Consultancy services for application quality evaluation and coaching of startups under matching grants program

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

(CONSULTING SERVICES – FIRMS SELECTION)

GEORGIA

National Innovation Ecosystem Project (GENIE) – P152441

Loan # IBRD-8595-GE

Consultancy services for application quality evaluation and coaching of startups under matching grants program

Reference NumberGE-GITA-68550-CS-CQS

 

The Government of Georgia has secured support from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) (hereinafter ‘the Bank’) for a National Innovation Ecosystem (GENIE) Project in the amount of 40 million US dollars.The main objective of the project is to increase innovative activities of the micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and individuals in Georgia and their participation in the digital economy.

The Project will enhance Georgia’s national innovation ecosystem through an integrated approach across three components, plus project implementation support.

Component 1: Innovation Infrastructure. The component will: (a) develop a network of Regional Innovation Hubs (RIHs) and Innovation Centers (ICs) in selected cities, towns and villages (b) design a Broadband-for-Development (BfD) program to increase use of broadband internet services and advanced information technology by eligible households and eligible MSMEs, with a focus on rural areas, inter alia, by providing BfD Payments and related training.

Component 2: Innovation Services. This component will deliver services, many in coordination with the ICs and RIHs, tailored to Project beneficiaries at various stages/levels of the innovation ecosystem. The component will carry out outreach and communication activities, and provide training and technical assistance in support of: (a) building the innovation community, and organizing and carrying out innovation competitions; (b) carrying out periodic skills needs assessments of firms and developing digital economy skills of individuals; and (c) developing the innovation capacity of individuals and firms.

Component 3: Innovation Financing. This component supports the: (a) provision of matching grants, selection of eligible MSMEs for receipt of matching grants, and supervision of matching grants; (b) provision of technical assistance to eligible MSMEs to prepare and implement sub-projects (with the matching grants); and (c) provision of technical assistance to stimulate alternative forms of innovation financing and investment in the digital economy.

Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency (GITA) under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia (MoESD). GITA is responsible for all project implementation. It will coordinate the gathering and processing of the results of monitoring, reporting, fiduciary functions, and safeguard procedures in close cooperation with relevant institutions participating in the project.

 

 

The objective of assignment

The objective of this assignment is to select startups in the frame of the Startup Matching Grants program by providing the evaluation of project proposals and coaching services necessary for each step of the evaluation process.

Scope of Work

In accordance with the objective of this assignment the company shall assume the following scope of work:

Task 1 – Drafting recommendations for Matching Grants Manual

  1. Draft the recommendations regarding the Matching Grants Manual, including its annexes and the evaluation criteria for pre and final evaluation stages;

Task 2 – Pre-evaluation of Applications

  1. The company is expected to evaluate the applications that passed the desk review stage. Each application shall be reviewed individually by two Peer Reviewers.
  2. The company shall register the Peer Reviewers (key staff specified in the contract Annex XX) in the Matching Grants Portal also indicating the areas of their expertise. Further, the company shall assign the proposals through the Matching Grants Portal to the respective reviewers. Each proposal shall be simultaneously assessed by two peer reviewers and the third one shall be involved in the event that scores assigned by two peer reviewers result in high discrepancy;
  3. The company shall  evaluate the proposals under Matching Grants Program and ensure that each Peer Reviewer performs the following activities:
          1. Provide a written review (using Pre-Evaluation Grid through Grants Portal) of each project proposal based on the evaluation criteria and scoring instructions defined in the Matching Grants Manual;
          2. Provide clear comments and justifications explaining reasoning behind the score assigned to each criterion included in the Evaluation Grid;
          3. If required, draft clarifications and recommendations for each assessed proposal, for the consideration of GITA and the Independent Investment Committee;
          4. Provide explanations and answers to the questions and comments raised by GITA and the Independent Investment Committee;

Each peer reviewer should preserve the highest standards of integrity and therefore shall sign the Statement of Impartiality and Confidentiality.

