Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for August 18, 2020

Topping the chart: The annual Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing privately owned companies is out and we are delighted to report that 113 Fairfax County companies are on the prestigious list. Seven of the companies are in the top 500: Urgently, Saliense Consulting, B3 Group, JDSAT, SMARTEDGE IT, Numero Data, and FreeAlliance.com. This year, the Northern Virginia region is home to 199 companies on the Inc. 5000 and the state is home to 280. With a median growth rate of 166 percent, Fairfax County accounts for 57 percent of NOVA EDA companies and 40 percent of Virginia companies on the Inc. 5000 list. Check out FCEDA’s news release for more details on the regional listees. And Virginia Business has more about the firms in the top 500 from across the Commonwealth.

New leadership: The Northern Virginia Technology Council has named Jennifer Taylor as its next chief executive officer, succeeding Bobbie Kilberg — who helped shaped Northern Virginia into an East Coast center of tech development. She comes from the Consumer Technology Association, an Arlington trade organization where she has served as vice president of industry affairs for three years. Taylor will officially become NVTC chairman and CEO on Sept. 10.  The Washington Business Journal has more in an article for subscribers.

This is our future: Fairfax County and Dominion Energy are testing an autonomous electric shuttle that could be carrying passengers between the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station and the county’s eclectic Mosaic District as early as this fall. Called Relay, the 13-foot-long blue bus will trek a mile-long route without a driver aboard. The vehicle, which has no steering wheel or pedals, is equipped with sensors programmed to keep it on a predefined route and to spot and avoid any obstacles in its way. “This is our future,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff C. McKay, who recently went on a test ride. “People’s heads were swiveling off their necks trying to get a glimpse of it. It was a pretty amazing ride,” The Washington Post reported.

Aerospace absorption: Fairfax-based MAG Aerospace purchased Dallas-based Remotely Piloted Solutions as part of efforts to expand its command, control, computers, communications, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and service (C5ISR) offerings. MAG Aerospace will absorb more than 300 C5ISR professionals from RPS as part of the acquisition. “The rapid growth RPS has shown over the last few years is a testament to the fantastic leadership team that will be joining the MAG Aerospace team in making the world smaller and safer,” MAG CEO Joe Fluet said in GovConWire.

Doubling up: Colorado-based Office Evolution, a co-working company, is looking to double its footprint in Northern Virginia, a move seemingly at odds with the times as the wave of new shared workplace locations has slowed because of public-health restrictions. In addition to its existing locations in Herndon and Tysons, the company has a third on the way in Fairfax, and a fourth planned for either Old Town Alexandria or Rosslyn. Office Evolution founder and CEO Mark Hemmeter said his company’s business model is positioned to benefit from a change in how companies use space in the age of the coronavirus — and after the public health crisis has abated as well. Find out more in an article for subscribers in the Washington Business Journal.

Staying in the lanes: Tysons-based Covidless Workplace Services, founded in June, aims to provide businesses with a set of recommendations and guidelines for businesses to reopen or stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic while adhering to local, state and federal rules. Services include evaluations and compliance reports, consultations with experts and workforce training. The Washington Business Journal has more in an article for subscribers.

Child study: Inova Health System, headquartered in Merrifield, is partnering with George Mason University and the Virginia Department of Health to conduct a COVID-19 serology study to analyze the incidence of COVID-19 in children in Northern Virginia. Inova is recruiting approximately 1,000 children, from infants to age 19 for the study. Child participants will be asked to provide a blood sample, and they and/or their parents/guardians will also complete a questionnaire. “We are excited about this opportunity to partner with VDH and others to help evaluate the rate of children in Northern Virginia who have antibodies to COVID-19,” said Rebecca Levorson, MD, division director for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Inova Children’s Hospital, reported InsideNova.

Up in the air: Silver Diner locations across the region are using ultraviolet light to bolster ventilation systems. The chain’s 13 locations include eateries in Fairfax, Merrifield, Reston, Springfield and Tysons. The germicidal irradiation system was installed in air conditioning systems and air purifiers. Newly installed air purification wall units use UV light, bipolar ionization (commonly known as air scrubbing), and hepa filters. WTOP got down and dirty with this story.

Adding more pillars: Fairfax-based 3Pillar Global, a developer of digital products and software for companies is acquiring Isthmus Software, a software development company based in Costa Rica. 3Pillar said the acquisition is part of its growth strategy following an investment earlier this year by New York City-based private equity firm CIP Capital. 3Pillar said it expects to add 200 employees with the latest acquisition. Isthmus Software’s clients include Walmart and VMware. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Mission accomplished:
Reston-headquartered Bechtel completed the 10-year master planning and construction partnership with the Government of Gabon, which developed key sustainable infrastructure projects to advance the economy. “From the very start, we planned to employ and procure locally and build in a way that protects resources and biodiversity. Where there were skills gaps, we supported local people and supply chains to develop home-grown content. We are incredibly proud to hand over the infrastructure masterplan to a new generation of talented Gabonese engineers, project managers and construction professionals,” said Bogdan Sgarcitu, Bechtel’s project director in Gabon.  ExecutiveGov has more.

