April 6, 2023, E-News: Fairfax County-based Golfzon America tees up innovative golf simulator + Weekly Business News Digest

Fairfax County-based Golfzon America tees up innovative golf simulator

Imagine playing a round of golf at Pebble Beach Golf Course in California, then at St. Andrews Golf Club in Scotland, followed by another at one of 200 other golf courses across the world in a foursome with the other players located in different places, all virtually, from your home. You can do just that with a Golfzon golf simulator. With its North American headquarters located in Fairfax County, Golfzon is a South Korea-based global golf simulator company with a presence in 63 countries with 12,300 sites around the world, including two in Antarctica. Over 87 million rounds of golf are played on Golfzon simulators annually by 4.4  million worldwide online Golfzon members.

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority sat down with John O’Malley, Chief Revenue Officer, Golfzon America, at the company’s Chantilly headquarters to take a swing at finding out more about the company.

Founded in South Korea in 2000, Golfzon set up shop in the U.S. in 2017 and moved its North American headquarters to Fairfax County in 2021.

We came to Fairfax County for a number of reasons,” O’Malley said. “Fairfax County has had a long history of supporting tech companies. It’s been a hub for tech companies for as long as I can remember, and rightfully so. There’s access to resources like the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to help entrepreneurs and companies start and grow their businesses. There’s access to capital and to commercial real estate. There’s a rich talent pool to bring in employees and there’s a good demographic for the products we sell.”

“Golfzon America’s CEO Tommy Lim looked at a couple of different cities when he first came over to start the business here,” O’Malley added. “He visited Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Dallas, but settled in this area. It’s a great place to raise your family, with good schools and great state universities. There’s quick access to Washington, D.C., and to multiple airports. It’s hard to beat all that.”

Click here to read more.

Changing the Economic Development Landscape of Fairfax County

On the inaugural episode of the “Connect with County Leaders” Podcast, Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill spoke with Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). The episode covers business developments in the county, FCEDA updates, and ongoing efforts to bring equity, diversity and productivity to the region.

“What Amazon did was… (give) a kind of an open door or an awareness moment, an aha moment, for folks around the country, that there is a really growing, strong technology environment here.” – Victor Hoskins, FCEDA

The conversation highlights strategic efforts by Fairfax County leadership to ensure the region continues to thrive. With a focus on diversification, support for businesses, equity and access, coupled with partnerships and infrastructure to accommodate growth, the region is poised for continued success.

Click here to listen to the podcast and read more.

Weekly Business News Digest

Big buy: McLean-based Mars announced that it will acquire Colorado-based Heska, a veterinary care firm, reported Washington Business Journal. The deal, expected to close in the second half of this year, is one of the first big moves for the company under CEO Poul Weihrauch, formerly global president of Mars Petcare, who replaced longtime Mars CEO Grant Reid in September. The deal comes as Mars prepares to expand at its corporate home in Fairfax County. A Mars affiliate acquired the adjacent parcel to its current headquarters at 6869 Elm St. for $7.6 million in 2020. It filed plans last year to raze a building on the site to expand its own headquarters by about 31,000 square feet.

Congratulations, Northrop Grumman! Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman has won the prestigious National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Robert J. Collier Trophy for revolutionizing the field of astrophysics with the team’s pioneering design and exceptional performance of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, citybiz reported. Webb is the world’s first space deployable telescope and includes 10 new technologies. Northrop Grumman led the design, build, total system integration and prepared the observatory for launch. “The James Webb Space Telescope is one of the greatest achievements in aerospace history. In a matter of months, Webb has changed our understanding of the universe, and many more discoveries lie ahead. We dedicate the Collier Trophy to the Northrop Grumman employees and our industry partners who delivered humanity an extraordinary observatory to explore the universe and inspire future generations,” said Kathy Warden, chair, CEO and president, Northrop Grumman.

Job growth planned: Herndon cybersecurity startup Strivacity has raised $20 million in new funding to push forward on its research and bolster its sales, marketing and engineering teams, ultimately planning to grow the 42-person company to 70 in the next 12 months, DCINNO reported. San Francisco’s SignalFire led the Series A2 round, joined by Ten Eleven Ventures, a Boston venture firm that focuses on cybersecurity ventures. The round’s other investors include Kevin Mandia, CEO of Reston cybersecurity company Mandiant, now an arm of Google. TechCrunch has more.

Program to hire Blind and Visually Impaired individuals: Tysons-based Maximus, a provider of government services worldwide, and N.C.-based IFB Solutions, a non-profit organization that provides employment, training, and services for people who are blind or visually impaired, announced the successful launch of a new joint program that integrates employees who are blind or visually impaired into the workforce. Seventy percent of working-age adults who are blind or visually impaired face sustained periods of unemployment throughout their lifetimes. This program will help address that challenge through an inclusive workplace that supports the needs and experiences of our sight-impaired colleagues. “We value individual differences and strive to provide a work setting and experience where all employees can thrive,” said Michelle Link, chief human resources officer, Maximus. Yahoo Finance! picked up the release.