Task 3 – Conducting the pitch coaching sessions for pre-selected startups

  1. Develop the coaching program/methodology, including all visual aid materials for the pre-selected applicants invited to pitch their projects and answer the questions imposed by the Independent Investment Committee members; Documents elaborated, shall be accepted by GITA;
  2. Train and consult the pre-selected applicants to build their pitching skills and prepare them for questions imposed by the Investment Committee Members.
  3. The company shall train the pre-selected applicants
    1. To familiarize them with pitching techniques and help them build their pitching skills;
    2. When appropriate, refer the trainees to other sources of information, provides advice or further supports for a specific area of focus of their business;
    3. Assess the potential for internationalization of the proposed products/services and provides necessary recommendations;
    4. Individually consults each applicant, helps them prepare for pitch and Q&A sessions, provides support in preparation for presentations;
    5. Provide necessary support to the assigned applicants requiring urgent assistanc The Coaches shall dedicate days and schedule hours after coaching sessions are over, when applicant can call and seek for the remote support;

Task 4 – Final Evaluation by the Independent Investment Committee

  1. The company shall conduct the final evaluation of the proposals and ensure that each Investment Committee Member performs the following activities:
    1. Attend pitching and Q&A sessions delivered by the pre-selected applicants;
    2. Participate in consensus meeting(s) and based on the results of the pitching and Q&A sessions, evaluates pre-selected proposals and assigns scores against the criteria laid down in the Matching Grants Manual;
    3. Provide clear comments and justification in the Final Evaluation Grid explaining the logic behind the scores assigned to each criterion;
    4. Draw the recommendations, if any, for the consideration of GITA and the Applicants;
    5. Draw the list of selected applications during a consensus meeting(s);
    6. Preserve the highest standards of integrity and therefore shall sign the Statement of Impartiality and Confidentiality.

The entire evaluation process shall be managed through the Matching Grants Portal (https://grants.gov.ge)

Duration of assignment is 6 (six) months and it is expected to commence in October, 2018.

Estimated budget for assignment is USD 299,300.00 (including taxes).

Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency (GITA) now invites eligible consulting firms ("Consultants") to indicate their interest in providing the Services. Interested Consultants should provide information demonstrating that they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to perform the Services. The shortlisting criteria are:

  • General experience of consultant in Innovation/Startup Ecosystems;
  • Experience in similar assignments, in terms of nature of the assignment, complexity and scale, for last five years (since January 1 2013).

 

Note: the GITA reserves it’s right to verify submitted references and use obtained information for evaluation purposes.

 

The attention of interested Consultants is drawn to paragraph 1.9 of the World Bank's Guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits & Grants by World Bank Borrowers, January 2011, revised July 2014 ("Consultant Guidelines"), setting forth the World Bank's policy on conflict of interest.

Consultants may associate with other firms. (Please take into account that form of association acceptable for the World Bank is either sub-consultancy or Joint-Venture and submission must clearly indicate the nature of the association. The experience of sub-consultants will not be taken into account while evaluating the corporate experience of the consultant).

Experience in the projects relevant to the assignment should be submitted in the Form No. 1

A Consultant will be selected in accordance with the Consultants’ Qualifications Selection (CQS) method set out in Section III of the Guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits & Grants by World Bank Borrowers, January 2011, revised July 2014.

 

Further information can be obtained at the address below during office hours from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency, Mr. Rati Gvelesiani, Procurement Consultant, Cell: +995 591016716.

For more details regarding assignment please download Terms of Reference attached herewith.

Expressions of interest shall be submitted in English in a written form to the address below (in person, by mail, or by e-mail) by September 5, 2018, at 17:00 (Georgian local time).

 

Georgia’s Innovation & Technology Agency

7, Innovation str. 0114, TechPark, Okrokana, Tbilisi, Georgia

Cell: +995 591016716

E-mail to: genie@gita.gov.ge

Please indicate the Assignment’s Reference Number in the email subject line