August 25 E-Bird Newsletter: Fairfax County Mother/Son Duo Launches Activewear Brand + Weekly Business News Digest
Double take on activewear market: Victor Wear, an activewear brand, was recently launched by Lorton’s Tiffany Hamilton with her son Isaiah. The business, which sells tees and hoodies featuring a flame logo and slogans that “inspire triumph over obstacles,” was inspired by her 16-year-old Isaiah, who has high-functioning autism. Ten percent of the proceeds from every product sold are donated to the Special Olympics.
To get Victor Wear off the ground, Tiffany worked with nonprofit SCORE to develop a business plan; took out two loans, invested some $40,000, and applied for grants; hired a public relations firm; partnered with a drop-shipping vendor, and held a private logo-design contest. The company launched in April 2022 and Isaiah has already landed the D.C. Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Tiffany and Isaiah want to grow Victor Wear “to be as big as possible,” to the point it can provide opportunities for people with autism and “grow to be a major employer of people with disabilities.” The Washington Business Journal has more in an article for subscribers.
Q&A with Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce Chairman Samuel Wiggins
In recognition of National Black Business Month, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) interviewed Samuel Wiggins, Chairman of the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce (NVBCC). Located in the same suite of offices as FCEDA in Tysons, NVBCC is a partner organization of FCEDA, and a member of the Multi-Cultural Chambers Alliance, along with the Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber.
The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to the growth and development of its member partners, and those businesses that wish to partner with them. The Chamber’s goal is to facilitate the economic empowerment of Black-owned businesses in Northern Virginia and promote growth and development of the region.
Click here to read the Q&A.
Weekly Business News Digest
Enabling seamless communication: Tysons-based SpaceLink will work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop protocols for how commercial communications constellations will connect with defense and military systems, SpaceNews reported. DARPA earlier this month kicked off a new project called Space BACN (space-based adaptive communications node) to develop low-cost optical links to connect commercial and government constellations. The agency wants to create an internet of low Earth orbit satellites that enables seamless communication between military, civil and private-sector satellite networks that currently are not interoperable. SpaceLink, a company building a data-relay constellation of satellites in medium Earth orbit connected by laser links, is one of 11 organizations selected for the first phase of the Space BACN project. SpaceLink is partnering with Centreville-based Parsons. Reston-based CACI is also among the 11 selected companies. Payload has more.
Leidos partners with Project HOPE: Reston-based Fortune 500 defense contractor Leidos announced a partnership with Project HOPE, a Washington, D.C.-based global health and humanitarian relief organization, forging an ongoing relationship to support the organization’s medical relief efforts in Ukraine, which is still embroiled in conflict with Russia. “The numbers are horrible: tens of millions displaced, 12,000 civilian casualties,” Leidos CEO Roger Krone said in an exclusive interview with Virginia Business from his Reston office this week. “We just felt it was getting the money where it needed to be when it needed to be, and providing the right training and supply.”
Hawk flight change: Falls Church-area based Northrop Grumman is reconfiguring the Department of Defense’s RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems into RQ-4 RangeHawk surveillance drones to support hypersonic missile flight tests, ExecutiveBiz reported. The company said Wednesday the previously designated drones will be installed with sensors to support data collection of hypersonic missile tests. “Our RQ-4 RangeHawks will support the emerging class of hypersonic weapons and provide a combination of range, endurance and payload capacity,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager of global surveillance at Northrop Grumman.
Guiding the way: Tysons-based Guidehouse, a local consulting firm owned by private equity, is beefing up its government services practice by acquiring Grant Thornton’s public sector advisory group, the Washington Business Journal reported. Guidehouse said the deal, announced Monday, would add a roster of professionals in D.C. and other U.S. cities with extensive experience advising federal, state and local government agencies in such areas as finance, information technology, data analytics and performance management. The acquisition would be the third for Guidehouse since it was formed from the 2018 spinoff of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ public sector practice and acquired by the New York private equity group Veritas Capital.
Smoothing the transition: Reston’s Transaction Network Services acquired AGNITY Global, a Silicon Valley-based telecommunications technology company in a deal it says will help it smooth clients’ transition to 5G, the Washington Business Journal reported. While TNS, which serves large and small telecom companies, has worked with AGNITY Global in the past, the acquisition was driven by the challenges many smaller telecom carriers face when updating their networks to support 5G services, said Bill Versen, president of TNS’s communications market business.
