By 1812Blockhouse

In a recent video shared by the Crawford Partnership, President & CEO David Zak sat down with Karen Wivell, the Associate Director for the Ohio Apex Accelerator program, to discuss how this resource is helping businesses in Crawford County and beyond.

The Ohio Apex Accelerator, formerly known as PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center), is a program that assists businesses in selling their goods or services to government entities. With the complexities of government contracts often acting as a barrier for small businesses, the Ohio Apex Accelerator aims to simplify the process.

Quick Facts About the Ohio Apex Accelerator

  • Program Type: Consulting Service
  • Value: Zero cost to Crawford County Businesses
  • Provider: The Ohio APEX Accelerator at Ohio University, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Development, U.S. Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs, and various local host organizations.
  • Local Eligibility: Crawford County Businesses & Non-profits
  • Company Eligibility: Any business of any size
  • Other Requirements: Create a client profile
  • Online Link: Learn more
  • Local Contact: Sarah Herrle, Crawford Partnership (, 419-563-5567)

From Market Research to Proposal Reviews

Wivell brings a wealth of experience in economic development and helping companies navigate the labyrinthine world of government contracts. “We walk them through where to find solicitations, help them do market research, and even review their proposals before they submit them,” she explained. The program covers all levels of government—federal, state, and local—and offers its services free of charge, thanks to grant funding from the Department of Defense’s Small Business Office and the State of Ohio.

Who Can Benefit?

While the program is open to any business interested in expanding its market footprint, Wivell pointed out that not all businesses are well-suited for government contracting. “If you’re a Main Street business like a barber shop or a restaurant, this probably isn’t the space for you,” she said. However, manufacturers, product resellers, and service providers in sectors like IT, janitorial services, and consulting can find valuable opportunities. Wivell even mentioned an unusual success story: “My most unusual client was a farmer. We helped him find a market for his produce during the COVID crisis, which kept him afloat.”

The Process: How to Get Started

For businesses interested in leveraging the Ohio Apex Accelerator’s services, the first step is to register on their website. Once registered, the business will be contacted to set up an initial appointment. “We have free daily bid matching for our clients. We search around 3,800 different government procurement websites for opportunities on a daily basis,” Wivelln added. Currently, the program is actively working with seven companies in Crawford County, and they’re looking to expand their reach.

While the program offers a plethora of services, Wivell emphasized the importance of businesses knowing their market and having some level of expertise. “If we think it’s a waste of your time, we’re going to tell you,” she said, stressing that the program aims to be as transparent as possible about the likelihood of securing a government contract.

A Resource Worth Exploring

The Ohio Apex Accelerator is more than just a program; it’s a partnership aimed at helping businesses grow by unlocking the often untapped market of government contracts. With its range of services and expertise, it serves as a valuable resource for businesses in Crawford County and throughout Ohio. As Wivell puts it, “We can’t guarantee you’re going to get a contract, but we always do our best to help you and point you in the right direction.”

Additional Resources

For those interested in diving deeper into the program, the 9-minute video referred to above provides an in-depth discussion of the Apex Accelerator program. To explore how you can take advantage of this program, contact Sarah Herrle, Economic Development Coordinator with the Crawford Partnership, at 419-563-5567 or by email at

Image by Edar from Pixabay