Meet us at the Tennessee House!

Request for Proposals: Web Design and Development of Key LaunchTN Properties

2023 LaunchTN Web Design and Development RFP

February 8, 2023

RE:  Request for Proposals, Web Design and Development of Key LaunchTN Properties 

Dear Web Development Agency,

The Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, d/b/a Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) is requesting proposals to design and develop three key web properties within our brand family. This will be a concept to completion project. LaunchTN is going through a growth season, including introducing a new program fund along with celebrating a 10-year milestone with our flagship event, 3686 Entrepreneur Festival. With this growth, an opportunity exists to re-imagine and design both our current and new web properties to better reflect the mission of LaunchTN and include the latest new web technologies. 

We invite proposals through February 22, 2023. A description of our organization, the services needed, and other pertinent information follows:

OVERVIEW

LaunchTN is a public-private partnership focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in Tennessee. Our ultimate goal is to make Tennessee the No. 1 place in the Southeast to start and grow a business. LaunchTN is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable, tax-exempt organization pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Launch Tennessee was incorporated in 1998. 

To help elevate LaunchTN’s brand awareness both in and out of the state to support entrepreneurial activity, we will move forward with key redesign of our main web properties, including www.launchtn.org, www.attend3686.com and new design of our newest program fund microsite www.investintn.org. Our main website is powered by WordPress and the 3686 microsite is hosted through Webflow. For all three new digital properties we would like them all under WordPress. 

Our new sites should be responsive and engage visitors by presenting a fun, yet polished and  accessible experience, intuitive navigation, and concise messaging, while at the same time increasing functionality and ease of use for entrepreneurs, investors and our ecosystem partners.

LaunchTN’s CEO and Marketing Director will make the final selection of a web development agency in line with LaunchTN’s goals for this program.

For more information on Launch Tennessee, please visit our website at www.launchtn.org.

PROJECT GOAL

Our web properties need an architectural and visual redesign so the user may access desired content in a succinct way – whether that’s info on our newest program fund, information about our network partners, or how to buy a ticket for 3686. The look, feel and experience should embody the overall essence of the LaunchTN brand while showcasing the differentiators each of the web properties provide. The properties url navigation will be as follows:

The primary audience is entrepreneurs, investors and our ecosystem partners, and the UI must be simple, intuitive, engaging and allow target users an opportunity to easily discover information and take some form of action. The UX should be welcoming, accessible and trustworthy providing a more polished approach for discovery and navigation of the site. We want most design, product and all copy elements to be accessible via CMS and not via dev request in order for our internal team to manage.

TIMELINE

  • Please respond to this request by February 22, 2023, and ask questions anytime before the deadline.
  • LaunchTN will select an agency and award the business by March 1, 2023
  • Work should conclude by no later than May 1, 2023

Proposals are due by no later than 11:59 p.m., CST, February 22, 2023 via email to:

Tennessee Technology Development Corporation

d/b/a Launch Tennessee

Attn: Ashley Currie, Marketing Director

ashley@launchtn.org

 

CHALLENGE

Launchtn.org, Attend3686.com and InvestinTN.org will be three separate web properties that fall underneath our core LaunchTN brand family. The architecture, design and branding must be thoughtfully created and executed to showcase the distinct differences with each web property while maintaining the overall LaunchTN brand visual and through messaging. We want to ensure there is unification between all three web properties while allowing them to stand on their own for individual amplification and promotion. In addition: 

  • Organic search is one of our key traffic drivers and we do not want to lose our brand positioning with the new designs. 
  • We want to ensure with the new InvestinTN.org that SEO is a large component to help in our go-to market strategy for the program fund. 
  • We are a Google Ad Grants recipient and want to better capitalize on our monthly spend with a more intuitive user experience.

 

REQUIREMENTS

Content (inclusive of all web properties)

  • Convert and revamp substantial amounts of existing content to new website(s).
      • Development of templates that adhere to the proposed navigation scheme,l enabling non-technical users to easily add new sections/pages.
      • Each section of the site should have a common look and feel. The LaunchTN logo should be prominently displayed on every page as a common header, and will be provided by the Marketing Director.
  • Entrepreneurs are the primary users (investors are secondary), and content should be organized so they can get what they need immediately 
  • Information architecture should be simple and highly usable
  • Need audit to determine what can be archived, without erosion of search equity
    • Adding new pages, sections and nav items should be simple via CMS–it must NOT be a dev request
    • Need SEO-friendly fields in CMS (meta title/description/customizable url)
    • Need to define and optimize for conversions on every page
      • Want to promote relevant programming after consumer completes conversion
        • And/or cross-promote other marquis programs
        • Need to build conversion funnels based on user type (investor, founder, other)  and promote what’s best aligned for their perceived need 
    • Development of templates that adhere to the proposed navigation scheme enabling non-technical users to easily add new sections/pages.
    • The site must be clean and attractive, with a mix of text and graphics. Visually, the site should be modern, distinctive, memorable, and engaging. It should fit as close to a single displayed page on a typical size monitor as possible.
    • The new templates should guarantee that most recent content on the site is captured automatically in the homepage in an organized way following specific categories, tags or other custom taxonomies.

