Ballston-Based Physician Network Launches Major Expansion into New Florida Market

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup 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.

Privia Health, a Ballston-based physician organization, announced last week its partnership with Health First, the first health system to join the organization.

Privia Health was officially established in 2007 as a partnership with independent physicians, but following the restructuring of the U.S. healthcare system over the last decade, the organization transitioned into the Privia Medical Group. The new focus for the organization was to help independent physicians succeed in “value-based care.” The organization’s first location opened in January 2014.

The organization now works as the management system for independent physicians, helping them manage patient health and improve care coordination. The organization coordinates health plans, health systems and employers with care provided by independent physicians.

Health First is a not-for-profit community healthcare system in Brevard County, Florida. The organization is locally owned and in 2017 provided $159 million in community support.

“Privia unites innovative leaders whose growth strategies embrace our evolving healthcare landscape,” said Shawn Morris, CEO, Privia Health, in a press release. “This unique partnership with such a progressive health system expands Privia into Florida’s growing market. We will work together with Health First and local physicians to continue improving upon the exceptional care that is delivered throughout the region while transforming the healthcare delivery experience.”

According to Amanda Wells, a spokesperson for Privia Health, with the new partnership with Health First, the organization has a presence in five markets across the United States. Wells said the ongoing goal as the organization grows is to find new methods of providing easier access to healthcare providers while reducing the administrative burden.

Wells said the Privia Health’s headquarters in Ballston gives the organization access to both medical authorities and lawmakers.

“In Arlington we have the privilege of hiring and working with some of the country’s top physicians and business professionals, creating a workforce full of employees who are incredibly talented and motivated,” said Wells. “In addition, its proximity to Washington. D.C. and policymakers are key to making sure our business is on top of the latest development in healthcare policy. We are very proud to be a part of the Arlington community, and we look forward to evolving along with the community we reside in.”

Photo via Facebook

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Courthouse-Based Startup Aims to Teach Children Financial Literacy

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.

When Erik Neighbour’s sister gave birth to a baby boy a little over a year ago, like a lot of new uncles, he began to worry about the child’s future.

Around the same time, Neighbour said he read an article about the high number of Americans that would struggle to handle emergency expenses.

Guardian Savings, a new app to help teach children financial literacy, was born out of Neighbour’s desire to help give kids like his nephew a head start on lessons about banking.

“An emergency can happen any day due to something medical or a crash,” said Neighbour. “That was a really shocking statistic, and with my sister having just given birth, I started thinking about how I would teach my nephew about money so they don’t become one of those statistics about financial literacy.”

The group is still in its earliest phases, with a team of three working from home. Two are located in the Courthouse neighborhood, with the third in San Francisco.

Neighbour said the idea was to include behavioral incentives and rewards for good financial behavior that could change and evolve as the kids grew up and learned more about finances.

“Most of the time, financial literacy happens at home,” said Neighbour. “Schools teach theoretical concepts. I learned how to do algebra in high school, but I didn’t learn how to invest or do taxes. But most families aren’t necessarily the best equipped to teach kids, so it’s a never-ending cycle [of financial illiteracy].”

The development featured feedback from local teachers, which Neighbour said was critical in building the app’s interfaces and features.

Almost two weeks ago, the group launched a prototype of their app for elementary-aged children, with future modules planned for older ages. The app currently has around 20 users.

“We’ve been collecting a lot of really useful data points and feedback,” said Neighbour. “We’re looking to expand and improve the prototype for the full launch. It’s not an app like in the app store, so that’s the next step.”

The program is built using JavaScript React, a programming language popular for single-page apps that Neighbour said he hopes will make adapting the program for iOS and Android easier.

But while Neighbour’s team works on building the prototype, he also said the group is started to look at how to make the app financially sustainable. The long term vision is for the app to grow along with its users, so children who start with the basics in elementary school can learn more about investing and taxes and insurance as the children reach middle or high school.

If they can achieve that, Neighbour said he hopes to earn revenue from referring fees to larger financial institutions, like banks or credit card companies. But this is reliant on building a generation of users, which is still an optimistic vision several years in the future.

“In the short term, we’re considering a premium model where there are features families can pay for,” said Neighbour. “A feature like that would be offering a debit card where you can control what vendors it’s authorized for and spending limits, so you can give your kid a card when you’re not with them.”

Photos courtesy Guardian Savings

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Crystal City’s ByteCubed Merges With Marketing Agency to Become U.Group

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.

(Updated 2:30 p.m.) — ByteCubed, a Crystal City-based startup contractor and consulting business that’s been on the rise for the last few years, recently merged with D.C.-based digital agency CHIEF to launch U.Group: an advanced technology and creative design company.

The company said in a press release that the merger allows the creative marketing side from CHIEF to access the new technological tools from ByteCubed, while the technology side of ByteCubed can now be marketed and spread on a much broader scale.

“Now when we deliver data science and software, we also bring PhDs, MBAs, and economists who can put it all in the context of the business, regulatory and policy environments in which you operate,” said Lena Trudeau, CEO of U.Group, in a blog post. “And now on the creative side, the solutions we provide are backed by the technical muscle that makes them actionable and scalable.”

