October 20, 2023: Why Cloudpermit Moved its North American HQ from Canada to Fairfax County + Weekly Business News Digest

Why Cloudpermit Moved its North American HQ From Canada to Fairfax County

Interview with Jarkko Turtiainen, SVP, North America, Cloudpermit 

Cloudpermit, a SaaS company based in Finland, moved its North American headquarters from Canada to Fairfax County in 2021. Jarkko Turtiainen, Cloudpermit’s Senior Vice President for North America, talked to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority about the company, its innovative technologies, and why Fairfax.

FCEDA: Please provide an overview of your company and its mission.

Jarkko Turtiainen: Cloudpermit provides local governments with online community development software. We offer simple and user-friendly software solutions for building permitting, business licensing, planning & zoning, and code enforcement. Our mission is to empower local governments to digitalize and improve citizen experience across the U.S. and Canada. We work with over 700 local governments and are excited to expand our reach for modernized community development across the nation.

FCEDA: When and where was Cloudpermit founded?

Jarkko Turtiainen: In 2011, we saw a gap in community development software. So, in Finland, we created Cloudpermit so that any-sized government could benefit from online processes. Several years ago, we came to North America and now work with hundreds of American and Canadian governments for online land management.

FCEDA: When and why did you open your Fairfax County headquarters office and what is its main business focus?

Jarkko Turtiainen: We were looking to establish a North American headquarters and were on the hunt for the perfect location to call home. In our research, we met with (former) Governor Northam and his delegation during the spring of 2021 while in Germany. After this meeting, it became clear that Virginia was the right choice for our company to put down roots since the state has the highest concentration of tech talent in the U.S.

We asked Governor Northam where we should create our company base, and he encouraged us to consider Fairfax County. After doing some research, we learned that thousands of tech companies have made Fairfax County home since it is a fast-growing, safe, and welcoming community.

It was important to us that we felt personal involvement from key leaders in Virginia and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, and we did. We felt even more confident in our decision after learning first-hand how other businesses in Fairfax County were achieving great success.

In the summer of 2021, we opened our Fairfax County headquarters office and could not be happier with our decision.

FCEDA: What’s innovative about your technology?

Jarkko Turtiainen: Our user-friendly technology is innovative because we were built with local governments for local governments, so we offer exactly what our customers need, give them the efficiency the cloud provides, and can be used by any government. While creating software tailored to meet the needs of governments, we engaged with numerous government officials to understand their viewpoints, challenges, and software requirements – and we still do. We regularly update our software with the feedback we receive from our customers. We highly value how our customers respond to our software and are continuously improving how our solutions work.

We place great importance on customer feedback and regularly update our software to reflect what our customers want. Not only do we listen, but we seek out new ideas from our customers in our continuous search for improvement.

FCEDA: Do you collaborate with other companies in the Greater Washington, D.C. region?

Jarkko Turtiainen: It’s important to us to collaborate with local companies in the Greater Washington, D.C. area to support our community. We work with a variety of companies for printing, promotional materials, office furniture, shipping, and recruitment purposes. It gives us great pride to feed into our neighborhood’s economy.

FCEDA: Why is Fairfax County a great location for Cloudpermit?

Jarkko Turtiainen: We enjoy living and working in Fairfax County – it is a great location for any company that wants to grow in the U.S. A few of our team members and their families relocated from Canada and Finland. So, we prioritized establishing our headquarters in a welcoming, family-friendly community close to the airport for easy travel. Our move has helped establish our brand as a top software company in the government space.

FCEDA: It has been two years since you established your Reston HQ. How do you like it here so far?

Jarkko Turtiainen: We love working and living in Reston – it feels like home. Our office is close to the airport for easy domestic and international travel, part of a great neighborhood, and our staff members with children enjoy having access to top schools. We cannot imagine being anywhere else.

FCEDA: Are you looking to hire talent for the Fairfax County location?

Jarkko Turtiainen: Absolutely. We have exciting plans to hire more talent in the Fairfax County area and beyond. From skilled government professionals to creative problem solvers, we’re looking for individuals who are ready to take our company to the next level as we add more features to our offerings.

FCEDA: Is there anything else you’d like to share about Cloudpermit?

Jarkko Turtiainen: Cloudpermit, as a company, is committed to continuous improvement and just like Fairfax County, welcomes new insights to help us become even better. We have additional software solutions coming out this year and the next, and we’re excited to share our innovative ideas with our customers for even better community development.

Find out more at Cloudpermit.com.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This is the 20th Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it has grown into a collaborative effort between government and industry to enhance cybersecurity awareness, encourage actions by the public to reduce online risk and generated discussion on cyber threats on a national and global scale.

More than 500 cybersecurity companies are located in Fairfax County. With a regional cybersecurity workforce of more than 115,000 people, access to talent is one of the key reasons that cybersecurity companies benefit from a strategic location in Fairfax County. Each year, more than 13,000 computer science/cyber-related college and university degrees are awarded regionally. It is no wonder — the median wage for a cybersecurity professional here is $139,000.