Products (Note: Specs and UX for each new product are requirements; we can work with you to create them and you should own them)

Launchtn.org 

  • New product to build: One-click offering to view our current portfolio and SBIR companies in TN, sortable by sector, geo, size, diversity (eg, sort by startups w/ minority founders), exits, etc., possibly powered by LaunchTN proprietary data
    • LaunchTN team members must be able to add new data sets and sort fields 
  • New product to build: Supporter carousel that is prominent on our homepage, pages and posts to thoughtfully recognize our annual sponsors.
  • New product to build: Service provider portal for startups + entrepreneurs to  search for LaunchTN-recommended resources 
  • New product to build: Searchable LabShare database that organizes and provides listings of labs and innovation centers across the state.
  • Need platform to create and execute conversion funnels and A/B testing of headlines and content placement
  • Need attractive i-frame for our Airtable integration
  • Update social feed link to make more visually accessible and incorporate Instagram
  • Update: New events calendar 
    • Must be easy for LaunchTN team staff to update and manage without need for developer 
    • Must be SEO-friendly and crawlable
    • Highly visual and engaging
    • Sortable by geo, network partner, target audience, type of event
    • Include a prominent feature event section
    • Ability to have users add their events to the event calendar (based on backend final approval by LaunchTN).
    • Prominent event tagging visible to recognize events as LaunchTN, Network Partner, Sponsor event, etc.

Attend3686.com

  • Easily customizable site that will allow LaunchTN team to make updates and changes without development assistance
  • Separate pages for key components within the event, including, agenda, FAQ, past events, speakers, etc.
  • Ability for users to easily search the event agenda page
  • Must be compatible and responsive to handle video and large images

InvestinTN.org

  • Easily customizable site that will allow LaunchTN team to make updates and changes without development assistance

ADDITIONAL

Measurement

  • Tracking on every element of every page, including infographics, with implementation language in GoogleAnalytics that makes sense to LaunchTN team
    • Final analytics implementation to be approved by LaunchTN
  • Custom dashboard or integration to track performance of our Google Ad Grants across all three web properties

Platform

  • Fully responsive design for all web properties
  • As much customizable copy / data-entry fields as possible
    • Hard-code not preferred. If needed, it must be sparingly and only with LaunchTN approval. 

UX/UI

  • Highly engaging, polished and fun to use; simple; appealing to entrepreneur types and investors
  • User clicks as little as possible to find desired content
  • Video (we have a small but growing YouTube library of proprietary video that we want to use in some form on all three digital properties
    • Video incorporation on homepages
    • Additional incorporation where possible on section pages based on overall design aesthetic
  • Ensure images are saved an appropriate sizes to cut down on slow site speed and loading
  • External links should be target=”_blank” to ensure opening in a separate tab
  • Ability to be notified when 404 pages are indexing on your site

Design

  • LaunchTN will provide brand guidelines that you will use to create wireframes and designs.

Testing 

  • Testing of site on all applicable platforms to ensure that web site works as promised, including explanation of the testing plan. 

Delivery 

  • Delivery will include site transfer, propagation and any other technical steps needed to push all three web properties live on via their respective hosting and domain.  Once the web site has been completed and accepted by LaunchTN, the web site design and all of its contents, software and architecture become property of LaunchTN.

Support

  • Ensure we have a dedicated project manager throughout the entirety of the project, including weekly meetings and other reasonable meetings as needed for the project.
  • Administrative and technical support, quality control for a period of 3 months;

 

SCHEDULE OF WORK

All responses to the RFP should be organized in the manner and format described below:

 

I    Executive Summary:

Describe your understanding of the work to be performed and your firm’s ability to perform the work within the time frame provided. 

 

II    Professional Experience

Include an explanation of your agency’s philosophy, size, structure, and qualifications with servicing entrepreneur-focused organizations and/or not-for-profit organizations with a similar size and operations. Describe your agency’s resources devoted to entrepreneur-focused organizations and/or not-for-profit organizations. Discuss the agency’s independence with respect to LaunchTN.

 

III    Team Qualifications

Identify the specific partners, managers, and in-charge staff who will be assigned to this engagement if you are successful in your bid.  Provide their bios specifying relevant experience to the type of services requested.

 

IV    Web Design and Development Approach for Entrepreneur-Focused Organizations and Non-Profits

 

V     Fees

Please provide a firm estimate of fees for the services to be provided. 

 

VI   Client References

Include a list of the relevant clients the agency has served within the past three years and furnish the names and telephone numbers of any reference whom we may contact. 

 

V    Payment

Invoices must be submitted no later than 30 days after completion of a given transaction and/or deliverable. Invoices must list the dates of service, scope of service, duration, and rate. Payments will be made no later than 30 calendar days after receipt of invoice(s). Management reserves the right to dispute any charges it deems questionable or excessive.

 

VI    Time of Performance

The services of the Agency are to commence as soon as possible after March 1, 2023. 

 

VII    Termination

LaunchTN reserves the right to terminate the services of the Agency by giving at least fourteen (14) days written notice of the fact and time of such termination.  In such an event, all finished or unfinished work prepared by the Agency shall become the property of LaunchTN, and the Agency shall be entitled to compensation for satisfactory work under this agreement.

Proposal Timetable:

RFP distributed February 8, 2023

Emailed proposals due to LaunchTN February 22, 2023

Web Development Agency selected and notified March 1, 2023 (subject to change)

Evaluation of Proposals:

While price is an important factor, LaunchTN will evaluate proposals on price and the following criteria:

  • Prior experience providing web design and development to similar organizations
  • Qualifications of staff members to be assigned to the engagement
  • Design agency understanding of work to be performed
  • Alignment with LaunchTN’s vision for growing innovation and entrepreneurship in Tennessee
  • References and track record, and
  • Completeness of the proposal

 

You are now being taken to Startup Tennessee to view current events.

Launch Tennessee provides an ecosystem map with links and resources to other organizations, but this does not constitute an endorsement of content, viewpoints, policies, products or services of that site. Once you link to another web site not maintained by LaunchTN, you are subject to the terms and conditions of that website, including but not limited to its privacy policy.