2021: A year of building successful and impactful government digital services firms
Transforming the way government serves its people
2021 has been an empowering and insightful year for all of our cohort companies, partners, board, and team members as we worked together to foster a diverse ecosystem of digital services firms that are transforming the way our government serves its people. Navigating through the program during one of the most unprecedented times in history was a test of our commitment to nurture, empower, and connect underrepresented entrepreneurs working toward the public good.
Working through the highs and lows of managing a remote work-life balance during a global pandemic proved just how dedicated we were to changing government for the better. At Hutch, we are elated about the hard work and resilience that our cohort companies have put forth in this pursuit, and we are beyond excited about the growth and success that the program has seen over the last year.
Recently, we celebrated the achievement of 4 digital services firms, the second cohort to graduate from the Hutch program. The Hutch Class of 2021 includes Theta, Systone, Lucky Rabbit, and IOCYBER. In January 2022, we are excited to welcome our next cohort to the Hutch community, increasing mentorship and peer-to-peer support in the tech ecosystem.
As we plan for the future of Hutch and the continuous growth of the digital services community, we understand the importance of having a dedicated workspace for our cohort companies to learn and grow together, post-pandemic. Earlier this year, we officially launched the Hutch coworking offices on the first floor of Spark Baltimore at Power Plant Live, featuring 6,900 square feet of private office, coworking, and collaboration spaces for participants and graduates of the incubator. The Hutch coworking offices provide women and minority-led technology firms looking to break into the $100 billion federal contracting industry with dedicated workspace to collaborate, build, and grow together through the program and beyond.
As we continued to guide the growth of the incubator and scale the program to support more founders, we realized that we needed to assemble a team of industry professionals with great skill and experience in government. Thus, we welcomed our first advisory board in the summer of this year. Board members include: Carla Briceno, CEO and Co-Founder of Bixal, Robbie Holmes, Director of Digital Services and Software Engineering of Prince William County, Virginia, Traci Walker, Executive Director of the Digital Services Coalition; and Marc Jones, General Counsel of CivicActions to name a few.
“I joined the Board of Hutch because it is filling a critical gap in the digital services tech space. The work of this organization to incubate businesses led by underrepresented groups will literally change the face of digital tech for the better. Representation not only matters, it is essential to ensuring an equitable tech/social ecosystem for all users!” said Clair Koroma, Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense.
Not only were we growing internally, but we used our tools and resources to impact the community significantly. Hutch recently joined the TEDCO Urban Business Innovation Initiative (UBII), which enhances economic empowerment by fostering an inclusive entrepreneurial, innovative ecosystem by identifying, investing, and growing technology companies in Maryland.
Hutch was recently ranked #14 on the Baltimore Business Journal’s largest accelerators and incubators programs in Maryland and awarded the Greater Baltimore Committee 2021 Bridging the Gap Achievement Award in Mentorship, alongside our parent company, Fearless.
Since 2019, Hutch has acted as a home base for our entrepreneurs, giving them a foundation of support that they can grow from without getting lost amongst bigger companies in the industry. We look forward to bringing our companies the best tools and resources needed to be successful in government.
The last year has shown us how important it is to stick together as a community and to uplift and empower one another in the journey. Each of us must be the change we wish to see in the world and government. Creating a space where all are represented is how we plan to impact change.
We look forward to a productive and impactful 2022.