May 24, 2024: Fairfax County is the ‘Center of Gravity’ for NetApp’s Public Sector HQ + Weekly Business News Digest

Fairfax County is the ‘Center of Gravity’ for NetApp’s Public Sector Headquarters

The intelligent data infrastructure company NetApp celebrated the Grand Opening of its new U.S. Public Sector headquarters in the Boro Tower in Tysons last fall. NetApp chose to keep its U.S. Public Sector headquarters in Fairfax County, moving into a new 24,000 square-feet office space. With more than 12,000 employees worldwide, San Jose, California-based NetApp was founded in 1992, with the Fairfax County-based U.S. Public Sector offices opening in 2000.

NetApp CEO George Kurian and NetApp U.S. Public Sector President Michelle Rudnicki sat down with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to tell us about the company and why they chose to keep its U.S. Public Sector headquarters in Fairfax County.

We have been in Fairfax County for many years, and we chose it as the headquarters of our U.S. public sector organization for a few key reasons. The first is talent. It has a large talent pool, both in the private sector as well as veterans and other public sector employees who form an important part of NetApp’s workforce. About 12 percent of our workforce are veterans, and we love having that deep talent pool. Second is there’s a technology cluster here. So many of our partner companies work here, operate here, and so it makes doing joint work with them easier. The third, is that it is well-situated geographically with access to both public sector organizations in Washington, D.C., as well as state and local government organizations here, Kurian said. “And it’s a great place to do business and a great place to live for our employees.”

“We love having our NetApp U.S. Public Sector offices here in Tysons,” Rudnicki added. “This is a great location for us, not only because of the access to our customers, but for the great talent pool that we have located in this area. Being a public sector business, we serve the federal government as well as organizations across the country. But this really is our center of gravity.”

Click here to read the entire interviews with Kurian and Rudnicki.

Tysons-based Veteran Ventures Capital Secures $10M Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation Investment

New ‘Virginia Invests’ Program to Leverage $250M in Entrepreneurship Funds in the Commonwealth

Governor Glenn Youngkin announces Virginia Invests in Richmond, Virginia May 20, 2024. (Official Photo by Christian Martinez, Office of Governor Glenn Youngkin.)

Tysons-based Veteran Ventures Capital (VVC) secured a $10 million institutional investment from Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC). This investment fuels VVC’s Veterans Fund II, anchoring a first closing toward the Fund’s $50 million target, according to VVC. An early-stage venture capital firm, VVC invests its capital alongside its partners’ contributions of expertise, network, and energy in support of veteran-led businesses developing innovative dual-use national security technologies. Virginia’s investment into VVC is specifically targeted at improving access to capital for veteran-led companies within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Veterans account for over 10 percent of the adult population in the state, making Virginia one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the U.S. In addition, nearly 75,000 veteran own small business in Virginia, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Founded in 2019, VVC relocated its headquarters to Tysons from Tennessee in April 2024. According to VVC, the decision to move to the Boro Building in Tysons underscores Veteran Ventures Capital’s dedication to staying at the forefront of venture capital investment and fosters closer proximity to key strategic partners, veteran entrepreneurs, and targeted industry verticals. By relocating to this thriving economic hub, VVC aims to strengthen its position as a catalyst for veteran-led technological innovation and entrepreneurial success.

“Veteran Ventures is thrilled to announce Virginia’s anchoring investment into our second fund,” said Dr. Josh Weed, General Partner at VVC. “Our partnership with VIPC will catalyze and leverage significant private investment into Virginia’s veteran-led companies. VVC’s new headquarters in Tysons, Virginia will be a launching off point for our firm’s engagement with veteran communities and the national security ecosystem throughout the Commonwealth.”

VVC was among the seven selected fund managers that Governor Glenn Youngkin announced on Monday, May 20, as part a new initiative led by VIPC that expands investment and growth opportunities for Virginia-based, innovation-driven startups and entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout the Commonwealth.

Leveraging previous Virginia-awarded federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury, VIPC’s Virginia Invests launched new investment partnerships with an initial selection of the seven diverse first-time and emerging fund managers that is expected to catalyze and attract $250 million of investment into over 100 high-growth Virginia startups during the next 3-5 years via private sector fund match and co-investment.

The new statewide initiative will accelerate capital – from both in-state and out-of-state – invested into Virginia startups and unleash opportunity for Virginia’s entrepreneurs to grow and innovate, particularly including female, black, Hispanic, veteran, and rural-based entrepreneurs.

“We are thrilled to announce Virginia’s investment in our second fund, marking a significant leap forward in our mission to empower veteran entrepreneurs and accelerate technological innovation and national security capabilities,” said Derren Burrell, Founder and Managing Partner of Veteran Ventures Capital. “This achievement provides further evidence of the confidence and support our investors place in Veteran Ventures’ vision, the exceptional potential of veteran business leaders, and the firm’s investment track record in our first fund.”

“VIPC is excited to partner with Veteran Ventures Capital to catalyze and leverage significant private investment into Virginia’s veteran-led startups and entrepreneurs. We welcome VVC’s new HQ move into Virginia and look forward to VVC’s engagement with veteran communities throughout the Commonwealth,” added Joe Benevento, President and CEO of VIPC. 

Click here to read more.

Memorial Day Events in Fairfax County, National Capital Region

(Visit Fairfax photo.)

