North Dakota startup receives national recognition, becomes eligible for $1M prize

FARGO, N.D. – Be More Colorful, the Fargo-based company behind the CareerViewXR career exploration platform, is announcing its selection as a quarterfinalist for the 2023 Yass Prize. This national accolade, nicknamed the “Pulitzer of Education Innovation,” is part of the STOP Awards initiative, which stands for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless education. Be More Colorful is among 64 innovative organizations from across the country who have been recognized for their efforts in personalizing education and addressing the needs of diverse student populations. 

Matt Chaussee, CEO and Co-Founder of Be More Colorful, expressed both gratitude and excitement: “Our entire team is over the moon about being named a quarterfinalist for this prestigious award. We look forward to meeting and learning from the other Yass Prize awardees and are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to build lifelong relationships with others who share our passion for helping kids discover a joy for learning that will set them up for a lifetime of success and happiness.” 

Watch the quarterfinalist announcement livestream here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTgr8ATIeWQ 

CareerViewXR and the STOP Principles 

CareerViewXR was selected as a Yass quarterfinalist and eligible to compete for the top-level prize of $1 million because it demonstrates adherence to the STOP principles created by The Yass Foundation for Education. 

  • Sustainable: CareerViewXR offers a sustainable way for students to explore their career interests and options, providing an affordable, consistent and ever-expanding resource for schools. The platform enables equitable access to career exploration by removing the time, geographic, safety, financial and privacy constraints that make in-person career exploration difficult and often impossible to schedule. 
  • Transformational: CareerViewXR revolutionizes the way students, parents and teachers engage with potential careers by providing immersive web-based tours and virtual reality video experiences that bring the jobsite into the classroom. These experiences break down barriers and misperceptions about career pathways by giving them a first-hand look at real people performing real work in virtual reality. 
  • Outstanding: The CareerViewXR platform is committed to delivering authentic and flexible educational experiences, providing each student with a customizable and personalized choose-your-own-adventure journey through the world of potential careers. 
  • Permissionless: CareerViewXR enables unrestricted access for all students, removing barriers to entry and ensuring that every student has the opportunity to explore and understand the world of potential careers. 

Students exploring web-based CareerViewXR experiences.

The Yass Prize awardees 

 

The Yass Prize is one of the most prestigious honors in the education sector. This year, nearly 2,000 education providers, community organizations and ed-tech companies applied for the prize, showcasing their innovative approaches to 21st-century education. A rigorous, three-tiered evaluation process was employed to select the 64 quarterfinalists across 31 states, representing the most promising innovations in personalized education. The selection process will continue to narrow down the field to 32 semifinalists, eight finalists, and ultimately, one winner of the $1 million prize. 

Explore the full list of awardees here: yassprize.org/awardees/ 

Being selected as a quarterfinalist puts Be More Colorful and CareerViewXR in an elite group of providers and solutions dedicated to transforming education and addressing the individualized needs of students, pre-K and beyond. The funds awarded through the Yass Prize and STOP Awards will enable the winners to significantly expand their impact, improving educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students. 

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About Be More Colorful 

 

Be More Colorful, based in Fargo, North Dakota specializes in immersive technology solutions for solving workforce development problems. Co-founded by husband-and-wife team Matt and Katie Chaussee, the company has been at the forefront of creating immersive media solutions that help people make better decisions about where they choose to live, learn, work and play.  

Be More Colorful Website: https://www.bemorecolorful.com 
CareerViewXR Website: https://www.careerviewxr.com 
The Yass Prize Website: https://yassprize.org/ 

For media inquiries, please contact: 
Maddysen Boecker 
Communications Coordinator, Be More Colorful 
Email: [email protected]

Michael Bush

Creative Lead

Maddysen Boecker

Communications Coordinator

Maddy has a variety of creative experience under her belt from over the past few years and enjoys learning new things. She has been involved in video and podcast editing, copywriting, email campaigns, social media management, website design, and more. Her experience and understanding of many aspects of pre-production, production, and post-production helps her be an asset for the team at any stage.
B.S. Animation, minors in Film Production and Graphic Communication – MSUM May 2020
Member of Team BMC since April 2022
Primary Roles:
  • Ensures project success by maintaining client communications
  • Assists in internal management of project tasks
  • Highlights company news through email and social media campaigns
  • Composes unique and thoughtful copy for blogs and other needs

Kryss Geray

Post Production Specialist

Kryss has worked in several different industries, including as a test engineer at a local Fargo company.  As a test engineer, she helped with quality assurance to ensure all products met the highest standards, tested and documented all products, and collaborated on more effective and efficient ways of completing these tasks. She is proud to have worked on agricultural equipment such as acoustic material flow sensors and electronic motor and hydraulic controls, along with aviation equipment such as the Stratus ADS-B Receivers, and recoverable data modules.
Education
Member of Team BMC since March 2022
Primary Roles:
  • Oversees initial processing of all 360° media
  • Provides quality assurance for 360° photos and video content
  • Proofreads tour content meticulously

Michael Bush

Creative Lead

Drew Swenson

Media Production Manager

B.F.A. Musical Theater, minor in Media Production – UWSP May 2018
Member of Team BMC since August 2021
Primary Roles: 
  • Leads direction for all 360° media scouting trips and shoots
  • Supervises production team
  • Oversees creation of audio assets

Maddy

Creative Lead

Michael Bush

Creative Lead

B.A. 2D/3D Animation – MSUM May 2020
Member of Team BMC since February 2021
Primary Roles:
  • Dynamically animates in 2D and 3D
  • Meticulously designs UI and UX elements
  • Formulates graphics for print and web use
  • Champions XR research & development
  • Guides efforts of the creative team

Matt Chaussee

Co-Owner, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Matt is the Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Be More Colorful. He has extensive experience in technical services administration, higher education, teaching, and technology training initiatives. While Matt’s role is primarily focused on business development and outreach, he is a self-professed lifelong learner who feels he has found his life’s calling in being able to learn about, explore, and share the amazing diversity of careers available to students today.
B.S. Mathematics minor Music and Psychology – NDSU December 2005
Masters of Business Administration – NDSU May 2009
Cofounded Team BMC in August 2016
Primary Roles:
  • Spearheads business development
  • Nurtures sales efforts
  • Amplifies community outreach
  • Coordinates workflow development
  • Maintains HR and payroll functions

Michael Bush

Creative Lead

Drew Swenson

Creative Lead

Kryss

Creative Lead

Maddy

Creative Lead

Katie Chaussee

Majority Owner, Co-Founder, Chief Administrative Officer

Majority Owner, Co-Founder, Chief Administrative Officer
Katie is the Chief Administrative Officer and majority owner of Be More Colorful. She has a strong background in customer service and a keen eye for creating captivating visuals, both defining characteristics of the company. Katie was Be More Colorful’s first VR photographer and has served the company as an image processor, experience builder, and quality assurance specialist. In her current role, Katie is the key administrator for Be More Colorful’s in-office operations where she works to adapt and refine workflows for a talented team of creative professionals.
B.S. Psychology minor Art – NDSU May 2003
Cofounded Team BMC in August 2016
Primary Roles:
  • Coordinates workflow development
  • Oversees various aspects of office management
  • Manages various purchasing decisions
  • Maintains HR and payroll functions
  • Formulates creative marketing ideas

Michael Bush

Creative Lead