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

Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Talk of Tysons

Veteran Ventures Capital Relocates Headquarters to Tysons

Veteran Ventures Capital (VVC), an early-stage investor specializing in emerging, veteran-led national security technology businesses, relocated its corporate headquarters to Tysons from Knoxville, Tennessee. This strategic move signifies VVC’s commitment to enhancing its operational capabilities and fostering future growth, according to citybiz.

“We are excited to announce the relocation of our corporate headquarters to Tysons, Virginia, as it marks a significant milestone in our journey of expansion and innovation,” stated Veteran Ventures Capital’s Founder and Managing Partner, Derren Burrell.

According to VVC, the decision to move to the Boro Building in Tysons underscores Veteran Ventures Capital’s dedication to staying at the forefront of venture capital investment and fosters closer proximity to key strategic partners, veteran entrepreneurs, and targeted industry verticals. By relocating to this thriving economic hub, VVC aims to strengthen its position as a catalyst for veteran-led technological innovation and entrepreneurial success.

“Virginia offers a vibrant ecosystem for technology and entrepreneurship, with access to top-tier veteran talent, proximity to government agencies and tech-transfer initiatives, and a dynamic business environment, which align perfectly with our vision for the future,” said Virginia-based General Partner Dr. Josh Weed.

Veteran Ventures Capital is a veteran-owned growth-equity investment fund built to enable and grow veteran entrepreneurs working at the nexus of national security and commercial technology businesses. The VVC team invests exclusively in companies that have military veteran leadership, recognizing their military experience, training, and unwavering character translates into exceptional business acumen and superior risk-adjusted returns for investors.

“We are honored that Veteran Ventures Capital has decided to relocate its headquarters from Tennessee to Fairfax County,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “With its mission of investing in veteran-led national security technology businesses, VVC will benefit from Fairfax County’s strategic location providing unparalleled access to more than 10,000 technology companies and one of the largest veteran talent pools in the nation.”

Founded in 2019, Veteran Ventures Capital is committed to empowering veteran entrepreneurs nationwide and leveraging the team’s national defense industry experience to shape the leading veteran-led commercial tech companies of the future.  Veteran Ventures Capital is now actively raising its second fund with a target of $50 million, according to VVC.

Find out more at www.veteranventures.us.

GDIT expands high-tech innovation capabilities in Fairfax County

General Dynamics Information Technology inked a 114,867-square-foot renewal at 7770 Backlick Road in Springfield, the largest deal across Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland in the first three months of 2024, according to multiple real estate services firms, reported Washington Business Journal. GDIT, a global technology and professional services company catering to virtually every major agency across the U.S. government’s defense and intelligence communities, announced plans last year to double its IT spending on key emerging technologies such as data security, artificial intelligence and 5G. As part of that effort, in September it opened the 6,200-square-foot Emerge Innovation Center at its Falls Church headquarters, which focuses on digital accelerator solutions and showcasing various innovations.

Ben Buckley, GDIT’s business area vice president, said the Springfield office serves as a central location for 400 employees within this sector of the company. He confirmed that proximity to nearby Fort Belvoir, which serves as the headquarters for the DOD’s Defense Technical Information Center, is an asset that has kept GDIT coming back to the Springfield location.

Fairfax County-based Hilton Ranked No. 1 Best Place to Work

Great Place to Work and Fortune have named Tysons-based Hilton no. 1 on its 100 Best Companies to Work For in the U.S. list. This announcement follows Hilton’s November 2023 ranking as the  no. 1 World’s Best Workplace and marks Hilton’s third year as no. 1 on the U.S. list. Hilton remains the only hospitality company that has ever reached the top spot on either list.

“Our team members have always been at the heart of our hospitality, and these collective recognitions are the result of the passion they bring to our guests and to one another each and every day,” Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said. “We are so proud of the incredible culture we’ve built together and look forward to building on this tremendous foundation in the years to come.”

McLean Patch has more.

Float on

Reston software engineering firm Raft has received more than $60 million in new funding to build out its product line and hire more senior executives to bring in business, reported Washington Business Journal. Arlington private equity firm Washington Harbour Partners LP announced the strategic investment in the 6-year-old government contractor. The startup has grown rapidly since its inception and today has more than 250 employees at its Reston headquarters and remotely. Currently, it pulls in around $100 million in revenue annually, a spokesperson said, adding that revenue has roughly doubled every year since its founding.

Virtual reality research

Fairfax County’s George Mason University researchers are using immersive virtual reality to examine ways in which high-stress conditions may influence law enforcement officer decision-making and utilization of equitable policing strategies, according to GMU News. Mason College of Education and Human Development professor Stephanie Dailey is serving as the principal investigator on the project and working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, in collaboration with the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute, a federally funded research and development center at the Tysons- and Bedford, Massachusetts-based MITRE Corporation.