Career pathways: Amazon Web Services, which bases its east coast headquarters in Herndon, has contributed $300,000 to the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation’s Information and Engineering Technologies Fund, InsideNoVa reported. The gift is the largest single private investment in NOVA’s IET Fund, which enables programs that create pathways to in-demand technology. “We’re passionate about continuing to make significant investments that support community programs and skills training initiatives that enhance the lives of Virginians,” said Roger Wehner, director of economic development for Amazon Web Services. “Thanks to our ongoing collaboration with NOVA, we’ve been able to help expand access to in-demand skills training programs that map individuals to good jobs and that are helping cultivate the next generation of tech talent across the commonwealth.”

More AWS news: Amazon Web Services, which bases its east coast headquarters in Herndon, is working to help healthcare organizations address workforce challenges through an accelerator program, Modern Healthcare reported. AWS recently announced the selection of 23 startups for the program. The company said the 2023 AWS Healthcare Accelerator is a business, technical and mentorship program meant to help startups use the cloud to further develop their digital health platforms that intend to meet healthcare organizations’ employee training, deployment and retention needs. “We hear from a lot of organizations that want help in developing their workforce,” said Dave Levy, vice president of U.S. government, nonprofit and health care at AWS. “We want to help support organizations in acquiring skills around the cloud and building with them to solve their problems,” Levy added. ExecutiveBiz has more.

Funding round completed: Reston-based Hypori, a SaaS company enabling secure access to data from the edge, completed its $23 million Series B funding, FinSMEs reported. In January the company announced that initial Series B commitments were up to $18 million, but the additional interest by strategic investors drove an expanded raise. Moore Strategic Ventures anchored the completion of the round initiated by Hale Capital Partners. Led by Jared Shepard, president and CEO, Hypori empowers customers to protect data within their enterprise by eliminating the edge as an attack surface, preventing data at rest or in transit outside the enterprise, from national security level intel to productivity apps.

VIPC grant award: Reston-based Parabon NanoLabs was awarded a Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) grant from the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)  for $75,000. VIPC’s CCF programs have distributed more than $46 million to Virginia-based startups, entrepreneurs and university-based inventors since 2012. Parabon NanoLabs is developing next-generation therapeutic and forensic products by leveraging the power of DNA. “We are excited to receive this CCF grant from VIPC,” said Dr. Steven Armentrout, co-founder and CEO of Parabon. “Our team is eager to bring revolutionary new products and services to market that leverage recent advances in gene editing technologies.”

Full spectrum of cyber services: Reston-based Core4ce, a federal contractor with expertise in data and defensive cyber operations, completed its acquisition of PatchAdvisor, an Alexandria-based IT security firm specializing in comprehensive vulnerability assessments, Intelligence Community News reported. “PatchAdvisor is a trusted and respected firm with decades of experience performing system assessments for both government and commercial clients,” said Core4ce CEO Jack Wilmer. “Uniting PatchAdvisor’s assessment capabilities with Core4ce’s defensive cyber expertise allows us to provide the full spectrum of cyber services to our customers.”

Up the food chain: Fairfax County students at Luther Jackson Middle School are using vertical farms to help feed the community, WUSA9 reported. The 8th-grade engineering students use aquaponics, a process that uses no soil and very little water. The goal is to minimize waste and space, with the produce growing upward. The students are growing spinach, and also raising tilapia, both which they plan to donate to the school’s food pantry. The food pantry, run by the PTA, feeds about 70 food-insecure families from the school. The students said their goal is to spread the use of vertical farms at other schools all across Fairfax County.

Next generation of explorers: Students at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County got the special opportunity to hear from astronaut and alum Kjell Lindgren on March 31 as he spoke about his journey on becoming an astronaut, according to WTOP.  Lindgren graduated from the high school in 1991 and was selected to be a National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut in 2009. Students asked him questions about space travel, astronaut training and what he thinks the future holds for the advancement of space exploration. “Students like you here at Robinson are the next generation of explorers, and so we’re counting on you,” Lindgren said. “We are counting on you to join us in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Contract Wins

Parsons Corporation (Centreville) obtained a $1.8 billion re-compete contract from the Federal Aviation Administration to support the FAA’s Aviation System Capital Investment Plan. citybiz

Northrop Grumman (Falls Church area) secured a $235.9 million contract modification to manufacture updated surface electronic warfare systems for the U.S. Navy. GovConWire

QinetiQ (Lorton) obtained a four-year $92.6 million contract from the U.S. Army for Digital Night Vision Technology. Intelligence Community News

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

April 20 – Temperature Controlled Cargo to/from Dulles to Spain: a Conversation about the Region’s Uniquely Positioned Supply Chain Opportunity. Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents a hybrid event featuring a panel of experts who will discuss the challenges and opportunities in moving products into and out of Spain. The panel discussion will feature Rich Kilmer, CEO, Cargosense and April Redmon, Director, U.S. Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration. The opening remarks will be provided by Maria Pilar de Carlos Villellas, Commercial Counselor, Economic and Commercial Office, Embassy of Spain. Welcoming remarks will be given by C. Melissa McKenna, President & CEO DRCC; and closing remarks by  Jatinder Khosla, Fairfax Economic Development Authority and Chair, DRCC International Business Council.  Click here for more information.

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.