FCEDA Global News

APRIL 2018

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) promotes Fairfax County, Virginia, as one of the world's best business locations, and our offices around the globe work with businesses interested in expanding in the U.S. market. We are delighted to have this opportunity to tell you about some of our recent work at our Tysons Corner headquarters and our satellite offices to help companies.


Sixty attend market outreach in Kochi

For the first time, the FCEDA conducted a business reception in Kochi, a major port city in the state of Kerala, on the southwest coast of India.

The FCEDA and The American Bazaar co-hosted the “US-India Emerging Technologies Forum” on February 15 at the Kochi Marriott Hotel. Panel discussions focused on the emerging technologies of blockchain, IoT and artificial intelligence and on doing business in the United States. 

Featuring a video highlighting Fairfax County, the forum spotlighted successful business strategies and investment opportunities in the U.S. market in key technology sectors The audience of startups and mid-size IT companies from three IT tech parks in Kochi learned about the landscape for startups in the U.S. and about investment trends in the technology arena.

The event was organized with FCEDA partner Brickwork India and strategic partners The American Bazaar, TiE Kochi and NASSCOM 10,000 Startups. 

FCEDA builds bonds at NIT Trichy Conclave 

With a theme “Building India’s Next Unicorn,” the Entrepreneurship Conclave event in February brought together start-up enthusiasts from top educational institutions and industry experts.

The event was organized by the NIT Trichy Entrepreneurship cell, a student-run nonprofit organization which facilitates an exchange of knowledge between start-up enthusiasts and successful entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders. Mentors, angel investors and incubators shared ideas for new businesses, including ideation, product development, business development and brand creation

The FCEDA India team met with several Indian companies that indicated an interest in business expansion and enjoyed the opportunity to network with speakers who might participate during future networking events in India. 


OVH among the firms growing in Fairfax County

OVH US, a global cloud provider with roots in France, celebrated its continued expansion in the U.S. market with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new corporate headquarters in the Reston area of Fairfax County.

OVH Group is the largest European hosting provider and has 1.3 million customers in 138 countries. Russ Reeder, CEO of OVH US, told the crowd of employees, partners and customers that a Fairfax County location made sense because it is the optimal place to cultivate computing talent.

"It's where can we find the right employees to join OVH," said Reeder, who has helped manage tech companies in other locales, including San Francisco, Nashville, Austin and Los Angeles. "That was the number one thing we looked for. Coming here and finding the employee base that is tech-savvy, that comes in and has team spirit, and is willing to...create a culture of growth -- that's an amazing opportunity for us."

Dutch cyber firm EclecticIQ opens North American HQ in Fairfax County 

EclecticIQ, headquartered in Amsterdam, recently opened its North American headquarters in the Herndon area of Fairfax County.

The cyber threat-intelligence firm, which operates in Europe, the U.S., Australia and Singapore, doubled its customer base in 2017. The company won Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 Rising Star Award as "Most Disruptive Innovator" in 2016.

FCEDA makes new connections in Spain

Jatinder Kaur Khosla, business development manager, Europe, and Markus van Tilburg, director of the FCEDA Berlin office took advantage of Mobile World Congress Week (MWC18) to expand connections at several events in Spain.

The week kicked off in Barcelona on February 25 at the Mobile Sunday event organized by tech.eu. The evening enabled the FCEDA to gain 

valuable insights about recent trends within the European tech community, new developments within multiple industries and to make connections with innovative companies, venture capital providers and startups. 

The FCEDA team participated at MWC18, which was held from February 26 through March 1. That time allowed for meetings with multiple established European firms.

The 2018 Mobile World Congress attracted more than 107,000 attendees from 205 countries. In all, 2,400 companies showcased their products and solutions and 12 international delegations exhibited.

In Barcelona, the FCEDA also participated and held several meetings at an event created especially for startups. Called 4 Years From Now (4YFN), this event ran concurrently with MWC 2018. 

Incubators from companies such as Airbus and Mercedes Benz offered the chance for young companies to showcase their business models, get in touch with investors and launch new ventures. 

FCEDA’s Europe office organized two days of meetings with promising start-up companies to discuss their growth strategy and potential for future market entry into the U.S.

