Arlington, VA

Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: 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.

OneWeb Rosslyn Office (courtesy of Monday Properties)Imagine a world where every person in every city or town or village in every country had access to fast, affordable Internet.

Satellite company OneWeb is working to make this vision a reality by launching a constellation of nearly 700 low-orbit satellites, and it’s moving to Rosslyn.

Last month, the company announced it is leasing 6,000 square feet of office space at 1400 Key Blvd, meaning OneWeb’s central operation will be moving to Arlington in the near future.

“Washington is one of the key international hubs for the aerospace and satellite industries, and the area’s deep talent pool will be a tremendous asset as we continue to expand our operations, including finding a site for a network operations center and a satellite operations center,” said OneWeb CEO Matt O’Connell about the move.

The space is part of Monday Properties’ Ground Floor, where other startups and “early stage” companies have also landed.

OneWeb is currently based on Jersey, one of Britain’s Channel Islands. The idea for worldwide Internet access first started in 2002 when founder Greg Wyler started a telecommunications company to bring low-cost cell phone and Internet service to people in Rwanda.

Still, Wyler knew he had to build many more satellites and bring them closer to Earth to achieve international communication, faster speeds, affordable costs and, ultimately, universal access. OneWeb is the means by which he hopes to finally do so.

“This is an enormous long-term project and our goal is to provide reliable high-speed internet access to all communities around the world who don’t currently have access,” O’Connell said. “We believe connectivity is a fundamental layer for societal and economic growth.”

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Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: 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.

Winter Foundry Cup logoCrystal City startup incubator Eastern Foundry is preparing for its second Foundry Cup, a themed competition for startups. Due to increased interest, the deadline to apply for the competition — which was originally scheduled for mid-January — has been extended to this Friday.

“There is a great deal of interest in this year’s Foundry Cup,” said Director of Partnerships and Events Lauren Schmidt. “Promising submissions have been rolling in steadily since we announced and because of a rather large influx of interested startups this January, we decided to extend our deadline.”

This winter’s event is called Foundry Cup: Portable Power. There is no application fee, and any startup working in or with an idea in this realm are welcome to apply.

According to the competition’s website, Eastern Foundry is seeking startups that create “effective off-grid power solutions” for men and women working and living in some of the world’s most challenging places. These can include FEMA first responders, military, USAID workers, hikers on isolated trails and more.

Winter Foundy Cup 2“The Foundry Cup is more than a competition and networking opportunity,” Schmidt said. “It creates a forum that brings together leaders and entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds and across generations to tackle one of the largest problems in the world right now.”

The competition is looking for ideas that are eco-friendly and cost-effective, specifically with the potential to decrease government spending on fuel and other power sources.

It’s also looking for entrants from virtually anywhere, not just locally. While Schmidt said most applications so far have been from the D.C. area, they’ve also received some from the West Coast, other countries and students from universities.

The inaugural Foundry Cup was held in June 2015, during which startups were challenged with finding ways to detect and treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and fourteen finalists competed for the $10,000 first place prize.

This year, Schmidt said things will be a bit different.

Winter Foundry Cup promoThe competition was shortened from 72 to 48 hours to keep entrants focused on displaying their best components and features on “Demo Day.” The new schedule also includes more time for networking, allowing competitors to interact with each other, government officials and other established business leaders.

While Schmidt said they expect at least 50 applications by Friday’s deadline, only 10 finalists will be selected, making this winter’s installment of the Cup more competitive. Those finalists — along with the venue — are expected to be announced on Feb. 15.

From then until Demo Day on March 25, the finalists will work to develop their ideas and prepare to present them to private business owners, government contractors, military and civilian agencies. The finalist startups will compete for $10,00 first place and $5,000 second place prizes. There will also be a “People’s Choice” award of $1,000.

Though it’s only the second installment of the competition, Schmidt said Eastern Foundry is hoping to make the Foundry Cup an annual event for startups to work to address timely and critical issues facing the world’s population.

