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New county awards program recognizes eight fastest-growing local startups

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that highlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local tech news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Arlington County held its first-ever awards ceremony last week to honor fast-growing startups headquartered in the county.

The ceremony recognized companies that have experienced substantial growth in revenue, employment and venture capital  — “REV Awards” for short.

“The REV Awards were created to celebrate the innovation and perseverance in Arlington’s business community,” said Michael Stiefvater, the Acting Director of Arlington Economic Development Business Investment Group, in a statement.

Companies were categorized based on their revenue, staff size and fundraising rounds completed to ensure fair matches.

“The eight winning companies exemplify these traits as leaders in their respective industries and we are proud that they call Arlington home,” Stiefvater said.

Awards are handed out at Arlington County’s inaugural REV Awards (courtesy photo)

The winning companies, most of which ARLnow have previously featured, include a number of companies that orbit the Department of Defense and national politics, providing everything from cybersecurity to data analysis to consulting work.

But there are some newer companies that break that mold, founded after the defense department closed dozens of government offices after the 2005 Base Realignment and Closing Act.

Revenue

Employment

Venture Capital

Ballston-based consulting firm Franklin IQ (901 N. Glebe Road)– a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business founded by a former Marine — mostly works with defense industry and federal healthcare clients. During the pandemic, it leaned into its veteran roots and helped about 600 veteran health clinics move their in-person visits online, and provided expertise to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on PTSD treatment, sexual assault response and prevention and suicide prevention.

For the third consecutive year, Clarendon-based IT company C3 Integrated Solutions (3033 Wilson Blvd) landed on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies, ranking 1,544th in the U.S, 63rd in Virginia and 88th among IT Management companies. It reports a 414% growth over three years, during which time it pivoted temporarily to helping defense contractors comply with new government-issued cybersecurity regulations.

Ballston-based, veteran-owned data intelligence company Black Cape (4075 Wilson Blvd) landed a spot this spring on a five-year, $241.6 million contract to improve how the Department of Defense uses its vast data resources for missions. The company emerged from “stealth mode” in 2019 and, based on its revenue growth since then, is the sixth fastest-growing company in the D.C. area, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Ballston-based, minority-owned PGLS (1010 N. Glebe Road) provides multilingual translation, interpretation and language training solutions in over 200 languages and dialects. Nine years after its founding in 2013, the company ranked No. 461 on the Inc. 5000 list, as well as No. 40 in the business products and services industry and No. 14 in Virginia.

Shift5 in Rosslyn (1100 Wilson Blvd) has rapidly amassed $70 million in funding over the last 12 months to hire staff, expand its headquarters and develop its products. The company appointed its first Chief Financial Officer, Robert Sison, in October, and in June, it was recognized for its high sales rate and commitment to the public sector. The company has been sounding the alarm on rising cybersecurity threats to the nation’s planes and trains.

This summer, Republican-leaning digital-first political and communication agency Targeted Victory acquired TMA Direct in its quest to modernize funding and managing political campaigns. The two entities estimated they will raise more than $1.5 billion for campaigns and causes this election cycle. This September, the Courthouse-based company (2311 Wilson Blvd) joined a “Risk and Reputation Unit” that advises business executives on how to mix politics and profits without making a misstep.

Crystal City-based soil testing service EarthOptics (2461 S. Clark Street) is working on rolling out its labels indicating which food products come from farms that absorb carbon into the ground rather than emit more into the atmosphere. EarthOptics previously told ARLnow labels could hit the shelves in 2023. The company nabbed $10.3 million in funding last fall, led by pharmaceutical company Bayer, and recently announced a new Board Chair.

Also this summer, wireless technology provider Federated Wireless raised $72 million in Series D funding and this fall, it announced it will move from Ballston to Crystal City (2121 Crystal Drive) and partner with developer JBG Smith to provide contiguous 5g and turn the area into the world’s first large-scale “Smart City,” which could support self-driving cars and virtual reality.

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