April 27, 2023, E-News: Robot Food Deliveries in Mosaic District; Iron Bow CMO Interview + Weekly Business News Digest

AI-Powered Sidewalk Robots Delivering Food in Fairfax County’s Mosaic District

(Photo credit: Cartken)

Merrily We Roll Along: Self-driving robots are now making Uber Eats deliveries from a handful of restaurants in the Mosaic District in Fairfax, a shopping and dining district owned and operated by EDENS, DCist, and WUSA9 reported. At launch, merchants like Our Mom Eugenia, Pupatella and RASA, will participate in the program.

The robots, which were developed and are operated by AI robotics company Cartken, look like a big cooler with six wheels, headlights, and an orange flag poking up for added visibility. They’re sized to fit roughly two grocery bags. The robots use a mix of autonomous artificial intelligence and occasional remote human directions to navigate the streetscape and arrive at their destination. The bots will be mainly tasked with shorter delivery trips around the Mosaic District and immediate surrounding areas.

“We are excited to partner with Uber Eats and Cartken to bring cutting-edge technology to our community, and confident this innovative service will elevate visitor experience and customer engagement at Mosaic,” said Greg Dercach, vice president, property management for EDENS.

Mosaic is home to more than 40 thriving restaurants, providing Uber and Cartken the opportunity to serve a diverse group of merchants and delight more eaters as the program grows.

“Our team at Cartken is excited to further partner with Uber Eats and expand our reach to serve the Fairfax community,” said Anjali Jindal Naik, co-founder and COO at Cartken. “Cartken is at an inflection point, where we are rapidly bringing our AI, computer vision, and lidar-less autonomous robots to more places, like Mosaic District, in partnership with Uber Eats.”

“Alongside our partners at Cartken, we’re thrilled to work with Mosaic’s outstanding merchants to serve such a vibrant community of diners, shoppers, and residents,” added Noah Zych, head of autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber. “With our shared passion for innovative urban design, sustainability, and technology, we believe that robot delivery with Uber Eats is a great fit for Fairfax consumers looking for a fun and convenient way to grab their next meal.”

Located in the heart of Fairfax County, Mosaic District elevates the community experience by creating a vibrant environment where friends and families want to connect. This unique and distinct place brings together the finest boutiques and restaurants with a hand-selected mix of national and independent retailers, plus a cinema specializing in independent and arthouse films. Mosaic, an EDENS place, is pioneering intelligent urban design and enhancing the way people interact – enabling authentic human and community engagement. To find out more, visit www.mosaicdistrict.com.

Meet Iron Bow’s CMO Sarah Kim, a Fairfax County Career Trailblazer

Iron Bow Technologies, an information technology solutions provider, recently opened a brand-new headquarters in Herndon. With its mantra of “What We Do Matters,” Iron Bow Technologies is a place where employees are empowered to grow professionally, according to Sarah Kim, Chief Marketing Officer at Iron Bow Technologies.

Ms. Kim sat down with Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) to tell us about Iron Bow Technologies, her background, tips for career success, and why Northern Virginia is a great place to work, live and play. She is featured on workinnorthernvirignia.com as a “Trailblazer,” a featured local worker or entrepreneur who got their career start in Northern Virginia.

Click here to read the Q&A interview with Sarah Kim.

Weekly Business News Digest

We are the world’s data center capital: Northern Virginia remains the largest data center market in North America last year, with record growth, according to real estate firm JLL’s recently released annual data center report. And Northern Virginia is not just North America’s largest data center market —but in the world. JLL lists the top five data center markets globally as Northern Virginia, Singapore, Tokyo, London, and Chicago. To put that into context, Northern Virginia has 3,400 megawatts of data center inventory, which is three times larger than the next biggest market, Singapore,” said Michael Hartnett, senior director of research, strategy & insights at JLL. WTOP has more.

Bigger footprint: Idea Entity, an Inc 5000 software development company, has relocated in Herndon to 12825 Worldgate Drive, in a move that doubles its U.S. headquarters office footprint, reported citybiz. With additional offices in Seattle, WA; Peoria, Ill; San Antonio, TX; and Hyderabad, India, the company supports local and multinational clients across numerous industries in the private sector and several federal, state and local government agencies in the public sector. John Strathy, Chief Financial Officer at Idea Entity said: “Due to business growth and the changing shape of how we work, we knew we needed to re-strategize our office footprint.”

Rescue teams in action: Tysons-based Global Guardian security firm CEO Dale Buckner was recently interviewed by multiple media outlets about the situation in Sudan, including Wall Street Journal,  CNN, New York Times, and Business Insider. He told Wall Street Journal that he has gotten frantic calls from foreigners and their employers who are desperate to get them out of Sudan. He said his team has taken dozens of expatriates from Sudan to Egypt and Eritrea over the past week, at times coming under artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire. “Our rescue teams have to navigate dozens of checkpoints in an active war zone,” said Mr. Buckner, a former Green Beret. “We have hundreds of other clients waiting. But it’s increasingly getting dangerous.”