“For this competition, we are hoping to advance and promote game-changing approaches to versatile, go-anywhere power sources that are long lasting and durable,” she said. “Our longer-term goal is to create a reliable and effective forum for exposure and discussion on how generations of innovators and startups are solving the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Photos courtesy of Eastern Foundry

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County and surrounding communities. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday

"Restaurant space available" sign in RosslynARLnow Presents: Running a Restaurant in Arlington…A Panel Discussion
A-Town Bar and Grill (4100 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Join ARLnow.com and host Sarah Fraser as we talk to some of the brightest stars in Arlington’s restaurant scene. This event is free for all. A limited number of reserved seats are available for those who book through Eventbrite.

Fairlington Community Center (via Arlington County)Friends of Urban Agriculture
Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford Street)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The organization’s general meeting topic is “Arlington’s Food Shed: Past/Present/Future.” It will feature guest speaker Will Gray of the Wallace Center.

Wednesday

Community-Conv-Jan-27Community Conversations: Consequences of Teen Drug & Alcohol Use*
Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

This interactive presentation and discussion will focus on effects on the adolescent brain of drugs and alcohol, legal consequences and knowing your rights. Parents, caregivers, teens and community members are invited to participate and can RSVP via e-mail.

Thursday

Arlington Central Library“Making Manna” Book Talk and Signing
Arlington Central Library Auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Eric Lotke’s latest novel tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who flees her abusive home with her newborn son. The story follows their journey while providing critical social commentary. Lotke is an Arlington resident and will lead the discussion.

Friday

Emo Philips at the DrafthouseEmo Philips Live
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 10 p.m.

International standup performer Emo Philips will perform two shows at the Arlington Drafthouse this weekend. He has nearly 40 years experience in comedy and was dubbed “the best joke writer in America” by Jay Leno. Tickets are $22.

Saturday

Yoga-1-30-16Yoga to Benefit Arlington Free Clinic
Top of the Town (1400 14th Street N.)
Time: 9-10:30 a.m.

This morning yoga class with Nancy Carter of Moon Yoga Studio will focus on health and inspiration while benefiting a local organization. The class costs $30 per person, and spots can be reserved online

Sunday

FINAL.1951.logoSaint Ann Catholic School Open House*
Saint Ann Catholic School (980 N. Frederick Street)
Time: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

This open house is for prospective families interested in applying their student for the 2016-17 school year with personal tours of the facility and information about the admissions process. The school has programs for preschool through eighth grade.

mockThe Capitol Steps at Yorktown High School*
Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

This comedy troupe made of former Capitol Hill staffers will perform at a fundraiser for the school’s theater program. Tickets are available online for $35.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) content

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Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: 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.

CapApp logoAfter completing two Congressional internships, Arlington resident Tiroune Oates was determined to build a better way for visitors to tour the United States Capitol Building.

Oates’ solution is a virtual reality mobile application called CapApp. Still in development, the app will contain the history of the building and give guests a closer look at the artwork and artifacts in it. This includes the frescos that cover the inside of the rotunda, which loom nearly 200 feet above Capitol visitors’ heads.

The 23-year-old wanted to put all this information in the hands of the people when he realized not everyone who visited the Capitol was having an equal or even enjoyable experience. After speaking to both tour guides and visitors after their tours, Oates observed people in the Capitol were mostly neutral about their time there.

“I loved the time I spent on the hill, so it was unfathomable to me that anyone had a less than perfect experience,” he said. “It was upsetting. It prompted me to talk to people more to find out what the issues really were.”CapApp creator Tiroune Oates

One of Oates’ responsibilities as an intern was giving constituents tours of the Capitol, so he started to feel for himself what the tours were missing.

“As interns, we felt really embarrassed when we took out our notebooks or when someone asked a question we felt like we couldn’t answer,” Oates said. “I knew there were problems with the quality of information given and the quality of the tours themselves.”

