June 23, 2023: Fairfax County’s Business Diversity Boom + Weekly Business News Digest
Fairfax County’s Business Diversity Booms with Grand Openings Galore This Summer
New businesses are opening their doors at a rapid pace in Fairfax County, with a series of grand opening events held in June 2023, including three recent ribbon-cutting ceremonies: SevaSpaces on June 7, CargoSense on June 12, and TELE Controls on June 22. Representatives from Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) were honored to attend these events to celebrate Fairfax County’s fast-growing and highly diverse business ecosystem.
TELE Controls Brings Austrian Innovation to Herndon
TELE Controls, a subsidiary of the Austrian base TELE-Haase Steuergeräte, recently relocated its U.S. headquarters from Arlington, Va., to the Town of Herndon, with its grand opening ceremony celebrated on June 21. Founded in 1963 in Austria, TELE Controls opened its first U.S. subsidiary in 2018.
Specializing in fulfilling and exceeding the local sourcing needs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM)s, resellers, and distributors throughout North America, TELE Controls’ products protect, monitor, and automate systems and equipment for a wide range of industries.
“We aim to be a valuable resource for these industries and our relocation was made possible with the help of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority,” said Apolinar Rivera, TELE’s head of sales and marketing, in a news release. “Currently, TELE has three employees in the U.S. and around 100 employees in Europe. With our intentions to grow our industrial footprint in the U.S., we relocated our office in May intending to hire more staff and expand our company to become the top supplier of timer relays, monitoring relays, and energy sensors.” Herndon Patch has more.
Joining the more than 440 international companies that are already here in Fairfax County, TELE Controls – a minority-owned and innovative manufacturer – will continue to contribute to the diversity of our business ecosystem here in Northern Virginia and in the Greater Washington region.
“We are happy to call Fairfax County and the Town of Herndon our new home! Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony emphasized to us how much support we have from the local community,” Rivera said. “This location and office are ideally situated for company growth and operations. We are also excited about the opportunities ahead as a regional employer.”
CargoSense’s Growth Creates Ripple Effect of Industry Success
CargoSense celebrated the grand opening of its 6,000-square-foot offices in Reston on June 12. Supply chain teams across the nation use CargoSense’s technology to automate their operations at scale, creating a ripple effect of success across sectors.
“Fairfax County has been my home for 36 years after being assigned to U.S. Air Force operations at the Pentagon,” said Rick Kilmer, CEO of CargoSense. “As my third startup in Fairfax County, CargoSense is the first that serves a global customer base. The ease of supporting locations in North and South America, Europe and Asia, with direct flights daily out of Dulles to almost any location, has enabled us to land some of the world’s largest companies as customers. The beauty of Northern Virginia creates an environment for the perfect work/life balance and the talent accessible in this area has fully supported our efforts to grow. Although the world is more virtual, supply chains are physical, and I can’t think of a better, more supportive area to operate a supply chain solutions company.”
CargoSense has experienced rapid growth, landing on the Inc 5000 list last year at no. 1475 (2022), with 437 percent 3-year growth. Funding has included angel investors and the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation. CargoSense’s customers include Google, for global data center shipments, and DHL for pharmaceutical shipments.
Founded in 2012, CargoSense has team members across the U.S. and abroad. Following the move, CargoSense plans to seek institutional investment. CargoSense plans to expand and double its staff in 2024 to as many as 40 employees, according to technical.ly.
SevaSpaces: Inspiring Creativity and Collaboration in the Mosaic District
SevaSpaces, a coworking space in Fairfax County’s Mosaic District, officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 7. Featuring eclectic art and furnishings, a gym and parking, SevaSpaces was designed to inspire creativity and collaboration, according to the company. Unique to SevaSpaces, more than 100 pieces of original art by Kiril Jelizkov, a renowned local artist, are displayed in the coworking space. SevaSpaces was founded by Sonny Kakar, a serial entrepreneur, who was also the founder of SevaTec, which was later sold to Octo, and SevaTruck, a food truck that serves people with food insecurity.
