the Power of Ideas channel

In Fairfax County, meaningful information and research fuel the Power of Ideas. That’s why we created the Power of Ideas Channel: to bring you the latest business and economic development news and information. Here, you can access articles curated and written by Fairfax County EDA, read the latest editions of our E-Bird news digest, review business news from NPR and learn about best practices from Harvard Business Review. Click below and experience the benefit of having the right information right at your fingertips.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:34am

It's elementary -- excellence is countywide: Nineteen of Virginia's top 30 elementary schools hold their classes in Fairfax County, according to's2019 list of Best Public Elementary Schools. With Spring Hill Elementary(McLean) and Mantua Elementary (Fairfax) in the top 10, Fairfax County Public Schools claimed 39 of the top 65 spots among 1,118 schools surveyed. The study takes into account Dept. of Education statistics, parental surveys, multiple factors concerning teachers, academic and student life and diversity. carried the news.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:33am

Fine location by any designation: You might not find the town of Hunter Mill on a map. But you will find it listed as No.31 on Money Magazine's latest list of the top 50 places to live in America. In its survey, Money, in partnership with, is referring a to section of Fairfax County -- a Census-designated location that includes portions of Reston, Herndon and Vienna. The Money survey cites high median income, low unemployment and proximity to Washington, well as amenities like Lake Fairfax Park, Frying Pan Farm and Tysons Corner Center as quality-of-life benefits that are difficult to duplicate.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:33am

The man behind unmanned aerials: Fast-growing MAG Aerospace recently relocated to Fairfax and the Washington Business Journal explains why the  company is flying high. Robert J. Terry's interview for WBJ subscribers points to CEO Joe Fluet, a Gulf War reconnaissance pilot, whose first-hand experience provides a solid background for corporate strategy. MAG, which is integrating sensor technology with unmanned aerial systems to collect and analyze data for the military, intelligence agencies and enterprise customers, is experiencing 70 percent annual growth and has made four major acquisitions since last April.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:33am

Hoping to spring forth: Spring Hill Station North could include 1.3 million square feet of residential space, a 170,000-square-foot hotel and up to 75,000 square feet of retail if Fairfax County approves plans submitted by the Georgelas Groupfor a site in Tysons Corner, just north of the Spring Hill Metro Station. Katie Arcieri of the Washington Business Journal reports that construction could start in 2019 or 2020 and that the entire $450 million project could take up to 15 years to complete. There is an option for office space in lieu of some residential in the plan.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:32am

Projects on hold: The Vienna Town Council on Monday agreed to a nine-month moratorium on Maple Avenue Commercial ordinance cases until June of next year. Brian Trompeter of InsideNoVA reports on the decision which comes as the result of public opposition to several pending and proposed development projects.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:31am

Bounce in their step: Sara Gilgore of the Washington Business Journal profiles brothers Barry and Muhssin El-Yacoubi, who have parlayed funds from their personal training business into a startup that connects users with athletic trainers who make house calls. Send Me a Trainer, based in Tysons Corner, recently launched its free app with a roster of 40 certified trainers in the Greater Washington area. The brothers are following up on success they've enjoyed with Bounce Fitness, an in-home personal training business they've operated for a decade.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:31am

GovCon finalists: Washington Exec reports that 23 companies and 14 individuals have been named finalists for the 2018 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards to be presented by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Services Council. Winners will be unveiled at the annual gala at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner on Nov. 5. George J. Pedersen, executive chairman of ManTech, will be this year's Hall of Fame inductee and Susan Gordon, principal deputy director of Office of the Director of National Intelligence will be honored as Public Sector Partner of the Year.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:27am

On the fly: Washington Dulles International Airport reported a 5.2 percent year-over-year increase in passenger traffic for July. Increases from international carriers including Aer Lingus, Icelandair and British Airways helped push the total to nearly 2.4 million passengers. InsideNoVA reports that Reagan National Airport experienced an 0.8 percent increase for the same time period.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 10:26am

No subbing for power: Brian Trompeter from InsideNoVA reports that  the Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved Dominion Energy's plan to build an electrical substation south of Route 7 and Spring Hill Road in Tysons Corner. The unmanned facility will help supply power to the Silver Line's Spring Hill and Greensboro stations and afford emergency backup for the regional power grid. Substations convert power from high-voltage transmission lines into a lower voltage that can be used by businesses and residents. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 10:04am

Tata Communications reaches nearly all of the world's population with a network that thrives in Herndon

Beneath the oceans, across the continents and, right here in Fairfax County, Tata Communications has emerged as a major player in the world of connectivity as a global telecom provider for multi-national customers.

During the past decade, Tata has evolved from an India-based telecom company to a global digital infrastructure provider with more than 8,500 employees in 38 countries serving 7,000 customers worldwide. More than 5,000 of those are large, multinational corporations or service providers.

