Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI)

Fairfax County, Virginia

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Our office is open 8:30AM-4:30PM M-F

703-324-5171 | TTY 711

12015 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Suite 510
Fairfax, VA 22035

Rebecca Moudry, Director

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WHAT WE DO

Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI) leverages county resources and develops policy recommendations to foster economic development and position Fairfax to be an economically competitive and prosperous community. It also works closely with small, local businesses to advise and guide them as they grow.

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Entrepreneur Education Calendar

The most important step to starting a business is good planning. Fairfax County and its partners offer free support and resources to assist you. Check out our Entrepreneur Education calendar for seminars, classes and more to help you achieve your business goals. 

DEI Newsletter

STAYING IN THE "KNOW" IS EASY!

Sign-up today for Fairfax County's Economic Initiatives Listserv and get the latest information that will help you expand, enhance and grow your business.

Each month we, the Department of Economic Initiatives, receive important and relevant business information, that we will send to our local business community.

Fairfax Peak

Alpine-X, a Virginia-based company, has submitted a proposal to build a 450,000-square-foot snow-sports center with plans for a 1,700-foot long, 280-foot high ski slope. If approved, this project, known as Fairfax Peak,  would sit  on the I-95 Lorton landfill, owned by Fairfax County.


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October 26, 2022
Fairfax County and Smart City Works announced today that Dynmahex, an AI based platform that helps individuals and communities track and reduce their carbon footprint, was named the winner of the 2022 Pitch and Pilot: Fairfax County Innovation Challenge. The team was chosen after a month-long competition and will be considered for a pilot project to showcase their product in Fairfax County.    The goal of the Challenge was to find, and ultimately pilot, one or more innovative solutions that improve energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable electricity, or accelerate the use of electric vehicles. More than 30 organizations entered. After consideration, five finalists were chosen, and they showcased their innovative ideas at the judging event held at George Mason University’s Innovation Exchange (MIX).  Dynamhex was chosen because its platform can help county owned facilities with carbon accounting and management, and also support residents to understand their individual carbon footprint and incentivize reduction actions.     “We have the tools to get us moving in the right direction to affect climate change. However, we need stronger and less expensive options to help us cross the finish line. This is where things like this “Pitch and Pilot” and companies like Dyamhex come in. It is a way we can nurture innovation and lean into implementing cutting edge solutions to help us meet our ambitious goals while positively impacting economic growth, equity, and sustainability,” noted Rodney Lusk, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.    Fairfax County, George Mason and Smart City Works partnered on the competition, which is part of a broad suite of clean energy strategies and technologies the county is undertaking to meet its ambitious but achievable carbon neutrality goals.  "Innovation challenges are a new and more and more widely used tool for local governments to help rapidly find and implement new technologies to solve some of their most pressing issues.  They are a win-win-win: helping communities, supporting start-ups, and fostering economic development. We are delighted to be partnering with Fairfax County, who has been a pioneer in this space, improving pedestrian safety, addressing COVID challenges, and now helping to decarbonize the local economy,”  Said David Heyman, Founder and President of Smart City Works. “We are excited to partner with Smart City Works and work with this innovative company to bring new solutions to critical challenges. Pitch competitions such as this expand the technology base in Fairfax County, directly benefit county residents, and communities participate in reaching carbon neutrality goals,” said Rebecca Moudry, director of the Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives.     About the organizers Fairfax County is the third largest metro region for technology employment; 1 in 4 jobs (25%) are technology related.  These businesses define cutting edge, delivering a full spectrum of high-end services and solutions to government, industry, healthcare, and consumer markets worldwide. Fairfax County is also a recognized leader in community climate planning and action with an ambitious Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan currently in the early stages of implementation. The county is addressing climate concerns from a variety of angles with a major focus on building energy use and transportation, which represent 49% and 44% of local greenhouse gas emissions respectively.   The Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives supports economic innovation, entrepreneurs and small businesses.     Smart City Works, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that empowers communities to solve urban challenges and improve economic growth through technology innovation. Working with partners in government, universities, businesses, and nonprofits, we lead the Northern Virginia Smart Region Initiative.  The Smart Region Initiative’s goal is to help establish Northern Virginia as a world center of excellence for urban technology innovation, and a destination for digital technology companies to build and grow their businesses. Smart City Works is a proud winner of and is supported by regional innovation and economic development grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce and GO Virginia.      

