Startups

Hutch picked these civic tech firms for its largest incubator cohort yet

The seven digital services firms in this fourth Fearless-backed cohort are coming into the program with employees, revenue and contracts with clients already in line.

Inside a session of a previous Hutch cohort.

(Courtesy photo)

Correction: This is Hutch's fourth cohort, for a total of 20 companies that have gone through the program. (2/1/21, 11:38 a.m.)
Baltimore incubator Hutch has picked its fourth and largest cohort yet.

Hutch was launched by downtown software company Fearless to support civic tech companies that are working in the area of digital services for the federal government. Across 24 months, cohort members attend monthly sessions on topics such as procurement, civic engagement and strategic planning.

For this latest cohort, the incubator is focused on scaling and increasing the impact its seven companies have on that digital and government contracting niche that Fearless specializes in. These companies are all at more advanced stage than past Hutch cohorts, coming into the program with employees, revenue and contracts with clients already in line.

“When we think about impact, it ultimately translates into better services, processes and products that the government delivers,” Stephanie Chin, program manager of Hutch, told Technical.ly.

More than 30 applications applied to this year’s program, per Hutch. Here are the businesses that made the cut:

  • BlackRose Cyber Solutions specializes in penetration testing and is led by Hector Peralta.
  • Code 360, Inc. provides software development and consulting services in healthcare industry.
  • greiBO solutions LLC is the IT consulting firm spinout of founder Phillip Stokes grieBO, a professional services company specializing in data management, web and software development.
  • Mechnicode is a DevOps and digital services company providing scalable cloud architecture. It’s led by past DC RealLIST Engineers honoree Emmanuel Apau.
  • Pixel Creative Services LLC provides a suite of professional development products, from UX design and full-stack development to branding and marketing, to Department of Defense clients and partners.
  • Tall Glass Media is a full-service digital design studio that offers a suite of digital marketing and branding that includes web and UX design.
  • Triton Technology is a digital services company founded by Marvin Douglas that focuses on enterprise architecture for healthcare agencies and the private sector.

Hutch is also focused on creating a more diverse tech sector. The larger cohort allows for a broader swath of founders from underrepresented communities to be brought into the civic tech space.

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“We’re really excited because our cohort is really representative of what our communities looks like,” Chin said. “And who knows better than the folks that are living and experiencing these things on a daily basis, to also be the ones who are creating the solutions and innovations that are changing the way government is delivering services?”

In December, Hutch graduated four companies, including one focused on cybersecurity. This newest cohort brings it to a total of 20 companies that Fearless has brought into the civic tech space since it launched in 2019.

In addition to Hutch’s programming, it recently opened dedicated coworking and meeting space on the first level of Spark Baltimore in downtown Baltimore. It is aiming to build 25 women and Black-owned businesses by 2025, and the physical address is a key part of the equation.

“This isn’t just about space,” Fearless CEO Delali Dzirasa said at an opening event in September. “It’s about the entrepreneurs and founders supporting one another day in and day out. … It’s something about being in a space with one another, seeing someone else in it thriving.”


Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: Fearless
People: Emmanuel Apau
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