BearingPoint cultivates DHS proteges

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BearingPoint has added 16 companies to its mentor-protégé program through an alliance with the Chesapeake Innovation Center, a business incubator in Annapolis, Md. They join seven firms that BearingPoint already works with under the program, which it coordinates through the Homeland Security Department.

DHS recently recognized BearingPoint’s small-business efforts, awarding the integrator and one of its protégés, Thomas & Herbert Consulting, the department’s Mentor-Protégé Team Award. The award, announced earlier this week, cites the company’s work on DHS’ Integrated Terrorist Screening project. Thomas & Herbert is prime contractor on the $30 million deal. BearingPoint, in a subcontracting role, provides business process reengineering among other services. The contract was awarded last year.

BearingPoint began working with Thomas & Herbert about a year ago and picked the six other small businesses in January 2005. BearingPoint started evaluating small firms a year ago, said Jack Pettine, a senior manager in BearingPoint’s public services practice. Darryl Moody, senior vice president of BearingPoint's Homeland Security and Intelligence practice, tasked Pettine with standing up the program.

BearingPoint formed its alliance with the Chesapeake Innovation Center in May. The incubator focuses on companies in the homeland and national security sectors. Sixteen small businesses participate in the incubator.

“We took the whole innovation center in as a protégé” with DHS approval, Pettine said.

For both groups of protégés, BearingPoint offers assistance in proposal development, business plan creation and market analysis. The small businesses can also come to BearingPoint with specific requests.

One company, for example, asked BearingPoint for advice on obtaining a Capability Maturity Model Integration level. BearingPoint offered a 3-day training program to help its protégé through the process, Pettine said.

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