December 8, 2023: Site Selection: Fairfax County Experiencing Exceptional Business Growth + Weekly Business News Digest

Site Selection: Fairfax County Experiencing Exceptional Business Growth

Transformative corporate facility investments are occurring across Virginia, according to an article in Site Selection Magazine. From Reston to Roanoke, capital investments are reaching all-time highs across the state.

“We are building on transformational investments,” said Jason El Koubi, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). “We are seeing a lot of acceleration in four primary growth sectors: advanced manufacturing; business services; software and cybersecurity; and aerospace and defense.”

One area experiencing exceptional business growth is Fairfax County in Northern Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C., the article noted. Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, said that the county of one million people is responsible for $129 billion in GDP.

“More than 60 percent of our labor has a college degree or higher,” said Hoskins. “We are in the middle of the largest data center market in the world – three times larger than Singapore and five times larger than Silicon Valley. And we are not slowing down.”

Juan Font, president and CEO of data center company Coresite and senior vice president of U.S. Tower, said his firm has been growing in Reston since 2001.

“That’s when we started buying more carrier hotels,” Font said. “Our first carrier hotel was on K Street in Washington, D.C. We had the opportunity to acquire AOL’s headquarters in Reston at the end of 2007 when AOL moved to Ashburn, and so we did. We bought a 23-acre campus in Reston.”

Coresite has been building out its data centers ever since and is now active in 10 U.S. markets.

“We have 16 MW in Building 3 now in Reston. We will build out 6 MW in the next phase and then another 3MW here. Then we will build another 27MW facility,” said Font. “On a national scale, we are building everywhere. There is a supply and demand imbalance in most markets. We have recently added space in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Secaucus, New Jersey.”

Font says that for Coresite, there really is no choice.

“Access to enterprise users here was key for us. With the connectivity and the geographic resiliency of the market, this is the place to be. If you are Netflix, for example, you have to be in Virginia. The fiber that exists here is massive. You won’t find that anywhere else,” Font said. Click here to read more.

Interested in finding out more about Fairfax County’s dynamic growth? Listen to this recent Land of the Land podcast episode by K&L Gates in which Alex Iams, executive vice president of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, discusses how the organization works to attract business and investment in Fairfax County. Click here to listen now.

Tap Into Fairfax County’s Programs Helping Your Business Grow and Succeed

Members of the First Fairfax Founders Fund Cohort (Fairfax County Government photo)

Fairfax Founders Fund: Application Period Now Open, Deadline Jan. 8, 2024

THRIVE Fairfax: Application Period Opens Dec. 12, 2023

  • WHAT? Through this new Fairfax County program, approximately 600 businesses will receive consulting services valued up to $10,000, helping them reach their business goals and continue their post-pandemic recovery. Application period opens Dec. 12, 2023.
  • DETAILS: Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria, application process, and more.

Talent UP Fairfax: Applications Accepted Through December 2024

  • WHAT? Fairfax County’s new program Talent Up Fairfax helps employers find qualified candidates to fill open positions with no-cost temporary internships. Through a powerful network, Talent Up Fairfax matches your hiring needs with candidates who have the skills you are seeking. The program will run through December 2024.
  • DETAILS: For more information, visit TalentUpFairfax.com.

Weekly Business News Digest

Driving economic growth: For its inaugural year, the Fairfax Founders Fund recently selected five winners to receive $50,000 each in an effort to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in Fairfax County, technical.ly reported. The funds can be used by these local entrepreneurs for prototype or product development, market research, customer acquisition, technology validation and legal costs. The program is funded by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The winning companies are: NearStar Fusion (Chantilly); BloomCatch (Centreville); 3D Orthobiologic Solutions (Herndon); Healp, formerly known as Riley App (Fairfax Station); and Anapact/The Smart Headgear (Alexandria). “We are delighted to recognize and support these exceptional startups in Fairfax County,” said Rebecca Moudry, director of the Department of Economic Initiatives. “These grants will empower our local firms to advance their innovations, meet business goals, and drive economic growth and technological progress in our community.”