It’s a jungle out there: Amazon is making moves into the D.C. region’s grocery market with at least two new 30,000-square foot supermarkets in the area. One of the supermarkets will set up at Festival at Manchester Lakes near Kingstowne in southeastern Fairfax County, taking over a 31,000-square-foot portion of a former Shoppers store. Find out more in an article for subscribers in the Washington Business Journal.

Hey buddy, can you spare a dime… and a nickel? More than 1,000 AMC Theatres are slated to re-open on Thursday, Aug. 20, and another 300 theaters between Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, after months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As an added bonus, the movie theater chain said guests will pay just 15 cents per movie on the opening day. The first wave of re-openings on Aug. 20 include the AMC Tysons Corner 16 theater, and the Aug. 27 re-openings include Worldgate in Herndon. McLean Patch spotlighted the story.

Hey buddy, now can you spare 1.9 mil? Exclusive Automotive Group, located in Tysons, which sells Aston Martin and Bentley vehicles, is now selling Koenigsegg vehicles as well. The website for Koenigsegg Washington D.C. is now live, though, it’s not like you can just walk in, plop down $1.9 million for the cheapest model and drive away in one of the Swedish manufacturer’s speedsters. The models will only be on-site for special events, and even if you choose to acquire one, it’ll take one to two years to get it. That’s because the process, per Koenigsegg, is more akin to special ordering a private jet than to buying a car. Washington Business Journal rode the story home.

Forecast: quicker weather forecasts: Maxar Technologies, which maintains Chantilly and Herndon locations, collaborated with Amazon Web Services, which maintains its east coast headquarters in Herndon, to build a cloud-based computing technology designed to accelerate processing of global weather data at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “We knew NOAA had capabilities of weather prediction models in traditional on-premises, big beefy high-performance supercomputers, but we wanted to do it in the cloud; we wanted to use AWS as a key partner,” said Travis Hartman, director of analytics and weather at Maxar, in an interview with SiliconANGLE.

Don’t stop the music:  Vienna music venue Jammin Java reopened to the public with a series of socially distanced benefit shows called “A Song and A Slice.” The series combines outdoor concerts with pizza from Union Pie at Jammin Java, the pizza restaurant opened by the owners during the pandemic. Attendees are encouraged to donate during each show to a charity selected by the performers. See the show lineup in Tysons Reporter.

Making connections: The FCEDA has been working closely with the county and state governments, along with the nine local jurisdictions that are part of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, to promote coronavirus response initiatives and resources, including loan and grant programs to support small businesses. “When the pandemic hit in March, we immediately pivoted our operations to focus on connecting local companies of all sizes with the resources and information they need to stay afloat,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “That need was staggering, and we ended up working with more than 5,000 businesses. Now, we look forward to helping the business community work toward a stronger and more resilient future.” See more in Bisnow.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Alion Science and Technology secured a five-year, $896 million contract to provide the Navy with a program that will deliver a multi-domain live and virtual training platform across the service’s multiple locations. GovConWire

General Dynamics won a five-year $428.2 million contract from the Army to perform maintenance work on the Army’s Stryker combat vehicles. citybizlist

Trace Systems scored a $77.6 million contract from the Air Force to work on the branch’s network and data-sharing environment for military and mission partners. Virginia Business

Serco received a $27.8 million contract from the Army to provide civilian talent management. Virginia Business

Featured business events

August 20 — Beyond COVID-19 Webinar Series: Growth Funding. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance presents the 10th webinar in its three-part, 12 session webinar series: “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars.” Panelists include: Roy Morris, partner at Dunlap, Bennett, Ludwig; Sharon Heaton, CEO of sb LiftOff; and Jim Gianiny, president of Veritas Solutions. Click here to register.

August 20 — Investment and Business Opportunities. The U.S. India SME Council presents a webinar on business opportunities with the Indian state of Karnataka. One of the speakers will be Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. Click here for more information and to register.

August 21 — Access to Capital for Minority-Owned Businesses: Challenges and Solutions. The FCEDA presents a webinar featuring Virginia Senator Mark Warner; FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins; Staci Redmon, Founder, President and CEO, Strategy and Management Services (SAMS); B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr., President and CEO, Industrial Bank; and Ellis Carr, President and CEO, Capital Impact Partners. Click here to register.

August 21 — Thinking about starting a business/ Estas ensando en abrir un negocio? The Virginia Hispanic Chamber presents a webinar with local experts from SCORE and the Virginia Hispanic Chamber will provide tools and information to help you open your business. Interpretación en español disponible. Click here to register.

August 26 — Wine & Tourism, a Delightful Mix: Featuring Argentina, Chile and Northern Virginia. The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council presents a webinar focused on Wine and Tourism. Click here to register.

August 27 — NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference and Expo. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents the eighth annual event with online matchmaking, educational breakout sessions, a virtual Expo Hall, and keynote speakers. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

Forward Virginia Phase 3 reopening guidelines: Fairfax County began the third phase of re-opening businesses on July 1. The Forward Virginia plan provides guidelines that all businesses must follow. Residents are still advised that they are “safer at home.” Click here to find out the updated guidelines.

Get business assistance: The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date 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.