Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for March 2, 2021: Fintech event, Qomplex, Maximus/Attain, ID.me

The Fairfax County EDA, in partnership with KPMG Israel and Israel Advanced Technology Industries, is hosting a virtual event: “Fintech and Cybersecurity: Opportunities for Israeli Companies in Northern Virginia” on Wednesday, March 17 at 9:00 a.m. ET U.S./15:00 Israel time.

The virtual event will examine potential business opportunities and go-to-market partnerships for Israeli fintech and cybersecurity companies in Northern Virginia’s financial services and cybersecurity sectors. It will provide a dive deep into current challenges, benefits, risks and cutting-edge solutions that are the next-generation toolbox to conduct secure, intuitive and efficient banking services.

Israeli fintech and cyber executives, venture capitalists, leaders at business incubators, and Northern Virginia executives in the fintech and cybersecurity fields should attend this timely event.

For registration, please click here. The Fairfax County EDA has had an office in Tel Aviv since 2004 to work with Israeli businesses interested in locating or expanding operations in Fairfax County.

Fairfax County Climate Plan Business Survey open through March 14

The Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination, in partnership with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, produced a five-minute online survey for business leaders and stakeholders across the county, to provide important input to the county’s Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP). This survey, which will remain open until March 14, is designed to provide county staff with a snapshot of business sustainability efforts and interests. Businesses large and small have an important role to play as the community comes together to reduce collective greenhouse gas emissions through voluntary action.

Your participation will help ensure the CECAP works for businesses in Fairfax County for years to come. Take the survey today and share it with your network of professional contacts within Fairfax County.

As resilient as you can get: Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA discussed regional cooperation and economic recovery in an interview with Virginia Business associate editor Sydney Lake. Although Hoskins said new economic development deals slowed down during fall 2020, he remains optimistic about the region’s resilience to both recover and expand following the COVID-19 pandemic. Commenting on a question on what recovery looks like from an economic development perspective, Hoskins replied: “This region is about as resilient as you get.” Read the Q & A here. Hoskins also made the magazine’s 2021 list of “Heavy Hitters” who are list of business leaders shaping Virginia.

Making its public debut: Tysons-based QOMPLX, a cloud-native leader in risk analytics, has elected to go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company, Tailwind Acquisition Corp., based in Los Angeles. Once the combination completes, the new company will operate as QOMPLX and plans to list under the symbol of QPLX. As part of the transaction, QOMPLX is set to acquire Columbia, Md.-based  Sentar, a cyber intelligence and analytics solutions provider, and Tyche, a European software company that specializes in financial modeling, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Attaining a bigger presence: Reston-based government services company Maximus acquired the federal division of Tysons-based Attain for $430 million. With more than 30,000 employees worldwide and $2.8 billion in 2019 revenues, Maximus promotes itself as the nation’s largest Medicaid-enrollment administrator. The company was founded in 1975 and provides business-process management and technology services. Attain is privately owned and serves the federal government focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning. “Our M&A strategy remains keenly focused on enabling us to build long-term, sustainable, organic growth by continuing to build scale, enhance our clinical and digital capabilities and extend into new areas,” Maximus president and CEO Bruce Caswell said of the deal. Virginia Business has more.

Guarding against fraud: Billion of dollars in pandemic aid has been swindled by con artists and crime syndicates, NBC News reported. Tysons-based ID.me, an identity verification company that has been contracted by at least 21 states, told NBC News that it is holding the line against a “veritable tsunami” of fraudulent claims flooding into state systems. “It’s like looking at fire burning inside of a house, but no fire alarm is going off,” said Blake Hall, the chief executive officer of ID.me. “It really is a national crisis.”

“Significant tailwinds” for Leidos: Reston-headquartered Leidos intends to buy Arlington, Va.-headquartered engineering and design firm Gibbs & Cox for $380 million as part of efforts to expand into the maritime market and add engineering talent to its team. The acquisition would include 525 employees. Gibbs & Cox delivers naval architecture and marine engineering support to the Navy and government customers and international clients. “In addition to being positioned on the front end of next generation vessels, the business combination provides significant tailwinds for participation in the maritime unmanned market and accelerates Gibbs & Cox expansion in the undersea domain,” said Roger Krone, chairman and CEO of Leidos. GovConWire sailed with the news.

Public a-Spire-ations: Reston-based NavSight Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company, and Spire Global, which is based in San Francisco and has an office in Tysons, a global provider of space-based data and analytics, want to create a merger that would result in Spire becoming a publicly listed company. Spire collects space-based data using a proprietary constellation of multi-purpose nanosatellites called LEMUR (Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver). CNBC has more.

Bit(coin) by bit(coin): Tysons-based business software company MicroStrategy announced that it bought $1.026 billion of additional bitcoin, its largest single bitcoin purchase since it began acquiring the cryptocurrency last August. With this latest transaction, MicroStrategy’s total bitcoin holdings are worth about $4.5 billion. The enterprise software company’s February acquisition of about 19,452 bitcoins puts its total holdings at 90,531 as of Feb. 24. “The company remains focused on our two corporate strategies of growing our enterprise analytics software business and acquiring and holding bitcoin,” MicroStrategy CEO Michael J. Saylor said, Virginia Business reported.

Data connection: Herndon-headquartered data center firm EdgeConneX and Indian conglomerate Adani Group formed a new joint venture named AdaniConneX, with the aim of constructing data-center capacity in India over the next decade. “In Adani, we have the ideal partner in India,” said Randy Brouckman, CEO of EdgeConneX. “They possess the necessary capabilities and unique expertise in India required to build out critical digital infrastructure that can best support our customers across the entire country. We look forward to investing in the digital economy of India and meeting our customers’ needs throughout the region in collaboration with Adani,” according to Data Centre Dynamics.