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October 11, 2022
On September 13th, 2022 more than 60 people gathered with Fairfax County to celebrate the grand opening of Beanstalk Farms, a new indoor farm and distribution facility in Herndon.  This innovative, homegrown company will bring 29 new jobs and more than $2 million of new capital investment to a long- vacant warehouse facility in an area Fairfax County has targeted for development. The company produces a variety of pesticide-free leafy greens and specialty herbs using proprietary hydroponic growing technology and robotics developed by the company’s founders and Alexandria natives, brothers Mike and Jack Ross. Jack’s work on this system as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia was recognized by a prestigious Governor’s STEM Catalyst Award in 2018.  Beanstalk is matching its advances in growing technologies with innovations in product delivery.  Initially selling wholesale primarily to grocery stores, the company is increasingly selling on-line and shipping direct to individuals and restaurants. This dual market approach, enabled by the region’s tech-savvy customers, dense markets and supply-chain infrastructure, is enabling the company to deliver incredibly fresh product to a customer’s door at the same price as retail. Engineers by training who enjoyed early success in aerospace and software engineering, founders Mike and Jack Ross sought to apply their skills to address environmental problems created by the modern food system.  Beanstalk Farms sources seeds from around the world to grow an incredible variety of fresh and flavorful leafy greens.  By being located in the heart of the markets they serve, the company optimizes its varieties and production for flavor, not transport.  Their propriety mix of LED-lights, hydroponic technologies and a soil growing medium allow for year-round production of nutritious, pesticide-free leafy salad mixes, herbs, and microgreens.   “Jack and I started Beanstalk to build a new food system based on locally grown fresh produce. We’ve come a long way from our time at UVA, and we are honored to be celebrating this achievement with the people who helped us get here,” said Beanstalk Farms Co-Founder and CEO Mike Ross. “With the incredible support of our community leaders and loyal customers, we know we can continue to grow and deliver on our promise to bring fresh, healthy produce to everyone’s door.” “We have consistently shown Fairfax County is fertile ground for companies looking to grow and flourish. Beanstalk Farms is a prime example of how we are the home for these next-generation opportunities. Jack and Mike Ross are demonstrating how innovation can reimagine farming and contribute to solving real life problems,” noted Fairfax County Board Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. In 2021, Beanstalk Farms was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to help keep this project in the Commonwealth. Fairfax County matched that award with $100,000 in funding from the Fairfax County Economic Opportunity Reserve. Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority to secure this project for the Commonwealth.  Funding and services to support the company’s job creation will be provided through VEDP’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program. “Fairfax County is focused on helping companies like Beanstalk contribute to the innovation ecosystem in the county”, noted Rebecca Moudry, director of Fairfax County’s Department of Economic Initiatives. “We are excited to continue to support their growth and secure their place in redefining urban farming as we know it.”

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September 8, 2022
What: Grand Opening of Beanstalk Farms When: September 13, 2022 @ 3:00pm Where: 251 Exchange Place, Herndon, VA Who: Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Secretary of Agriculture Matthew Lohr, Herndon Mayor Sheila Olem Fairfax County EDA President Victor Hoskins   Contact: Wendy Lemieux, Fairfax County 703-324-5194 On September 13 at 3:00pm Fairfax County will celebrate the expansion and relocation of Beanstalk Farms with a ribbon cutting by Governor Youngkin and other officials. This event will highlight the controlled environment farm technology that brings together innovation, sustainable agriculture production, education and local redevelopment to Herndon. Beanstalk Farms is receiving a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, and Fairfax County will contribute $100,000 as a local match to expand its innovative vertical farming company. Beanstalk will invest over $2 million and create 29 new jobs as it moves its headquarters to a formerly vacant data center in Herndon. Beanstalk uses proprietary hydroponic technology and heirloom seeds to produce leafy greens, herbs and vegetables, which it currently sells to Harris Teeter and direct-to-consumers from its current location. In addition to growing crops in the new location, the new facility will house a larger storefront; space for research and development; and will offer spectators tours and a glimpse of the growing process through a large picture window into the farm. Their headquarters will also breathe new life into an empty space in the heart of Herndon. Beanstalk is a member of the Made in Fairfax network, which connects local small production manufacturers to networking groups, marketing opportunities and potential customers. One of the Beanstalk founders, Jack Ross, was previously recognized by Governor Northam in 2018 with the prestigious STEM Catalyst Award for the development of an automated indoor growing prototype.      ###

UPCOMING EVENTS

Dec

13

9:30AM, EVENT DESCRIPTION The Board of Supervisors Economic Initiatives…

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