With $2.9 billion in revenue (77 percent of that generated outside of India) the company is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India and is the flagship telecom arm of the $110 billion Tata Group. 

Tata Communications maintains global headquarters in Mumbai, India, Singapore and London, but its Herndon, Virginia office is integral to its success. Established in 2004, the Herndon location is responsible for sales, business operations, legal affairs and engineering.

What makes it all tick?

Tata Communications' cloud, mobility, security and unified collaboration services are underpinned by a global network which operates thanks to the company's wholly-owned subsea cable infrastructure.

"One of our claims to fame is that we're one of the only companies which runs a global undersea cable infrastructure that literally circles the globe," says Amitabh Kotwal, vice president of sales engineering for Tata's Americas Region. "This network carries more than 25 percent of the world's internet routes to reach more than 99.75 percent of the world's population."

It is the world's largest wholly-owned submarine fiber network with more than 500,000 kilometers of subsea fiber, not to mention more than 210,000 kilometers of land-based fiber.

That massive network enables Tata's portfolio of services, which includes high-speed connections (it counts 85 million voice transactions each day) and global MPLS virtual private networks, telepresence services, DDoS mitigation and detection service, content delivery networks and cloud offerings. Among the key markets it serves are oil and gas, banking and financial services, media and entertainment, insurance and manufacturing.

The company strives for seamless connectivity, ease of integration and security by continuing to invest in emerging mobile technologies including AI, automation and analytics. Innovating in Internet of Things (IoT) space has become a priority. It's safe to day that Tata does not rest on its laurels.

"Innovation a central aim of the company to create digital value for our customers," Kotwal says. "We foster innovation by crowd sourcing ideas, both externally with startups as well as internally from our strong 8,500 employee base. 

"We incubate internal startups for go-to-market. An example of this is our flagship business incubator program called Shape the Future. Since its inception a couple years back it is responsible for internally crowd sourcing more than 500 business ideas, with the most promising ideas selected for incubation."

Some of those ideas originate in Herndon, where Kotwal says that one of the company's goals is to become the "employer of choice." The Herndon office currently employs about 110 with 15 percent annual growth anticipated.

"Fairfax County is home to the world's best technology companies and this is one of the reasons we've been here since inception," Kotwal says. "The proximity of the county to D.C. as well as a well-educated workforce coupled (with) the quality of life to attract the best employees and makes Fairfax County an ideal location for Tata Communications on the east coast." 

Tata Communications  is located at 2355 Dulles Corner Blvd., Suite 700, Herndon, VA  20171. Contact; www.tatacommunications;703-547-5900

Some happenings that make Fairfax County the place to be this weekend:

No bull: Thirty-five of the world's top professional bull riders will compete Saturday in the PBR Unleash the Beast U.S. Border Patrol Invitational at Eagle Bank Arena. Click here.

Diversity on display: The Reston Multicultural Festival, featuring music, entertainment, dress, food, and cultural treasures from around the world takes place Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza. Click here.

Hop to it: The Fairfax County Brewfest will be held at the Mustang Sally Brewing Company in Chantilly on Saturday afternoon. It's your chance to sample product from all seven Fairfax County breweries. Click here.

Motorcycles on the move: The four-day Lord Fairfax Charity Ride, featuring Nicholas Fairfax, the 14th Baron of Cameron, kicks off on Saturday. Click here.

Rock And Roll All Nite: Artwork by KISS guitarist Paul Stanley will be on display at the Wentworth Gallery in the Tysons Galleria on Saturday afternoon. Keith Loria has more about Stanley and his exhibition in the Fairfax County Times


Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:40am

Now hear this: October 18 is the new date for Social Media Week Fairfax. The event, postponed by safety concerns arising from the path of Hurricane Florence, will still be held at Capital One headquarters in Tysons Corner with a star-studded cast of speakers, panelists and exhibitors. For full information, go to SMWFairfax. E-Bird readers can join more than 300 who have already registered and receive a 20 percent discount by entering code FairfaxEBird.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:39am

Proof that cells do sell: It's strange to think that a former prison might be dubbed a "very cool" space? But that's part of the allure in Lorton, where the team of Elm Street DevelopmentThe Alexander Co. and Fairfax County is preparing to break ground on the second phase of development at the former Lorton Reformatory. The first phase, known as Liberty, included 165 rental apartments, 83 townhouses, 24 single-family homes and office space created from the minimum security portion of the prison. Bisnow's Jon Banister reports that Phase 2 will focus on the walled, maximum security section, initially turning about 60,000 square feet into space for food and beverage tenants and 74 townhomes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:38am

