Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
There’s some cool stuff going on inside Two Six Labs, a security technology company based in Ballston.
Two Six Labs works in research and development, primarily with the Department of Defense and other government agencies like DARPA. The company’s offices are a mix of segmented workspaces and mechanical workshops.
The company was founded in 2010 as tech company Invincea’s lab group. The group moved to Ballston in 2013 to be closer to the government clients. In early 2017 the group broke away from Invincea and took on its new name.
Chris Greamo, President and CEO of Two Six Labs, said the group is currently almost entirely supported by government contracts. Over the next few years, Greamo said one of his goals is to shift that balance to about 60 percent supported by government contracts and thirty percent by commercial ones, typically with a private sector variant of the technology developed for government use.
One recent example is Sigma, a low-cost radiation monitoring device. Greamo referenced the unexploded pipe bombs sent across the country last week and said his nightmare would be a radiological version of those bombs. Greamo said enough of them scattered across a wide area can provide a comprehensive net of coverage to catch those types of threats
“Imagine if every police car could monitor for those types of threats,” said Greamo.
DARPA’s contract with Two Six Labs also allows the company to retain the rights to their products, meaning Sigma will soon be commercially available to hospitals or large stadiums.
There was talk that DARPA might leave Ballston, but when the organization stayed Two Six Labs doubled down on their presence in the area. Greamo said the group had continued to grow and expand at its current location on the fourth floor of The Ellipse (4350 Fairfax Drive) but eventually reached a point where they were too large for the building.
Last Wednesday (Oct. 24) the company announced it would be moving to Ballston Metro Center at 901 N. Stuart Street, increasing from 19,000 to 29,798 square feet.
The group has also expanded across the country, with offices in Mount Laurel, San Antonio, Austin and Tacoma, but Ballston remains the central location for the company. Greamo also said the group is hoping to expand in the region and is looking for a new office in Northern Virginia because many employees are finding the commute untenable. Greamo said the group is looking at Reston in particular, likely avoiding Tysons because of the area’s reputation for heavy traffic.