April 19, 2024: Armored Fresh, a Food Tech Innovator, Chooses Fairfax County for Exponential Growth + Weekly Business News Digest

As the home of more than 10,000 technology-based companies in many industries, Fairfax County was the ideal place to establish the U.S. headquarters for South Korea-based Armored Fresh, a food tech dairy company, according to Andrew Yu, vice president of Armored Fresh.

Armored Fresh produces and sells 100 percent plant-based cheese as part of their focus on developing sustainable alternative food options. Armored Fresh’s technology uniquely provides the capacity to replicate the aroma, texture and flavor of dairy cheese, according to the company.

Yu sat down with the FCEDA to tell us about the company, its products, expansion plans, and why it is great to have its U.S. headquarters in Tysons, Virginia.

Fairfax County is unique in that it sits at the crossroads of business, investment, technology and government. In Fairfax County there are both small business startups and mature companies. Here we rival Silicon Valley in the technology that’s being developed. You have angel investors, a community of venture capitalists, which is very important for us. And you have government assets here that’s useful for us in terms of policy and governance,” said Yu. “And so, for Armored Fresh, we look at all those different elements. And we say those elements are important for our growth and for our future success. And that’s why we chose Fairfax County as the jurisdiction to have our headquarters.”

Click here to read the entire Q&A interview.

Looking to Hire Talent? Opportunity for Companies to Participate in HIRE VETS NOW Networking and Hiring Fair

Is your company looking to hire transitioning military, veterans and military spouse talent? Opportunities are available to companies to participate in a FREE Virtual Virtual Networking & Hiring Fair.  Hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, HIRE VETS NOW, and Fort Belvoir, the Virtual Networking & Hiring Fair will be held on Thursday, May 9. Please join us to interview military talent for jobs at all levels, entry-level to cleared, and for all industries.

At the event, transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses looking for a career in the civilian sector will:

  • Meet Virginia employers dedicated to hiring military talent
  • Connect with DOD-approved SkillBridge opportunities
  • Learn about 10K+ job openings, from entry-level to cleared
  • Find out about upskilling resources and providers

Don’t miss this valuable opportunity to showcase your company! For more information, please contact Stefanie Shepley at sshepley@fceda.org.

Weekly Business News Digest

Sunrise & sunset view: Tanium, a Kirkland, Washington, cybersecurity firm has relocated from its local federal office in Bethesda to a new location in Reston that is more than twice the size of its former space, reported Washington Business Journal. Tanium, whose software is used throughout the Department of Defense and other governmental agencies to monitor networking systems, has taken over the entire 10th floor — 12,850 square feet — at 11800 Sunrise Valley Drive. Tanium previously occupied about 5,500 square feet at the Capital Gateway office park at 6700A Rockledge Drive in Bethesda. The new office, which comes with 360-degree views of Reston and the surrounding region, now serves as the base of local operations for more than 50 Tanium employees throughout the region.

Things have really changed: On the heels of The Aerospace Corporation relocating its corporate headquarters to Fairfax County on March 21, Aviation Week Senior Editor Guy Norris interviewed The Aerospace Company’s CEO Steve Isakowitz about how space’s shifting strategic environment is reshaping the organization, the only U.S. government-backed research and development center committed exclusively to space enterprise. Asked about why they moved their headquarters from California to Chantilly, Isakowitz replied: “The customer we’re dealing with has changed a lot over the 64 years since we were created. It used to be all be about Los Angeles and the urgency to get the first ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] to work, and it was the birthplace of the [National Reconnaissance Office]. There was a very powerful reason why we were in L.A., and there’s still a powerful reason why we should stay here. But things have really changed over the past 3-5 years.” “Probably the single biggest thing has been creation of the Space Force as well as the creation of the [Space Development Agency (SDA)], the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, the Space Warfighting Analysis Center and the creation of the executive role of assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition—now held by Frank Calvelli. So we’ve seen some big stuff, and a lot of that has really shifted toward Washington and the need to be there.”

