Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI)

Fairfax County, Virginia



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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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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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 Biz Ex Pages and Entrepreneur Education calendar for seminars, classes and more to help you achieve your business goals. 

DEI Newsletter


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 Founder Fund

The Fairfax Founders Fund (“FFF”) is a grant and technical assistance program that provides grants of up to $50,000 to early-stage Fairfax County-based startups that are on a high-growth trajectory. 

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March 17, 2023
  Fairfax Founders Fund Will Support Innovative and Disruptive Product-Focused Technology Companies Entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses have a new funding option at their disposal. Fairfax County announced the Fairfax Founders Fund (FFF), a grant and technical assistance program providing funds to early-stage Fairfax County-based startups, will begin accepting applications on April 10. FFF will provide up to $50,000 in capital to help start-ups develop their business and prepare for later-stage investment. It is designed for early stage, high-growth trajectory companies seeking investment to develop. Goals of Founders Fund include expanding competitive technology clusters in Fairfax County and growing innovation-based businesses and jobs.  The county will allocate $1,000,000 from its Economic Opportunity Reserve Fund to capitalize the program. Applications for the first cohort will be accepted from April 10 through May 22. The program will seek companies who can demonstrate their company has innovative technology, a path to commercialization, a clear market opportunity, and development milestones. Recipients will be able to use the resources for prototype or product development, market research, customer acquisition, technology validation, legal costs and/or other approved areas. Importantly, Fairfax County will not take any equity in the companies supported through the fund. Applicants must provide a 50% match, which can be in capital or “sweat equity” and provide progress reports over a 5-year timeframe.   Fairfax County will conduct a broad marketing campaign with a focus on encouraging diverse and disadvantaged groups to apply including women, people of color, people with disabilities, and veterans who are traditionally underrepresented in tech product start-ups. Through Founders Fund the county hopes to foster economic mobility among founders of all backgrounds. Fairfax County is home to 8,800 large and small IT companies in a diversity of sector specializations. Businesses and research teams in Fairfax County are defining the cutting edge. From cloud computing and software development to artificial intelligence and data analytics, the “Silicon Valley of the East” continues to grow with more than 1 in 4 jobs being technology related. More information and applications can be found on the Fairfax County website at search Founders Fund.  Fairfax County has instituted multiple initiatives to help businesses grow and recover. Programs including the Microloan Program, RISE Small Business Grant Program, PIVOT Recovery Grant Program and the Economic Recovery Framework, all spearheaded by the county’s Department of Economic Initiatives, have been foundational building blocks for the county’s economic recovery. Since 2020 the county has targeted more than $70 million in funding for community business support.  By the numbers – small business support snapshot: Small Business Support Grants (and Microloan): $52.6 million Fairfax RISE (Relief Initiatives to Support Employers) grants. Assisted small businesses and nonprofits in Summer 2020. $16.8 million for PIVOT Business Recovery grant program. Focused on the most impacted business sectors. Grants provided in late summer 2020. $1 million Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Microloan Fund. Loans given in Spring 2019 and transitioned to a revolving loan fund in 2021.  Total $70.4 million    _________________ The Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives (DEI) leads programs and initiatives to foster economic development and position Fairfax County to be an economically competitive and prosperous community for all. DEI delivers innovative solutions to cultivate a diverse and thriving local business base, facilitate development through public-private partnerships that address strategic priorities, and foster an entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem within the County and the region, building on competitive economic strengths.  

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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.”




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



9:30AM, The Board of Supervisors Economic Advisory Commission is scheduled to…



11:00AM, EVENT DESCRIPTION The Board of Supervisors Economic Initiatives…



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

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