Entrepreneurial Program Questions and Answers

Important Clarification: The due date for proposals is Friday, October 30, 2015. However, a typo on the Network Partner RFP page 5, indicates October 31, 2015, so any Network Partner proposals received by October 31st will be considered timely.

1) If the university is submitting an application for the host institution RFP, and they also want to be considered for the network partner RFP, do they have to submit two separate applications?

Yes, we need two separate proposals, one for each the Host and Network Partners.

2) According to the RFP (Host & Network Partner), matching funds are a consideration for a possible 25 points to be awarded. However the scale of impact is not directly referenced other than to the applicable statute which indicates “…at least 50% of the total grant amount”. Is there a specific expectation of a quantifiable amount such as a percentage of the grant or a dollar figure to be included in the proposal?

You may be mixing up our statutes for the business training grant program and the entrepreneurship program. There is no 50% matching requirement in the entrepreneurship program as there is in our business training grant program.

3) According to the RFP, the Host Partner is responsible for providing funds to the Network Partners for participant travel. Guidance for travel according to state statute is fairly restrictive. What is the expectation for monetary travel support?

Essentially this means that the $135,000 each for the Network Partner will be disbursed through the Host Partner and not directly from Veterans Florida. So the participant expenses, including travel, are from the $135,000 coming through the Host.

4) For the host and network partner RFP responses, is there a maximum / minimum length of proposals, and can attachments be submitted (e.g. budget, curriculum, staffing plan, program implementation plan, etc.)?

There are no mins/maxes and yes attachments may be included for supplemental information.

5) Under the Cost Schedules section, it mentions direct administrative cost and overhead is limited to 5% of the grant award. I’m assuming this means 5% of direct administrative support (in addition to the PI’s effort commitment) in the program and direct overhead expenses to manage the program and justified as a line item in the program cost breakdown. I apologize for being somewhat confused in what is allowed, but want to be certain we calculate the budget correctly.

Yes, we need the 5% overhead to include administering and managing the program.

6) Will the Program Network Partner’s be awarded a lump sum or will the oversight of funding need to be monitored by the Host Partner?

Yes, the intent is to have the Host partner manage the funding, likely through reimbursements on at least a quarterly basis. We tried to get all the funds, but the Legislative Budget Commision prefers to release them on a quarterly basis through FDVA, Veterans Florida, then down through the partners. We will try to provide some advance funding based on how the universities develop the program, and what funds are available.

7) Since this is an estimated budget, if funds are remaining at the end of the project period will this excess be returned or how would this be handled?

If there are any excess funds, they would need to be returned, back through to Veterans Florida, and we’d in turn return back to the state budget.

8) Could you please give an address for Veterans Florida for our records?

930 Thomasville Road, Suite 100, Tallahassee, FL 32303.

9) How much time will be offered to discuss our program (at your November 16 Board of Directors meeting)?

It depends on how many responses are received. You may, however, plan for at least 15 minutes.

10) Can you please clarify the terms “obligated” and “complete” in Section 5 (Timeline) of the Host Partner RFP. Is it allowable to have a performance and budget period of January 2016 through December 2016? If the program and budget schedule is January through December, is the July 1st, 2016, initial report deliverable date flexible?

We operate under the State’s fiscal year which this year runs July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Therefore, we would like the program deliverables to be met by June 30, 2016. The word obligated is used to ensure that the universities submit all documentation for reimbursement by June 30th. In order to cover all of the program’s expenses up until then and give flexibility to both the university and Veterans Florida, we have chosen the word obligate to ensure that those funds promised to the university will be paid out, even after June 30th and not reverted back to the State. Please make sure that your proposal follows the timeline for the program accordingly so the first launch may be completed with a finalized report by June 30th. I would suggest planning the program as a six month program for now.

11) All State of Florida universities have a federally negotiated Facilities and Administration (F&A, overhead, Indirect Costs) rate for organized research. This is typically also extended to private (including non-profit) sponsorships, and is often cumbersome (50% or more of most project costs). However, when funds are appropriate from the State, F&A rate is typically not allowable (double-taxation argument). Also, if any sponsor stipulates a maximum, universities are willing to waive F&A for those cases. Has Veterans Florida explicitly set a cap on an allowable max F&A rate? As a follow-up our Sponsored Program folks interpret the expectation that “…funding will be dispersed by the Network Host for expenses directly related to instruction, travel, room and board or other program related expenses on behalf of the veteran participants” is to mean that F&A is not allowable.

The details on indirect costs are identified in the Host Partner RFP but not the Network Partner RFP. It states “Direct administrative cost and overhead by the Network Host and Network Partner universities are limited to 5% of the grant award. Indirect overhead expenditures and administrative cost shall not be paid for out of grant program funds.”

If F&A costs are indirect, overhead costs, they will not be allowable, with the exception on in-kind matches. The funds can only pay for the student veteran’s cost of attendance, travel and lodging and other program expenses, so the funds will not be used to pay the University’s Facilities and Administrative costs. We pay for the pay for the veterans’ education costs and if their tuition has some facilities use fee in it that will be fine.