to that perspective gained leading and driving a range of major health initiatives, such as developing pilot EHRs for emergency preparedness; managing $50M+ projects at HHS; and as a proven business development and operations leader within the health IT sector and you have a win-win-win combination.

Building on shared experience and relationships, this team is already making itself known, working on several national Health projects, including supporting the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on developing a National Telehealth Data Warehouse.  

Athena Federal 

Athena was the goddess of battle strategy, and wisdom. Led by a Founder and CEO who has served as a senior executive and Principal for some of the leading brands in the market, to include a track record of driving double digit growth in revenue and optimization of operations, the names seems appropriate as this #DigitalWOSB is positioned to be a rising star in the years ahead, joining a growing set of women-led businesses focused on transforming government through digital services.  

Armed  with a set of relationships and perspective gained as a senior executive leading business development and supporting important missions within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and across federal healthcare and civilian agencies for several highly successful government contracting firms, Nadia Smith and this emerging small business are prepared for battle. Specializing in providing in-demand capabilities such as Digital Design and Delivery, Data Services, Intelligent Automation and Strategy and Management, some early wins, to include a contract supporting the USDA’s Technology & Accessible Resources Give Employment Today (TARGET) Center, have this group off to a fast start! 

Know a company we should spotlight? Do you lead or work for a company that is on the move? Contact us below and let us know.   

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