Shuttle service: Boston Properties and other property owners at Reston Town Center are contributing to a new shuttle service that will launch in time for the debut of a new Silver Line Metro station expected in late fall. The Reston Town Center Association, the governing body for the expanding hub of retail, office space and restaurants, is launching the linkRTC service. The free shuttle will open when the new Reston Town Center Metro station begins accepting passengers. The shuttle adds another option to access one of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s six new Metro stations planned with the 11.4-mile extension of the Silver Line, reported the Washington Business Journal.
Combatting counterfeiting: Amazon.com is sponsoring a hackathon at Fairfax-based George Mason University to address a problem the e-commerce giant itself could use help solving: counterfeiting in the online marketplace. The company is partnering with Mason’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, a research center within the Fairfax university’s Schar School of Policy and Government, to host the 2022 Bring Down Counterfeiting Public Policy Hackathon. Blue Clarity, a Tysons-based information technology consultant, is administering the event, which launches virtually on Aug. 27. Counterfeit and pirated products make up 2.5 percent of global trade, which is roughly $464 billion a year, according to a 2021 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Washington Business Journal has more.
Calculated risks: Tysons-based MicroTech’s president and CEO Anthony “Tony” Jimenez was featured in the cover story of Hispanic Executive magazine this month in an article entitled: “Tony Jimenez Finds Success through Calculated Risks.” The Hispanic Executive article follows Jimenez’s journey from his childhood to his years of distinguished service in the United States Army to leading a half-billion-dollar tech integrator that serves the biggest government agencies and the top names in business. WVNews picked up the release.
Sleepy suburbs to economic colossus: Gerald Gordon, former president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, authored a new book: “J’s Journey: The Life, Leadership, and Legacy of J Hamilton Lambert.” Commissioned by late developer Sidney Dewberry and several other people, the book details how former Fairfax County Executive Lambert and a few other local notables transformed Northern Virginia from sleepy suburbs into an economic colossus. Lambert began his government career in Fairfax County in 1959. He held over twenty positions in the Fairfax County Government and spent over 14 years as either acting or permanent County Executive. Sun Gazette has more.
Science Applications International Corp. (Reston) secured a $163 million contract from the U.S. Navy to provide design, development, modernization, sustainment, lifecycle and integration support to naval enterprise networks. Executive Biz
Valiant Integrated Services (Herndon) won a five-year, $77 million contract from the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division Force to provide operations and maintenance support services for maritime training devices. Veterans News Report
FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events
August 31 — Innovate Conference. Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents an event: “Preparing For Tomorrow’s Workforce Today: Problem. Impact. Solution.” Featured speakers will discuss problem areas in our current systems of healthcare, technology and trades, and STEM, and more. Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of FCEDA, will deliver the opening remarks. Click here to register.
September 8 — Virginia Talent Resource: Virginia Values Veterans. Join us for “Virginia Talent Resource: Virginia Values Veterans” as we provide an in-depth look into the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Program. The V3 Program is a Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Veterans Services Program committed to educating Virginia employers on how to recruit, hire, train and retain Veterans. Click here to register.
September 13 — Entrepreneurship 101. FCEDA hosts an interactive webinar featuring a panel of small business experts 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. In addition, the Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature Eric Ingram, Founder and CEO of SCOUT, a space company start-up based in Fairfax County. Click here to register.
October 1 — 2022 Dulles 5K/10K. The Washington Dulles International Airport community presents its 10th Annual Dulles 5K/10K. Proceeds from this event will support the Committee for Dulles Community Outreach Scholarship Program, Special Olympics Virginia, and the Washington Airports Task Force. Click here to register.
October 7 — Raise the Region Gala. Join the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and help “Raise the Region” at its annual celebration of local philanthropy. This event attracts hundreds of regional business, philanthropic and community leaders and supports the Community Foundation’s ability to grow philanthropy to respond to needs and seed innovation throughout the region. Held in the fall, it features the presentation of the Community Leadership Award for outstanding service and commitment to Northern Virginia, the longest-standing award of its kind. It includes a one-of-a-kind auction and opportunities to engage and connect with our community. Click here 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.