Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for July 27, 2021: E-scooters are coming, Inova Fairfax campus tops in Virginia, Reston hospital uses AI robotic tech in surgery

Easy riders, 2021 version: E-scooters will soon be available to ride in Fairfax County, for the first time, the county announced. Fairfax County’s Department of Cable and Consumer Services approved the deployment of 600 e-scooters throughout the county — 300 LINK scooters and 300 Bird scooters. These scooters will have a speed limit of 10 mph, and can be used on roads, sidewalks, pathways and crosswalks. When done with a ride, the scooters must be left in an area that does not impact normal car or foot traffic. Bird offers a 50 percent discount for low-income riders, veterans, senior citizens, Pell grant recipients and certain nonprofit organizations, WTOP reported. And in more “multi-modal” transportation news, walkers and bicyclists soon will have a bridge over the Beltway connecting Tysons shopping areas with Old Meadow Road, according to The Connection Newspapers.

Top spot: Inova Fairfax Medical Campus claimed the top spot in the U.S. News & World Report 2021-22 Best Hospitals report with a number-one overall ranking in both the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and Virginia. Additionally, its gynecology department ranked no. 6 in the nation. These rankings are a result of U.S. News evaluating more than 4,750 medical centers across the country. Inova Fair Oaks Hospital ranked no. 4 in the D.C. area and no. 10 in Virginia. “We are extraordinarily proud to have top-ranked hospitals in both Virginia and the Washington, D.C. region,” according to J. Stephen Jones, M.D., president and CEO of Inova Health System in a release. “Excellence in healthcare is an ongoing journey and year after year all five Inova hospitals demonstrate unwavering commitment to providing world-class care to the communities we are privileged to serve. WTOP has more.

AI robotic tech in the surgical room: The Washington, D.C., region’s first spine surgery using artificial intelligence-driven robotic technology was performed at Reston Hospital last week by Thomas Mazahery, M.D. The surgery has three components: AI-driven preoperative planning, robotic guidance for precise screw placement and custom rods made to fit a patient’s anatomy. The AI technology analyzes X-rays and MRI scans to create the rods. For Dr. Mazahery’s case, the technology cut operating time by an hour, Becker’s Spine Review reported.

Big event for Cvent: Cvent, the Tysons event and hospitality management firm that was taken private in 2016 following a sale, is returning to the public-company sphere via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. The combination of Cvent and Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp. II, a blank-check company formed by San Francisco investment firm Dragoneer, values Cvent at $5.3 billion. The deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, will provide Cvent with $801 million in cash, according to a release, “which will enable the company to accelerate product innovation, increase research and development, reduce debt and expand go-to market activities” in the $30 billion event market. It should have no impact on Cvent’s headquarters location, a company spokesperson said. The Washington Business Journal has more.

Telehealth funding: QLER Telehealth, a Reston-based online psychiatric healthcare company, raised $7.4 million in Series B funding. The round was led by MedEquity Capital, and included participation from previous investor Relevance Ventures. QLER provides psychiatry services to regional health systems. The company said it has registered a 45 percent year-over-year growth since its founding in 2017. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Making way for more data: The Washington Business Journal reported that Amazon Web Services, which maintains its east coast headquarters in Herndon, will demolish a pair of Springfield office buildings it acquired in February and replace them with a data center. A development plan recently filed with Fairfax County outlines plans to raze 7951 and 7961 Loisdale Road, twin 111,000-square-foot office buildings that AWS bought for $28 million.

Mission expertise: Reston-based CACI International won a five-year, $1.4 billion (yep, with a b) contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to continue its support of efforts to counter and deter weapons of mass destruction and threat networks. CACI will provide DTRA with a broad range of analytical expertise. CACI also will enhance the agency’s situational understanding of threat networks and support combatant commands with the integration of analysis, capabilities and other innovative technologies, ExecutiveBiz reported.

Picking up the pieces after the storms: Fairfax-based ICF will implement a workforce-development program in the hurricane-stricken U.S. Virgin Islands over the next two years in support of recovery efforts. The company will provide strategic planning, stakeholder and performance management, workforce development training and other services as project manager for the Skills for Today initiative. It will train local workers in hospitality, health care, information technology and other high-demand sectors to help the islands recover from hurricanes Irma and Maria. Mark Lee, executive vice president and public sector lead at ICF, said the company’s efforts are aimed at equipping residents with “lifelong skills and recognized credentials” and enabling them to contribute to Virgin Islands’ disaster recovery efforts and economic growth initiatives, according to ExecutiveBiz.

Export valet: Two Fairfax County-based companies are among the 12 companies that were accepted into the Virginia Economic Development Partnership‘s two-year Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program: Merrifield-based software company eKare and Chantilly-based systems integrator Flight Test Aerospace, according to VEDP News. The VALET program assists companies in the Commonwealth that are committed to international exporting as a growth strategy. To date, 378 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program.

