January 4, 2024: 500+ Units of Affordable Housing Coming to Tysons + Weekly Business News Digest

500+ Units of Affordable Housing Coming to Tysons

The Exchange at Spring Hill Station, an affordable housing project, broke ground in Tysons (courtesy Fairfax County Government)

Regional partners including thArlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Rep. Gerry Connolly, along with Fairfax County officials, broke ground on what will be the first 100 percent affordable housing project in Tysons, and one of the biggest in Virginia, WTOP reported. With Clark Construction, which has a regional office in Tysons, as the lead contractor on the project, the 516-unit building is funded in part with $56 million provided by Amazon’s $2 billion Housing Equity Fund, as well as $89 million from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and $227 million in financing from Bank of America. The Virginia Housing Trust Fund is also contributing to the funding.

“Despite its economic muscle, Tysons has remained out of reach for many who work here to also live here. That is why the groundbreaking of The Exchange at Spring Hill Metro is so important,” said Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Jeffrey C. McKay. “We are providing homes for those who fuel the local economy. In order to remain the economic hub of Fairfax County, Tysons’ workers need to have the opportunity to live near where they work.”

The Exchange at Spring Hill Station, at 1592 Spring Hill Road in Tysons, will include 516 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and a 20,000-square-foot county-run community center, with an indoor basketball court, fitness center and programming operated Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services. The apartments will be available to residents earning between 30 percent and 70 percent of the area median income in Tysons. The Exchange is near Metro’s Spring Hill Station. The Exchange is expected to be completed in approximately four years.

An updated rendering of the Dominion Square West project in Tysons (courtesy Fairfax County Government)

Click here to learn more.

Everything You Need to Know to Start a Business in 2024

If starting a business is on top of your list for 2024, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is ready to assist you!

Ken Harvey, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker and NFL Legend will be the featured guest speaker during FCEDA’s next Entrepreneurship 101 (E-101) workshop scheduled for January 23, 2024, in Tysons.

  • Click here to register for the free workshop. This in-person event will be held at the FCEDA headquarters at 8300 Boone Blvd., Tysons. 

During this interactive workshop, you will hear from Ken Harvey about his entrepreneurial journey from the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals and the Washington Commanders, to founding and serving as President of KRH Consulting

You will also hear from a panel of experts on registering your business, permitting requirements, business feasibility and business plan basics, business certifications, financing options and government resources. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with the presenters and FCEDA staff.

The E-101 workshops are presented by FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI).

Weekly Business News Digest

Time to Thrive: Small businesses can get a significant boost from coaching and consulting, as those services provide tailored guidance, expertise and insights. One of the key advantages is the personalized nature of coaching and consulting, allowing businesses to address specific challenges and capitalize on opportunities, Nick Iannelli reported on WTOP. That is what the “THRIVE” program in Fairfax County, Virginia, is offering. “This is about helping your small business be better at whatever it is you do,” said Jamie Gaucher, a director with the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives. Starting Jan. 16, the program will be accepting applications once again through Jan. 26. Businesses must have 49 or fewer employees and must have their principal place of business located in Fairfax County. Those who qualify can receive coaching and targeted consulting valued up to $10,000. Click here to learn more.

AI defense leaders kudos: Herndon-based HawkEye 360 CEO, John Serafini, and Ken Bedingfield, CEO, Epirus, which is based in Los Angeles and maintains its east coast headquarters in Tysons, are named among Business Insider’s ‘Top 7 in Artificial Intelligence Defense‘ in their list of 100 notable AI leaders. Epirus is developing a system that uses high-power microwaves to knock out drone swarms. It recently won a Navy research grant with the University of Oklahoma’s Advanced Radar Research Center to use AI modeling and other techniques to extend the range of these systems. HawkEye 360 is investing in AI and machine learning to better analyze the radio-frequency data it collects for communication, navigation, and threat identification. It has raised over $360 million from backers including BlackRock, Insight Partners, and Alumni Ventures. Click here to see FCEDA’s interview with John Serafini.

What’s in store in ’24? Artificial intelligence will continue to transform sectors from cybersecurity to healthcare and defense in 2024, according to officials at Falls Church area-based General Dynamics Information Technology, reported GovConWire. In a panel discussion led by Dave Vennegrund, vice president of AI and data insights of General Dynamics Information Technology, executives predicted the technology’s transformative role across industries this year, including in software development, military operations and medical diagnostics. Generative AI will continue to be used in creating and testing code, expediting the software development cycle, according to Matt Hayden, GDIT’s vice president for cyber and emerging threats under the intelligence and homeland security division. He added that the technology will be instrumental in scaling traditional cyber defense techniques and strengthening image detection and processing for intelligence and homeland security purposes.

New Year’s Resolution: Inova Health System is kicking off 2024 with an ambitious plan: to simultaneously start building the two Northern Virginia hospitals it’s been plotting for several years, reported Washington Business Journal in subscriber content. The Falls Church-based health system has filed building permits for both a Springfield hospital at 6330 Lewin Drive in Franconia, about a mile from the Springfield Metro station, and a new Alexandria hospital at 6001 Duke St. — the former Landmark Mall site now called WestEnd Alexandria — to replace its aging facility nearby. Approvals of those permits, now under review, would allow construction at each site to begin.

Rapid expansion: Herndon-based roofing and building supplies company Beacon has closed out a busy 2023 by opening new distribution centers in five states, according to Washington Business Journal. The Fortune 500 company, officially known as Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. said this week that it has recently added branch locations in Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, South Carolina and Texas, to go along with the 21 distribution centers it has already opened this year. Beacon, which sells a broad range of roofing, siding, waterproofing and other building materials to residential and commercial contractors, has also acquired nine smaller roofing and building materials companies this year, bringing its total number of locations to more than 500 in the U.S. and Canada.