New digs: Two companies have signed new leases totaling roughly 90,000 square feet at the 198,000-square-foot office building located at 3130 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, Commercial Café reported. One of the tenants is California-based defense tech company Areté Associates, which has inked a deal for 65,000 square feet of office space. Hazardous material disposal company Chemtrec — which will occupy more than 25,000 square feet of space in the eight-story building — is the other new arrival.

Welcome to Tysons! Tricentis, an Austin-based software and engineering testing company, has opened a new office in Tysons. “As our government customer base has grown, expanding our presence in the Washington, D.C. area became a natural progression,” said Ben Baldi, senior vice president of global public sector at Tricentis. The office is located at 8300 Greensboro Dr., near Tyson’s Boro district, according to Potomac Tech Wire.

Start-up investment: Reston-based Rohirrim, an artificial intelligence company, has raised $15 million to continue working on its ChatGPT-like tool that helps companies speed the process of bidding on jobs. The financing is targeted for Rohirrim to accelerate sales of its software that aims to cut down on the average time it takes to put together responses to requests for proposals from large companies or government agencies. DCINNO has more.

Going the Distance: Tysons-based CakeBoxx Technologies and Illinois-based SEKO Logistics (SEKO) have partnered to leverage CakeBoxx’s expertise in sustainable, specialized transport and storage solutions for high-value, high-consequence cargo, according to a SECO announcement. SEKO will continue to elevate its Government, Space & Defense vertical to move the most sensitive shipments to the world’s most complex areas. “We are thrilled to be working with the SEKO team, who have a global reputation of being a client-centric and trusted provider of first-class logistics solutions,” said Daine Eisold, CakeBoxx’s Founder & CEO. “Our collaborative expertise and experience working with world-leading organizations, coupled with an unmatched combination of products and services, is something we’re very excited to offer the government, space and defense industry.”

Strategic Reset: Tysons-based Intelsat expects to earn $2.1 billion in revenue this year, Intelsat CEO David Wajsgras said during an investor day event on Nov. 30, giving a rare look at the company’s finances and outlining its “strategic reset” from a bandwidth supplier to an end-to-end solutions provider, Satellite Today reported. Executives said that the company is in the best financial position in a long time. Intelsat emerged from bankruptcy proceedings about 18 months ago, cutting its debt in the process from approximately $16 billion to $7 billion.

More Intelsat News: Tysons-based Intelsat is producing a new flat panel antenna that enables moving vehicles to use broadband services from the company’s geostationary satellites and from SpaceX’s Starlink network in low Earth orbit, according to SpaceNews. “Starlink has disrupted the industry in a good way,” said CEO David Wajsgras. The geostationary satellite market started changing about five years ago, he said. “A lot of that was driven by customer demands and a lot of it was driven by the new space companies,” he added. “It has raised everyone’s game.”

And 3’s a Charm: Tysons-based Intelsat will outfit hundreds of American Airlines regional jets with high-speed Wi-Fi, as part of American’s ongoing in-flight streaming upgrades throughout its fleet. Beginning early next year, Intelsat will begin installing equipment on nearly 500 dual-class regional jets, that will connect to Intelsat’s geo-stationary satellites as well as its constellation of low Earth orbit satellites.The regional jet upgrades will be completed within two years. WTOP has more.

Did a human actually write this post? Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a boon for Washington, D.C. — and its federal workforce, according to AXIOS DC reporter Cuneyt Dil. “A year after ChatGPT burst into the world, a once wary Beltway establishment sees it as a tool for real government efficiency,” he wrote. Noted in the article was Tysons-based software company Appian announcement last week that it will build a contract-writing tool for the U.S. Army. In addition, Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton aims for up to $700 million in government AI contracts. “Chat GPT is ready for duty,” Appian co-founder Michael Beckley said. “Now the hard work begins with the bureaucracy to catch up.” Click here to read more.

