Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for July 20, 2021: We’re a tech talent hotbed; Capital One hiring spree; VC deals flowing

Three’s a charm: The Washington, D.C., region (the DMV) ranks third in the U.S. on commercial real estate firm CBRE’s annual “Scoring Tech Talent” report covering North American cities. The region has more than 265,000 tech workers, a 10 percent increase since 2015. The D.C. region also an 8.8 percent concentration of tech talent as a percentage of the total workforce, the sixth-highest in the study. The D.C. area region has the highest percentage of women in the tech workforce and is one of the most educated metropolitan areas in the country, with one of the highest concentrations of STEM professionals. CBRE says factors such as the size and concentration of a market’s talent labor pool are key indicators of a region’s economic recovery from the pandemic. WTOP has more.

Hiring spree: Tysons-based Capital One plans to add 3,000 new roles for technologists by the end of 2021, with almost 75 percent of the hires in engineering roles, focusing on machine learning, software development and data work to advance the company’s natural-language processing. Capital One said “hundreds” of the positions will be open at the company’s headquarters in Tysons. Mindy Ferguson, managing vice president of technology in Capital One’s card division, told Technical.ly DC that the big hiring plans follow the company’s exit from physical data centers to a public cloud from Amazon Web Services. “Three thousand technology jobs is a lot to do in the next few months ahead of us, but I am absolutely convinced that Capital One can deliver on this mission,” said Ferguson.

Funding frenzy: D.C.-area startups continue to shatter funding records, the Washington Business Journal reported, with three Fairfax County-based companies ranked among the top venture deals in Greater Washington in the second quarter of 2021: Tysons-based Somatus, $60 million; Herndon-based HawkEye 360, $50 million; and Reston-based Percipient.ai, $50 million.

Spurring tech growth: Grants totaling $3.4 million will be awarded to 34 small, technology-focused businesses in the inaugural round of the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF), which launched in 2020 to help advance promising technology through the development process, according to an announcement by Gov. Ralph Northam. The Fairfax County-based recipients are Onclave Networks and Jeeva Informatics Solutions, both in Tysons; AtWork Systems and Rimstorm, both in Herndon; Service Robotics & Technologies in Springfield; and TrueAlgae in Chantilly. “The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority applauds the granting of the inaugural round of the Commonwealth Commercialization Fund awards, including to the 6 Fairfax County-area-based companies,” Fairfax County Economic Development President and CEO Victor Hoskins said. “The CCF awards will provide funding support to spur research commercialization, with the intent of technological development leading to economic growth in Virginia.” Tysons Reporter has more.

Hailing air taxis: NASA selected Tysons-based AURA Network Systems as a partner for the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) project to continue work to integrate air taxis, cargo delivery aircraft and other new air-vehicle concepts into the national airspace system. “NASA has selected an amazing team of partners to advance the future of aviation, and we are thrilled to be part of that effort,” said AURA President Tamara Casey. “We believe AURA’s unique network provides the reach and capabilities that are well-suited for helping build a transportation system capable of serving previously hard-to-reach urban areas and rural locations.” NASA said its vision for AAM is to “help create safe, sustainable, accessible, and affordable aviation for several uses at the local and regional level.” Intelligent Aerospace flew in the news.

Another pillar in Europe: 3Pillar Global, a Fairfax-based developer of software products for digital businesses, expanded in Europe with the opening a new development center in Moldova. The company said the move expands its footprint in the region following several recent acquisitions. In 2020, the firm acquired Costa Rica-based software development firm Isthmus Software and added a delivery center in Mexico through the acquisition of Arizona-based Tiempo Development. Most recently, it acquired SDE Software Solutions in the Czech Republic. The company’s global workforce now exceeds 1,900 employees across eight countries. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Let the games begin: Reston-based Leidos joined as a top sponsor of the inaugural US Cyber Games. Through its sponsorship, Leidos is helping to equip, train and send the first-ever US Cyber Team to compete in December at the inaugural International Cybersecurity Challenge in Athens, Greece. Reston Now picked up the release.