“We are excited about opening our new co-working space, SevaSpaces, in Fairfax (near the Mosaic District) and in Tyson’s Corner,” said Sonny Kakar, CEO of SevaSpaces. “As companies and employees look to creative and productive hybrid work solutions, Fairfax is a go-to location due to its convenience and availability of resources, amenities, and infrastructure. SevaSpaces, which is also the only co-working space that also serves as an art gallery, will offer a differentiating experience to entrepreneurs and their employees as they continue to innovate and grow their businesses.”
With a maximum capacity of 125 people, SevaSpaces consists of about 22,000 square feet with 42 offices, including some flexible desks and spaces. A second SevaSpaces location is set to open in Tysons in August 2023, according to Technical.ly.
Share your superpower with a local small business! Fairfax County’s THRIVE program is recruiting companies with specialties in Marketing, Operations and Finance to be small business Consultants. Consultants will be paid up to $10,000 per client through the THRIVE program. Applications open June 26, 2023, through August 4, 2023.
Thanks to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ allocation of $7,000,000 from Fairfax County’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), we can provide this vital support to our local business community. We believe that by investing in their success, we can foster economic recovery and create a thriving business environment.
Together, let’s build a resilient and thriving business community through THRIVE. Visit the program website to learn more about the program and how you can be a part of this exciting initiative.
Weekly Business News Digest
Springboards for future advancement: Fairfax County aims to bridge the gap between employers and qualified talent through a work-based learning opportunity initiative, FFXnow reported. Talent Up will match local employers facing hiring challenges with qualified talent through paid temporary-to-permanent work-based learning internships. “There’s a lot of movement going on in the workforce space right now — movement towards skills-based hiring, and we believe that this can dramatically accelerate that movement,” Bill Browning, workforce innovation manager at the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, said of the initiative. The focus will be on gateway jobs such as information technology specialists, accounting clerks, sales representatives, and office administrative support. “These are entry-level professional jobs, where there are reams of data showing that they’re great springboards for future advancement and career advancement for candidates,” Browning added. Click here to learn more about the Talent Up program.
Top 10: Reston-based Leidos is no. 1 on Washington Technology Magazine’s recently released annual Top 100 list that ranks the top federal technology contractors, specifically in the areas of technology, including IT, systems integration, telecommunications and professional services. Six of the top ten contractors are based in Fairfax County, and two in fellow Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance jurisdiction Arlington County, Va. All ten companies have locations in Fairfax County. Click here to see the entire list.
- Leidos (Fairfax County)
- Lockheed Martin (Montgomery County, Md.)
- Booz Allen Hamilton (Fairfax County)
- Northrop Grumman (Fairfax County)
- General Dynamics (Fairfax County)
- RTX [FKA Raytheon Technologies] (Arlington County, Va.)
- Boeing Company (Arlington County, Va.)
- L3Harris Technologies (Brevard County, Florida)
- Peraton (Fairfax County)
- SAIC (Fairfax County)
Expansion strategy: Beacon, a Herndon roofing and building materials company that has been aggressively expanding throughout the U.S., has opened three new distribution centers in New England, northeast Ohio and southwest Virginia, according to Washington Business Journal. The Fortune 500 company formally known as Beacon Roofing Supply has now opened 10 new distribution centers — which average between 25,000 and 30,000 square feet — since January and intends to add five more by the end of the year. The expansion is part of CEO Julian Francis’ plan to increase annual sales to $9 billion by 2025 through both organic growth and acquisitions. Beacon, one of Greater Washington’s largest publicly traded companies, has acquired about 10 companies since 2021, including four so far this year.
Broadening the STEM ecosystem: Microsoft collaborated with NASA to host a Space Education Day — a showcase of students and educators across Washington, D.C. — on Tuesday, June 20 at Microsoft’s office in Arlington, Va. Space Education Day continued Microsoft and NASA’s efforts to develop high-impact initiatives and educational resources that promote STEM education for all. A student hackathon hosted last May by Azure Space and NASA called Coding for the Cosmos convened students from two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Washington, D.C. to establish new technologies, including deploying code to the International Space Station. “Critical to Microsoft and NASA’s more than two decades of partnership is investing in the next generation by promoting STEM education across all communities,” wrote Rick Wagner, President, Microsoft Federal, and Vice Chair of the FCEDA Commission, in a blog post. “By continuing to integrate Microsoft technologies with NASA’s missions, data and expertise, it is our goal to broaden the ecosystem of STEM and empower our future workforce to explore the endless boundaries of space,” according to Wagner. ExecutiveBiz has more.