FCEDA’s van Tilburg addresses audience in Stuttgart

Markus van Tilburg from FCEDA Europe spoke at the German American Trade Association workshop in Stuttgart on February 21.

Thanks to participation of renowned German companies, the GATA’s U.S. seminars are now in their 16thyear and help companies to gather information about entering the U.S. market with sales operations, production facilities or other business activities.

Van Tilburg spoke about site selection in the U.S. to a gathering of approximately 30 participants, who learned about the benefits of Fairfax County as a prime location for starting a first U.S. business.  


FCEDA’s regional collaboration is taking flight in Farnborough

For the last several years, Fairfax County has been developing an increasingly deep relationship with the region around Farnborough, southwest of London.

In terms of industry and demographics, Farnborough bears multiple similarities to Fairfax County, not the least of which is its proximity to a major airport. In fact, with the oldest continuously operating runway in the world, Farnborough considers itself a home of aviation and to many companies with ties to both Fairfax County and the U.K.

As it is every other year, Farnborough will be home to a major worldwide airshow in July. Many major Fairfax County firms have direct involvement in the aerospace and defense industries and, this year, the FCEDA will have a visible presence, with a booth at the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) pavilion. 

In late March, Jan Mul, the FCEDA director of international marketing, joined Ian Metcalf, director of the FCEDA’s London office, for a preliminary visit, fostering links with business groups, academic institutions and local government officials in the Farnborough area.

Security and Policing event renews a common bond

Fairfax County’s UK office attended the 2018 Security and Policing show in early March. The event provided the opportunity to catch up with many old friends and current prospects.

Cooperation in security -- physical, counter-terror and cyber -- between the UK and the U.S. has never been stronger and never more vital. Many growing UK companies are looking to make the leap into the U.S. federal market and Fairfax County, given its proximity to Washington, D.C., is a logical destination.

FCEDA tours the new United States Embassy

On 20 March, Jan Mul of the Fairfax County EDA and Ian Metcalf, the FCEDA’s UK director, were honored with an invitation to the recently-opened U.S. Embassy in London.

The FCEDA reps received a tour of the building. It’s a magnificent facility which the diplomatic staff is clearly enjoying, being able to work in a purpose-designed environment. The new embassy is also having a substantial and positive economic impact on what had been a neglected area of London.

During the visit, the FCEDA had discussions with embassy staff about their engagement with British companies looking to invest in the U.S. Members of the embassy confirmed strong interest, particularly in the sectors of big data, cybersecurity and medical innovation. 

The U.S. Embassy is heavily promoting the SelectUSA summit in Washington, D.C., June 20-22, where the FCEDA will be exhibiting. 

FCEDA thanks Ross Clarke, embraces Ian Metcalf

On January 4, the FCEDA announced that it selected Ian Metcalf to become director of its London office, succeeding Ross Clarke who retired as head of its outreach efforts in the United Kingdom. 

Clarke worked with the FCEDA for 19 years and received a thank-you video from his colleagues and co-workers, past and present.

Beyond working hand-in-hand with Clarke since 2015, Metcalf brings trans-Atlantic experience in key industry sectors. The owner and managing director of Farnham, Surrey-based business development firm Critical Outcomes, Metcalf has established a partnership with the Enterprise M3 Local Economic Partnership (FCEDA’s counterpart in the English county of Hampshire) and other organizations including the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium. He also developed a pipeline of small and medium-sized enterprises in the defense, security and aerospace industries.

Metcalf has built working relationships in Britain and Virginia, working with members of Parliament and local authorities in Hampshire and Oxfordshire while extending outreach to chambers of commerce and local enterprise partnerships across the U.K. He holds a master’s degree in mathematics from Balliol College, Oxford, and is a fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust.

Metcalf also served as director of Operational Assurance Ltd., which provides operational audit services to fire and emergency planners, and chairman of SII Services Ltd., a French-owned provider of advanced engineering services. A resident of Virginia from 1996-1999, he previously held senior positions at BAE Systems (UK and U.S.), MBDA Missiles (UK and France) and Alenia-Marconi Systems (UK and Italy).


Entrepreneurs receive valuable tips at MPS forum

The FCEDA partnered with D.Camp, a leading accelerator in Seoul, to hold the Mentors Investors Partners for Korean Startups (MIPS) Forum on March 15.

