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Tony Castrilli,
Director of Public Affairs

Fairfax Helps Sponsor First Detailed, Annual Census of DC Region Startups

News Highlights

  • Startups can participate in the census until Dec. 2, 2016, and results will be released in January 2017.
  • Fairfax County is one of 12 financial sponsors for this first, detailed census of startups in the DC region because county leaders want to help foster an innovation ecosystem, along with the growth of more new companies.

Because entrepreneurs are a major driver for economic growth, Fairfax County is helping to sponsor the first detailed, census of startups in the DC region.

Fairfax is one of 12 businesses, universities and economic development agencies that are financing Fosterly’s 2016 Regional Startup & Innovation Economy Census.

The count will provide granular data about the DC region’s startup and innovation ecosystem, including funding raised, annual revenues, number of employees, location, bandwidth needs and opportunities and challenges for growth.

“We’ve joined this census because we want to grow the innovation ecosystem,” said Eta Davis, Fairfax County economic initiatives coordinator. “I think someday everyone would like to be able to say that the DC region is the next unicorn farm.”

Fairfax County’s plan to boost the economy seeks to nurture an environment where successful entrepreneurship breeds more even more startup activity. These young firms produce an outsized economic impact, economist say.

Startups employ three percent of the nation’s workers every year—yet they account for 20 percent of net jobs created. This finding came from research conducted by economists from the U.S. Census Bureau and University of Maryland.

Fosterly hopes that the census will be a resource for startups, offering information to individual companies about their position in the marketplace and local resources to help them grow. The project also aims to educate the general public and lawmakers about the status and needs of innovative companies within the region’s competitive entrepreneurship environment.

Startups can take the survey from now until December 2. It takes about 20 minutes to complete, and Fosterly is offering airline vouchers and gifts from local businesses as an incentive to participate. Responses to the survey will be kept private, and the data will be aggregated into community averages.

Census results will be released on Jan. 17, 2017.

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