Founded in late 2021 in West Virginia, Vertx Partners has expanded into Tennessee in what Chris Ford says is an effort to help non-traditional companies work with the federal government.
He’s a White Pine native and current Lenoir City resident who had been consulting with enterprises interested in doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD) before joining Vertex in January 2023 when the company added the Volunteer State as its second location. Next up is Kentucky followed by Pennsylvania and New York as the Morgantown, WV-based organization gradually expands to help businesses in Appalachia work together to solve problems for the federal government.
“We’re further down the pipeline than PTAC,” Ford says as he references the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, which recently changed its name to the Tennessee APEX Accelerator. It has been operated for decades by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services.
Vertx is funded by a contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory, so the services it offers are free to the client. Those it serves range in size from a single employee to several hundred, and Vertx is not limited to working with companies only interested in working with DoD.