Fairfax County is pleased to announce these five high-growth companies as our first winners of the Fairfax Founders Fund Grant program.
- Location: Chantilly, VA
- Founder(s)/Leadership: Amit Singh, CEO; Doug Witherspoon, President/Chief Scientist; Chris Faranetta, VP/Co-Founder; Randy Roy, CFO;
- Overview:Founded in 2021, NearStar Fusion is an energy startup addressing the worldwide electricity market of ~$2.7T/year by providing a globally scalable clean fusion energy option. Their proprietary power plant solution leverages extensive experience with pulsed plasma guns as a key component in a new approach to fusion power plants. Specifically, to design and develop simple and modular fusion power plants able to use advanced fusion fuels.
- Location: Centreville, VA
- Founder(s)/Leadership: Ray Magee, CEO/Founder; Radu Grama, CTO
- Overview: Established in 2016, BloomCatch was founded to combat the growing labor shortage in the gardening industry by providing digital access to plant care information through an app that will train employees, serve customers, and provide meaningful data to management. The company has an app that allows customers at garden/plant stores to scan a QR code on a plant and immediately access a database entry with plant care information, saving time for the sales staff and customer alike. BloomCatch is currently used in 7 states by 17 garden centers and so far in 2023 has helped them save tens of thousands of dollars in lost productivity.
Healp (fka Riley App)
- Location: Fairfax Station, VA
- Founder(s)/Leadership: Elizabeth Tikoyan, CEO/Founder
- Overview: Healp combines patient community, artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing and big data to help patients with chronic and incurable conditions find health answers the medical world can't provide. As a survivor of a rare disease herself, Ms. Tikoyan founded Healp in 2019 with the goal of developing the digital platform she would have wanted her past self to have in her patient journey. The app connects patients and medical providers focusing on rare conditions and illnesses and is no cost for patients. The company has had significant interest from paying partners in the medical space that see it as a potential tool for recruiting patients for clinical trials.
- Location: Herndon, VA
- Founder(s)/Leadership: Dr. Prakash Kolli, PhD – CEO/Co-Founder; Dr. Ben Holmes, PhD – Technical Advisor, Co-Founder
- Overview: Launched in 2019 by an experienced team with expertise in mechanical and biomedical engineering, biomaterials sciences, and life sciences regulations, 3DOS seeks to manufacture 3D-printed medical devices and dental implants for oral and maxillofacial surgeries. Their IP technology licenses a Stanford University patent. The company has been accepted by Johnson&Johnson’s accelerator program JLABS, which supported 3DOS’ application for an NIH SBIR grant.
Anapact / The Smart Headgear
- Location: Alexandria, VA
- Founder(s)/Leadership: Rojay Chase, CEO – IT engineer
- Overview: Founded in 2017 by a competitive boxer/MMA fighter with the goal to bring data into the space, the “Smart Headgear” is comprised of new, cutting-edge impact sensors that are attached to the back of boxer and MMA fighters’ headgear to provide real-time feedback on performance, impact, and damage. Easily strapped around any piece of headgear, the impact sensors collect data on the fighter’s offense and defense. To this point, Mr. Chase has funded the project himself or through crowdfunding platforms. He looks to bring this innovative solution to local and international markets.