Leaf rake: Reston-based ASRC Federal acquired Manassas-based defense contractor Broadleaf, Virginia Business reported. Founded in 2009, Broadleaf is a U.S. Small Business Administration Certified Native Hawaiian Organization. The company provides information technology services and professional services. Broadleaf was No. 977 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list of the U.S.’s fastest-growing privately held companies. “Broadleaf is thrilled to join the ASRC Federal family,” said Broadleaf President Vince Apesa. “Our team is passionate about driving mission success for our customers, and we look forward to joining forces with the depth of resources and talent available at ASRC Federal to provide even greater value to those we serve.” Nearly 600 Broadleaf employees will join ASRC Federal, and the acquisition adds DoD and federal civilian customers to ASRC Federal’s portfolio.

Satcom buy: The U.S. Space Force in its 2024 budget allocated $59 million to buy satellite communications services from SES’ new broadband constellation in medium Earth orbit, SpaceNews reported. SES is a global satellite operator headquartered in Luxembourg. The services to the U.S. military are provided by the company’s U.S. subsidiary SES Space & Defense, based in Reston. The purchase was made under a NATO contracting vehicle established last year for countries to acquire commercial satcom services. This procurement of satcom services is “an example of what we’re doing with international partners and with commercial industry,” said Lt. Gen. Phillip Garrant, deputy chief of space operations for strategy, plans, programs and requirements, U.S. Space Force.

Sky-high trash collection: Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman‘s autonomous Cygnus spaceship left the International Space Station on Friday, April 21, carrying away more than 8,000 pounds of trash from the orbiting laboratory, UPI reported. The SS Sally Ride, named after the first American woman astronaut, departed from the Unity module of the ISS about 7:20 a.m. EDT. The vessel burned up in a planned re-entry into the atmosphere shortly afterward. “Following a deorbit engine firing later in the evening, Cygnus will begin a planned destructive re-entry, in which the spacecraft — filled with trash packed by the station crew — will safely burn up in Earth’s atmosphere,” NASA said ahead of the departure.

We were promised jet packs: Tysons-based Intelsat, a multinational satellite services provider, ordered a Mission Extension Pod (MEP) from Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics, which will add life to an Intelsat satellite and provide uninterrupted services to many customers,  reported SpaceWatch Global. The MEP “jet pack” will be installed by SpaceLogistics’ mission robotic vehicle (MRV) on an Intelsat satellite operating in geosynchronous orbit. “Intelsat is committed to safe and sustainable stewardship of space,” said  Bruno Fromont, Intelsat Chief Technology Officer. “Intelsat successfully led the industry four years ago with the first in-orbit servicing of satellites in cooperation with Northrop Grumman. The new MEP will also ensure the Intelsat mission of providing the most reliable service to our customers.”

Redevelopment to residential: Boston Properties acquired a 50 percent interest in a pair of Herndon office buildings, formerly home to Fannie Mae’s Northern Virginia operations, which the joint venture plans to redevelop as residential, according to Washington Business Journal. The deal, revealed as part of Boston Properties’ first-quarter earnings report, cost the Boston-based real estate investment trust $17.3 million, according to its earnings report. The properties, 13100 and 13150 Worldgate Drive, include two nearly 35-year-old vacant office buildings totaling 350,000 square feet and a 1,200-space parking deck situated on 10 acres.

Supporting troops with injury rehab: Fairfax-based George Mason University engineers and partners received a $3 million award to build new technology for personalized musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation to support troops. In partnership with California-based Cephasonics Ultrasound and Baltimore-based Infinite Biomedical Technologies, the team was selected by the United States Army Medical Research and Development Command to receive the award from the U.S.  Department of Defense, awarded through the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium. The award will support the team’s development of wearable, compact, and hands-free ultrasound systems to assess rehabilitation and recovery from musculoskeletal injuries through measurements of muscle structure and function during physical activity, with a specific focus on knee injuries. Virginia Bio carried the release.

Imagination and possibility: CNN Travel recently featured Lusail, Qatar in an article titled ‘Inside Qatar’s ‘City of the Future.’ Construction of Lusail began in 2006, long before Qatar was announced as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the article notes. “The future of infrastructure is unlimited in the Middle East,” said Bryce McDevitt, Vice President, External Communications and Marketing at Centreville-based Parsons Corporation, which is overseeing Lusail’s construction, to CNN. “There is a sense of imagination and possibility that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Building a clean-sheet city allows for tailored design of your objectives: sustainability, accessibility and economic equality.” He added: “One major advantage of the ‘from the sand’ approach is that when designing and building a city from scratch, we are not fettered by existing infrastructure. Roadways, airports, public transit, landscape, and urban design can all be built with smart sustainability in mind.”

Fly in style: The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has selected two dozen new retail and restaurant concessions to fill spaces at Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports, from Italian food to high-end fashion, oysters to arts, according to Washington Business Journal in subscriber content. The new roster includes outposts of Fabio Trabocchi’s Sfoglina, Cava Mezze Grill, Dos Toros and Halfmoon Empanadas on the food side, and Neighborgoods DC, BOSS and Brookstone on the retail side. This is the second round of concession announcements. The first round, announced in September, included Starbucks, iStore tech shop, Vino Volo wine bar, Lucky Buns and Dunkin’ at National and Extreme Pita, Hudson Nonstop, Cava Mezze, Rusty Taco and Reef at Dulles. Those are all in various stages of construction or planning, MWAA said. Herndon Patch has more.