Take a leap: Renovus Capital Partners, a Wayne, Penn.-based private equity firm, acquired Reston-based LeapPoint, a digital consulting firm. LeapPoint is a major partner with Adobe and focuses on the financial services, healthcare and retail sectors. “During and post COVID, the importance of connected digital solutions to improve customer and employee experiences is greater than ever,” said Jesse Serventi, founding partner at Renovus. “Under our partnership, we plan to help LeapPoint scale even faster to a larger set of enterprise clients.” Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Nuking nuclear waste: The Salt Waste Processing Facility operated by Centreville-based Parsons at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. processed its one-millionth gallon of radioactive nuclear waste nine months after opening in October 2020. The recent milestone moves SWPF closer to achieving the Department of Energy’s goal of emptying the 43 high-level waste tanks there, ExecutiveBiz reported.

Reflecting the future of defense: Fourteen Fairfax County-based companies ranked on Defense News’ 2021 Top 100 List of global defense companies based on defense-related revenue: no. 4: Northrop Grumman (Falls Church area); no. 5: General Dynamics (Reston); no. 19: Leidos (Reston); no. 22: Booz Allen Hamilton (Tysons); no. 31: CACI (Reston); no. 38: SAIC (Reston); no. 29: Perspecta (Chantilly); no 40: Bechtel (Reston); no. 52: ManTech (Herndon); no. 54: Parsons (Centreville); no. 74: Alion Science and Technology (Tysons); no. 79: MITRE (Tysons); no. 80: PAE (Tysons); and no. 96: Peraton (Herndon). An additional 24 companies are headquartered elsewhere but have offices in Fairfax County. “For all the talk of a digital, net-centric battlespace, this year’s list may best reflect how industry is bending and evolving toward that future,” Defense News noted.

Apt acknowledgement: Tysons-based Appian was ranked on the Comparably list of Best Companies for Career Growth 2021 in the large company category. The ranking is derived from millions of ratings from employees who anonymously rated their professional development opportunities on Comparably.com over a 12-month period, according to the website.

Teaming grants: The Washington Football Team and United Airlines are teaming up to provide local Black-owned businesses in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia region with five COVID-19 grants for a total of $25,000 in the Washington Football Team Black Engagement Network’s (B.E.N.) Shop Black Directory. Applications are open until Aug. 5. To be eligible, businesses must be a certified Black-owned diverse supplier, have fewer than 15 employees, have been in business for more than a year with an annual revenue of $250,000 or less, the Washington Business Journal reports.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Parsons won a 10-year, $953 million contract to build, operate and maintain a layered base security system for U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. GovConWire

Kymeta received a $950 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense for ground-based mobile satellite technology that can be used across all military services. Via Satellite

Maximus secured two Internal Revenue Service contracts worth a combined $151 million for information technology support. ExecutiveGov

PAE received a five-year, $74.2 million contract to help the Marine Corps operate a military air station in Japan. GovConWire

ScienceLogic, in partnership with SwishData, received a five-year, $43 million contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide its artificial intelligence operations tools to help monitor and manage its agency-wide cloud efforts. Washington Business Journal

SES Government Solutions won a $14.5 million contract to support Thule Air Base in Greenland with critical communications capabilities. Intelligence Community News

Featured business events

July 28 — Putting Off “the Talk” with Your Under-Performer? How to Have Them Step Up or Step Out. Join Talmar Anderson, CEO and founder of Boss Actions, as she shares her strategies to ensure your one-on-one meeting with an under-performer gets the results you want — without hurting anyone’s feelings. This session is part of the Business Education Series presented by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority sponsors the series. Click here to register.

August 3 — The Amazon Opportunity. The Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, of which the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is a member, is a sponsor of this virtual event that focuses on Amazon’s expansion and impact on the community in four areas: talent pipeline, housing and infrastructure, community engagement and commercial real estate. Attendees will hear from Amazon executives leading a variety of different initiatives within the organization, as well as Amazon’s business partners, real estate developers, nonprofit partners, and economic development experts about the best ways to partner with Amazon, what programs the company is focused on and where Amazon is focusing on next. Click here to register.

August 7 — Let’s Get Back to Work: In-Person Job Fair. Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus, presents a free job fair. Local businesses are invited to participate in this opportunity to find talent for their organization. Register today to save your spot and a chance to connect with job seekers/talent. This event is free and open to local area businesses. Click here for employer registration.

September 14 — Entrepreneurship 101. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Community Business Partnership and the U.S. Small Business Administration, conducts a free workshop for those persons that are interested in starting a business in Fairfax County.  The workshop provides an overview of start-up basics (licenses and permits), workforce services and training programs, and SBA resources including financing and certification programs. This session’s guest speakers in the Entrepreneurial Spotlight will be Scott and Cyndi Hoffman, a the founders/owners of Ono Brewing Company in Chantilly. Registration to open soon. Click here for more information.

September 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.

November 4 — Veteran & Military Family Career Day. Sponsored by the FCEDA, Fort Belvoir, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Fairfax County Dept. of Economic Initiatives, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, this event will be held at the National Museum of the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. Save the date! Details and registration information to come.

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.