The Virginia Association of Counties recently granted an achievement award to Arlington County’s Startup Arlington program.
Startup Arlington is an innovative program. It has generated valuable information about factors that might motivate tech startups to move to Arlington or launch here.
Arlington must continue to bring down its 20.2 percent office vacancy rate. Each one percent in that vacancy rate translates into $3.4 million in lost tax revenue. A continued vacancy rate in the 20 percent range threatens to shift about $800 a year in property taxes onto the average Arlington homeowner.
Startup Arlington Concept
When it began in 2015, Startup Arlington was a competition organized by Arlington Economic Development (AED) to “encourage startups or potential startups on the cusp of finding their first office space to consider Arlington for that first office.” A local extended stay hotel agreed to provide the competition winner with complimentary hotel space for three months, and a local co-working space agreed to provide office accommodations. A local law practice agreed to offer ten hours of legal counseling for the winner, and transportation partners provided access to public transit.
The only costs for the County were those on taxes paid on the hotel lodging and nominal advertising fees, approximately $3,500. The entire value of the program was estimated at $15,450.
The existence of the program was publicized via a variety of media, including social media channels estimated to reach more than 180,000 users. A total of 78 companies from 14 states and 13 different technology industries submitted completed applications. Applicants were judged based on criteria ranging from how the company would benefit from locating in Arlington to growth potential and business plans.
To be eligible, applicants had to be (1) from outside the greater DC metropolitan area (thereby avoiding poaching regional companies) and (2) a founder and/or CEO of a technology-based company.
The program produced one winning applicant. That winner was Montana-based Oppleo. This company offers a cloud-based software called Sikernes that helps defend against cyber-attacks. Oppleo’s founders relocated to Arlington in November 2015. The company still remains in the area.
Various real estate companies and residential complexes have contacted AED seeking more details regarding how AED marketed the program to potential applicants. They expressed an interest in marketing their properties/area to the same entrepreneurial audience Startup Arlington reached.
AED’s business development group cultivated several leads regarding companies that are being tracked to understand when they grow to the point of needing commercial space. AED sees Startup Arlington as an ongoing program providing ways to reach out to company founders who previously may have been unaware of Arlington’s resources and opportunities. The program also can serve as a catalyst to form new collaborations with Arlington’s existing business and hospitality communities.
An important report by the 2030 Group identified seven private sector clusters (including cybersecurity) that are the most likely to generate the most significant future regional economic growth, and therefore be most likely to generate new demand for office space.
AED can help Arlington showcase its strengths in this highly competitive regional economy by continuing to analyze, publicize and exchange information obtained from worthwhile experiments like Startup Arlington. Repeating the Startup Arlington competition should remain an option.
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Its February and you said you would start your journey to a healthier you, last month! If you are struggling and do not know how or what to do to get started, we are here to keep you accountable. At Aspire Higher Training, we offer 1-1 Personal Training for ALL fitness levels, Semi-Private Group Training, Sport Specific Training and Injury Prevention/Post-Physical Therapy Training. Monica and her team of trainers are available across Arlington, Va.
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YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers — open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.
In the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village