Closer to reality: The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved expansion of RTC West, the JBG Smith mixed-use project less than a quarter-mile from the future Reston Town Center Metro Station. Fatimah Waseem of Reston Now reports that the plan will accommodate will up to 576 multifamily units, 700,000 square feet of office space and 1.4 million square feet of new development in addition to the existing office park.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:38am

Banking on a game-changer: Tysons Corner-based Lavrock Ventures is leading a new $3.9 million round of funding for San Francisco-based Expeto Wireless, developer of a platform that allows clients to deploy connected devices over 4G/LTE networks while maintaining their corporate security protocols. "Expeto's technology is a game-changer for enterprises, plain and simple," said Daniel Hanks, general partner of Lavrock. Evok Innovations and Mistral Venture Partners also participated in the company's first round according to the release picked up by Potomac Tech Wire.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:37am

Looking for leasees: Foulger-Pratt says it has secured equity financing from USAA Real Estate Co. for its $200 million-plus trophy office building adjacent to the Greensboro Metro Station in Tysons Corner. Katie Arcieri of the Washington Business Journal says the next step is to nail down tenants for the 25-story tower that is part of the $750 million Tysons Central project.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:37am

Positive growth: Economic leaders, including those from Visit Fairfax and the FCEDA expressed excitement with ongoing development, increases in jobs and tourism, and optimism for the economic future of the region at the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Economic Summit on Sept. 13. Speakers observed enthusiasm, extending from Tysons Corner and the Dulles Tech Corridor to Springfield and Route 1. Brian Trompeter reports for InsideNoVA that growth continues to impact the housing market -- a topic of interest for many who attended the event at Northern Virginia Community College's Annandale campus

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:36am

Banking on its IPO: Fairfax-based FVCBankcorp Inc. (FCVB) expects to net about $31.9 million from its initial public offering which began trading Friday at $20 per share on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The bank has six northern Virginia offices including locations in Fairfax, Reston and Springfield. Michael Neibauer reports for the Washington Business Journal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:36am

If you like piña coladas: Tysons Corner-based Hilton and Playa Hotels announced a strategic alliance that plans to add eight all-inclusive resorts to Hilton's roster by 2025. Playa currently operates resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Citybizlist provides us the all-inclusive exclusive.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 10:35am

At your fingertips: Yombu, a Tysons Corner-based biometric payments company known for its fingerprint technology, is a finalist in the upcoming Money 20/20 fintech challenge in Las Vegas. Michelai Graham of updates us on the company, featured as part of the FCEDA Innovation Series.

Social Media Week Fairfax rescheduled for October 18 with full slate of speakers and exhibitors to participate

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Fairfax County, Virginia – Social Media Week Fairfax, presented by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) will take place October 18 at Capital One headquarters in Tysons Corner.

The one-day event, which promises to provoke rigorous discussion and debate about the changes in human connectivity through engaging, entertaining, educational and diverse content, was postponed last week due to safety concerns arising from the path of Hurricane Florence.

With 122 of America’s fastest-growing firms, Fairfax County remains the regional leader on the Inc. 5000

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fairfax County, Virginia – Fairfax County continues to be the leader in the Washington, D.C., area when it comes to starting and building a business.

It’s also one of the best places in the country for emerging businesses to grow and prosper, as indicated by the recently released Inc. 5000 list. Produced by Inc. magazine, the compilation spotlights America’s fastest-growing companies.

Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 1:04pm

Now hear this: Blame Florence. Due to uncertainty of the path of the hurricane and a state of emergency in the region, the Social Media Week Fairfax event scheduled for Friday in Tysons Corner has been postponed. The difficult decision came down to concern for the safety of everyone involved, including speakers and attendees traveling great distances. The SMWFairfax team is working on a new date and will keep registrants informed via Eventbrite and social media channels. Questions? E-mail

Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 1:04pm

Medical affiliation gains steam: The University of Virginia's Board of Visitors approved an academic affiliation with Inova Health System and George Mason University. The move creates the possibility of a full satellite campus in Fairfax County, where U.Va. medical students could take classes and complete rotations at Inova's campus in Merrifield. Ruth Severn Smith's story in The Daily Progresssays approval of an academic presence can be viewed as the most significant step since the board approved an affiliation between Inova and UVa. in 2017.

Thursday, September 13, 2018 - 1:03pm

Face time at IAD: Washington Dulles International Airport last month became one of 14 in the U.S. where some travelers submit to facial-recognition scans before boarding international flights. Other airports acquired screening technology from commercial vendors, but the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority used in-house technology to develop its VeriScan product. Benjamin Freed of reports that the system is essentially a 12-inch iPad connected wirelessly to a cloud server, enabling passengers' photos to be matched against passport and visa images. In use at four IAD gates, VeriScan has been such a success that the Airports Authority will attempt to sell the technology to other airports -- and several have expressed interest.