Delivering tactical confidence: Herndon-based BlackSky Technology reseller Telespazio Ibérica will deliver Spain’s first-ever high-cadence, low-latency rapid emergency imagery service to the Government of Aragon and the Geographic Institute of Aragon in Spain, according to Yahoo Finance. “BlackSky’s ability to monitor rapid change over time gives local government leaders strategic assurance and incident commanders tactical confidence when they need it most,” said Brian E. O’Toole, BlackSky CEO. “Real-time situational awareness provides immediate value to crisis response missions when life-saving decisions need to made in a matter of minutes.”

Expanding footprint: Herndon-based EdgeConneX is expanding of its data center footprint in Israel with the construction of a new facility, located in Rishon. The new data center will support the increasing demand for underground, highly secure, and resilient infrastructure in the region by hyperscalers, cloud service providers, and enterprises. This site will complement the company’s existing data center presence near Tel Aviv, including sites in Herzliya and Petah Tikva, which are now both fully operational. Data Center Dynamics has more.

Another point: Herndon-based Forcepoint has joined a public-private partnership led by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to enhance information sharing on cybersecurity threats, according to ExecutiveBiz. The security company said it will build on its experience in leading cybersecurity efforts for defense, civilian and intelligence agencies to support the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative‘s mission to improve the U.S. security posture and resilience. Forcepoint will also provide government and industry leaders with access to its research on cyber threat trends to gain insights on how to combat current and future threats.

Contract Wins

Aeyon (Tysons) received a two-year contract from the U.S. Navy to support data cleansing initiatives and help migrate the service branch’s legacy financial management applications to a new enterprise resource planning system. The order in support of the Naval Office of Financial Operations was issued under $1 billion contract vehicle for financial, accounting and business process services awarded by DON in April 2022. GovConWire

Science Applications International Corp. (Reston) won an $889 million contract by the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (FEDSIM) in support of Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) to develop and implement One IT. One IT provides IT modernization to DCSA’s systems. Intelligence Community News

Peraton (Herndon) booked an eight-year, potential $399.3 million contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to maintain and support the agency’s Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground Service. ExecutiveGov

Leidos (Reston) secured a $50 million contract to help the U.S. Navy’s Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory to study the health and performance of undersea warfighters. GovConWire

QinetiQ U.S. (Lorton) won a $12 million contract from the U.S. Army’s C5ISR Center Research and Technology Integration Directorate to provide an array of research, technology and integration support services to help the Army tackle various challenges using new technology strategies. ExecutiveGov

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

May 2 – Entrepreneurship 101, Starting a Business in Fairfax County. Join our panel of small business experts for an interactive webinar on how to start your business. We will provide you with informative step-by-step information sessions that will cover registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources. Presented by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI). This session’s Entrepreneurial Spotlight guest speaker will be Dolly Oberoi, CEO, C2 Technologies. Click here to register. 

May 4 — 11th Annual NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference & Small Business EXPO. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents an in-person event with matchmaking, educational breakout sessions, an Expo Hall, and innovative keynotes – all in one place! You’ll have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one matchmaking meetings with federal, state and local agencies, and prime contractors. Be sure to visit the Small Business EXPO showcasing 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 4 – NAIOP Bus Tour and Trade Show. This annual tour looks at what is driving the market in Fairfax from office to industrial and retail to mixed-use. Bus Captains talk about all aspects of the market and provide valuable input on what is going on in the market. One of the most successful and interesting commercial market bus tours in America. The day starts with a trade show with vendors, properties and local government sharing news and closes with a reception once the buses return in the early afternoon. Click here for more information.

May 10 (in person)/ May 11 (virtual) – Transitioning Service Members, Veterans and Military Spouses Career Fair and Resource Expo. Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Hire Vets Now Foundation, in partnership with Fort Belvoir, present a Veteran & Military Spouse In-Person Career Fair and Resource Expo at the National Museum of the United States Army at Ft. Belvoir on May 10, and virtually on May 11. Join us to interview with leading companies in Northern Virginia that are collectively hiring for thousands of positions across multiple sectors. In addition, veteran career organizations will be providing valuable career resource information, including resume translation guidance, community information, military spouse career education services, and more. Click here for more information and to register.

September 26-28 – Call for Experts: Connecting the Global Quantum Ecosystem. Quantum World Congress 2023 will occur September 26-28 in the Greater Washington region. It will once again bring together leaders from across the quantum ecosystem around the globe to address pressing challenges and emerging trends and share insights that help to accelerate and commercialize quantum technologies. Programming will take many forms — from presentations and panels to fireside chats and networking sessions. QWC will enable relevant, timely, and industry-leading information sharing and relationship building across these formats to foster a responsible environment for quantum growth. If your expertise and experience position you as a thought leader, then you are invited to complete the speaker application. Please also review the sponsorship packages to explore ways to showcase your brand at the event. Click here for more information.

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 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.