9-year, $180M contract–Looking to partner with a supplier who is owned by a minority, female, veteran, or persons with disability

virtual lab manager for scientists

Hello world. As part of our mission to improve the happiness of scientists and the quality of their research, we are looking to partner with companies who represent the under-represented.

The state of Illinois has posted a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a 9-year contract estimated to be worth $180M for providing scientists (and future scientists) with lab supplies, equipment, software, and support.

HappiLabs is submitting a proposal.

Based on past records, there is very little competition for the same suppliers who win these bids every year, mainly ThermoFisher (valued at $112B!!!) and VWR ($6.5B). We are a small, family-run business, and as young and small as we are, we will do our best to break the status quo, win some of this bid, and bring new and innovative value to scientists of Illinois. To do that, we are looking for strategic partners who stand for more than just profits for their shareholders.

The RFP establishes a goal of 20% for contracting with businesses that have been certified as “owned and controlled by persons who are minorities, female, or persons with disabilities (BEP certified vendor). 30 ILCS 575.” And a goal of 3% for businesses owned and controlled by qualified veterans and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The state of Illinois calls this the Business Enterprise Program (BEP). You can read more about it here.

At HappiLabs, we are a diverse group with 14 employees that are 54% female, 31% minority, and 5 PhDs. We are focused on helping scientists, and any human is welcome. Are there suppliers out there who can help us promote diversity in the sciences?

If you are BEP certified, or want to be, please contact us ASAP. Help us help the scientists of the world.

#LabShopping Tip Number 1

chuttersnap-233105-unsplashLab supply shopping can be a time-consuming task. For example, at least 17 companies sell 50 mL conical tubes. So how do you avoid low-quality, experiment-ruining brands? Which supplier has the best price? That’s where we come in. At HappiLabs, we know how to get these answers efficiently and fast.

Over the next few months, we’ll share #LabShopping tips we swear by for buying the highest quality and most affordable equipment and supplies for our scientist friends. If you have any recommendations of your own, we’d love to hear them! Please tell us in the comments or tweet us @HappiLabs_org using #LabShopping. Now, on to our first tip:

Never Pay List Price…

….without asking for a lower price. Many companies sell the same product, competition is high and there is always someone willing to give you a discount. Just ask.

If you’d like help with searching or shopping for lab supplies, get in touch!

Promo Codes of the Week

Running a lab is way more fun when you find creative ways to save some moolah. Here at HappiLabs, our Virtual Lab Managers (VLMs) love to save you money on supplies and equipment.

That’s why we’ve curated a weekly promo list showcasing the best of the best. Check in every Tuesday for new additions – and if you know of any promo codes we didn’t catch, please share in the comments or tell us on Twitter @HappiLabs_org using hashtag #HappiSave.

Happi savings!

Exp. Date

Code Description

Supplier

10/9/18

101VWR18 15% off consumables VWR

10/15/18

CARTSEPT18

10% off & Free shipping

MAC’s Auto Parts

10/26/18 E51 Free shipping

Sigma

10/31/18

WICKEDDEALS2018 25% off Eppendorf tubes   and plates Eppendorf

10/31/18

OCTSHIP18

Free shipping

VWR

10/31/18 XTIP4               45% off xTIP4                    Biotix pipette tips

E&K

11/30/18

SCHOOL18

35% off Recombinant proteins

Biolegend

12/31/18

Multiple Codes

Various Promega promotions

Promega

12/31/18 495 Various discounts on “stockroom reagents”

Sigma

12/31/18

Multiple Codes

Various discounts on Thermo promotional page

Thermo Fisher

12/31/18

Safety60

60% off Chemical safety products – One time use

Fisher

TBD

SAVE5

5% off purchases

Vitality Medical

A Message from our CEO Tom: Post-YCombinator at HappiLabs

There has been a lot going on behind the scenes of HappiLabs the last few months. As we mentioned in our last blog post, this summer, we joined world-class accelerator YCombinator (YC), to help advance our virtual lab manager technology. A couple weeks ago, we participated in a pivotal part of the program, Demo Day, where I presented to a select group of investors, press and other YC companies.

ycombinator

Time has flown by and offered few spare moments, but while fresh on my mind, I wanted to share an update:

Fundraising is almost over and soon I will get back to focusing on operations and technology. We will fall short of our fundraising goals but have enough money to move forward with 1-2 strategic hires, and I’ll get back to finishing fundraising in a couple months.

There are two weaknesses investors are pointing out:

  1. We do not have an in-house engineering team (we’ve been outsourcing)
  2. They fear it is difficult to sell to scientists (I agree!), which limits the rate of growth

I’m not worried about sales, we know how to sell to scientists.

On the other hand, our priority continues to be welcoming a Lead Engineer to our team. YC offered a wealth of resources to help us understand and plan for the technological developments necessary to build a game-changing product that will allow us to reach more labs. This knowledge has influenced what we’re looking for in this leading tech position (Interested in learning more? Click HERE).

In the meantime, we hired two freelancing software engineers to continue development of our second app that improves security and automates the organization of our purchasing data. Little by little, we’re evolving our service and following through on our commitment to bring more innovation to labs and scientists all over the world.

We have received press from awesome business and tech outlets like TechCrunch and Chicago Inno, who have written about the work we’re doing. Click here and here to have a read, and feel free to share with your networks.

The last post-YC happening is four new customers. Again, sales is not an issue, we continue to grow based on an amazing customer experience and the word-of-mouth it inspires. When we do supplement that with real sales channels….look out!

We will continue to keep you in the loop on company news and updates.

Until then, hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the last couple months. Thank you for your ongoing support!

Thank you for Supporting Our Mission

We are grateful for our scientists, suppliers, and accountants.

thank yous 1

The Virtual Lab Manager team at HappiLabs sends thank you cards to scientists, individuals at suppliers, operations managers, and accountants that genuinely help us in our work to make scientists happy and improve the quality of their research.

We thank scientists for being scientists working to improve our world and our lives.

Thank yous 2

HappiLabs knows it takes a team and special effort to change the world and we say thank you to those helping us do that.