Business News from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority – January 12

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Talk of Tysons

Fortune 500 Spotlight: Booz Allen Hamilton leads with mission-driven innovation

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority interviewed Ki Lee, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Global Defense Sector at Booz Allen Hamilton, to find out why Fairfax County is a great place for its global headquarters, how careers at the company are mission-driven, and to learn more about Booz Allen’s innovative technologies.

“Booz Allen supports so many different federal agencies, and Northern Virginia is central to all of that. We have access to not only our clients, but the workforce,” Ki said. “From a personal perspective my parents emigrated from South Korea when I was three and I have grown up in Fairfax County. I’ve seen the growth over close to 40 plus years of living here, going from elementary school through high school. I think one of the key aspects of Fairfax County that’s unique is the transient nature of this area. We gain access to very different people coming in and out across all of the services every few years. At Booz Allen, from a workforce perspective, that provides us access to such a diverse talent base and experienced diverse workforce.”

McLean-headquartered Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading Fortune 500 technology company providing a broad range of services and solutions in management, technology, consulting, and engineering. For more than 100 years, military, government, and business leaders have turned to Booz Allen Hamilton to solve their most complex problems. With more than 30,000 employees, the company’s revenues were $8.4 billion in fiscal year 2022.

Click here to read the entire interview with Ki Lee.

Fairfax County – a choice location for strategic data center use

San Mateo, Calif.-based Backblaze is occupying part of data space owned and run by CoreSite in Reston, according to the Washington Business JournalVictor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, said the lease offers further “validation” that the county is a choice location for strategic data center use.

“Data centers are choosing Fairfax County for great reasons — real estate availability, power availability, technical talent pipeline, proximity to customers, and our pro-business approach,” Hoskins told FFXnow. “The diversity of our business base, which includes data centers, is one of our greatest strengths and has a direct impact on our thriving and stable economy here in Fairfax County.”

Read more in Washington Business Journal and FFXnow.

Building Interstellar Dreams in Reston

Interstellar Dreams, an immersive, state-of-the-art space center, a program from the Pearl Project Institute for Innovation in STEM, plans to open a space center in Reston sometime around fall 2023. The 40,000-square-foot center will offer science, technology, engineering, and math training and simulations in a virtual, real-world environment utilizing floor-to-ceiling LED screens. Featured in the experience will be an array of learning spaces, including a mission command, a space station, and a planetary habitat. Mission commanders will walk participants through exercises and simulations, during which visitors will solve celestial problems.

“I am so excited about the ability to bring high-level STEM to the middle of Fairfax County, [which] some people call … the East Coast Silicon Valley,” said Robin McDougal, Interstellar Dreams founder and CEO. “A lot of aerospace companies that are changing the world are [based] along the Dulles Toll Road. … Reston is [also] known for having a community of families and youth that are really, really ready for the next level of technology in STEM, and we think aerospace is the next big thing.”

Read more in Northern Virginia magazine.

Opening soon

Capital One C3 and The Heming, both located in Tysons, are among six major developments delivering in the D.C. area this year, Bisnow reported. Capital One began moving workers this month into the third office building on its main campus near the McLean Metro stop, a spokesperson confirmed to Bisnow. The 843K SF building is slated to include retail, joining the neighboring Capital One Hall and The Perch, a 1.2-acre rooftop park, in adding amenities to the financial giant’s headquarters. Capital One Center still has space to grow, with the firm’s website showing the possibility for five additional buildings bounded by the Capital Beltway, Scott’s Crossing Road and Route 123. With an anticipated delivery date in Q3, Skanska’s Heming is expected to deliver 410 residential units and 28K SF of retail space by this summer. The 28-story tower, situated in Scott’s Run across Route 123 from Capital One’s headquarters, is also slated to feature a three-story outdoor public plaza. The 6.5M SF Scott’s Run development has been a focus for Fairfax County planners, who are looking to build out the Tysons East area that also includes Capital One’s holdings.

Partnership unveiled

Tysons-based Iridium unveiled San Diego-based Qualcomm, which has an office in Fairfax, as the partner behind plans to connect smartphones to its satellite constellation this year, SpaceNews reported. Qualcomm has developed a product called Snapdragon Satellite, which it said can be added to Android smartphones and other devices to support two-way communications via Iridium satellites. Potential uses include emergency SOS services, SMS texts, and other low-bandwidth messaging applications in areas outside terrestrial networks and where Iridium’s global constellation is licensed to operate. Any emergency messages would be routed through response teams run by Olathe, Kansas-based Garmin, a GPS technology specialist and longtime Iridium partner.

Giant leap in Virginia’s flourishing space economy

Rocket Lab USA is expected to launch a group of satellites from its Virginia space launch location this month in what would be the first-ever U.S. launch for the Long Beach, Calif.-based rocket manufacturer, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported. The mission, named “Virginia is for Launch Lovers,” will deploy three satellites for Herndon-based HawkEye 360. The launch from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility was delayed several times last month. John Serafini, chief executive of HawkEye 360, said that the company was proud to be based in Virginia, using Virginia-developed technology and launching out of the Virginia spaceport. “We selected Rocket Lab because of the flexibility it enables for us to place the satellites into an orbit tailored to benefit our customers,” Serafini said in a statement. “Deploying our satellites on Rocket Lab’s inaugural launch is a giant leap in Virginia’s flourishing space economy.” Rocket Lab USA announced  on January 11 that the launch window is scheduled to open on January 23, 2023 with back-up dates extending through early February.