Virginia is the no. 1 state and Greater Washington, D.C. is the no. 1 metro area in the U.S. for informational security analysts. The projected growth rate for informational security analysts in Northern Virginia is a whopping 46.5 percent from 2018 to 2028.

Click here to learn more about Fairfax County’s thriving cybersecurity industry sector.

Weekly Business News Digest

Shaping places of the future for generations: The 10 biggest development projects that are currently underway in Northern Virginia noted by the Washington Business Journal include four located in Fairfax County: West Falls Church Metro station / Converge / West Falls; Halley Rise in Reston: The Boro in Tysons; and Reston Station. “These are (10) projects representing billions of dollars of private investment — often in connection with enormous amounts of public infrastructure investment, as well — that are years at least, if not decades, in the making. They’ll shape the character of the neighborhoods and commercial corridors they occupy for generations,” according to the article, which includes a slideshow and description of the projects.

Big step for project: Fairfax County will sell bonds to finance the Tysons Community Center planned as part of the Dominion Square West housing project, FFXnow reported. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority was authorized by the Board of Supervisors on Oct. 10 to sell up to $43 million in facilities bonds to fund the community center, which has an estimated cost of $41 million. The bond financing will also partially cover the county’s share of infrastructure costs, including the 75 parking garage spaces that will be designated for community center workers and visitors. “This is a big step in this project,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said. “This community center was really important to attracting the funding from Amazon for this project. It’s going to be a really useful asset to the broader community, to that area. It’s certainly going to help make it a great place to live for future residents.”

Doubling in size: The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approving of the rezoning application, which seeks to double the square footage of Mars’ office building at 6860 Old Dominion Drive in McLean, FFXnow reported. Serving as the global headquarters for Mars since 1984, the two-story, 52,970-square-foot building could expand to 126,974 square feet with a maximum height of three stories or 63 feet under the proposed redevelopment.  The only note of disappointment sounded during the public hearing on Oct. 11 came when Sully District Commissioner Evelyn Spain joked that she had hoped to get some early Halloween treats. “I appreciate the fact that Mars is making these changes not because of anything other than they wanted to,” Spain said. “…Apparently their employees come into the office, so I want to commend them on the fact that they are making all these beautiful changes. The green area, the parking, the covered bus stop — all of that is excellent as a draw for people who have to come into the office.”

AI investment: Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, was interviewed in the Financial Times’ fDi Intelligence about if investment promotion is ready for artificial intelligence (AI). According to the article, in Fairfax County, which is home to the world’s biggest data center market and boasts some of the most advanced technology investments in IT, there is little spillover from companies. “We’re a little bit more conservative, but our resident industries are already using it,” said Hoskins, adding that AI is unlikely to disrupt investment promotion. Much like the internet over the last 20 years, Hoskins believes that AI tools will eventually be provided by a selection of companies – IPAs (Investment Promotion Agencies) will then be able to buy whatever tools they need, he said.

Safer and more secure place: Herndon-based HawkEye 360, a commercial operator of remote-sensing satellites, announced Oct. 18 it has secured an additional $10 million in an extension of its Series D-1 investment round, SpaceNews reported. The funding extension brings the total Series D-1 amount to $68 million and total capital raised to $378 million. Investors for the round extension include Lockheed Martin Ventures, the venture arm of Lockheed Martin Corp., and company insiders. As part of this investment, HawkEye 360 and Lockheed Martin have signed a strategic cooperative agreement to develop remote sensing solutions for government and commercial customers, said HawkEye 360 CEO John Serafini. “Lockheed Martin’s leadership as a system integrator and their signal processing capability will expand what HawkEye 360 can accomplish as we work together to make the world a safer and more secure place,” according to Serafini.

Upgrading capabilities: The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) has ambitious plans to upgrade its capabilities in the coming years, according to an official at the Chantilly-based intelligence agency, according to Clearance Jobs. Within the next decade, the NRO expects to quadruple the number of satellites it has on orbit to increase the capacity and resilience of its constellations and improve the accuracy and timeliness of the information it collects, said Space Force Maj. Gen. Christopher Povak, the agency’s deputy director. “These satellites will deliver over 10 times as many signals and images that we’re collecting today,” Povak told the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies on Oct. 10. To improve recruiting, the NRO has updated its website, begun airing a series of videos about the agency on social media, and grown its internship program, Povak said.

