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.
Fend, a Ballston-based cybersecurity firm founded in August 2017, landed an investment from the Center for Innovative Technology’s (CIT) CIT GAP Fund earlier this fall. That’s on top of the $1.2 million Department of Energy Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant earmarked for shielding the country’s solar energy installations from cyberattacks.
The recent developments, said Fend CEO Colin Dunn, take the company beyond its bootstrap origins, an achievement the five full-time staffers–many of them recently relocated from elsewhere in the country–are rightly proud of. In addition to the employees at the Ballston office, Fend has a network of contractors “throughout the Commonwealth,” Dunn said, who help the company accomplish its ambitious mission of preventing cyberattacks to physical structures. Those include everything from military installations to power plants to public water systems, and even moving vehicles.
In the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), everything, particularly cumbersome industrial plants and utilities, is vulnerable to hackers. Fend’s proprietary system is a hybrid of integrated hardware and software that provides real-time monitoring of data, all of it intended “to keep the bad guys out,” Dunn said.
Fend was founded at a business accelerator in Reston before moving to Clarendon and then, most recently, to Ballston. Dunn said the employees who have relocated from out of state are finding Arlington’s amenities to be, well, amenable, particularly the transportation options.