Technology for the nation’s priorities: Accenture Federal Services has entered into an agreement to acquire Annadale-based Cognosante, a mission-driven provider of digital transformation and cloud modernization solutions for federal health, defense, intelligence, and civilian agencies, according to citybiz. “We are continually innovating and investing to help federal agencies stay ahead of the ever-changing needs of their mission and customers,” said Accenture Federal Services CEO John Goodman. “Accenture Federal Services is excited to welcome the Cognosante team. We are truly impressed with their people, capabilities, and impact. Together, we will deliver on the promise of technology for the nation’s priorities.” Cognosante’s team of more than 1,500 people will join Accenture Federal Services’ more than 14,000 people.

At the vanguard of our nation’s defense: Tysons-based Guidehouse booked a $12 billion U.S. Air Force contract to provide systems engineering and integration services for an intercontinental ballistic missile program (ICBM). Under this 18-year award, Guidehouse will service the Minuteman III – the USAF’s current land-based ICBM – and its replacement, the Sentinel, ExecutiveBiz reported. “These deterrent assets are at the vanguard of our nation’s defense, as well as that of NATO and other allies around the world,” said Scott McIntyre, CEO of Guidehouse.

Beaconing at lightning speed: Herndon-based Beacon, a Fortune 500 roofing and building supply distributor, acquired General Siding Supply of Omaha, Nebraska, Washington Business Journal reported. The deal is already Beacon’s third acquisition of 2024 and 17th since early 2022, when CEO Julian Francis set out to boost the company’s annual sales to $9 billion by 2025. Beacon surpassed that goal two years ahead of schedule, recording $9.12 billion in sales and $435 million in net income across 2023. Beacon currently operates more than 540 branches throughout all 50 states and seven Canadian provinces and says it serves nearly 100,000 customers.

Walmart Global Tech lease: Walmart filed for permits to occupy a portion of 2245 Monroe St., Herndon, after initially leasing the entire building in April 2020, Washington Business Journal reported.  The move indicates Walmart’s renewed interest in the location, with plans to utilize the first four floors spanning approximately 102,000 square feet for its retail technology transformation arm, Walmart Global Tech. However, the fifth and sixth floors, totaling 59,809 square feet, remain available for sublease.  Walmart’s intentions for the new office, whether expansion or relocation from its current Reston office, remain unclear. ConnectCRE has more.

Transformational gift: Inova received a gift of $20 million from the Peterson Family, longtime Inova supporters. This donation will provide funding for two critical needs, with $15 million going to Inova Life with Cancer, and $5 million to support the expansion of the Inova Fairfax Emergency Room. “We are deeply grateful to the Peterson Family for building on their remarkable leadership and legacy with this latest transformational gift to support Life with Cancer and our much-needed renovation at our Inova Fairfax Emergency Room,” said J. Stephen Jones, MD, President and CEO, Inova. “Their generous support has made a significant impact over the past three decades and will continue to impact our community for decades to come.” Virginia Business has more.

School for athletes: The St. James sports complex in Springfield is starting a school to allow middle and high school athletes to attend classes without compromising their training schedules, Washington Business Journal reported. The company is partnering with TPH Academy to offer instruction beginning next school year. Tuition will cost $27,999 per year. “Our goal is for The St. James Performance Academy to be a place to propel students to achieve their athletic and academic ambitions,” co-founder and co-CEO Kendrick Ashton said. “These students will receive a rigorous and personalized college preparatory education, world-class sports, strength and conditioning training, as well as leadership, social and emotional development opportunities.” Students will attend classes on-site at the 450,000-square-foot facility, but they will be taught by instructors who are remote. If students are on the road for games, they can access the classes virtually as well.

Next-generation investment: Tysons-based venture capital firm Blue Delta Capital Partners invested $25 million in Herrick Technology Laboratories, a Germantown-based manufacturer of various communications technologies used by the Department of Defense, reported Washington Business Journal. The fresh capital for Herrick Technology Laboratories, which goes by HTL, will allow the company to fund the next generation of its hardware and software products and systems, which it runs through a Software Defined Radio platform. It would also provide it with the capital “to execute strategic tuck-in acquisitions,” said Acie Vickers, CEO and co-founder of HTL.