D.Camp is funded by Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, a non-profit organization developed to revitalize the entrepreneurship ecosystem and create work opportunities for aspiring millennial entrepreneurs.

Several prominent business executives from northern Virginia were guest speakers during this event. Ade Odutola, founder and CEO of Solvitur Systems LLC, Laszlo Horvath, founder and president of ActiveMedia, and Steven Lee, founder and CEO of GINIA Group, joined Andrew Yu, the FCEDA’s marketing manager for Asia, for a panel discussion and provided information about doing business in the U.S.

The event included a special session at which time three startup firms were selected to pitch their companies to the executives from the U.S. All told, more than 40 companies received valuable information about business opportunities in the U.S. and the advantages of doing business in Fairfax County. 

U.S. government procurement is hot topic

Charles Kim, director of the FCEDA Seoul office, participated in the International Procurement Workshop on Cross-border Participation and the Global Public Procurement Marketplace 2017 in December.

The marketplace aimed to organize procurement workshops and one-on-one business meetings to support Korean SMEs’ business expansion to the global public procurement market. Foreign government procurement contractors and buyers from 15 countries and three international organizations, including the United Nations, attended the event and met with Korean SMEs to discuss business opportunities with their foreign governments.

Ade Odutola, founder and CEO of Solvitur Systems LLC, and Steven Lee, founder and CEO of GINIA Group, both from northern Virginia, were joined by Kim and met with Korean technology companies from ICT and cybersecurity industries to answered questions about doing business with the U.S. government.

Many Fairfax County firms, especially in the information technology and defense-related sectors, receive government contracts to procure goods or perform services. The federal government spends more than $500 billion a year in private sector procurement. Spending by state and local governments pushes that figure even higher.

According to the Federal Procurement Data System, federal government contracts performed in Fairfax County reached $24.1 billion in fiscal year 2017. The Fairfax County total was higher than any other county or city, 46 states and the District of Columbia.

FCEDA participates at Incheon Business Information Technopark Round Table Meeting

On March 16, the FCEDA’s Andrew Yu and Charles Kim participated in the Incheon Business Information Technopark (IBITP) Round Table to introduce Fairfax County to startups and discuss business expansion into the U.S. market. 

The IBITP meeting aims to build relationships with the startups, answer questions about relocating, expanding or starting a business in the U.S. The FCEDA is also there to assist in setting up U.S. operations in Fairfax County once firms have committed.

All of the startups that participated in the roundtable meeting were from the ICT industry. All are expecting to expand their global presence with particular interest in entering the U.S. market.

FCEDA meets with DemoDay participants

Charles Kim, director of the FCEDA Seoul office, participated in the NEXEED Accelerating Program DemoDay held the first week of March and, through individual meetings, introduced the FCEDA and its business environment to Korean startups and SMEs. 

NEXEED is a government-led organization and a link between startups and investors to build a domestic startup ecosystem that includes the region of Gyeonggi-do. NEXEED supports its startup companies by providing free or subsidized co-working space and also makes indirect investments.​

FCEDA representatives attend major industry events

SECON is the largest security exhibition and conference in Asia, with about 1,000 booths representing 450 companies in the fields of video surveillance, access control, IT security, homeland security, IoT security and social security system.

With more than 80,000 visitors, KIMES is the largest medical device show in Korea, hosting representatives from 35 countries and more than 1,300 companies in the fields of healthcare, life sciences and medical device industries,

The FCEDA’s Andrew Yu and Charles Kim attended both events in mid-March. The pair met with the exhibitors, many of whom are likely to expand their businesses into the U.S. market, and introduced them to Fairfax County, services provided by the FCEDA, and the reasons why expansion to Fairfax County represents a sound business decision. 


Tel Aviv forum focuses on opportunities in cybersecurity, HLS

On January 25, the Tel Aviv and Central Israel Chamber of Commerce teamed with the FCEDA to hold a business forum “Business Opportunities in the U.S. 2018.”

The event, attended by about 30 executives, highlighted current business opportunities in the U.S. market with a focus on high-growth segments such as cybersecurity, homeland security and emergency response.

