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Fearless and Hutch company team up for Billion Oyster Project digital platform

Since 2015, Fearless has supported The Billion Oyster Project (BOP) and their goal of broadening STEM education and oyster restoration efforts in New York Harbor. The research-based partnership initiative, Billion Oyster Project Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (BOP-CCERS), aims to improve STEM education in public schools by linking teaching and learning to ecosystem restoration and engaging students in hands-on environmental field science during their regular school day. The project strongly emphasizes the use of computer science and digital tools for environmental monitoring, citizen science, stewardship, and advocacy.

Through Fearless’ work with BOP, our team created an easy-to-customize curriculum builder for teachers that provides a basic lesson structure and allows for collaboration and sharing between teachers and developed a metrics dashboard that allows teachers and administrators to view data on community members, curriculum usage, restoration efforts, and events at a glance.

We’re currently working alongside Morgan Stanley and Hutch graduate company XCell on a 3-year  contract with the Billion Oyster Project.

With that contract, the team will build a digital platform for teachers to enter scientific data (on their Oyster Restoration Station, such as oyster measurements and water levels) and download various curricula. The data collected is used to monitor the health and impact of oysters in the New York Harbor and is accessible to community scientists who perform additional research on the Harbor and surrounding environments.

“This is one of the first projects I worked on as a Fearless contractor before joining Fearless in 2016. It’s a full-circle moment. It’s awesome to see how the product and the Billion Oyster Project Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (BOP-CCERS) have matured since,” said former Fearless employee and XCell founder Felix Gilbert.

The XCell team believes that digital media has the power to transform the world and uses those tools to create seamless experiences that improve users’ lives. “Because we believe in creating experiences that inspire, BOP gives us the direct opportunity to inspire and impact teachers, community scientists, and students across New York,” said Gilbert.

“What’s most exciting is that BOP desires to inspire middle and high school students to look into careers in the environmental science space, and tools such as the digital platform we are building do just that.”

Creating value-based relationships and an ethical framework for your company is one of the many teachings of the Hutch program that has significantly contributed to the role XCell plays in this contract.

“Hutch reminded me of the value of relationships as many of the stakeholders I worked alongside in 2015 are still there; the mission and vision of BOP and the platform have not changed. It’s a constant reminder to value people and relationships because you never know when you will cross paths again.”

XCell focuses on bridging the gap between design and engineering to help take the client experience to the next level in ways that make a lasting impact on their communities. Felix hopes that his work with the Billion Oyster Project Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (BOP-CCERS) will continue to amplify that message.

This announcement was published independently of the Billion Oyster Project Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (BOP-CCERS). This release does not constitute or imply an endorsement by BOP-CCERS or the United States Government of the product, process, service, producer, or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of BOP-CCERS or the United States Government.

Hutch and Fearless diversifying talent in tech and government digital services

An interview with Hutch Program Manager Stephanie Chin. 

In the heart of Baltimore, the Hutch is a dynamic co-working space for minority, black founders and women-led tech startups, and solo entrepreneurs. Established by their parent brand, Fearless, Hutch equips civic tech entrepreneurs with tools, mentorship, and peer-to-peer support. The aim is to support entrepreneurs from different backgrounds to build and grow tech companies to have a lasting impact on their government and their communities.

Hutch operates at the intersection of digital services, government, and community. Their program acts as a home base for our entrepreneurs, giving them a foundation of support to grow and be competitive on the market.

Read the full interview on Think Remote and learn more about how Hutch and Fearless is driving diversity and inclusion in government digital services by intentionally investing resources in minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

Can minorities win more gov tech deals as pandemic eases?

A guest article by 2021 Hutch cohort MMBR and Founder Emmanuel Iroanya of Theta, and Hutch Program Manager, Stephanie Chin

Despite calls to increase diversity in gov tech contracting, women and minority business owners still struggle to break through. A accelerator program called Hutch offers lessons in how to get more voices into procurement.

Emmanuel Iroanya, a 32-year-old Nigerian-American software engineer and entrepreneur, wants to bring more diversity to government technology — and help ease the climate crisis while doing so.

Just a few weeks from graduating from a fledgling incubator program in Baltimore designed to increase minority participation in the vast gov tech space, Iroanya said he has learned vital lessons about how to scale his digital services and consulting company, Theta LLC, as it works to add to its eight-member workforce and win more work from public agencies.

“I want to build tech that works for everybody,” said Iroanya, who had worked in financial technology before deciding that influencing how governments use software and related tools could bring more important rewards. “How government uses technology impacts everyone.”

Read the full article on Government Technology and learn more about what Hutch is doing to create opportunities for minority-and-women-owned small companies in government contracting.