E-commerce acquisition: McFadyen Digital, a Tysons-based digital and implementation agency, acquired Dallas-based Cerebrik, an e-commerce consulting firm that also has operations in Bangalore, India. “We are pleased to be bringing Cerebrik into the McFadyen family while adding expert talent and marquee clients,” said Tom McFadyen, CEO of McFadyen Digital. “We’re always looking for ways to expand our capabilities, and we’ll continue to pursue additional M&A. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Norse view: Tysons-headquartered Aireon and Avinor Air Navigation Services, based in Norway, will deploy space-based surveillance systems to monitor helicopter operations in the Bodo Oceanic Flight Information Region and adjacent relevant airspace. The area spans the Norwegian Basin and Barents Sea and the data provided for surveillance will focus specifically on ground-level helicopter movements. Avinor is a wholly owned, state limited company under the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications and is responsible for 44 state-owned airports and travel support for about 50 million passengers annually, reported InsideNoVa.

Revitalizing Richmond Highway: Fairfax County’s Richmond Highway corridor has huge potential for new residential and retail development, according to a new study prepared for the Fairfax County EDA by D.C.’s Partners for Economic Solutions. The analysis found that the 7.3-mile corridor in the southeastern section of the county can grow by up to 50 percent, adding 17,600 new households by 2035. Those new residents could support the construction of 21,900 new homes, 490,000 square feet of retail, two hotels and 380,000 square feet of office space over the coming years, reported the Washington Business Journal.

Pent-up demand: Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County EDA, discussed Amazon’s HQ2 projects, his plans for Northern Virginia, and the current economic climate on Motley Fool Live. On COVID-19, Hoskins said: “COVID is keeping us from out of the offices, it’s changing our attitude of how we want to approach the offices. It’s the barrier. It’s the thing that’s in the way of momentum really busting loose.” Hoskins predicts that: “Once that moves out of the way, you’re going to see a tremendous release in pent-up demand.”  See the video here.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Parsons secured a seven-year, $600 million contract for nationwide program-management services for the U.S. Postal Service. Virginia Business

ASRC Federal Field Services received a $457.5 million contract from the Air Force for base-operation support. Virginia Business

Booz Allen Hamilton won a five-year, $190 million task order to engineer communications, networking and computing systems for the Navy. GovConWire

CGI received a $137.8 million contract by the Virginia Department of General Services to upgrade Virginia’s eVA online procurement system. Virginia Business

Science Applications International Corporation secured a $120 million contract from the Navy to support its MK48 heavyweight torpedo. Navy Technology

Alion Science and Technology won a five-year, $89 million contract to provide advanced analysis and engineering, as well as research, development, test and evaluation with technology insertion, for the Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability. ExecutiveGov

LMI secured a seven-year, $30 million contract to help the U.S. Postal Service pursue energy-saving and sustainability efforts to enhance monitoring of the agency’s conservation performance. ExecutiveBiz

Leidos landed a two-year, $22 million contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to perform clinical studies to determine therapeutics for COVID-19 patients. ExecutiveBiz

SOSi received a $21 million contract from the Defense Media Agency to provide enterprise IT and logistics support. Intelligence Community News

Featured business events

March 17 — Fintech and Cybersecurity, Opportunities for Israeli Companies in Northern Virginia. Presented by the FCEDA, in partnership with KPMG Israel and Israel Advanced Technology Industries, this virtual event will examine potential business opportunities and go-to-market partnerships for Israeli fintech and cybersecurity companies in Northern Virginia’s financial services and cybersecurity sectors. Click here to register.

March 24 — Are You Dating Your Customer? The Art of Wooing Your Customer. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce presents a webinar featuring Nona Phinn, who has more than 15 years of hands-on experience in all aspects of marketing. The session is part of the chamber’s Business Education Series. Click here to register.

March 25 — United Airlines Update. The Committee for Dulles in hosting an online forum featuring United Airlines’ Lauren Riley, Managing Director, Global Environmental Affairs and Sustainability; Eddie Gordon, Managing Director, Dulles Hub; and Evan Koppel, Director, Sales – Atlantic Region. The topics of discussion will include the importance of Dulles as a United hub and its future plans with the airport, United’s “Sustainable” program, and the “CleanPlus” program that ensures health and safety during flights. 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.

Virginia measures to contain COVID-19

Starting Monday, March 1, 2021, Governor Ralph Northam amended Executive Order 72 with the next steps of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of the virus.

The key changes include:

  • Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 25 people for outdoor settings, while remaining at 10 persons for indoor settings.
  • Entertainment venues: Outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate with up to 1,000 individuals or at 30 percent capacity, whichever is lower. If current trends continue, these venues may be able to operate at 30 percent capacity with no cap on the number of people permitted to attend starting in April. Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity with a cap of 250 people. All entertainment venues were previously limited to a maximum of 250 individuals.
  • Dining establishments: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol will be permitted until midnight, extended from 10:00 p.m. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms still must be closed between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
  • Overnight summer camps: As of May 1, overnight summer camps will be able to open with strict mitigation measures in place. Registration can begin now.

The new guidelines will be effective for at least one month and mitigation measures may be eased further if key health metrics continue to improve. Current guidelines for retail businesses, fitness and exercise, large amusement venues, and personal grooming services will remain in place. Individuals are strongly encouraged to continue teleworking if possible.

For more information, please click here.