We just failed to make the shortlist for a tender we'd been working on for over a year.
We started off by being recommended by another local authority to our potential customer. We went in a did a demo. We established that they liked our product better than their current one, and all the other ones on the market they'd seen. We were cheaper than everyone else too. Then they started on a tender process that I'm sure cost more in admin time than the total value of the contract, and finally the person who would actually be using the software was told that they couldn't choose, because we weren't a big enough company to be permitted to do business with the government.
Details available on request. It's not just that I'm pissed off with losing the work, though that smarts - it would have been a big deal for us and we'd have been able to do it really well, It's the combination of that with the empty lies that central government tells about encouraging SMEs that really gets my goat.