Make a real difference

The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce will receive $300,000 from the federal government’s fiscal year 2023 budget, InsideNoVa reported. The NVBCC is the only chamber in Virginia to have received such funding. The chamber serves the Black-owned business community in Northern Virginia with networking opportunities, education, training, resources and other support. The funding will be used for the chamber’s Build Thriving Returns Now program, which will increase resources, training certifications and educational opportunities for member businesses. Sheila K. Dixon, Executive Director of the chamber, thanked Virginia’s U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, for their support of the funding request. “This funding will make a real difference to the small businesses we serve, and we look forward to continuing to work with our elected officials to create opportunities for all Virginians,” Dixon stated.

Company building

Herndon-based Fortune 500 building supplies company Beacon is opening 2023 with some M&A, according to the Washington Business Journal. The company announced two acquisitions last week: On Tuesday, January 3, it announced the acquisition of Boston’s Whitney Building Products, a distributor of commercial and multifamily waterproofing products, and on Wednesday, January 4, it said it had purchased First Coastal Exteriors, a residential and commercial building products distributor with locations in Alabama and Mississippi.

Assessing risk

With global instability on the rise, travelers’ options have narrowed, according to The Globe and Mail. Dale Buckner, chief executive officer of Tysons-based security service Global Guardian, which provides protection services for individuals at home and abroad with a suite of global medical, emergency, and security services, said there is more uncertainty now than there’s been in the past 80 years. “There’s more tension between large nation-states, particularly nuclear-capable nation-states, than we’ve had in a long time.” His company produces a global risk map, which has been updated to show that in many countries, the threat of unrest, as well as crime, terrorism, health issues and natural disasters, is now higher.

Cyber connection

Pasadena, Calif.-based Tetra Tech, which has locations in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia, acquired Reston-based management consulting firm Amyx, as part of efforts to expand its cybersecurity and enterprise technology service offerings, according to GovConWireWilliam Schaefer, president and CEO of Amyx, said the transaction will enable the company to gain access to Tetra Tech’s contract vehicles and global platform. “Leveraging Tetra Tech’s expertise in areas such as Artificial Intelligence and experience supporting customers with very similar mission needs to our own, not only creates more value for our clients, but also establishes exciting opportunities for our employees to grow professionally,” Schaefer stated.

Global exporting training

Chantilly-based Morcom International is among the 12 companies selected by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) for its two-year Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) program. The VALET program assists companies in the Commonwealth that are committed to international exporting as a growth strategy. To participate, each business must meet both quantitative and qualitative selection criteria, and participating firms are chosen based on their dedication to growing export sales. To date, 415 Virginia companies have been accepted to participate in the VALET program. “The VALET program has helped more than 350 companies successfully navigate the changing global marketplace and expand international sales over the past two decades, directly contributing to Virginia’s economic growth,” said VEDP President and CEO Jason El Koubi. “We are excited to welcome these Virginia companies to VALET and look forward to working with them over the course of the next two years to access global markets and accelerate international sales.”

New branch

Investment management firm Chevy Chase Trust Co. is opening an office in Northern Virginia, reported the Washington Business Journal in an article for subscribers. It would be just the second brick-and-mortar location for the Bethesda company, which is one of the largest wealth management firms in the region by metro-area professionals, according to Washington Business Journal research. The second office, at 8201 Greensboro Drive in Tysons, will gradually open throughout this month, the company said.

On a roll

Continuing a spree of international acquisitions over the last year, Reston-based Modus Create, a digital consulting firm, acquired Romania-based Clarisoft, a software and custom product development firm. The deal marks the fifth acquisition by Modus Create over the last year. From its headquarters in Bucharest, Clarisoft focuses on the healthcare, automotive, finance and telecom sectors. “Adding Clarisoft to the team expands our European footprint and strengthens our offerings in enterprise software development, leading cloud platforms, and microservices delivery,” said Sarah McCasland, chief strategy officer at Modus Create. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the release.

Funding round

Montréal-based NorthStar Earth & Space, which bases its U.S. headquarters in Tysons, raised $35 million in its Series C funding round, Via Satellite reported. Cartesian Capital Group led the round through Pangaea Three Acquisition Holdings III. The round also includes investment from Telesystem SpaceLuxembourg Future Fund; the government of Quebec through Investissement Quebec; and the Luxembourg Space Sector Development Fund, which is supported by Luxembourg-based SES, which has its North America Government Solutions office in Reston; and the Luxembourg government. NorthStar is using Tysons-based Spire Global’s space services to deploy its constellation of 24 satellites through the Spire Global space infrastructure. NorthStar signed the Spire Global deal in March 2022 for the initial three satellites, with the option to scale the constellation.

Reducing weather tax

Reston-based TruWeather Solutions CEO Don Berchoff was interviewed in an Inside Unmanned Systems article about how better weather sensing could reduce ‘weather tax’ in the form of delays and cancellations for small unmanned aircraft.  “Existing weather models lack sufficient measurement data in the lower levels of the atmosphere. Weather produces an estimated 20 percent ‘weather tax’ in the form of weather cancellations and delays, which negatively impact revenue. The lack of accurate weather measurements contributes to this, but we can address this,” Berchoff said.

Cheers!

Ornery Beer Company Public House is officially coming to Herndon, FFXNow reported. The restaurant and pub, which already has locations in Fairfax and Manassas, is set to open at Arrowbrook Centre (2340 Silver Arrow Way), a development that is currently under construction at the intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and Centreville Road.


About the Fairfax County
Economic Development Authority

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) promotes Fairfax County, Virginia, as a business and technology center. The FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County.

Want to know more about the services of the FCEDA, or how economic development helps Fairfax County? Visit the  FCEDA website or e-mail  info@fceda.org.

Fairfax County: “One of the great economic success stories of our time” — TIME