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(Updated 2:30 p.m.) — ByteCubed, a Crystal City-based startup contractor and consulting business that’s been on the rise for the last few years, recently merged with D.C.-based digital agency CHIEF to launch U.Group: an advanced technology and creative design company.

The company said in a press release that the merger allows the creative marketing side from CHIEF to access the new technological tools from ByteCubed, while the technology side of ByteCubed can now be marketed and spread on a much broader scale.

“Now when we deliver data science and software, we also bring PhDs, MBAs, and economists who can put it all in the context of the business, regulatory and policy environments in which you operate,” said Lena Trudeau, CEO of U.Group, in a blog post. “And now on the creative side, the solutions we provide are backed by the technical muscle that makes them actionable and scalable.”

The move is part of an ongoing shift for ByteCubed from a government focus to a more diversified clientele. ByteCubed started with a heavy government focus and a $325 million Department of Defense (DoD) contract. The DoD is still listed on the group’s main site as a major focus of the company, specifically aimimg to connect it with American small businesses, but there is also a focus on more commercial and non-profit projects.

As ByteCubed, the company acquired a hologram technology from Maryland-based developer Mixed River in December and launched a new subsidiary specifically focused on developing that technology for other commercial applications.

The hologram technology from Mixed River had previously been used by the Baltimore Ravens as a training tool, simulating opposing teams on the field and reacting to real-time data. As U.Group, the company highlighted continuing to use the “mixed reality platform” as a tool for professional sports. According to the U.Group website:

The platform incorporates Microsoft Hololens augmented reality headsets and video wall technologies so players can study opponent activities in a realistic field environment and experience actual game-day plays. By factoring NFL Next Gen Stats and other unique data sources, the platform is able to analyze and model infinite plays and game-day scenarios, giving the players the critical training they need while protecting them from injury.

The company had also partnered with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a $45 billion philanthropic group established by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and philanthropist. On their website, U.Group said it developed the website for CZI and worked to promote media coverage of the organization.

The group plans to continue working out of offices in Arlington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon.

Photo via U.Group

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