In the crowded federal government IT services market, it can be a challenge for small and emerging growth businesses to get a foothold and begin to expand. However, there are numerous success stories of companies that – through hard work, smart strategic investments, a strong culture, and a dedication to delivery of service – have managed to rise above their competition.
One of those companies is Spear, Inc., a Small Business Administration (SBA) certified organization operating out of Northern Virginia whose impressive growth and success led to it being named an ACG National Capital Growth Company of the Year at the 2017 Corporate Growth Awards.
To learn more about what sets Spear apart, and to get a better understanding of the company’s culture and how it is helping to drive growth, we sat down with Spear, Inc.’s CEO, Richard Pineda, and COO, Gino Antonelli.
Here is what they had to say:
Corporate Growth, Capital Style (CGCS): Can you tell our readers who may not be familiar with Spear a little bit about the company? What does Spear do, and what services does it provide to its federal government customers?
Mr. Pineda: We founded Spear, Inc. in 2012 in Herndon, VA. Today, the company is a 140+ person, SBA certified small business. Spear is a federal government contractor and one of the country’s fastest growing small businesses. In fact, Spear’s revenue has grown significantly over the past five years, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 124.4 percent during this time period.
Spear delivers information technology services and products to the federal government. Some of our core capabilities include: IT infrastructure, cyber security, data analytics, IT acquisition, management consulting and Splunk professional services.
CGCS: Does the company work exclusively with the federal government, or does it sell its services to the private sector as well?
Mr. Antonelli: Spear works solely with and on behalf of the government.
CGCS: The government IT services and contracting marketplace is a very crowded one. How has the company managed to stand out and compete for business in this crowded, competitive market?
Mr. Antonelli: We worked to create a company and culture built on a strong and loyal workforce, where everyone can contribute and succeed- key components to the overall strategy for Spear.
At Spear, we work collaboratively to deliver mission-critical IT services for the federal government. The company calls its employees Spearmates, and the Spearmates understand the company’s overall strategic goals and are excited to be part of a larger purpose. Together, we have driven the company’s growth over the last five years in the federal government contracting space.
We work hard to foster a culture where employees are valued. Spear’s attrition rate is significantly low – less than 10%. In fact, the company’s first billable person from when the doors opened in 2012 is still working for Spear.
Mr. Pineda: Spear believes that if you deliver excellence and customer satisfaction, it will lead to more opportunity. And that core belief has directly resulted in rapid growth and success for the company. Spear organically grew on its existing contracts by more than 88 percent in 2016. The company also received more than 20 task orders from new customer signings at DoD, civilian and intelligence strategic accounts.
CGCS: What are some of the large contracts that the company has recently been awarded? What services will the company be delivering as a result of these contracts?
Mr. Pineda: Whether it’s supporting IT for 1.9 million Army warfighters that defend our country or assisting over 6,000 Department of Education users, Spear delivers and supports citizen-centric projects with impactful results that make a difference. Some of the most recent contracts we’ve been awarded are with the Army and U.S. Department of Education.
For the Army, Spear is delivering mission critical IT infrastructure at eight disparate locations. This includes systems engineering, customer resource management, IT infrastructure solutions, and help desk support offerings. Spear’s work with the Army has helped to increase its reach by 30 percent while streamlining costs by 25 percent.
For the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid (FSA) program, Spear is providing systems administration, CyberArk, network engineering, and overall program management support. The company’s work on behalf of these organizations has enhanced their compliance with FISMA, FMFIA, and FITARA while increasing security, enhancing end user experience, and uptime within their overall IT environment.
CGCS: The company has recently been named a Growth Company of the Year by the National Capital Chapter of ACG. To what do you attribute the company’s incredible growth?
Mr. Antonelli: Much of the company’s success is due to its deliberate corporate investments in the areas of business development, and sales, marketing and capture. These investments have allowed Spear to build a solid corporate infrastructure that exceeds the need of the business and directly drive full-and-open prime work for Spear.
The company has also invested in key partnerships within cybersecurity, data analytics and IT infrastructure in 2016. This allowed Spear to successfully bid on more than 50 engagements with a 72 percent win rate. These new engagements included ones with the Army, DHS, DoD, USPS and Department of Education.
In addition to adding new client engagements, organic growth across the portfolio of contracts has been steady. The company has gained the trust of our partners and customers, which now view it as a key advisor. For example, the company’s relationship with the Army began as a subcontractor providing three IT professionals. Today, Spear is providing more than 40 professionals to the U.S. Army.
For additional information about Spear, Inc., visit their corporate Website at www.spear-inc.net.