Fairfax County E-Bird for August 27, 2019

Now hear this: Attend a September 20 special event for members of the business community, philanthropic and higher-education partners about Fairfax County’s first-ever strategic planning process. The county is planning for the next 10-20 years and wants to hear from all segments of the community on nine critical areas of focus including economic opportunity. Register here. 

Fuel for life: According to the Washington Business Journal, smart water bottle-startup outfit LifeFuels will start selling and shipping its bottles in mid-September. The company will start taking orders at the end of August and start shipping in early September. After five years of several prototypes and a partnership with beverage giant Keurig Dr. Pepper, LifeFuels will look forward to mass-producing its product for the first time.

Find your niche: Our very own Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology grabbed another top ranking for U.S. public schools, this one from Niche.com. The 2020 Best Public High Schools ranking is based on analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores and teacher quality.

Plus one: ePlus, a Herndon-based provider of technology consulting services, said it bought Virginia Beach-based ABS Technology, a provider of IT consulting services. ABS specializes in managed services, networking, collaboration and security. ePlus said the acquisition expands its reach in the Mid-Atlantic region, giving it a stronger foothold in commercial accounts, and in the healthcare, education and government industries. Potomac Tech Wire picked up an ePlus release about this.

All aboard (almost): Metro’s summerlong line-segment shutdown of stations south of Reagan National Airport will end on time, meaning the six Blue and Yellow line stations that have been closed since late May will reopen as scheduled September 9. Transit officials said workers are on track to complete the mammoth platform reconstruction project at stations including Franconia-Springfield and Huntington in Fairfax County. Luz Lazo and Robert McCartney tracked this story for the Washington Post.

Fiber optics: Potomac Tech Wire reports that Tenebris Fiber, an Annandale-based provider of dark fiber, will team with Kansas-based Diode Ventures to develop a 630-mile dark fiber network stretching from Ashburn to Virginia Beach. The network, to be built by Diode’s parent company, Black & Veatch, aims to improve connectivity between the submarine-cable landing stations in Virginia Beach to Northern Virginia’s “Data Center Alley.”


Scanning Scandinavia: DXC Technology, the Tysons-based IT services giant, said it acquired Norway’s Syscom, a provider of service management and security operations tools. This marks the company’s third recent acquisition of digital-service management capabilities in the region. This comes on the heels of recently secured deals with Netherlands-based Logicalis SMC and Denmark-based BusinessNow. Potomac Tech Wire picked up a DXC release.

For real: McLean-based Vricon, a provider of photorealistic 3D products and elevation data of the Earth, announced that it forged a new partnership with Colorado-based satellite and aerial imagery company Apollo Mapping. Customers can now order Vricon’s imagery through Apollo’s Image Hunter search engine tool. The Potamac Tech Wire picked up a Vricon release.

Is bigger better?: The merger of Tysons-based Gannett with GateHouse Media will be a barometer of the future of local news. The $1.4 billion deal will create the largest publisher in America. Whether the merger will combat the erosion of reporting jobs in America or accelerate it further has become a matter of intense debate in the journalism industry. Jonathan O’Connell has more for the Washington Post.

Sweet 116: InsideNOVA shared the news that Fairfax County tops the Washington, D.C region in the Inc. Magazine 2019 list of the 5,000 fastest growing businesses in the nation. Fairfax County businesses account for over one third of the region’s businesses on the Inc. 5000 list and generate 73 percent of the annual revenue by the region’s companies on the list.

Georgia on my mind: According to ExecutiveGov.com, the state of Georgia awarded Unisys a potential eight year, $25 million contract to provide secure e-mail access and tools for 47,000 users at 14 state government agencies.

Adult education: George Mason University is the top school in the Washington, D.C., area for adult learners, according to a Washington Monthly annual examination of the nation’s colleges and universities. Mason reports that its commitment puts it at No. 6 nationally as a four-year institution for adult learners. It is also ranked 18th in the Southeast in the “Best Bang for the Buck” category.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

  • General Dynamics Information Technology business won a potential $325.4 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security to support the emergency communications division within DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. GovConWire
  • Raytheon secured a $190.5 million contract modification from the Navy to obtain materials needed for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile system. GovConWire
  • Northrop Grumman won a one-year, $101.1 million contract modification with the Army to continue providing logistics support for government-owned, fixed-wing aircraft. GovConWire
  • Applied Insight received a new $16 million task order from the U.S. Air Force Mobility Command to provide cybersecurity and information assurance services. ExecutiveGov
  • Perspecta Labs won a $1 million prime contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide research under their Artificial Intelligence Exploration program. Executive Gov

Featured business events

  • August 27 — NAIOP networking event. The event will include updates on Fairfax County, including development in Tysons around Capital One and the McLean Metro Station and feature Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. Click here.
  • September 6 – High Tech Meets Low Tech in Sales – How Artificial Intelligence and the Simple Checklist Will Accelerate the Path to More Revenue Attainment. Look ahead at the AI and sales technology landscape, and share ways to incorporate AI into your business processes. Click here.
  • September 10 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. Presented by the FCEDA with its partners the Community Business Partnership, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, and the Fairfax County government. Click here.
  • September 11 — Intro to Selling to the Commonwealth — A Vendor’s Perspective. Part of the Business Education Series presented by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Click here.
  • September 12 – Strategies for Creating Competitive Proposals. Learn basic strategies for how to compete in the $500 billion federal contract marketplace. Click here.
  • September 20 — Shaping the Future of Fairfax County Together. Special event on the first-ever county strategic planning process especially for members of the business community and philanthropic and higher-education partners. Click here.
  • November 14 — BL Small Business Expo. Visit with about 70 different exhibitors presenting a wide range of products and services that could help you enhance your business and/or life. Keynote speaker will be Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. Click here.