January 26, 2023, E-News: Fairfax County: Choice Location for Foreign Direct Investment + Weekly Business News Digest

Fairfax County: Would You Go?
440+ Leading International Companies Already Have

Located at the doorsteps of Washington, D.C., in Northern Virginia, Fairfax County is a choice location for foreign direct investment. Currently, 440+ companies representing 45 countries have established a presence here including companies such as Airbus, Granules, IAI, Idemia, Intelsat, Samsung, Serco, StarKist and Volkswagen Group of America.

“Northern Virginia has proven to be a great place to do business,” said Scott Keogh, former chief executive officer and president of Volkswagen Group of America in 2019. “Volkswagen and Audi and our brands are on the forefront of mobility and sustainability in the automotive industry, and we look forward to building on that innovation here for years to come.”

Our central East Coast location with easy access to the entire U.S. market and hundreds of global destinations; our proximity to the largest customer in the world, the U.S. Federal Government, and a world-leading tech ecosystem; along with our diverse population and a highly skilled regional workforce of 6+ million people are distinct drivers for foreign direct investment.

“We see Northern Virginia and Fairfax County as an ideal location to establish our U.S. HQ and operational center,” said Rami ShmueliCEO of RT Aerostat, based in Israel. “With the direct flight service from Tel Aviv to Washington Dulles International airport in Northern Virginia, a very pro-business economy in Virginia, and superb infrastructure. Hence, we look forward to working with Fairfax County EDA team to leverage growing U.S. market opportunities with Federal, state and local government agencies as well for commercial customers.”

In an interview with American City & County, Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), said that sizable foreign direct investment in a community is a sign that foreign multinationals have great confidence in a particular city or region.

“Well, they say if you want to know what someone believes in, just look at their checkbook. Foreign investors want to put their money in an environment where there is predictability, and this is one of the main reasons why they invest in many of the U.S. metropolitan areas like the Greater Washington, D.C. region—the predictability of our markets,” Hoskins said. “In turn, this investment behavior makes the environment in these markets even more predictable because they bring capital in from the outside, which gives the local economy strength. So, it is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Fairfax County’s business community features nine Fortune 500 headquarters, leading government contractors, as well as the global headquarters for companies such as Northrop Grumman, Hilton, Mars, and Capital One. In Fiscal Year 2021, companies with presence in Fairfax County were awarded $31 billion in U.S. Federal government contracts. As a hub for more than 8,800 technology businesses, Fairfax County has a plethora of emerging business opportunities in segments such as AI, cybersecurity, defense, homeland security, cloud, smart city, and sustainability. Along with its strength in government and defense technology, Fairfax County’s diverse ecosystem includes business opportunities in communications, financial, healthcare, and more.

Ready to Make Your Move? We Are Here to Help

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) offers free and confidential services to assist companies from global corporations to rising startups establish presence and grown in the U.S. We help international companies interested in incorporation here and can assist with business investment efforts, asset protection, and tax exception questions. In addition to our headquarters in Tysons, we maintain business investment offices in Los Angeles, Bangalore/MumbaiBerlin, London, Seoul and Tel Aviv, and our representatives in these markets are available to discuss the financial benefits of choosing Fairfax County for direct investment or as a base for operations in North America.

Get in touch with us for free and confidential services today!

Virginia Wins $35 Billion Data Center Investment

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which bases its East Coast headquarters within Fairfax County in Herndon, will invest $35 billion through 2040 to create multiple data center campuses across the state of Virginia, according to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Commercial Observer reported. The sites have yet to be chosen and will be announced at a later time. The new centers are expected to create 1,000 new jobs by 2040.

“AWS has a significant presence in Virginia, and we are excited that AWS has chosen to continue their growth and expand their footprint across the Commonwealth,” Governor Youngkin said in a statement. “Virginia will continue to encourage the development of this new generation of data center campuses across multiple regions of the Commonwealth.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the state General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment project approval commission to secure Amazon’s expansion and data center investment in new locations across Virginia. The Washington Post has more.

Company Spotlight

Rocket Lab conducted its first Electron launch from the U.S. Tuesday, placing three Herndon-based HawkEye 360 satellites into orbit. The Electron lifted off from the company’s Launch Complex 2 at the Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, Virginia at 6 p.m. EST, deploying the three satellites into low Earth orbit an hour later. The launch was the first from the U.S. for Rocket Lab, which had conducted all its previous Electron launches from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.  The launch is also the first of the year for Rocket Lab, which previously estimated conducting about 14 launches this year from its two launch sites, SpaceNews reported.

“We are happy to report that our Cluster 6 next-generation satellites have reached orbit and we look forward to ramping up operations in the weeks ahead and fully integrating them into our constellation,” said HawkEye 360 CEO, John Serafini. “We are grateful for our valued mission partners, Rocket Lab and the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, who worked alongside our fantastic HawkEye 360 team to make this inaugural Virginia launch a success.”

Satnews has more and you can see the launch on Fox5 News.

