Fairfax County E-Bird for June 20, 2019

Shuttle, cocked: With a $250,000 grant from the state government, Fairfax County and Dominion Energy are closer to partnering on an autonomous electric shuttle pilot for the Merrifield area. WTOP‘s Max Smith has more on the low-speed shuttle that could run between the Dunn Loring Metro Station and the Mosaic District late this year or in 2020. The Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the grant for the first state-funded autonomous public transportation demonstration project. The county will provide a $50,000 match.

Expel, welcomed: Herndon-based Expel secured $40 million in a funding round, according to a release picked up by citybizlist. The company provides on-premise and cloud-based managed-security services. Expel has now received a total of $67.5 million in funding, with the most recent round led by Index Ventures.

Domain strategy: Tysons-based MicroStrategy sold its Voice.com domain name to a blockchain-based company for $30 million. Andy Medici of the Washington Business Journal reports the sale to Cayman Islands-based Block.one could be just the start for MicroStrategy, which indicated a willingness to sell other domain names including Wisdom.com, Strategy.com, Alert.com, Courage.com, Speaker.com and iDream.com.

Inova’s Irish eyes: We told you last month that Deciphex Ltd., a Dublin, Ireland-based company that uses artificial intelligence to review lab samples more quickly and more accurately, accepted a $25,000 investment to sign on with the Inova Personalized Health Accelerator. In a story for subscribers to the Washington Business Journal, Sara Gilgore writes that the company helps pathologists and microbiologists quickly spot abnormalities in specimens. Deciphix, which expects Inova to help it gain access to samples for clinical trials as it readies its product for market, recently raised $2.5 million.

Umbrella policy: McLean-based AppTek, developer of an AI and machine learning-based speech recognition and machine translation platform, formed a systems integration partnership with UK-based yellaUmbrella. According to a release picked up by Potomac Tech Wire, yellaUmbrella will integrate AppTek’s automatic speech-recognition and translation technology with its Nebula and Stellar media processing systems.

Hounding the global market: SyncDog, a Reston-based independent software vendor for mobile security and data loss prevention formed an alliance with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to promote its mobile security solution globally. Michelai Graham of Technical.ly/DC reports that the company will initially target customers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Colombia with its Secure.Systems.

Fringe benefits from CIT: Through its Founders Fund, the Herndon-based Center for Innovative Technology invested in Fringe, a Richmond-based startup with a platform for employers to manage personalized employee benefits. Citybizlist carried a release.

Columbus goes modern: Herndon-based Learning Tree International and El Segundo, Calif.-based Columbus Technologies and Services partnered to expand their Modern Learning Solutions audience. Columbus, an engineering and systems integration company, serves federal government with a focus on aerospace, health services and national security. Learning Tree’s offerings in software development, analytics, cloud services and cybersecurity are expected to dovetail with the Columbus Cyber Training Academy, according to a release picked up by citybizlist.

Giving what they want: In a story for Washington Business Journal subscribers, Carten Cordell profiles DMI Federal, which is seeking to take advantage of government demand for IT modernization. DMI is linking its cybersecurity, cloud and mobility offerings with automation and artificial intelligence. With offices in Tysons and Reston, the company recently secured a spot a five-year $49 million contract to provide upgrades for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Quest for viewers: TEGNA finalized its purchase of 24/7 multicast networks Quest and Justice, paying Cooper Media $77 million for about 85 percent of the networks that it didn’t already own. Combined, Justice, which focuses on crime, mysteries and investigation programming, and Quest, which features science, history and adventure/reality series, reach about 87 million homes. Laura Spitalniak tuned in to this story for the Washington Business Journal.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

  • Vricon won a potential $94.8 million contract to develop its “One World Terrain” database, allowing for interoperability between live-training simulation systems in the Army’s Synthetic Training Environment. GovConWire
  • Peraton secured a potential five-year, $1.8 billion contract from NASA to provide tracking, telemetry and command services for near-Earth missions. GovConWire
  • Inmarsat‘s government business received a potential five-year, $246 million blanket purchase agreement to provide satellite communication services for the Department of Defense. GovConWire
  • CACI International nailed down a potential seven-year, $880 million task order to help the Army implement multiple personnel and force management systems. GovConWire
  • Alion will help the Army and Marine Corps develop on-the-move satellite communications technology for multiple weapons systems under a potential $75 million task order. GovConWire
  • Leidos booked a potential five-year, $50 million contract from the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations to provide intelligence support services. citybizlist

Upcoming Business Events

  • June 26: Access to Success Multicultural Business Conference — Roadmap to Resources. Free event designed to provide practical knowledge to small, women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. Presented by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity. Click here.
  • June 26: No Pressure Prospecting: Techniques to improve sales performance. Part of the Business Education Series presented by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Click here.
  • June 26: Wheels Up — the Canadian Market Awaits: First in a series of events focusing on the Canadian market and the opportunities it presents for area businesses. Presented by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce. Click here.

FAIRFACT: The Fairfax County Park Authority manages 427 parks, covering more than 23,000 acres of land including 325 miles of trails.