Intrepid move: Intrepid Solutions and Services, a Herndon-based provider of IT and training services to intelligence agencies, acquired Winchester, Va.-based Darkblade Systems, a provider of intelligence technologies. Intrepid is a portfolio company of Bluestone Investment Partners. Founded in 2010, Darkblade offers various technical offerings in the areas of signals intelligence, electronic warfare and cybersecurity. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

Volant-eers for Octo: Reston-based government contractor Octo Consulting Group acquired Volant Associates, a Chantilly-based defense software development company. Volant has contracts supporting the Defense Intelligence Agency and other intelligence community agencies. Founded in 2008, Volant has more than 85 employees. Its leadership will remain with the company and will head a new division within Octo’s Intelligence Community and Air Force Business Unit, Virginia Business reported.

New ASGN-ment: ASGN, a Glen Allen. Md.-based provider of IT and professional services, acquired Reston-based IndraSoft, which provides cybersecurity and digital transformation services to the federal government. ASGN said it plans to integrate the company and its more than 220 employees into its Fairfax-based ECS Missions Solutions business unit. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Razor-sharp: Tysons-based Avantus Federal, acquired Reston-based software engineering and consulting firm Occam’s Razor Technologies (ORT). Avantus said the acquisition further bolsters its cyber and software offerings for federal government customers. Founded in 2011, ORT develops cyber tools for defense and intelligence clients, from full-stack web applications to embedded microcontrollers. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

More office space in store: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the alteration of Boston Properties’ plans for RTC Next (previously called Reston Gateway) to swap retail space and garage parking for office space after holding a public hearing last week. “The big move with this application is to take four stories of above grade structured parking and essentially turn them into office space,” Cooley partner Mark Looney, a legal representative for Boston Properties, told the Board of Supervisors. Reston Now developed this story.

Putting the pieces together in West Falls Church: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved amending the West Falls Church Transit Area Plan last week to clear the way for future development near the Metro station there. The amendment opens up much of the nearby area to mixed-use development, with the aim of creating a residential and retail hub similar to the Mosaic District. “Clearly, near a Metro station like this is where you want to see this type of growth,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. Tysons Reporter has more.

Give my regards to Tysons: Capital One Hall in Tysons announced that its upcoming inaugural season will include a trio of Broadway musicals, alongside a slate of pop concerts and comedy shows. “Capital One Hall is excited to bring an annual Broadway series to Fairfax County and its surrounding communities as part of our inaugural season,” Capital One Hall executive director Dolly Vogt said. “We are confident this region will embrace ‘Broadway in Tysons’ due to Capital One Hall’s location near major roadways and being a few steps from the McLean Metro Station on the Silver Line.” Tysons Reporter has more.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Peraton received an additional $483 million in classified awards during the first six months of 2021. The contracts make up new and expanded work across space, intel, federal and cyber. ExecutiveGov

PAE won a three-year, $30 million contract to provide the Army with maintenance and logistics support under the service branch’s National Maintenance Program. ExecutiveBiz

ICF received a $10 million contract to modernize the Federal Transit Administration’s program oversight database using Appian low-code artificial intelligence technology. ExecutiveBiz

Featured business events

July 22 — Selling to Fairfax. The Fairfax County Department of Procurement and Material Management presents a workshop designed for prospective vendors and those interested in learning about the Fairfax County procurement process. Click here to register.

Sept. 14-15 — LEADS (Leadership, Excellence, and Adaptability of business built on pillars of Diversity and Sustainability). The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is partnering with FICCI, a prominent trade association based in India, for the second edition of a global thought-leadership initiative with an overarching theme of “Future of Partnerships.” This hybrid program brings together business leadership from 12 countries to describe their vision of the future of fundamental aspects of global economic prosperity built on pillars of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), engaging audiences from east, central and South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, Europe, Africa, West Asia, the Americas and the Pacific. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

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.