Outstanding influence for good: Three Fairfax County-based companies landed on Inc.’s “Best in Business 2023” list: Reston-based Raft with placed in three Inc. categories: “AI & Data,” “Software Development,” and “Robust and Powerful: $50MM+ in gross revenue;” Reston-based Ellucian which placed in the “Education” category; and Tysons-based Eagan Immigration with placed in the “Small and Mighty” category. The list recognizes the most dynamic companies of all sizes and industries that have had an outstanding influence on their communities, their industries, the environment or society as a whole, according to Inc. Winning companies were required to be privately held, headquartered in the U.S. and independent. Click on the company links to view the Inc. description of each company.

Revitalization plan: The Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI) is working on a pilot program can spur revitalization of Bailey’s Crossroads, Annandale Today reported.  The “place-led economic development initiative” will consist of profiles of 26 special planning areas and 86 shopping centers – with a focus on retail businesses and commercial activity. The profiles could be used to evaluate how a commercial district is functioning and who it is serving; identify marketing opportunities; and encourage community empowerment, said Laura Baker, catalytic development manager at the DEI, during a Dec. 12 meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Economic Initiatives Committee. The profiles are designed to serve multiple audiences, Baker said, such as policymakers, businesses, residents, and relevant organizations. The Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners Revitalization Corporation (BC7RC) sees the profile as a step in revitalizing Bailey’s Crossroads and transforming it into a place where people will want to linger, said BC7RC President and former county planner Mike Van Atta.

Tech investing: Venture capital firm Columbia Capital, based in Alexandria, has indicated in regulatory filings that it has raised $977 million to keep investing in companies in the communications and technology fields, Washington Business Journal reported. Among the local companies it has invested in are Tysons-based geolocation technology company NextNav and Tysons-based satellite communications company Omnispace.

Hypersonic tracking satellites: The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) confirmed that a national security space mission that had been projected to launch in December 2023 is being delayed until the second quarter of 2024, SpaceNews reported. MDA’s national security mission, designated USSF-124, includes six satellites designed to track hypersonic missiles. Four of the satellites are missile-tracking sensors made by Melbourne, Florida-based L3Harris, which has locations in Northern Virginia, for the Space Development Agency’s Tracking Layer constellation. The other two satellites — one made by L3Harris and the other by Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman — are part of MDA’s Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor program.

New round: Tysons-based Red Cell Partners, an incubation firm building rapidly scalable technology-led companies that are bringing advancements to market in healthcare and national security, recently announced the closing of $91 million in new capital for a new incubation fund, RCIF I. This new fund allows the firm to back incubations, raising early-stage rounds, reported Pulse 2.0. This brought the total funding raised to more than $200 million.

Fostering innovators: Tysons-based INA Solutions concluded a two-week Quantum Machine Learning (QML) internship program in collaboration with George Mason University aimed at nurturing high school students in the burgeoning field of quantum technology. Suresh Nair, CEO of INA Solutions said, “We are committed to fostering the next generation of innovators and look forward to continuing such collaborative endeavors, empowering young minds to explore the fascinating realm of Quantum Machine Learning.”

From Whom the Band TollsFairfax County Public Schools’ Oakton High School marching band and others from around the U.S. are ready to face the music as band Metallica is expected to announce the winners soon in a national competitionWTOP and Vienna Patch reported. The Oakton High School Marching Cougars put together a Metallica-themed show this year titled “Parade to Black” (Click here to see it), which has reached the finals in a competition sponsored by the iconic rock band, who will also serve as judges. The competition is a play on Metallica’s song “From Whom the Bell Tolls” and is called “From Whom the Band Tolls,” featuring bands from across the country. Oakton is one of five finalists in the small band category with under 75 members. Stay tuned, the results of the competition are expected soon…

Contract Wins

Iron Bow Technologies (Herndon) received a $1.39 billion contract from the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide integrated platforms and services in support of VA’s connected care technologies. GovConWire

Bechtel (Reston) secured a $772.3 million contract to provide the U.S. Navy with nuclear power plant components installed in aircraft carriers and submarines. GovConWire

CACI International (Reston) won a five-year contract from the Defense Intelligence Agency to provide medical intelligence on global foreign health threats and issues. ExecutiveBiz

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

January 18, 2024 — Northern Virginia Space & Satellite Summit. Join the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council at their Space & Satellite Event! This is an opportunity for firms in these industries to gain insights, make meaningful connections, and develop business opportunities with key players in this field. Featured speakers: David Bettinger, CEO, Axta Space; Dennis Gatens, CEO and Founder, LEOCloud; George Nield, President, Commercial Space Technologies; Joseph T. Darden, Director, Aviation Business Development, Iridium; and Stephen McCall, Director of Government Relations, Firefly Aerospace. Click here for more information and to register.

January 23, 2024 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business in Fairfax County. Presented by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), the Community Business Partnership (CBP), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI), this course will provide the business 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 you with informative step-by-step information sessions that will cover 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 — Tech & Cyber Networking and Hiring Fair. Hosted by FCEDA, attend this career fair at Capital One Hall in Tysons to build a meaningful career in Northern Virginia’s tech and cyber industry. Network with dozens of companies in the IT sector ranging from defense and aerospace to healthcare and renewable energy at this free in-person event. Click here for more information and to register.

January 31 — Virtual Tech & Cyber Networking and Hiring Fair. Hosted by FCEDA on Brazen Virtual Platform ,attend this virtual career fair to build a meaningful career in Northern Virginia’s tech and cyber industry. Network with dozens of companies in the IT sector ranging from defense and aerospace to healthcare and renewable energy at this free in-person event. 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 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.