Weekly Business News Digest

#1 location for tech jobs: Despite all the headlines about layoffs at tech’s biggest companies, organizations everywhere continue to hire tech professionals, and the Washington, D.C. metro area is seeing the most tech hiring activity in the nation, according to CompTIA’s monthly job report, which breaks down the metro areas with the most tech job postings, Dice reported. In December the metro D.C. region had 14,875 tech job postings. The region benefits from the rise of significant tech scenes in Virginia. For example, Amazon has been constructing the massive “HQ2” facility in Northern Virginia that, once completed, will reportedly employ more than 25,000 workers by 2030.

Cybersecurity Center funding: Fairfax-based George Mason University said it will receive $1 million in federal funding to help create a new center designed to help the federal government modernize its cybersecurity and IT systems. Funding for the Mason Center for Excellence in Government Cybersecurity Risk Management and Resilience was part of the federal omnibus appropriations bill recently signed into law to fund the government through fiscal 2023. The center will bring together experts in IT modernization, cybersecurity, and critical infrastructure systems to provide education and workshops for federal IT and cybersecurity executives and middle managers. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the story.

Hotel financing: A new hotel development at Reston Town Center landed a $74.7 million construction loan, Bisnow reported. The Donohoe Cos. secured financing from Artemis Real Estate Partners to build a dual-branded Marriott AC Hotel and Residence Inn hotel with 267 rooms. Donohoe is developing the hotels through a ground-lease agreement with BXP, the master developer behind the pioneering Reston Town Center mixed-use complex. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Artemis to close this financing in an extremely challenging capital markets environment,” Donohoe Chief Investment Officer Robert Donohoe said in a release. “Artemis was able to provide a structure consistent with our business plan while addressing the complications associated with financing a component of a larger development.”

Data science platform: Reston-based Science Applications International Corp. unveiled a centralized data science platform intended to develop and orchestrate low-code to full-code artificial intelligence and machine learning models, according to ExecutiveBiz. Called “Tenjin,” the platform works to enable government customers train, automate and deploy AI and machine learning algorithms designed to fuse disparate data types and extract relevant information from multiple sources to guide data-driven decision-making. “With Tenjin, professionals at any level can create analytic models with pre-existing data to rapidly gain decision-enabling insights,” said Andy Henson, vice president of innovation at SAIC.

Excellent award: Reston-based Peraton received the Contractor Excellence Award from NASA for the company’s key role in helping the space agency launch suborbital rockets designed for scientific research, according to ExecutiveBiz. NASA commended the Sounding Rockets Operations Contract team and its support of a specific customer mission at an Australia-based range during the Wallops Flight Facility’s annual Peer Awards ceremony, the company said. “This prestigious award recognition is an affirmation of how our capabilities and expertise are helping NASA deliver on its mission at the Wallops Flight Facility,” said Darin Skelly, vice president and general manager of the civil space unit at Peraton.

New jet terminal: The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority awarded a contract to Clark Construction as it moves forward with plans for a new 14-gate regional-jet terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport, InsideNoVa reported. We anticipate breaking ground this year,” MWAA CEO Jack Potter said. Plans call for having the facility, which will be used by United Airlines, ready for use in 2026. The facility, budgeted at about a half-billion dollars, will replace gates built in the late 1990s at the eastern end of Concourse A, where many regional-flight passengers currently go outdoors to access their planes via covered walkways.

Honoring Prisoners of War Veterans: Tysons-based PenFed Credit Union announced that it has furthered its commitment to prisoners of war veterans and their families with a $150,000 donation to the American Heritage Museum in Hudson, Massachusetts. The donation will support a one-of-a-kind Hỏa Lò prison exhibit honoring the hundreds of Vietnam prisoners of war, NBC12 reported. “The American Heritage Museum’s Hỏa Lò exhibit is a truly harrowing, surreal experience that honors the extraordinary courage of Vietnam POWs,” said President & CEO of PenFed Credit Union and CEO of PenFed Foundation James Schenck. “It is important that Americans never forget those who fight for our freedom. Vietnam veterans deserve this long overdue recognition for their service and sacrifice. Through the exhibit, generations to come can gain a keen understanding of the extreme conditions POWs experienced. Their fortitude is unmatched.”

Weather assessment: Reston-based TruWeather Solutions has been contracted by North Carolina-based AeroX to assess weather conditions across North Carolina in order to engage the community in planning how to build the weather infrastructure required to expand existing and future drone and air taxi service. “Our goal is to provide data that allows companies and communities to deploy drone and air taxi services in the most cost-effective, highest value possible,” said Chris Zarzar, commercial product manager for TruWeather Solutions. “At the end of this study, we expect to be ready to purchase and deploy weather sensors at locations across the state, as well as support public agencies that seek to enable AAM in other communities and regions.” Vertical magazine has more.