Revolutionizing the airspace future: Tysons and Bedford, Mass.-based MITRE is working on multiple lines of research to enhance information sharing to support the Federal Aviation Administration’s vision to enable an Info-Centric National Airspace System in 2035, reported ExecutiveBiz. MITRE, which operates the Center for Advanced Aviation System Development for the FAA, believes that advancements in commercial technologies and infrastructure that enable real-time information exchange, such as sensors, wireless networks and communications satellites, can revolutionize the future of the NAS. “The idea is to leverage technological developments and commercial infrastructures to enable all aviation stakeholders—from airspace users to those that manage them—to connect from anywhere at any time,” said Emily Stelzer, managing director of MITRE’s NAS evolution and systems engineering department.

Making the world a safer and more secure place: Herndon-based HawkEye 360 is celebrating the firm’s inaugural satellite launch five years ago — the three Pathfinder satellites launched on December 3, 2018, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California — the mission pioneered using formation-flying satellites to offer commercial space-based RF detection over a broad range of frequencies, reported SatNews. “HawkEye 360 was the first to deliver this type of commercial data, and we continue to lead the market in RF [radio frequency] data and analytics. As we celebrate, I’m grateful to our dedicated employees, partners, investors, and customers who have made these achievements possible. Together, we are making the world a safer and more secure place,” said HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini.

Roof repairs for Veterans: Vienna-based Navy Federal has made it a priority to support veteran homeowners in partnership with Rebuilding Together through its Veterans at Home program, to make no-cost home repairs and safety modifications for those in the military community and others in need. “We believe in coming together for the community and for people who have served our military and our country, and this really embodies that,” said Sun Bayless, senior vice president of Real Estate Lending at Navy Federal. We are the Mighty has more.

Rudolf the Red Nosed Robot: Uber is rolling out robots dressed as reindeer and a “festive fleet” of karaoke charter buses decked out with lights. Noah Zych, Uber global head of autonomous mobility and delivery, told Axios that the “robot reindeer” will be delivering some Uber Eats orders in Fairfax. The robots are in places where there are a lot of restaurants and people, Zych said, adding the idea of dressing them up is to “bring some holiday cheer. “The robots with noses and antlers could also have names and Zych said, “There may be a Rudolph out there. I can confirm that.” AXIOS has more.

Flight to the North Pole: Dozens of kids facing tough health battles and in hospice care took a special United Airlines ‘fantasy flight’ from Washington Dulles International Airport on December 2. Their final destination? The North Pole, to meet Santa. Capt. Brian Gerrity held the brakes as he revved up the massive engines of the Boeing 777. The crew asked the roughly 100 families with Alexandria’s Children’s Hospice International to help count him down to blast off. He told them they were tracking Santa on the radar and would be following him down to the North Pole. Children’s Hospice International and United Airlines have partnered on these ‘fantasy flights’ since 1989. WTOP covered the story.

Contract Wins

EmeSec (Reston) obtained an $83 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for cyber-related services over a contract period of five and a half years. ExecutiveBiz

Amentum (Chantilly) won a Defense Threat Reduction Agency contract worth $56.1 million to support the Defense Department’s Biological Threat Reduction Program mission. WashingtonExec

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

January 18, 2024 — Northern Virginia Space & Satellite Summit. Join the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council at their Space & Satellite Event! This is an opportunity for firms in these industries to gain insights, make meaningful connections, and develop business opportunities with key players in this field. Featured speakers: David Bettinger, CEO, Axta Space; Dennis Gatens, CEO and Founder, LEOCloud; George Nield, President, Commercial Space Technologies; Joseph T. Darden, Director, Aviation Business Development, Iridium; and Stephen McCall, Director of Government Relations, Firefly Aerospace. 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 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.