Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for September 9, 2021: Entrepreneurship workshop, Guidehouse-Dovel deal, Virginia supply chain help

Join us Tuesday: The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is presenting its ever-popular “Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County” workshop Tuesday morning. This virtual session’s Entrepreneurial Spotlight will be trained on Scott and Cyndi Hoffman, the founders/owners of Ono Brewing Company in Chantilly. Click here to learn more about all the workshop presenters and to register.

Strategic step: Guidehouse, the consulting company that announced in May it is relocating its headquarters to Tysons, said it intends to acquire Dovel Technologies, also based in Tysons. Dovel provides data analytics and artificial intelligence along with other technology services, specializing in health, human services and public safety. Dovel has 1,800 employees. “The acquisition of Dovel is a strategic step in our journey to create the next-generation global consultancy,” Guidehouse CEO Scott McIntyre said in a company release. “We are excited by the opportunity to join the Guidehouse platform, given our complementary capabilities and strategically correlated missions to improve, protect and save lives,” Dovel CEO Damon Griggs said. The Washington Business Journal has more.

Streamlining supply chains: The Virginia Economic Development Partnership launched its Supply Chain Optimization Program. The one-year program is designed to help Virginia businesses streamline their supply chain management. Participating businesses could receive a maximum of $10,000 in reimbursements for supply chain-related expenses, including consulting services, connections with experts and training sessions. “A sustainable supply chain is critical to the growth of companies both domestically and abroad,” said VEDP president and CEO Stephen Moret in a statement. “Our Supply Chain Optimization Program will help ensure Virginia businesses have the resources they need to successfully trade with companies around the world.” The VEDP will hold an introductory webinar on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m., Virginia Business reported.

Strengthening strategic collaboration: Herndon-based geospatial-intelligence firm BlackSky secured an equity investment from Washington, D.C.-based Palantir Technologies. This investment signifies the strengthening of the strategic collaboration between the two companies following the successful completion of a joint pilot program between BlackSky and Palantir, reported Intelligence Community News, and will enable BlackSky to further extend its capabilities and meet the increasing demand for global monitoring services from its and Palantir’s customers. “This collaboration further enables BlackSky to put the power of real-time intelligence in the hands of the user by allowing Palantir customers to directly task our satellites, reduce decision-making timelines and increase the delivery of on-demand insights,” said Brian E. O’Toole, CEO of BlackSky.

Signed on the dotted line: UK-based satellite communications company OneWeb, which has its North American headquarters in Tysons, signed an insurance policy worth more than $1 billion to cover the remaining 10 launches for its broadband constellation. “OneWeb is embarking on its next phase of growth as it looks to complete its constellation and deliver commercial service by the end of the year, and this agreement provides an added layer of security as our company moves quickly toward realising this goal,” OneWeb deputy chief financial officer Steven Fay said. Arianespace’s nine launches so far for OneWeb have gone up without a hitch, SpaceNews reported.

Data-driven decisions: San Francisco-based Splunk, which has an office in Tysons, received provisional authorization for its cloud technology offering to host Department of Defense data at a high-level security baseline. The accreditation allows Splunk Cloud Platform to handle controlled unclassified information for government customers and signifies that the platform is compliant with security and compliance standards set forth by DOD. Teresa Carlson, president and chief growth officer at Splunk, said the certification reflects the company’s commitment to providing a secure and cloud-compliant platform that supports data-driven decision making, reported ExecutiveBiz.

IT acquisition: Tysons-based NeoSystems, an IT integrator and managed services firm, announced that it will be acquired by Chicago-based private equity firm High Street Capital. NeoSystem’s co-founders — CEO Michael Tinsley and CTO Rob Wilson — are expected to remain with the company, which has about 200 employees in Tysons. “With the investment and confidence of High Street Capital, we will be able to expand our services and optimize market opportunities to better drive customer success and meet their increasing appetite for strategic outsourced and managed IT services,” said Tinsley. NeoSystems provides IT and managed services in various areas, including accounting, finance, IT, human resources, security and hosting. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

A foundation for space travel: Merrifield-based Foundation for the Future was created to help with job development and infrastructure as space travel expands, according to its founder and executive director Tim Chrisman in an interview with technical.ly. Almost a year after its founding, the organization centers its efforts on the behind-the-scenes potential for space travel. In out-of-this-world development, that includes things like mineral and power reserves in outer space, wireless power transmission and space-based solar power. The Foundation, Chrisman said, works on anything from long-term financing vehicles to expanding the space workforce to policy design and advocacy in politics. “The big thing is, if we do it here, we need it there,” Chrisman said. The organization currently has 10 employees, and he anticipates growing to 15-20 over the next year.

