January 18, 2024: Catapult Your Business to Global Success in 2024 + Weekly Business News Digest

Catapult Your Business to Global Success in 2024

A Message from Victor Hoskins, president and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority

You want to change the world. And you want to do it in a place that supports your efforts. Fortunately, you already have a connection to make it happen.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) is here to help businesses start, expand, or relocate in Fairfax County – an economic powerhouse in Northern Virginia, at the doorsteps of our nation’s capital, providing access to a $270+ billion regional economy and a highly educated workforce of 6+ million. A home to more than 10,000 tech companies, 10 Fortune 500 headquarters, and a thriving ecosystem of rising startups, Fairfax County offers an unparalleled opportunity for you to be at the epicenter of innovation and progress, with easy access to the U.S. markets and the world’s largest customer – the U.S. Federal Government.

FCEDA’s specialized business investment teams work with national and international companies and start-ups interested in growing, expanding, and relocating to Fairfax County.

Our business investment teams:

Work with companies looking for office space that fits their needs.
Assist small, minority-, veteran- and woman-owned businesses.
Help international firms understand how to establish a presence in the U.S.
Match businesses with sources of venture capital.
Make introductions to business and community organizations.
Act as a liaison with county, state, and federal regulatory agencies.

FCEDA also provide expert level market intelligence, real estate services, talent attraction, and marketing and communication (MarCom) services to help your business scale and thrive in the U.S. market and beyond.

Our real estate, market intelligence, MarCom, and talent attraction teams:

Generate location and facility options for companies.
Provide information on industry sectors and markets.
Elevate your marketing, media, and public relations efforts.
Attract, retain, and grow the workforce that companies need to succeed.

All services provided by the FCEDA are free and confidential, and highly customized to your company’s needs.

Now, how can we help catapult you to success in 2024? Contact us today and let’s get started! 

Weekly Business News Digest

Glass breaking: Four Fairfax County-based companies landed on Glassdoor’s annual list of the 100 Best Places to Work, at No. 8: Deltek (Herndon); No. 66: Mars (McLean); No. 85: Capital One (Tysons); and No. 89 Booz Allen Hamilton (Tysons). The Glassdoor report, published annually since 2009, is based on anonymous employee workplace reviews. To be considered for the list, companies must have more than 1,000 employees and receive at least 75 employee ratings during the one-year review period. WTOP has more.

A new front: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton’s corporate venture capital arm, Booz Allen Ventures, has made a strategic investment in Wilmington, Delaware-based Second Front Systems, a public-benefit corporation accelerating the delivery of mission-critical solutions in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and for NATO, citybiz reported. “The U.S. government spends more than $100 billion annually on information technology to modernize federal cloud infrastructure and deliver mission solutions,” said Julie McPherson, executive vice president at Booz Allen and leader of the firm’s Digital Solutions business. “Accreditation of new software applications typically takes two years and approximately $1.5 to $2 million to obtain an authority to operate. 2F streamlines this process, accelerating the adoption of commercial off-the-shelf solutions for DOD, U.S. government, and key allies in today’s fast-paced environment.” Since launching in 2022, Booz Allen’s $100 million corporate venture capital arm has made seven strategic investments in early-stage companies and dual-use commercial technologies with focus on four core areas: defense, artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and emerging/deep technology.

Adding acquisitions: Tysons-based events software company Cvent is buying up a pair of companies focused on an area where it says marketing teams are spending a growing share of their budgets — trade shows, reported Washington Business Journal. The deals to buy Roseville, California-based Jifflenow and Boise, Idaho’s iCapture are the first add-on acquisitions Cvent has made since 2022. They’re also the biggest moves it’s made since Blackstone acquired Cvent and took it private last year. That $4.6 billion deal was inked barely a year after Cvent went public by merging with a blank-check company. Founded in 1999, Cvent provides technology for marketing and executing virtual, in-person and hybrid meetings and events.

Project Stardust: Tysons-based Iridium Communications is developing a narrowband-internet of things non-terrestrial network service that would enable direct-to-device capabilities like 5G NTN messaging and emergency SOS on mobile. The service, called Project Stardust, will be deployed on its existing constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites, which are already undergoing early-stage programming to accommodate the requirements of partner companies like smartphone makers, mobile network operators and chipmakers, reported ExecutiveBiz. Iridium CEO Matt Desch described the work on the service as “an exciting moment” for his company, adding, “The industry is moving quickly towards a more standards-based approach, and after surveying the field, we found that we’re the best positioned to lead the way using our own network, particularly given our true global coverage.”

