The Mentor-Protégé Program is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiative designed to encourage and assist:

  • Small Disadvantaged firms certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act (8(a))
  • Other Small Disadvantaged businesses, Women-owned Small Businesses
  • HUBZone
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Other minority institutions of higher learning, and small business concerns owned and controlled by Service Disabled Veterans in enhancing their capabilities to perform contracts and subcontracts for DOE and other Federal agencies

The program is established and is consistent with U.S. Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (DEAR) 919.70.

The Mentor-Protégé Program Model is designed to provide developmental assistance to the protégé companies in an effort to enhance their capabilities in the fundamental aspects of building a solid, established, and successful business. Successful implementation of the program should enhance the companies’ overall capabilities to a level to allow for ultimate performance and the ability to compete in any market.

NOTE: This program is developmental in nature and is intended for small businesses to develop/improve their capabilities. This program is not intended to be a quick path for obtaining subcontracts. While participating in the program, companies should take the advice of the mentor(s) to improve their processes, policies, procedures, etc., in order to better position themselves to be a successful subcontractor after graduating from the program. Small businesses with the primary purpose of obtaining non-competitive subcontracts while in the program are discouraged from participation.

Application/Selection Process

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Mentor Protégé Program is a two year program with the possibility of three one year options, total time in the program will not exceed five years.

The Laboratory will select one small business per year from the applications submitted for the Mentor Protégé Program.

Applications for the mentor protégé program will only be accepted during the month of August each year.

Small businesses interested in applying for the Los Alamos National Laboratory Mentor Protégé Program will complete the Triad National Security, LLC Application for Prospective Protégé and submit the application to:

Criteria for TRIAD/Los Alamos National Laboratory Prospective Protégés

  • Company must be an 8(a), small disadvantaged business (SDB), women-owned small business (WOSB), HUBZone, service disabled veteran owned small business (SDVOSB), historically black college and university (HBCU), or other minority educational institution (MEI).
  • Company must be US citizen owned.
  • Are of good character.
  • Company size is less than half the size standard corresponding to its primary NAICS code.
  • Be eligible for receipt of government/federal contracts.
  • Must not have been awarded any federal government prime contracts valued over >SBA 8(a) program thresholds of $6.5M including options for construction contracts and $4M for non-construction contracts.
  • Have been in business for at least two years prior to application for enrollment.
  • Have at least one existing contract in place with the Laboratory by 31 October, of the application year.
  • Company capabilities match the mission and goals of the Laboratory.
  • Protégé selection must benefit LANL Projects and needs (i.e. companies that best meet Los Alamos National Laboratory current and future needs).
  • If Company has ever participated in any other mentor protégé program they are not eligible for the TRIAD/Los Alamos National Laboratory Mentor Protégé Program (e.g. DOE, DOD, SBA, etc.).
    • If a company was involved in a mentor protégé program and the agreement was terminated due to lack of mentor involvement and at no fault by the protégé, the company must provide documentation and a letter from the mentor concerning the agreement and reason for termination. Then based on the information provided the application will be reviewed for possible exception to the above rule.
  • Must have necessary business and technical capabilities to perform work.
  • Must have an approved accounting system.
  • Must have experience with the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).
  • Be able to provide verification of a strong financial condition.
  • Must have adequate bonding capacity (for construction).
  • Must have a good safety record.
  • Exhibit competent management organization, staff level, and technical experience for the purpose of performing and completing project-oriented assignments.
  • Prove company ownership and management commitment and involvement to the program.
  • Provide at least two business references related to performance of projects or business practices.

The application will be reviewed for completeness; incomplete applications will be cause for rejection. Completed applications will then be reviewed to determine if the small business meets the general criteria for the program, paying particular attention to “Protégé selection must benefit Laboratory Projects and needs”. If the application fits the needs, then the application will go to a review board.

The review board will review and evaluate each application in relation to laboratory requirements: 

Review Board requirements:

  • Will there be a need at the Laboratory that a small business could perform either as a sub-contractor or lower tier subcontractor currently or in the future.
  • Look at socio-economic status of company in regards to laboratory/complex socio-economic goals.
  • Identifying specific programs or projects that could support the protégé.
  • Reviewing submitted applications and developing a short list of candidate companies.
  • Conducting due diligence on short-listed companies.
    Select company for the mentor protégé program.

Once a company is selected for the program a mentor will be assigned and an agreement will be completed for the period of the mentorship.

Companies not selected may request a debriefing concerning their non-selection to the program. Requests for a debriefing must be received in writing within 15 days of notification of non-selection.

Non-selected companies may reapply during the next submittal period.

For inquires about the Los Alamos National Laboratory Mentor Protégé program please contact the Los Alamos National Laboratory Small Business Program Office by email at