Space sustainability: Luxembourg-based Intelsat, which is headquartered in the U.S. in Tysons, ordered another Mission Extension Pod (MEP) from Falls Church-area-based Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics, the fourth mission-extending deal that the operator has done with Northrop Grumman, Via Satellite reported. This follows after Intelsat ordered its first MEP earlier this year. Intelsat hasn’t specified which satellites will receive the pods, but both will be paired with satellites in Geostationary Orbit as early as 2026, to extend satellite service for at least six years. The MEP is a propulsion augmentation device that is installed via a Mission Robotic Vehicle (MRV) on a client satellite running low on fuel. “Intelsat is the industry leader in space sustainability and SpaceLogistics is a vital part of that,” said Intelsat CTO Bruno Fromont. “We continue to look for ways to provide the best services to our customers as well as remain good stewards of the space environment. This commitment continues to build our unique self-insurance capabilities in space and is another step towards unlocking the potential of future in-orbit service applications.”
More Intelsat news: Luxembourg-based Intelsat, which is headquartered in the U.S. in Tysons, commenced the first phase of in-orbit testing of TEMPO, a space-based, ultraviolet-visible spectrometer designed to monitor air pollution in North America, reported ExecutiveBiz. The first-of-its-kind instrument is in its final geostationary orbit destination and has been sending periodic data such as emissions from rush-hour traffic and forest fires. TEMPO was launched in April on Intelsat’s 40e satellite, manufactured by Westminster, Colo.-based Maxar Technologies, which maintains Chantilly and Herndon locations.
Sensible considerations: Tysons and Bedford, Mass.-based MITRE has released a new paper outlining a set of recommendations for establishing a regulatory framework for addressing potential security risks posed by artificial intelligence, according to ExecutiveGov. The paper, titled “A Sensible Regulatory Framework for AI Security,” lays out regulatory considerations in three categories of application: AI as a component or subsystem; AI as human augmentation; and AI with agency. “Differentiating these categories is important because the threats and risks differ based on how AI manifests in applications, as do the approaches to mitigating threats and risks,” according to the paper.
Nano-nano: Tysons-based Spire Global has deployed and established contact with two nanosatellites that employ optical inter-satellite links to establish secure communications with each other and reduce network latency, according to GovConWire. The 6U satellites launched into orbit aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Transporter-8 rideshare mission in support of the European Space Agency’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Services Pioneer Program. Both cubesats have terminals that seek to improve link speed, data latency and system resiliency to interference.
Funding round: TransVoyant, based in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, whose data analytics platform targets a common pain point nowadays in supply chain logistics — has raised $3.2 million, or a little more than half of its latest funding goal, to help double both its headcount and headquarters space this year, DCINNO reported. TransVoyant pitches a software platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide logistics data, down to the locations of ships in the sea, planes in the sky and warehouses on land and how things like weather, temperature or facility disruptions might affect the manufacturing or shipping process.
Job ops: Lorton-based Chenega MIOS has nearly 400 current job openings, according to the Washington Post. Chenega MIOS serves as a strategic business unit for its parent company, Chenega Corporation, an Alaska Native-owned corporation. “We established in 1971 to sustain the socioeconomic cultural condition of shareholders in Chenega Village, about 104 miles south of Anchorage,” said Matthew Keller, Chenega MIOS vice president of talent acquisition. “One hundred percent of profits are reinvested in shareholders and back into employees, making it very unique.” With nearly 2,000 employees across 17 countries, Chenega MIOS supports a variety of federal Department of Defense and corporate clients through an array of technology and support services.