Inspiring Trailblazers

Two Fairfax County-based business founders, Alexandria area-based ALIVE podcast network founder Angel Livas and Tysons-based Attune co-founder/CEO Serene Al-Momen and were named on the Inc. 250 Female Founders 2024 list. According to Inc., Liva received the honor “for producing 18 times more podcasts in 2023 than in 2022 that amplify Black creatives and increasing downloads by 70 percent. Al-Momen was honored “for bringing advanced air quality-detection capabilities to schools across the United States.” According to Inc., the Female Founders 250 list was culled from thousands of entries through three rounds of judging looking specifically at an entrepreneur’s bona fides in the past year. Criteria included quantifiable metrics like revenue, sales, revenue growth, funding, and audience size. Inc. also looked for qualitative metrics like social media momentum and stories of impact. 

Geospatial insights

Herndon-based HawkEye 360 marked its first dual deployment into a mid-inclination orbit with the recent launch of Clusters 8 & 9 satellites now positioned to boost global coverage and enhance data efficiency in busy maritime regions, according to ExecutiveGov. The company said its constellation now has 29 satellites, including Clusters 8 and 9 with upgraded payloads for broader bandwidths, improved data collection and multi-band signal capture efforts. The recently contacted satellites are equipped with high-speed transmitters and processors for faster data delivery speed. “These satellites bring sophisticated technology and integrated capabilities that will dramatically enhance our coverage and data collection efficiency over the world’s busiest regions, reinforcing HawkEye 360’s commitment to delivering unparalleled geospatial insights,” said John Serafini, CEO of HawkEye 360.

Space traffic management

Tysons-based Spire Global is adopting Portuguese software startup Neuraspace’s space traffic management (STM) services for the more than 100 small satellites it operates across low Earth orbit, SpaceNews reported. Neuraspace CEO Chiara Manfletti announced April 8 that a large portion of Spire Global’s fleet will use the platform’s premium service, which includes satellite management analysis and collision avoidance maneuver suggestions. The rest of the satellites will use a free service the four-year-old venture recently rolled out to give operators a common view of conjunction alerts. The service includes chat windows that automatically open between operators to discuss how best to navigate a collision risk. “With the STM platform from Neuraspace, we can customize monitoring and analysis data, providing timely collision information,” said Vincent Furia, senior director of constellation planning and operations at Spire Global.

Key win for space portfolio

Reston-headquartered SAIC has landed its first contract with the Pentagon to integrate a small satellite, leveraging a partnership with Denmark-based spacecraft manufacturer GomSpace, which has an Alexandria office, according to SpaceNews. The contract of undisclosed value — awarded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Manufacturing Science and Technology Program — tasks SAIC with developing and deploying a satellite to demonstrate cutting-edge technologies in space, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, edge computing and software-defined radio communications with a “zero-trust” cybersecurity architecture. The agreement marks a key win for SAIC’s space portfolio and its partnership with GomSpace North America forged just over a year ago to collaborate on small satellite design, production, deployment and operations.

Combined capabilities

Herndon-based Tyto Athene, a federal systems integrator of mission-focused digital transformation solutions, has completed its acquisition of Greenbelt, Maryland-based Microtel, a software development and systems engineering firm deeply embedded in long-term, space missions for NASA and international space programs. Tyto is a portfolio company of Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C.-area private investment firm specializing in government regulated industries. “I am very pleased to welcome Microtel to the Tyto family,” said Dennis Kelly, CEO of Tyto Athene. “Microtel’s impressive team of professionals are hands-on technologists with deep expertise in software development and AI/ML technologies. We look forward to leveraging our combined capabilities to further our growth and bring new innovations to our customer’s mission.”

Up in the air

Falls Church-area based Northrop Grumman has entered into a partnership with California-based EpiSci to develop and deliver tactical autonomy tools for unmanned and uncrewed aerial systems to U.S. and international customers, according to ExecutiveBiz. EpiSci’s TacticalAI software into its aeronautics system architecture to advance the development and deployment of secure autonomous systems designed to meet warfighters’ mission requirements. “Collaboration is one way to rapidly bring new capabilities to the warfighter while building upon Northrop Grumman’s decades of autonomy experience to create distinct advantages over adversarial threats,” said Tom Pieronek, chief technology officer and vice president of research and technology at Northrop’s aeronautics systems division.

And, under the sea

Falls Church-area headquartered Northrop Grumman released the first image of a full-size uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) prototype known as Manta Ray, The Aviationist reported. According to Northrop Grumman, Manta Ray is new class of UUV, “an extra-large glider that will operate long-duration, long-range and payload-capable undersea missions without need for on-site human logistics.” Manta Ray was built through a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program aimed at advancing key technologies to benefit future UUV designs, including techniques to manage energy, increased payload capacity, and low-power propulsion. For more information about Manta Ray, please click here.

Happy Anniversary! 

Lorton-based Shirley Contracting Company celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 10, 2024. For five decades, Shirley has provided comprehensive transportation, heavy civil, and site development construction services across the Mid-Atlantic region. The company was originally founded on April 10, 1974, by Robert E. “Bob” Post in Arlington, Virginia. The corporate name was derived from the Shirley Highway “Mixing Bowl” project near the Pentagon that the company previously completed.


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.