Space agreement: Reston-based cybersecurity firm SpiderOak signed an agreement with the U.S. Space Development Agency to research the use of the company’s software to protect ground systems that control military satellites, reported SpaceNews. SpiderOak said Oct. 17 the agreement allows the Space Development Agency (SDA) to research the integration of the company’s OrbitSecure software suite into a military ground system currently in development called the Rapid Resilient Command and Control program. Dave Pearah, CEO of SpiderOak, said the company’s zero-trust mechanisms allow data to travel securely on networks and infrastructure with different owners and variable-security protocols. “The Space Force wants to ensure that communications are secure and there are redundancies in the event an adversary attempts to poke holes in communications networks, which are increasingly dependent on space,” he said.

Advisory Council: Tysons-based LMI announced its creation of an advisory council comprised of decorated leaders that will provide guidance in support of LMI’s strategic vision and market expansion initiatives, Intelligence Community News reported. On October 18, LMI named the following advisory council members: Dr. Mark T. Esper, Former Secretary of Defense; Mike Hayes, Chief Operating Officer, VMware; Michael Morell, Former Deputy Director of the CIA; Gen. (Retired) John W. “Jay” Raymond, Former Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force; and Jennifer “JJ” Snow, Venture Partner, Allied Ventures.

Strategic pivot: Tysons-based 22nd Century Technologies (TSCTI) has acquired Woburn, Mass.-based Queues Enforth Development (QED), a distinguished provider of public safety software like Computer-Aided Dispatch and Records Management Systems, citybiz reported. This acquisition, coming on the heels of a digital transformation initiative backed by Secretary Janet Yellen, bolsters TSCTI’s offerings across state, local, and federal government sectors and intensifies its push to merge innovative products with its established services. “This acquisition is a strategic pivot towards building and growing a product-centric organization that complements our existing services,” said Anil Sharma, CEO of TSCTI. “With QED serving 340 public safety agencies, this acquisition enhances our newly-established product division. Our vision is to infuse cutting-edge technologies including generative AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics to revolutionize and enhance public safety software for our widespread governmental network, leading the path towards a safer and more secure future.”

Vertical reach: In a move that will expand its AI and machine learning capabilities, MindPetal, a Tysons-based digital modernization company focused on the federal government, announced that it will acquire Arlington, Va.-based VerticalApps, a software developer for the U.S. government. VerticalApps provides software development and data management services to many federal agencies, including DHS and NIH. On Nov. 1, VerticalApps will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of MindPetal. Washington Business Journal has more.

Straight A’s: Tysons-based Booz Allen Hamilton said it is determined to lead in deploying artificial intelligence for the federal government, reported ExecutiveBiz. The management and technology consulting firm announced new insights from its AI portfolio and the new stack of AI capabilities that can help accelerate the ability to achieve critical mission success. The company’s initial development areas are generative AI, responsible AI, adversarial AI, cyber AI and vision AI. These new areas reinforce Booz Allen’s established AI portfolio, which includes AI engineering, AI strategy, model development and quantum sciences. The company will add more to the stack whenever it identifies new areas of capability.

New launch: Tysons-based Red Cell Partners, an incubator focused on technology companies, said it has launched Nevada-based Savoy Life, the developer of a virtual healthcare platform for long-term care, out of stealth with a $3 million pre-seed investment. The company plans to bring its initial offerings to market with the funds. Savoy said it will partner with residential long-term care communities, using its services to help improve occupancy, length of stay, healthcare access, and the quality of life for residents. Yahoo Finance has more.

Contract Wins

Amentum (Chantilly) won a five-year $326.9 million contract from the U.S. Army to continue its work on command, control, communication, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems. WashingtonExec

Parsons (Centreville) secured a three-year, $44 million contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Honolulu to develop new Army housing units in the Marshall Islands. ExecutiveBiz

BlackSky Technology (Herndon) obtained an U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory AFWERX Direct to Phase 2 contract, funded by the Space Development Agency, to build an automated target recognition service. Intelligence Community News

FCEDA Hosted and Sponsored Events

October 27 — Tech Alliance Meeting — NVTC’s Filling the Tech Talent Gap Community of Interest and the Skills to Jobs team at Amazon Web Services are co-hosting a meeting for employers to discuss skills pathways to entry-level tech jobs in DMV. Through the Tech Alliance, AWS is collaborating with George Mason University, UVA and Northern Virginia Community College to align programs of study to in demand, entry-level job roles to meet the hiring needs of AWS customers in the DMV area. Click here to register. 

October 30 NVBCC 2nd Economic Forum. The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 2nd Annual Economic Forum, a discussion and action plan to build and scale. Speakers include: Victor Hoskins, President & CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development; Stephanie Landrum, President & CEO, Alexandria Economic Development Partnership; Buddy Rizer, Executive Director, Loudoun County Economic Development; Christina Winn, Executive Director Prince William County Economic Development; and Ryan Touhill-Director, Arlington Economic Development. Click here to register.

November 14 — Entrepreneurship 101. Join our panel of small business experts for an interactive in-person workshop on how to start your business. 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 Founder of Veterans Growing America, Donnell E Johns, Sr. 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.