Multi-mission agreement: Berlin, Germany-based Exolaunch, which has offices in Colorado and Washington, D.C., has signed a multi-mission agreement for launch and deployment services with Herndon-based HawkEye 360, marking the first collaboration between the two companies, according to satnews. Under the terms of the agreement, Exolaunch will support multiple missions for HawkEye 360. The payloads are expected to launch on upcoming SpaceX Rideshare missions through 2025, and they are intended to strengthen geospatial intelligence services provided by HawkEye 360. “We are very excited to partner with Exolaunch, a global leader in launch mission integration and deployment technologies, for our cluster 9 launch and subsequent launches,” said Rob Rainhart, president of HawkEye 360. “This partnership is an important relationship for HawkEye 360. It provides a basis for affordable launch and launch integration services that allow us to focus on bringing our analytics solution to market at greater speed and efficiency. We look forward to the continued partnership and opportunities this collaboration will bring to both our companies and the industry at large.”

Max-imizing global goals: Maxar Intelligence, a division of Maxar Technologies, which is based in Colorado and has offices in Chantilly and Herndon,  is looking to strengthen its position in the competitive geospatial intelligence market by forging strategic partnerships and focusing on international opportunities. That’s the plan laid out by Dan Smoot, the recently appointed CEO of Maxar Intelligence, reported SpaceNews. In an interview with SpaceNews last week at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Smoot said his top priority is to ensure a successful rollout of the Legion constellation while also exploring ways to leverage Maxar’s existing satellite infrastructure to maintain its market position. Maxar’s largest contract is a $3.2 billion 10-year agreement with the National Reconnaissance Office to supply imagery and other services.

Still in play today: In the 60 years since it was founded, Reston has been through big changes. But the community remains a great place to live, work, and play — just like its founder intended, wrote Maggie Roth in a feature article in Northern Virginia Magazine. When Robert E. Simon Jr., Reston’s founder, began to plan for his new town, according to Roth he had a lot of big ideas, but one was the defining principle: This new town would be a place where residents could live, work, and play, all within their neighborhood. It was one of the first planned communities in the country, an example of intentional design and placemaking. Reston is also home to offices for major businesses, such as Google, Leidos, and Freddie Mac. From its beginnings, Reston has represented a balance of cutting-edge urban development and close-knit community that is still in play today. Click here to read more about Reston, past and present.

“Star Trek or Star Wars?” was the focus of a debate at the 39th Space Symposium in Colorado last week, according to a SpaceNews article. Held at the booth for Florida-based Redwire, which has a recently announced Chantilly location, a winner was declared by former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Which science fiction franchise do you think won? Click here to find out and to see a video of the lively debate.

Contract Wins

Arcfield won a five-year, $93 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory advance the secure, bi-directional transfer of information between networks operating at different classification levels, while protecting against sophisticated and evolving cyber threats. Intelligence Community News

CACI International (Reston) won a five-year, $59.9 million contract from the U.S. Navy to operate and integrate information operations payloads into unmanned aerial vehicles supplied to joint forces. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

April 24, 2024 — Corporate Social Responsibility & Volunteer Fair. Don’t miss the Corporate Social Responsibility & Volunteer Fair under the tent at Northwest Federal Credit Union Headquarters in Herndon. Join host Northwest Federal Credit Union and partners to kick off “National Volunteer Week” with more than 35 local nonprofits interested in corporate partners, corporate volunteer outings, and individual volunteers. Event partners include the Dulles Area Transportation Association, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, and the Reston, Dulles, and Loudon Chambers. Click here for more information and to register.

April 26, 2024 — Economic Development Summit Breakfast. The Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce will host the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and the Fairfax City Department of Economic Development for a Economic Development Summit Breakfast. The Summit will look at the events and issues that will impact businesses in Fairfax County and City of Fairfax in 2024 and beyond. Click here for more information and to register.

May 2 — 12th Annual NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference & Expo. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a business-to-government event that will include matchmaking, educational breakout sessions, an Expo Hall, and innovative keynotes. Participants will have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one matchmaking meetings with federal, state and local agencies, and prime contractors. They can also visit the Small Business EXPO that will showcase services uniquely geared towards helping government contractors succeed. Government and industry speakers will provide guidance on the full government contracting lifecycle. Click here for more information and to register.

May 16, 2024 — Impact AI. Attend NVTC’s annual Impact AI Summit and explore how artificial intelligence is changing the world. Join the conversation with tech innovators, policy makers and experts to learn how businesses and government agencies are using AI to accelerate innovation, gain competitive advantage and create operational efficiencies. Click here for more information and to register.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600.