Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for October 13, 2020
The beat goes on: Despite the pandemic, dozens of Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland area companies of all sizes across all industries and stages have raised funding since March. The biggest deals included Tysons-based kidney care startup Somatus, raising $64 million in Series C financing in June; Herndon cybersecurity startup Expel, landing $50 million in May; and Tysons cybersecurity startup Affirm Logic closing a $25 million equity financing round in August. Find out more in the Washington Business Journal, which has tracked the funding rounds during the past seven months since the pandemic began.
Applauding entrepreneurs: The CEOs of three Fairfax County-based companies took home three of the 12 Entrepreneur of the Year Mid-Atlantic Awards announced last week by Ernst & Young: David DeWolf, president and CEO, 3Pillar Global (Fairfax); Jared Shepard, CEO, Intelligent Waves (Reston); and Dr. Ikenna Okezie, CEO, Somatus (Tysons). The regional award program recognizes entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Nominees are evaluated based on overcoming adversity, financial performance, societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company, innovation and talent management. All regional winners are eligible for EY’s 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year U.S. National Awards, which will be announced Nov. 19, according to the Virginia Business.
Charting our economic future: A preliminary report is available on a study from HR&A, a real estate and economic development consulting company, to develop an economic recovery strategy to guide the county through stabilization and outline recommendations to foster an equitable, inclusive COVID-19 pandemic recovery. The Fairfax County government and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority commissioned the study. HR&A has conducted a series of virtual roundtables with stakeholders, including regional government, business and non-profit leaders, to hear their experiences and ideas for recovery. In the initial findings, county and civic leaders highlighted the disproportionate impact of the virus on Latino and immigrant populations in Fairfax, and on the tourism, hospitality and restaurant sectors. Major employers said decisions about real estate investments are being deferred until more certainty can be stablished. Many small businesses in the area are still focused on survival. HR&A presented some of these findings to the county. More analysis of potential recovery scenarios is currently in progress, with a final report to be delivered at the conclusion of the study, noted Tysons Reporter. The county’s Economic Advisory Commission reviewed the initial findings this morning.
Fairfax County steps up: Nearly 3,000 volunteers have volunteered 96,006 hours in Fairfax County during COVID-19 since March 17. Meanwhile, 233 Fairfax Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers have contributed 4,392 volunteer hours in support of the Health Department and county operations since March 1. And since the beginning of COVID-19, residents have stepped up and donated personal protective equipment , cleaning supplies and cloth face coverings. To date, Volunteer Fairfax has collected nearly 21,000 adult masks and more than 3,300 children’s masks. If you want to donate or volunteer, please visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/covid19/donate-help. Find out more on the Fairfax County Emergency Information blog.
Doing good, eating well: Pallabi Saboo, CEO and founder of Harmonia Holdings Group, a software and services federal contractor that has an office in Tysons, is one of the “2020 Women Who Mean Business” recognized by the Washington Business Journal. Saboo, together with husband Jai, Harmonia’s COO, implemented a variety of initiatives during the pandemic, including partnering with GrubHub to give each of its 400 employees $40 a week in food delivery credit to spend at local restaurants. The company is sponsoring a food truck to deliver $5,000 worth of groceries weekly to people in need and for school kids going without lunch. And the company has donated nearly 15,000 N95 masks and upward of 5,000 units of other personal protective equipment to frontline workers. Find out more about Harmonia’s charitable initiatives and the company in the Washington Business Journal.
Canvas of advice: James Quigley, CEO and co-founder, GoCanvas, based in Reston, describes his company’s focused, customer-centric product development and innovation in a Startup Sidekick video, a video series in which startup tech founders provide actionable advice. Key takeaways from Quigley’s interview include the importance of prioritizing objectives each year, keeping your team focused, and being open to pivoting if needed. (We are proud to note that GoCanvas CEO and Founder James Quigley is vice chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Commission.)
For whom the offer tolls: Transurban, the Australian-headquartered company that operates toll lanes in Northern Virginia, is seeking investors to buy into the Virginia express lanes. Tysons-based Transurban North America officials said the company’s intent to bring in other investors will not affect the Northern Virginia operations and that it will continue to manage the express lanes, the Washington Post reported. Transurban operates more than 50 miles of express lanes on interstates 95 and 395, as well as the Beltway. Transurban is also extending Virginia’s express toll lanes on I-95 south to Fredericksburg and north on the Beltway to the Maryland border.
See something, say something: Government officials and nonprofit sector representatives in 11 states, including Virginia, have partnered with Tysons-headquartered MITRE to implement a browser plugin and mobile application that works to help them identify misleading or false information on social media concerning the upcoming elections. The “Social See Something, Say Something” tool is designed to spot and report misinformation or feed patterns that observers can use when issuing content takedown requests to authorities, MITRE said. SQUINT, which the nonprofit company rolled out in February, was originally designed to thwart attempts to distort election systems and processes, reported ExecutiveBiz.
New paradigm for Paradyme: Greenbelt, Md.-based tech company Paradyme Management established Paradyme Labs, in Tysons. The lab will serve as a hub for team and customer collaboration and as an operations space for recruiting, training, sales and engineering. The expansion allows for more space for Paradyme, which has nearly doubled the side of its team in the past two years to 200 employees. The new 4,000 square foot Tysons office and will house about 20 employees, according to Virginia Business.
