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Ingenuity and equity define some of this year’s featured 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. 

From eco-friendly dog food to portable airplane cupholders, this year’s Startup Monday column has highlighted locals with bright ideas.

In 2022, we profiled startups and wrote about mergers, acquisitions, fundraising rounds and relocations. These companies spanned the industries of supply chain logistics to healthcare, data to cybersecurity, and commercial real estate to interior decorating.

But two themes of this year were go-getters with novel products — all coming out of Clarendon — and giving back.

Clarendon resident and fitness buff David Kolton launched Aviate, a line of flour, flakes and baking mixes made of the humble lupini. The high-fiber bean has more protein than meat and can be grown without irrigation, powering humans while reducing their environmental impact.

“I want to make something that’s not only something healthy people will appreciate, but is also something they can enjoy with their friends and family who don’t eat that way,” he said.

Clarendon resident Haley Russell founded Chippin, a company that sells dog treats and dog food made from crickets, an invasive species of fish called the silver carp and a CO2-sucking algae called spirulina.

“We created the first-of-its-kind dog food that solves for providing high-quality nutrition with a protein for dogs with allergies to beef and chicken and helps restore biodiversity in the Great Lakes while fishing for a fish we need to fish for,” she said.

After assembling a 3D printer, teaching himself how to use it, teaching himself how to resin cast, write a patent and register a trademark, Clarendon resident Seth LaPierre told us he is ready to launch the “Sip n’ Clip,” a cup holder for airplane seats.

“If you’re trying to create something, no one is going to pop up and help you,” he said. “Roll up your sleeves and get it done.”

Amazon’s under-construction HQ2 is seen above the Pentagon City skyline, as viewed from Columbia Pike (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

His business donates part of its profits to organizations promoting security, empowerment and equality for women and girls. Here’s how other Arlington companies made a difference this year.

Rosslyn-based CyberVista, a cybersecurity workforce development company, made available two courses to participants in Black Girls Hack. The Alexandria-based nonprofit tackles lack of representation in STEM by training Black girls and women in STEM fields, with a focus on cybersecurity and executive suites.

“Our partnership with Black Girls Hack goes hand-in-hand with CyberVista’s goal to close the skills gap in cybersecurity by measuring and upskilling underrepresented groups of talent,” CyberVista CEO Simone Petrella said.

The Venture X coworking location (2300 Wilson Blvd) in Courthouse donated office space to give The Black Girl TRIBE a new headquarters. The organization, which this year received a $100,000 grant from Nike, educates and uplifts Black girls through mentoring and educational programs and leadership events.

“I was inspired by her mission, and support her doing important work she’s doing,” Venture X location owner Julie Felgar said. “It’s an equity issue: making sure young ladies from all ethnicities and from all walks of life can value themselves and see what the opportunities are for them out in the world.”

We also sat down with longtime Arlington resident and father Peter Kant, whose company Enabled Intelligence employs Americans with disabilities and veterans. The data and security company is redefining workplace inclusion while ensuring government agencies and contractors employ American citizens for security reasons.

“Some were bagging groceries but had a computer science degree from Radford University, and because of their neurodiversity, were not working anywhere else,” he said.

These Arlington creators and companies weathered a tough economic outlook with their concepts cracking contemporary problems. ARLnow will be back with Startup Monday columns in the new year to highlight more locals with big ideas and companies making names for themselves in tech, government contracting and beyond.

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Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.

Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.

Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.

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100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.

For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at

Submit your own Announcement here.

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