GSA 10x program

2019 Government Innovation Awards

Government reinvention with a venture capital mindset

The General Services Administration’s 10x program is a four-stage process that funds federal employees’ ideas to use technology to modernize the customer experience. The effort, begun by GSA’s Technology Transformation Services, is modeled on the methods venture capitalists use to uncover and grow promising ideas and technology. With financial support ranging from $20,000 to over $1 million, the program allows agencies to avoid formally tapping their budgets for development, modernization and enhancement.

The General Services Administration’s 10x program is a four-stage process that funds federal employees’ ideas to use technology to modernize the customer experience. The effort, begun by GSA’s Technology Transformation Services, is modeled on the methods venture capitalists use to uncover and grow promising ideas and technology. With financial support ranging from $20,000 to over $1 million, the program allows agencies to avoid formally tapping their budgets for development, modernization and enhancement.

The process begins when a federal employee submits a three-sentence suggestion that encapsulates a problem and his or her idea for fixing it. The solution grows from there based on input from experts in the federal government and academia. If the research shows that a solution is viable, 10x will fund it and search for ways to bring in other federal funding sources with the goal of having governmentwide impact.

Since 2015, employees at 27 agencies have submitted over 500 ideas to 10x. The program has funded 104 projects for a variety of products and services, including highly specialized open-source tool development and investments in high-profile governmentwide technology.

Two programs — the Eligibility APIs Initiative’s shared web services for human resources and the U.S. Data Federation project to collect and share data across the federal government — were the first to reach the fourth stage of 10x funding, which means they’re excellent candidates to scale up for wide use across the federal government and have an enterprisewide impact.

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