Foxy maneuver: ZeroFOX, headquartered in Baltimore, acquired Reston-based Cyveillance, an open-source threat-intelligence business. “ZeroFOX was attracted to Cyveillance for its access to nearly 150 world-class threat-intelligence analysts, amazing blue-chip quality customers, two decades of tradecraft experience, and the industry’s oldest and most comprehensive threat-intelligence database,” said Sam Small, ZeroFOX’s chief security officer. “With the nearly 150 employees at Cyveillance, the combined companies now employ more than 400 people.” ZeroFOX will also add an office in Reston to form a “Cybersecurity Center of Excellence” that includes cybersecurity operations center and executive briefing facility, reported technical.ly/Baltimore.
Cyber teamwork: Reston-headquartered military aircraft and ship-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce North America selected a team of Modern Technology Solutions, headquartered in the Fairfax County area of Alexandria, and Arlington-based Shift5 to develop and demonstrate an embedded cyber-secure environment. MTSI is an engineering services and technology solutions provider for the defense industry, intelligence community, and commercial markets. Shift5 offers interlocking IT products from hardware to SaaS. The team seeks to leverage technologies that can help secure weapon systems, according to Bill Bryant, cybersecurity engineer at MTSI, reported Executive Biz.
The quality goes in before the name goes on: Reston-based government IT contractor Xenith Solutions announced it will acquire Alexandria-based tech company TRI-COR Industries. Xenith Solutions will acquire TCI’s assets, team members, industry certifications and customer contracts. TCI will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Xenith, Virginia Business reported.
Reveille for TAPS: Suppliers and business partners of Tysons-headquartered DynCorp International made a $20,000 donation to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a nonprofit that provides support to families of fallen U.S. soldiers. The company said funds were raised after the TAPS organization decided to cancel its annual Journey of Hope Charity Golf Tournament event due to the coronavirus pandemic. “At DI, we have a solemn commitment to support our families who have lost loved ones serving in support of our nation around the world, and we are better able to honor this commitment because of our unique relationship with TAPS,” said George Krivo, CEO, DynCorp CEO. DynCorp has donated more than $1.3 million to the nonprofit during the past decade, reported ExecutiveBiz.
Helping with hunger: Wegmans Food Market will donate $5,000 when it opens its Tysons location next month to the Fairfax-based nonprofit Food for Others, which collects and distributes food to families in need throughout Northern Virginia. “One of our highest giving priorities is providing food for people at risk of hunger and Food for Others is a great partner in helping us to achieve that goal,” said Wegmans Tysons store manager Kevin Russell. “By working together, we can get food on the table for those who are most vulnerable and in need.” The store celebrates its opening on November 4, according to Tysons Reporter.
On second thought: Toll Brothers and JLB Realty filed an application last week with Fairfax County to build a five-story, 372-unit apartment building and 86 townhouses at the Commonwealth Centre development in Chantilly, a site that has been planned for office development. The housing would be built on a 9-acre parcel near Wegmans on the western portion of the 101-acre Commonwealth Centre site, at Route 28 and Westfields Boulevard. Bisnow brought the story home.
Bon appetit, Tysons! The inaugural Tysons Restaurant Week is happening this week from Oct. 12 to 18. Developed by the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, participating restaurants will offer fixed-price menus for lunch and dinner with options of dine-in or takeout. Click here to see the list of participating restaurants and menus. McLean Patch dished up the story.
Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County
General Dynamics’ information technology business received a $100 million contract from the Defense Intelligence Agency to provide engineering services in support of DIA information-technology modernization efforts. GovConWire
Alion Science and Technology booked a five-year, $29 million contract from the Army to provide electromagnetic-spectrum technology analysis for spectrum supportability and broadband support. ExecutiveBiz
Featured business events
October 15 — 2020 Staying Strong. The annual NAIOP Northern Virginia commercial real estate bus tour goes virtual with a focus on “outside the Beltway” markets in Fairfax and Loudoun counties such as Tysons, Merrifield, Reston, Herndon and Route 28. Click here to register.
October 15 — Future Development in Herndon and Reston. The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce presents an in-person outdoor event. However, following guidance on social distancing, there will be a limited admittance. Learn more at the event about the latest developments in Reston and Herndon from County Supervisors and developers on their vision for a great community and the future of development. Click here to register.
October 19-22 — Capital Cybersecurity Summit. The Northern Virginia Technology Council presents a virtual Cybersecurity Summit featuring keynote speakers and panels offering unique insights on emerging cybersecurity technologies, digital solutions, operations and enforcement from the private sector, government and academic perspectives. Click here to register.
October 29— Berlin Meets USA: Conquering the American Market with Smart-City Solutions. SIBB Digital Business Association Berlin-Brandenburg presents an interactive panel discussion followed by virtual business networking focused on business opportunities within the German-American smart cities sector. Click here to register.
November 10 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting a Business in Fairfax County. The FCEDA, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Community Business Partnership (CBP), presents its free monthly workshop for individuals interested in starting a business in Fairfax County. Click here to register.
The latest issue of the Fairfax Leader is now online. Check it out to read recent news about the Fairfax County EDA’s activities, including quarterly jobs announcements, commercial real estate statistics, and profiles of two Fairfax County companies. Click here to read the Q3 edition of the Leader.
How the Fairfax County EDA can help
Forward Virginia Phase 3 reopening guidelines: Fairfax County began the third phase of re-opening businesses on July 1. The Forward Virginia plan provides guidelines that all businesses must follow. Residents are still advised that they are “safer at home.” Click here to find out the updated guidelines.
Get business assistance: The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date 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.