The event, which took place at the Tel Aviv Chamber of Commerce, was held in partnership with Deloitte, Holland & Knight and Israel Advanced Technology Industries.

Fairfax County EDA team explores Cybertech Tel Aviv

The FCEDA team was on hand for Cybertech Tel Aviv, a three-day conference, January 29-31, which drew about 13,000 attendees from 65 countries.

More than 150 Israeli companies participated in the event, exhibiting the latest technologies in numerous areas in the cybersecurity space.

The FCEDA representatives met with multiple Israeli startup companies, many of them considering expansion to the U.S. market. In doing so, the FCEDA highlighted the unique benefits of Fairfax County as a hub for 450-plus cybersecurity companies already working in the commercial and government sectors.

Israeli companies in Fairfax County expand through acquisitions

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.

Priority Software Ltd., an Israel-based provider Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions with U.S. headquarters in the Reston area of Fairfax County, has acquired New Jersey-based Acclivity, a producer of small business accounting software. 

The January acquisition is part of Priority’s plan for global expansion and follows the company’s 2017 purchase of Monitin Information Systems ERP, also based in Israel. Priority previously bought Performa Apps, a Reston-based ERP consulting and services firm.

On January 30, Amdocs, a leading provider of solutions to communications and media companies, announced it had entered into a $224 million agreement to acquire Vubiquity, a provider of premium content services and technology solutions with a U.S. headquarters office in Reston. Amdoc’s U.S. Open Network main office is located in the Herndon section of Fairfax County.

Drive for innovation brings FCEDA to cutting-edge firm

FCEDA representatives from Israel and the U.S. visited DriveTLV, a Tel Aviv-based innovation center for smart mobility technologies.

During its January 24 visit, the FCEDA team toured the DriveTLV facility and met with several startup companies interested to learn about Fairfax County and ways the FCEDA works to assist such firms with U.S. entry strategy.

Nadav Zohar from the FCEDA Tel Aviv office, and Asher Kotz from headquarters in Virginia, met Tal Kreisler, CEO of NoTraffic, which has established an office presence in Fairfax County. Zohar and Kotz also met with Shira Rotem, DriveTLV’s head of business and community development, to discuss potential collaboration opportunities.


FCEDA participates in blockchain and cryptocurrency event

Blockchain and distributed ledgers are becoming increasingly popular, with startups, multinationals, governments and non-profits evaluating the benefits of the technology.

Mark White, director of the FCEDA Los Angeles office, was part of a large gathering in Orange County in mid-January to learn more about blockchain technology, key uses, ICOs, smart contracts and security. 

In 2017, the FCEDA became the first local organization to join the growing Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s leading trade association representing the digital asset and blockchain industry.

The blockchain ecosystem, with its large value and potential to grow, remains of great interest to the FCEDA’s activities and in attracting top companies that participate in this industry. 

Checking in at world’s largest medical trade show

The world’s largest medtech trade show came to Anaheim, Calif., February 6 to 8, and the FCEDA was there to take it all in.

The Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West Conference provided an opportunity to view the latest offerings from thousands of exhibitors specializing in new materials, intelligent sensors, testing solutions, components, packaging and many other specialties.

FCEDA Los Angeles Office Director Mark White attended the event. Building relationships with companies that service the medical health industry is essential as Fairfax County’s medtech community grows as a center for research, development and delivery.

FCEDA is represented at this year’s IEDC Leadership Conference

The FCEDA was pleased to participate in the 2018 International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Conference, continuing its long-standing relationship with the council. FCEDA Los Angeles Director Mark White participated in the event, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from January 28-30.

At the 2018 IEDC Conference, more than 450 executive leaders in the economic development arena assembled to discuss a variety of topics including: reimaging workforce and education; transportation and mobility; sustainability and renewable energy. 

The IEDC is the world’s largest non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC members help promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities.


Businesses continue to choose Fairfax County

The FCEDA announced that it worked with 164 businesses that were creating 8,200 jobs for the county economy in 2017. Of those companies, 36 were foreign-owned.

Information technology companies led the way in 2017 with the largest single announcement coming from Amazon Web Services, which is bringing 1,500 jobs to its east coast campus in the Herndon area of Fairfax County. 