Four of a kind: Tysons-based Spire Global, in collaboration with Canada’s NorthStar Earth and Space, which bases its U.S. headquarters in McLean, is set to launch the first commercial SSA satellite constellation, Space Daily reported. The mission, dubbed ‘Four of a Kind’, is scheduled for no earlier than January 18 from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. Peter Platzer, CEO of Spire Global, highlighted the significance of this launch, stating, “The upcoming launch of the first commercial space situational awareness constellation for NorthStar symbolizes more than just a technological achievement; it’s a reflection of our shared dedication to addressing sustainability in space.” Platzer emphasizes Spire’s innovative ‘Space as a Service’ model, which facilitates the rapid development and deployment of space-based solutions like those of NorthStar, aiming to address critical challenges both on Earth and in orbit.

Sold! Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust sold part of the Springfield Town Center parking lot, nearly a decade after agreeing to pay $465 million for the 78-acre Fairfax County mall property partly for its additional development potential, according to Washington Business Journal. An affiliate of Houston’s The Hanover Co. paid $15.3 million last month for the roughly 6-acre parcel, which Fairfax County has addressed as 6800 Spring Crest Drive. The long-expected sale closed Dec. 18. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved entitlements for a 460-unit apartment building on the Hanover site in December 2022. The project will include the addition of a fifth level to the existing mall parking garage — a project that is now underway — and, eventually, green space along Spring Mall Drive with a fenced dog park, lawn games, perimeter crushed gravel fitness trail, fitness stations, tree groves, benches and lighting.

Significant Milestone: McLean-based food and pet care giant Mars is investing hundreds of millions into a new factory for a snack bar brand that was folded into its holdings in 2020, reported Washington Business Journal. Mars announced last week it is building a $237 million baking facility in Salt Lake City for Nature’s Bakery, a maker of fig bars, brownies and oatmeal treats. The 339,000-square-foot facility will create 190 new jobs and is expected to be up and running by July 2025. “This investment marks a significant milestone in our brand’s ability to drive greater capacity to meet growing consumer and retailer demand,” Nature’s Bakery CEO Steve Gardiner said in a statement. “As a self-manufacturer, this facility joins our existing bakeries to reflect our commitment to innovation and quality.”

Enabling neurodiverse talent: The Springfield, Va.-based National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is building on a pilot program to recruit people with autism, as the agency plans to hire a new cohort of “neurodivergent” individuals this year while also embedding those efforts more broadly into its persons with disabilities program, Federal News Network reported. Neurodivergent individuals are a growing part of the workforce, with 15-20 percent of the global population estimated into fall into the category. But they also face high rates of underemployment, according to research cited in a new MITRE white paper, “Enabling Neurodiverse Talent in the Intelligence Community.” NGA became the first federal agency to launch a neurodiversity pilot in late 2020, with a focus on hiring people with autism. The agency partnered with MITRE, based in McLean, Va. and Medford, Mass., and Melwood, a D.C.-area nonprofit that provides job training and other services to people with disabilities.

Quantum sensing below the surface: The Reston-based United States Geological Survey is deploying new advanced sensing technologies to better monitor and explore Earth with dual goals of identifying deposits of natural resources and preventing potential disasters, Nextgov/FCW reported. In a new partnership with Australia-based quantum sciences and technology company Q-CTRL, the USGS plans to improve how well researchers can see into Earth’s subsurface. Jonathan Stock, the director of the USGS National Innovation Center, said that the pilot program aims to leverage quantum sensing systems to help accurately identify reserves of critical minerals and water, particularly as the U.S. economy attempts to pivot toward new energy sources.

Contract Wins

Amentum (Chantilly) won a $946 million contract to provide complete system maintenance and modernization solutions for the U.S. Army’s government-owned fixed wing transport aircraft fleet. Yahoo Finance

Peraton (Reston) secured an $889 million contract to help U.S. Army Cyber Command and its components and partners integrate and conduct cyber, electromagnetic warfare and information operations. GovConWire

SAIC (Reston) booked a $156 million award from the U.S. Army Reserve Command for system support services. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

January 23, 2024 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business in Fairfax County (FREE). Presented by the FCEDA, this event will provide the fundamentals needed to successfully start or grow a business. Join our panel of small business experts for an interactive in-person workshop. We will provide step-by-step information on registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources. In addition, the Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature guest speaker Ken Harvey, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker and NFL Legend. Click here for more information and to register.

January 30, 2024 — In-person Tech & Cyber Networking and Hiring Fair (FREE). Did you know that there are more than 100,000 jobs open in Northern Virginia? Attend this FCEDA-hosted career fair at Capital One Hall in Tysons to network with dozens of companies hiring for thousands of mission-driven jobs ranging from defense and aerospace to healthcare and renewable energy. All experience levels are welcome! Click here for more information and to register.

January 31, 2024 — Virtual Tech & Cyber Networking and Hiring Fair (FREE). Cannot make it to the in-person event on January 30? Attend this FCEDA-hosted virtual career fair to network with dozens of companies hiring for thousands of mission-driven jobs ranging from defense and aerospace to healthcare and renewable energy. Click here for more information and to register.

FCEDA is Here to Help Your Business Thrive

Fairfax County EDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600.