Each Memorial Day our nation honors the brave men and women who gave their lives to protect ours. Our reverence is the least we can give in return. Throughout the long weekend, there’s no better place to commemorate Memorial Day than in Fairfax County and the National Capital Region. Take time this weekend to honor the lives risked and lost throughout the history of our nation.

Here are some of the upcoming events to commemorate Memorial Day this weekend through next week, according to Visit Fairfax:

Click here to see more events.

Weekly Business News Digest 

Life changing experience: More than 60 years after he became the United States’ first Black astronaut candidate, Ed Dwight finally flew to space, according to Smithsonian Magazine. On Sunday, May 19, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket carried six people to and from the Kármán line—the boundary 62 miles above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere ends and space begins. Kent, Washington-based Blue Origin, which has a Reston location, conducted 16 test flights of its New Shepard rocket, which concluded in 2021. Dwight, a former Air Force captain, was among the crew. President John F. Kennedy selected him as an astronaut candidate in 1961, but Dwight was never admitted to NASA’s astronaut training program and had never been to space. After stepping out of the capsule last weekend upon his return to Earth, the 90-year-old Dwight lifted both arms over his head in celebration. “Fantastic! A life-changing experience. Everyone needs to do this!” he said, per NPR’s Scott Neuman. SpaceNews has more.

Reston best fit for us: Muller Companies, a construction contractor that worked on Inova Fairfax Hospital and Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington recently took over an office building in Reston for its new base, FFXnow reported. Muller Companies officially moved into its new 30,000-square-foot headquarters at 1910 Association Drive on April 15, according to owner and CEO David Muller. The move from the company’s previous headquarters in Falls Church was prompted by a need for more space, as it shifted from a work-at-home policy instituted when COVID-19 hit to a hybrid schedule, Muller said.  The firm also anticipates hiring up to 100 more people this year. “We needed a lot more space,” Muller said. “After an extensive search, taking into account the available properties and their locations, we decided that both our new HQ’s accommodations and its location in Reston would be the best fit for us.”

Dark Sea Labs: HII and Amazon Web Services, which bases its east coast headquarters in Herndon, will expedite the development and delivery of next-generation sea power technologies, digital shipyard transformation projects, commercial space initiatives, warfighter training readiness and other mission-critical capabilities to defense and intelligence agency customers under a three-year strategic collaboration agreement, ExecutiveBiz reported. Todd Borkey, HII’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, will oversee mission-critical projects with AWS through an advanced technology unit called Dark Sea Labs. “We’re living in a time of unprecedented technological change and urgency,” Borkey said.

Spreading the Fairfax County space hub news: The inaugural issue of Interstellar magazine, published by Reston-based Interstellar Dreams Space Center, includes an article on why Fairfax County and Northern Virginia is a rapidly growing space hub (pages 16-18), originally published in FCEDA’s newsletter. Eric Ingram, Scout Space‘s founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Strategy Officer, is also profiled in the issue (pages 29-30). Check out the magazine by clicking here.

Majority investment: Reston-based CyberSheath has received a majority investment by Boston-based BV Investment Partners, according to GovConWire. CyberSheath offers end-to-end compliance services to help contractors align their products and services with information security requirements and standards. Eric Noonan, co-founder and CEO of CyberSheath, said that the company’s cybersecurity services help DoD contractors develop and maintain a fully compliant information security program. “This enables them to comply with strict mandatory controls and protect sensitive data so they can better compete and win DoD contracts,” Noonan said.

Done deal: Accenture Federal Services has closed its purchase of Cognosante and launched a federal health portfolio to bring specialized mission platforms and services to customers to help them deliver better health outcomes, GovConWire reported. Accenture’s federal arm said more than 1,500 Cognosante employees will join the company’s workforce as a result of the acquisition.

Where to eat at IAD: Wondering where the best places to eat are at Washington Dulles International Airport? Plan ahead! With tons of travelers hitting the skies on Memorial Day weekend, Eater updated their assessment of the best places to get quick or leisurely meals in “A Traveler’s Guide to Restaurants at Dulles International Airport (IAD).” Flying from Reagan National Airport? Click here to see Eater’s DCA restaurant guide.

Contract Wins

Science Applications International Corp. (Reston) secured a $30 million contract to modernize and replace equipment on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s real-time tsunami detection and warning system. GovConWire

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

May 30, 2024 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business in Fairfax County. The Entrepreneurship 101 workshop is intended for start-up entrepreneurs who want to launch or grow a business in Fairfax County. The topics that will be covered include doing business in Fairfax County, business registration, business and property taxes, financing programs, licensing and certifications, local, state, and federal business resources, and other general topics related to starting and growing a business. The workshop is free however registration is required. Note that this session will be held at Mason District Government Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale. Click here for more information and to register.

June 20, 2024 — 10th Annual Wharton DC Innovation Summit. The Wharton Club of DC presents the 10th annual Wharton DC Innovation Summit. With FCEDA as a strategic partner, this event is set to unfold at the state-of-the-art Valo Park Conference Center in Tysons. All are welcome. Whether you attended Wharton or Penn, or elsewhere, everyone who wants to leverage the power of innovation should attend the event. The theme, Create an Innovation Ecosystem: Maximize Your Results, is based on the premise that “a rising tide raises all boats.” Amidst challenges like global economic upheaval, rising interest rates, and geopolitical strains, the summit stands as a beacon for collective advancement. Click here to find out more, see the list of speakers, 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.