Adaptive solutions: Merrifield-based ECS and San Francisco-based CalypsoAI, which has an office in Ashburn, announced a partnership to support the advancement of safe and secure artificial intelligence infrastructure across the U.S. federal government. According to citybiz, the partnership will enable CalypsoAI to leverage it’s AI safety and security software to expand ECS’ testing capabilities for government customers. “From real-time edge analytics for the warfighter to massive data operations for commerce, we have engineered the future with CalypsoAI,” said Aaron Burciaga, vice president of data and artificial intelligence at ECS.

Pretty kitty: McLean-based consumer products giant Mars will acquire cat litter company PrettyLitter, Bloomberg reported. Mars, one of the world’s largest private companies, has been expanding its footprint in pet products and services over the past few years as millennials show more willingness to spend on their pets, according to Bloomberg.

Satellite consortium: Leading companies and organizations in the space industry have come together to form the Digital IF Interoperability Consortium, a non-profit industry group created to advance interoperability among space and ground system networks. The founding board members are Herndon-based Hawkeye 360; Tysons-based Intelsat; San Diego-based Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, which has offices in Chantilly and Arlington; Tysons and Redmond, Wash.-based Kymeta; Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, which has offices in Reston, including a planned regional software R&D center; Norway-based Kongsberg Satellite Services AS; as well the U.S. Navy. Other U.S. military service branches have also expressed interest in working with the Consortium. Atlanta-based Envistacom, which has a Chantilly office, is the founding corporate member; and N.J.-based Systek, which has a Lorton office, is a government/non-profit member. The newly formed consortium is in the process of implementing administrative structures and recruiting additional member companies and organizations with an interest in space networks to become active participants. AiThority has more.

Securing the homeland: After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, federal policies swelled a defense sector that reshaped U.S. defense and security efforts as well as Northern Virginia’s suburbs, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday in a story available to subscribers. The story cites government spending data showing that private companies operating in and around the region saw an average annual increase of 15 percent in federal contracting from 2001 to 2011. The story also highlights the growth of CACI International. With about $3 billion in federal contracts, Reston-based CACI has purchased dozens of companies in intelligence, defense and computer technology sectors since 9/11. The U.S. government has also turned to contractors to provide analysts, developers, engineers, consultants and other personnel to work on national security and intelligence programs, according to the report, ExecutiveGov noted.

New view: B.F. Saul Real Estate Investment Trust wants to replace its 11-story, 135-foot tall Park Place I building, located at 7926 Jones Branch Drive in Tysons, with a building that has ground-floor retail, a terraced plaza, outdoor seating areas and “trophy-class office space,” according to application materials filed with Fairfax County. B.F. Saul is seeking a special exception from the county to waive certain requirements, including an increase in the site’s permitted building height, to make way for the project. “Its location along a prominent road makes it a desirable site for additional height to help create a stronger building identity and sense of place in Tysons,” said Mark Viani, a lawyer for the project, according to Tysons Reporter.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

ManTech International secured a 10-year, $476 million contract award to support the space launch programs of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command. ExecutiveBiz

General Dynamics Information Technology received a $136.5 million contract from the Navy to use cloud-based artificial intelligence to modernize and consolidate the Navy’s IT help desks. ExecutiveBiz

NCI Information Systems received a five-year, $112 million contract extension from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to advance the agency’s monitoring, measuring, and reporting of Medicare payments. ExecutiveGov

ICF obtained a five-year, $69 million task order from the U.S. Agency for International Development to collect data from population-based surveys in multiple countries. GovConWire

Leidos obtained a $49.4 million contract from the Navy to provide a radar system. ExecutivBiz

Halvik won a five-year $34 million contract from the U.S. Army Command and Control Support Agency to deliver command-and-control IT support and automation services. Potomac Tech Wire carried the release.

BlackSky won a $30 million contract from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to monitor global economic activity and provide analysts and decision makers with relevant insights. ExecutiveBiz

Raft won a contract to provide engineering services supporting the U.S. Space Force’s Space CAMP software factory. Air Force Technology

Featured business events

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, the founders/owners of Ono Brewing Company in Chantilly. Click here to register.

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.

September 15 — 2021 Virginia Veterans & Military Affairs Conference. The Virginia Chamber Foundation, Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, and Virginia Department of Veterans Services’ third annual Virginia Veterans & Military Affairs Conference and presentation of the V3 Awards. Fairfax County Economic Development Authority President and CEO Victor Hoskins will  introduce two panel discussions: “Innovating the Workplace for Military Spouses” and “Virginia: The Best State for Military Families.” The FCEDA and the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance are program sponsors for the conference. Click here to register.

October 14 — Power of Innovation: The Digital Infrastructure Evolution in Fairfax County. Presented by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, this event explores how our strong digital infrastructure is powering innovation in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. Take a deep dive with us and hear from industry experts on how the region has created one of the strongest digital infrastructure networks in the world that benefits Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and is one reason why Fairfax County is home to 8,700 technology companies. Click here to register.

November 4 — Veteran & Military Family Career Day. Sponsored by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Fort Belvoir, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Fairfax County Department 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! Registration information to come. If your company is interested in participating please click here.

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.