Climate investment: Reston’s Gridpoint secured $150 million in a financing deal from Annapolis-based climate investment firm HASI, formerly known as Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, to help businesses cut energy costs, Washington Business Journal reported. GridPoint’s platform uses data analytics and automation to help customers in commercial buildings reduce their energy costs and lower emissions. The 20-year-old company said it operates at 18,000 commercial sites and has saved its customers more than $873 million on energy costs in its lifetime while keeping 11.9 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions out of the environment. Its clients include businesses in the retail, food and beverage and transportation industries.
Start-up spotlight: Tysons-based Safire Technology Group was a featured start-up in a Virginia Business article about Virginia’s start-up scene. Co-founded by John Lee and Mike Grubbs in 2020, the company has raised $3 million and has six employees. Safire manufactures a patented electrolyte additive to prevent fires and explosions in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
Done deal: Tysons-based Cvent Holding Corp., a meetings, events and hospitality technology provider, announced the completion of its acquisition by an affiliate of private equity funds managed by Blackstone, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $4.6 billion, citybiz reported.
Good news! A decade after closing its anchor store at Reston Town Center, Barnes & Noble returns with a new store there that opened on June 14, WTOP reported. The 28,000-square-foot store replaces a former Office Depot in The Spectrum at Reston Town Center. “We are delighted to open in Reston such a beautiful and impressive new bookstore,” said CEO James Daunt. “Nowhere is the success of brick-and-mortar bookstores better demonstrated than the opening of this very large new Barnes & Noble in Reston.”
CACI International (Reston) received a seven-year, $1.2 billion contract to build and field next-generation shipboard signals intelligence, information operations and electronic warfare systems for the U.S. Navy’s tactical mission operations. GovConWire
FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events
June 26-29, 2023 – Cyber Week. Cyber Week is a large annual international cybersecurity event, hosted each year at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Cyber Week offers a unique gathering of cybersecurity experts, industry leaders, startups, investors, academics, diplomats, and government officials. With more than 9,000 attendees from more than 80 countries, this conference offers a thought-provoking exchange of knowledge, methods, and ideas that you won’t want to miss. Events will run for a full week and include over 50 roundtables, panels, workshops, forums, B-Sides, competitions, and more. Click here to register.
June 28 –IRB 101: How Nonprofits use IRB Tax-Exempt Financing for Capital Projects. Are you interested in learning about how your nonprofit can access Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) to finance capital projects? IRBs are tax-exempt financing for your non-profit to acquire property and make capital improvements, including renovations of existing buildings. With an IRB a nonprofit can secure financing at an interest rate that can be as much as 25% lower than a traditional commercial loan. Presented by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, which has issued over $1 billion in IRBs, IRB 101: How Nonprofits use IRB Tax-Exempt Financing for Capital Projects, will walk you through how your organization can utilize these tax-exempt bonds to finance the acquisition, construction or renovation of buildings and other facilities. Join our panel of experts as they share valuable insights into the IRB process and offer targeted advice and actionable next steps as you navigate your way through the IRB process. Click here to register.
Summer 2023 – Interstellar Dreams Space Camp at George Mason University. Interstellar Dreams is a new take on a summer space camp, designed for rising 6th graders through rising 9th graders that blends “hands-on” fun and “minds-on” tech with their imagination to launch the future of space exploration. Campers will Explore space, Imagine the future, and Design the possibilities of ethical space exploration. The Interstellar Dreams Space Center at George Mason University is a partnership between the Pearl Project Institute and George Mason University Observatories. Click here for more information and to register.
September 26-28, 2023 – Call for Experts: Connecting the Global Quantum Ecosystem. Quantum World Congress 2023 will occur September 26-28 in the Greater Washington region. It will once again bring together leaders from across the quantum ecosystem around the globe to address pressing challenges and emerging trends and share insights that help to accelerate and commercialize quantum technologies. Programming will take many forms — from presentations and panels to fireside chats and networking sessions. QWC will enable relevant, timely, and industry-leading information sharing and relationship building across these formats to foster a responsible environment for quantum growth. If your expertise and experience position you as a thought leader, then you are invited to complete the speaker application. Please also review the sponsorship packages to explore ways to showcase your brand at the event. Click here for more information.
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 email@example.com, 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.