Among foreign-owned firms, Granules, an India-based pharmaceuticals company, announced a major expansion which will add 102 jobs at its Chantilly, Va. facility. Reston, Va.-based Electrify America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of German automaker’s Volkswagen Group of America, announced 48 new jobs.

That trend toward growth seems to be continuing in 2018. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam made a recent visit to Fairfax County to celebrate MicroStrategy Inc.’s commitment to invest $6 million in capital improvements at its Tysons Corner, Va. facility and add an additional 300 jobs. 

The governor also attended a ribbon cutting by Favor TechConsulting, a growing healthtech information firm which expanded to new headquarters in the Tysons Corner area of the county and Darktrace, a UK-based cybersecurity firm, kicked off the new year with word it has added 20 jobs at its Reston location.

FCEDA joins leader in unmanned vehicle technology

The FCEDA has become a member organization of the Association for Unmanned Vehicles international (AUVSI), the world’s largest organization dedicated to unmanned vehicles and the emerging technologies they spawn.

Founded in 1972, AUVSI and its members are involved with unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), robotics, Internet-of-Things (sensors), satellites, telecommunications and undersea vehicles as well as self-driving cars.

With more than 35 chapters around the globe, AUVSI has 7,500 members including Fortune 500 companies, universities and economic development organizations. At least 26 members currently operate in Fairfax County including Intelsat, SAIC, MITRE and Lockheed Martin. Other prominent members include Amazon, Facebook, Intel and NVIDIA.

“Fairfax County’s economy has grown over the years, not by reproducing things or making them faster or prettier, but by creating the next new iteration of technologies in a variety of fields,” said FCEDA President and CEO Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D. “This is one area that the FCEDA should be interested in because it’s certainly a growth segment of the economy.”

Fairfax County is home to numerous drone technology companies and innovative satellite communications and communications firms. County officials have expressed a desire to place the county at the forefront of driverless vehicle technology and the infrastructure that supports it.

FCEDA’s Dr. Gordon considered among most influential

For the sixth consecutive year, Virginia Business magazine named FCEDA President and CEO Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., as one of the 50 Most Influential Virginians.

The magazine said it was looking for: “Entrepreneurs. Visionaries. People who build things,” when assembling its list for 2018. 

Virginia Business wrote: "Fairfax County continues to develop and diversify its economy. Last year, the county was home to nine Fortune 500 companies and 132 businesses on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation's fastest-growing firms. During his tenure, Gordon has seen the total number jobs in Fairfax grow from 243,000 to more than 600,000."

FCEDA’s message resonates with international media

The FCEDA is building its profile around the world as more international media outlets publish news and opinions from FCEDA experts.

It’s a trend that began last fall when Battlespace, an international defense electronics news service, published FCEDA London office director Ian Metcalf’s column about British cybersecurity firms finding a home in Fairfax County. It continued when FINN Magazine published Metcalf’s column in which he compared Farnborough’s commitment to the aerospace and defense industries to that of Fairfax County.

The Times of Israel published two blog posts from FCEDA sources. In December, it ran Tel Aviv office director Yair Ephrati’s piece outlining why many Israeli companies choose Fairfax County as a business hub. In March, it published a Q & A featuring FCEDA business development manager and Israel native Asher Kotz with his take on the similarities between Israel and Fairfax County, and his reflections on Israel after returning home years later.

That same week, FCEDA President and CEO Dr. Gerald L. Gordon’s opinion piece outlining the business relationships between Fairfax County and India was published online by The American Bazaar, which covers the Indian-American community, technology and news with a focus on daily U.S.-India affairs.

Gordon has appeared in print three times in Korea this year. His columns about the success of Korean businesses in Fairfax County have been published in English (by the Korea Times) and Korean (by Investor’s Business Daily). The Korea Herald ran his column about the ability of Korean startups to thrive in Fairfax County.

Back in Virginia, the Fairfax County Times looked at Korean-owned companies that have found success in Fairfax County. Writer Angela Woolsey examined GINIA, an IT consulting firm in the Alexandria portion of the county, Design Be Art, a Tysons Corner producer of architectural scale models, and Language on Demand, a translation and interpretation company based in the Annandale section of the county, as examples of the flourishing Korean community in the county.