Cybersecurity connection: Herndon-based Iron Bow Technologies, a technology solutions provider, acquired Utah-based GuardSight, a cybersecurity operations company, according to Yahoo. “Today, zero trust-based cybersecurity is critical to ensuring companies and organizations meet their missions,” said Rene LaVigne, Iron Bow Technologies president and chief executive. “As cyber threats continue to proliferate, the combination of GuardSight and Iron Bow will bring together the best cybersecurity technology, processes, and people from the public and private sectors so our clients can easily evolve their zero trust strategies and always stay a step ahead.”

Take a rose: Reston-based web and social media monitoring company Babel Street completed its previously announced acquisition of text analytics platform Rosette, according to Virginia Business. Babel Street first announced the acquisition in November 2022. The company completed its purchase of the platform from Massachusetts-based BasisTech at the end of December 2022. “Babel Street’s aggressive growth and expansion this year provided further evidence of the critical value of publicly available information when incorporated into our AI-enabled offerings,” Babel Street CEO Michael Southworth said. Together, I look forward to expanding partnerships and markets to grow Babel Street’s platform to help government and commercial institutions mitigate risk.”

Funding finalized: Tysons-based Sheeva.AI finalized a $9.25 million Series A funding round, led by strategic investors Reynolds and Reynolds Company, with additional funding from Poppe + Potthoff Capital GmbH and Pegasus Tech Ventures. Sheeva.AI offers an in-car payments and commerce solution that introduces vehicle location-based services that help monetize the driver experience. “This investment shows the same level of belief and faith that the entire Sheeva.AI team has in the future of in-vehicle commerce and payments,” said Evgeny Klochikhin, Sheeva.AI CEO. IOT World Today has more.

Cloud reach: Centreville-based Avenu Insights & Analytics, a developer of revenue enhancement and administration tools for state and local governments, acquired New Hampshire-based Interware Development, a provider of cloud-based payment processing tools for local governments. Avenue said the move will allow it to offer a new, centralized payment platform for its existing clients, allowing state and local governments to more efficiently collect permitting, licensing, utilities and tax revenue. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

New investment: Tysons-based Xcelerate Solutions, a provider of defense and national security services, landed a new investment from Chicago-based private equity firm McNally Capital, which focuses on founder and family-owned businesses. Founded in 2009, Xcelerate, which specializes in enterprise security, strategic consulting and digital transformation, said it aims to have sales of $500 million in three to seven years. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Biggest lessons learned: Emmit McHenry, 79, founder of Network Solutions, created the world’s first domain registry, setting up and managing the .com, .net, .edu and .gov suffixes before the web’s commercial potential was fully realized, Washington Business Journal reported in a Q&A article with McHenry.  The Marine Corps veteran and Oklahoma native sold the company in 1995 and went on to found global telecom company NetCom Solutions International. He announced plans last fall to take his latest venture, McLean-based Cycurion, public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Western Acquisition Ventures Corp. His cybersecurity firm looks to raise about $113 million as part of the deal, intending to use the proceeds to acquire smaller companies and, eventually, triple its 80-person team. Asked about his “biggest lessons learned,” McHenry replied: “Whether you’re in a technical business or the bread baking business there are a lot of commonalities. Some exceptional things, but some commonalities. The first commonality is it’s about people. It’s about selecting people who have common vision, common values. When I’ve had difficulties is when I’ve chosen someone and found or acquired a company and found that I was banking on someone whose values were different than mine.” Click here to read more. McHenry was also recently interviewed during a FCEDA Entrepreneurship 101 Starting a Business in Fairfax County Workshop. Click here to see the video.

Contract Wins

Leidos (Reston) won two contracts with a combined value of $1.5 billion as part of the Social Security Administration’s follow-on Information Technology Support Services Contract. ExecutiveBiz

Epirus (Tysons & Torrance, Calif.) landed a $66.1 million contract to support the U.S. Army’s Indirect Fire Protection Capability-High-Power Microwave Program through a rapid prototyping effort. ExecutiveBiz

CACI International received a $284 million contract by the National Security Agency (NSA) to provide mission expertise and systems engineering support for NSA’s Cybersecurity Directorate. citybiz

Peraton obtained a $74 million contract from Naval Sea Systems Command to provide life cycle cyber resiliency and advanced cybersecurity engineering for fleet forces. ExecutiveBiz

HawkEye 360 (Herndon) received a contract from Slingshot Aerospace to provide radio frequency data to the latter to facilitate the detection of GPS interference and other RF threats from space in support of the U.S. Space Force. ExecutiveBiz

Raft (Reston) received a contract from the U.S. Space Force to provide software development services for the product line enhancements of the Defensive Cyber Operations for Space Systems Command. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

February 1 (virtual) — Tech & Cyber Networking & Hiring Event. Build a meaningful career in Northern Virginia’s tech & cyber industry – where employers are building tech that matters. From satellites that fuel space exploration to code that keeps our government’s data safe, you can make a difference in your local and global community through a tech career here. Network with hiring companies in the IT sector ranging from defense and aerospace to healthcare and renewable energy at this free in-person and virtual event. Click here 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 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.