“Then I thought, if this was all in an app, pulling out a phone to quickly find information that was accurate and share it would be much less cumbersome,” he continued. “I thought an app lent itself to an easier retelling of information and would greatly improve the overall experience at the Capitol.”

Now living near Shirlington, Oates is continuing work on building the app with developers. Much of this work has been trial and error as it’s the finance and philosophy major’s first thorough venture into technology.

“For the last year or so, I’ve taken every chance I get to learn the basics of coding or network with people in the business so I can better communicate with my developers and make the app as comprehensive as it can be,” he said.

Eventually, the CapApp will also be customizable for tourists, staff members and student groups alike. Oates believes these personal features, the virtual reality element and the instant accessibility to everything in the Capitol will put his app bounds ahead of the existing visitor guide apps coordinated by the Architect of the Capitol.

More than that, Oates said the decisions he made while creating the app were all based on accounts of tour guides he grew close to. He said he continues to make frequent trips to the Capitol to get feedback from these people, who have become reliable friends.

CapApp homepage“When I first had the idea, it was because I needed it and knew it would be helpful,” he said. “But this app quickly became more than that. It was built based on the stories of all the people who could use it best, and their suggestions have been incredibly helpful.”

“It’s a really exciting project for me, and it’s been a good three weeks,” Oates said. “The results of this Kickstarter campaign will help me figure out where to go next. The possibilities for the app are great, and I’m excited to see where it goes next.”

When it’s first released — which Oates hopes will be sometime this year — CapApp will be free and available for iPhone.

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This week’s Pet of the Week is Beau, a seven-year-old mixed breed who first lived in Arlington as a stray. Now, he’s in a loving home where he likes to relax and cuddle with his owner.

Exercise might not be Beau’s favorite thing, but he enjoys exploring the streets of his neighborhood and making friends with dogs and other living creatures he meets.

Here’s what Beau’s mom had to say about the smart, curious dog:

Beau is a seven-year-old golden retriever/spaniel mix that was rescued as stray in Arlington. He is very laid back and enjoys most of his day relaxing on the bed or couch. Beau isn’t aware of his size and will find a comfy spot to lay on his owner’s lap.

After awaking from long naps, Beau enjoys playing with his treat-dispensing ball or a peanut butter filled Kong. If a toy is not readily available, Beau will gladly substitute his owner’s socks for a chew toy.

Beau can be bribed to go on walks with treats and instead of briskly walking, he likes to sniff the ground and find leftover food before his owner notices. Once he sees another dog on the street, he refuses to move until he gets to say hello by sniffing them for 10 minutes. He gets along with any living creature but is especially fascinated by squirrels and bunnies.

Once Beau notices his owner grab her keys, he knows that its time for a ride in the car. He loves car rides and sticking his head out the window. His favorite place to visit is his grandparents’ because they spoil him with extra treats and Beau gets to visit the three dogs who live there.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet.

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Arlington and Northern Virginia.

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Fundraiser for Emma (via Facebook:Loving Emma)Members of the Washington Capitals hockey team will gather in Arlington next month to help raise money for a local family whose youngest daughter, Emma, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

The fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. at Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd).

Capitals players Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Orpik and John Carlson will make an appearance to support the cause.

Tickets to the benefit are $75 each, and all proceeds will go directly to Emma and her family.

Emma is the three-year-old daughter of Jason Hensel and Teal Jones-Hensel. Approximately two months ago, Emma was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. It’s a rare, cancerous, inoperable brain tumor with a zero percent survival rate.

Don Tito in Clarendon opens to the public March, 15, 2015The February benefit was organized by John Carlson’s wife, Gina, who runs her own blog and uses it to raise money for her charity of choice, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In a recent post, Carlson described knowing she “had to help” after she heard Emma’s story.

According to Carlson, Emma’s father has taken a leave of absence from work, so she organized the fundraiser at Don Tito with several ways for guests to help the family through the difficult financial time.

In addition to proceeds from ticket sales, proceeds from a raffle of Capitals memorabilia — including a jersey autographed by the team — a portion of all food and drink sales will be donated to the Hensel family.

Carlson also designed a t-shirt campaign, requiring all fundraiser guests purchase one online and either wear it or bring it to the event. The shirts start at $17.99, and proceeds from each one purchased will also go to the family.

Last week, Jones-Hensel used the t-shirt campaign page to publicly thank Carlson and those who have supported the fundraising effort so far.

“Thank you to each and everyone who has participated to help my family,” she wrote. “We are forever grateful.”

“Gina and her family have come together to give us an amazing gift, one that we plan to pass along someday,” she continued. “Emma’s little body is struggling to make it through the nightmare of radiation and treatments. Although her body is failing her, Emma’s spirit and smile light up my heart.”

Those interested in attending the fundraiser for Emma’s family can reserve tickets via e-mail and should do so soon, as Carlson expects the tickets to sell out.

Photo via Facebook/Loving Emma

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County and surrounding communities. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tonight

Springtime in Shirlington, in front of Signature Theater and the Shirlington Branch LibraryPoetry Workshop
Shirlington Branch Library, Campbell Room (4200 Campbell Ave)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Members of an informal group of local poetry writers will hold their monthly meeting. All guests are invited to write an read original poetry, as well as share constructive criticism. The group meets the third Monday of every month, except on holidays.

Wednesday

Arlington Central LibraryMoney Talk for Women: Financial Basics
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This is the first of a five-part to empower women to make savvy financial decisions. Other topics in the once-a-week series include insurance, investing and planning. Advance registration is required.

Thursday

imageLion King Jr., The Musical
Kenmore Middle School Auditorium (200 S. Carlin Springs Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Students will perform a junior version of the hit Broadway musical. The show is friendly for families and audiences of all ages. Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted. Performances are Thursday and Friday night at 7 p.m.

Friday

FORUM-January-22-Show-Cover-Photo-EventbriteThe Accidentals & Kevin Heider in Concert
FORUM Arlington (3304 Washington Blvd)
Time: 7-11 p.m.

The FORUM’s concert series continues with The Accidentals in concert with Kevin Heider. The young band performed more than 200 times last year and is described as “THE band to watch.” Advance tickets are available for $10 until this Thursday.

Pink Friday at Chesters (via Twitter:Eryca Nolan)Pink Friday Comedy Showcase
Chester’s Billiards Bar & Grill (2620 S. Shirlington Road)
Time: 8-10 p.m.

This “Ladies First” comedy showcase is produced by women and will feature women comedians throughout the greater metro area. Tickets are available online for $10, not including fees.

Chris Gethard at the Drafthouse (via Arlington Drafthouse)Chris Gethard Live
The Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 10 p.m.

Actor and comedian Chris Gethard has appeared in “The Office,” “Louie,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Heat” and “Iron Man 3.” He’s performing three shows at the Drafthouse this weekend, and tickets are $10 each.

Saturday

IMG_2797-2-1024x768Resolve to Run 2016 Information Session
First Presbyterian Church of Arlington (601 N. Vermont Street)
Time: 10-11 a.m.

Arlington Thrive is sponsoring “Resolve to Run” for those interested in training to run the George Washington Parkway Classic 10-miler or 5K in April. New participants are required to attend the session. The training program lead by certified trainers costs $85. The program is open to both beginning and experienced runners.

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32nd Street (via Google Maps)The small street connecting S. Eads Street and Route 1 in Crystal City will permanently close at the end of next week to make way for an upgraded Arlington Rapid Transit (ART) bus facility.

On Friday, Jan. 29, 32nd Street will close. The tiny road is between two existing ART bus parking lots at 3201 and 3175 S. Eads Street. The combined pieces of land will create the new site for the bus facility.

The County Board approved the $14.2 million project in May, and construction began in September. When complete, the new facility will include a two-story building, a bus wash bay, a light maintenance bay, storage, parking and four compressed natural gas fueling stations.

The decision to close 32nd Street was approved at the same meeting as the new ART facility approval. In a report for that item, county staff determined “the Abandoned Street is no longer needed to provide public access from Jefferson Davis Highway to South Eads Street.”

The next closest street connecting S. Eads Street to Route 1 is via S. Glebe Road, which is approximately 0.2 miles south of the construction site.

Construction on the new ART facility is scheduled to take about 18 months and is expected to be completed in 2017.

Photo via Google Maps

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A Rosslyn sunset

This weekend will be another snowless one in Arlington — with the possible exception of Sunday night — much to the dismay of the 62 percent of you who took our poll and said you wanted to see more snow this winter.

Still, if you’re disappointed by the lack of the fluffy white stuff, hopefully you have a long weekend to look forward to since Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Here at ARLnow, we’re also taking the day off, but we’ll be back to our normal publishing routine Tuesday morning with a special guest editor or two.

Feel free to discuss topics of local interest in the comments. Have a great weekend!

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A homeless man in South Arlington (File photo by Chris Rief)

Officials report Arlington County has “achieved functional zero” one year after pledging to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

“This is a tremendous milestone for our community,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a statement. “Committing to end veteran homelessness in 2015 and chronic homelessness in 2016 was a lot to bite off. But if any community could do it, we were confident it would be us. We had the will, the resources and the people to make it happen.”

According to a press release, Arlington was one of 74 communities across the United States that formally committed to ending veteran homelessness last year. During that time, the county moved 20 homeless veterans into permanent, stable housing from the streets and shelters, reaching the functional zero status.

By definition, functional zero homelessness is when a community, at any point in time, does not have more people experiencing homelessness than it can house in an average month.

Last April, officials reported the county’s homeless population was down 18 percent. The county also made moves to provide temporary housing solutions by opening a new year-round homeless shelter in Courthouse in early October.

These combined efforts are part of the county’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. It outlines strategies to address the issue, including priorities like increasing affordable housing and providing services so households can maintain their housing.

David Leibson — who is co-chair of the 10 Year Plan’s Executive Committee with Melissa Bondi — described the functional zero for veteran homelessness achievement a “true community effort.”

“The level of cooperation and collaboration among County agencies, non-profits and others who have a stake in ending homelessness in Arlington has matured tremendously over the past half-dozen years or so,” Leibson said in a statement.

As Garvey mentioned, the county’s next goal is to end chronic homelessness by the end of this year as part of another national campaign called Zero: 2016. This campaign also strives to reach functional zero for individuals who have experienced homelessness for one year or more, have been homeless at least four times in the last year, or are homeless and have a disability.

In her statement, Bondi said she believes the County’s efforts to reach annual goals like these are working.

“In the last five years we’ve reduced the number of people in shelters or on the streets by more than half,” she said. “That’s the result of a lot of hard work from service providers, a legion of volunteers and great community support along with federal, state and county funding. We knew going in that getting to zero was going to be a challenge, but we weren’t going to back down from it.”

File photo by Chris Rief 

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Arlington County Government offices and schools will be closed on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

All public schools, libraries, courts, human services offices and the Department of Parks and Recreation will be closed this Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of the federal holiday.

Some state offices including the courts and DMV are also closed today for Lee-Jackson Day, a state holiday. Metered and permit parking restrictions will not be enforced today or Monday for the holidays.

Trash and recycling services will operate on a normal schedule, including on Monday. The county jail will have visiting hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday.

On Monday, ART Bus lines 41, 42, 45, 51, 55, 77 and 87 will operate on a Saturday schedule, and all other routes will not operate. The Metro will also operate on a Saturday schedule.

Arlington’s 47th Annual Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held this Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Wakefield High School auditorium.

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