The move is part of an ongoing shift for ByteCubed from a government focus to a more diversified clientele. ByteCubed started with a heavy government focus and a $325 million Department of Defense (DoD) contract. The DoD is still listed on the group’s main site as a major focus of the company, specifically aimimg to connect it with American small businesses, but there is also a focus on more commercial and non-profit projects.

As ByteCubed, the company acquired a hologram technology from Maryland-based developer Mixed River in December and launched a new subsidiary specifically focused on developing that technology for other commercial applications.

The hologram technology from Mixed River had previously been used by the Baltimore Ravens as a training tool, simulating opposing teams on the field and reacting to real-time data. As U.Group, the company highlighted continuing to use the “mixed reality platform” as a tool for professional sports. According to the U.Group website:

The platform incorporates Microsoft Hololens augmented reality headsets and video wall technologies so players can study opponent activities in a realistic field environment and experience actual game-day plays. By factoring NFL Next Gen Stats and other unique data sources, the platform is able to analyze and model infinite plays and game-day scenarios, giving the players the critical training they need while protecting them from injury.

The company had also partnered with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a $45 billion philanthropic group established by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and philanthropist. On their website, U.Group said it developed the website for CZI and worked to promote media coverage of the organization.

The group plans to continue working out of offices in Arlington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon.

Photo via U.Group

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Ballston Tech Startup Works to Fight Forgetting

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup 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.

(Updated 1 p.m.)In a groundbreaking 1885 paper, Hermann Ebbinghaus coined the idea of a learning curve. But there was a second part of the paper that tends to get forgotten: a “forgetting curve” of exponential loss of information over time.

That’s where Blank Slate Technologies, a startup based out of Ballston, comes in. Blank Slate Technologies offers learning programs aimed at improving recall weeks, months, or even years after the initial training.

The program assesses the difficulty of various lessons and the time since training to target refreshers only at times where that information is likely to have hit the “forgetting curve.”

Alex Hasslacher, director of sales at Blank Slate Technologies, said the founding team knew each other at Boston University and this was a common interest. The company was founded a little over one year ago.

“It’s an old idea with new technology,” said Hasslacher.

The company’s app has trivia questions on flashcards with multiple answers. An algorithm relies on user feedback to identify which information people are most likely to forget, and when, and then the program asks questions surrounding those subjects.

Professionals from Blank Slate Technologies assist the companies or organizations using the software to design the content for the program and supply data analytics to provide information on training.

Any audio, video or image can be worked into the system, meaning the program isn’t limited by language barriers. Hasslacher said the technology is flexible; he sees it being useful in corporate or education cultures, in everything from elementary school to MBA-level programs.

Hasslacher said the company works on a monthly subscription, usually for at least one year. Costs vary on the size of the organization using the program.

Photo via Blank Slate Technologies

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Rosslyn Startup ‘Hungry’ Expanding, Looking for New Talent

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.

A little over two years after it launched, Rosslyn-based startup Hungry still feels like a small company.

These days, founder Eman Pahlevani is as likely to answer the company’s main phone line as anyone else in the 30-person office. If everyone else is busy, Pahlevani says sometimes he’ll even get up and go run a delivery.

But the small feeling belies some remarkable successes over the last two years. Last summer, the company announced plans to expand into Philadelphia. Riding high on that growth, Pahlevani said the company is planning on expanding into five new cities in 2019.

“The first two will be Atlanta and Boston,” said Pahlevani. “The last three are still in the works, but these are your big east coast locations.”

The core concept of Hungry is simple: office lunches can be a hassle for everyone involved. Office managers have a limited set of dining choices and face repetition, while restaurants struggle with orders they’re not built to manage.

“Nobody in this industry was looking at how to solve the buyer’s needs,” said Pahlevani. “These people are buying food daily or weekly for their teams, but today they’re being serviced by restaurants not optimized to handle catering. If I go to Panera, I can get those sandwiches once or twice a month, but not every day.”

With Hungry, office managers pay no more than what they would for the average office meal. Pahlevani estimated lunches range from $9 to $12 per person. But the manager has access to a wide variety of chefs hand-picked by Hungry so a client could order lunch every day for a month and never get the same food twice.

“There’s just so much variety,” said Pahlevani. “We solve those problems with a distributed network of chefs.”

It’s an idea that seems to have caught on. Pahlevani said the company saw 500 percent growth in 2018. Its fleet of delivery drivers has grown to between 70-75 employees.

“We’ve been hiring in Arlington weekly now,” said Pahlevani.

The infrastructure of the company is built on a network of commercial chefs and delivery drivers. The chefs audition at the company’s headquarters and Pahlevani says Hungry doesn’t put anything on their menu that doesn’t pass the staff’s food test.

Once they are chosen, the chefs work out of commercial kitchens that Pahlevani said cropped up across urban areas, after legislation required food trucks to be tied to a commercial kitchen.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is how many talented chefs there are in any given region,” said Pahlevani. “I mean these are really good, authentic chefs, but most of them work in a restaurant and work on someone else’s menu in the back of a kitchen. It’s a lot of hidden talent. So we let chefs cook their own menu, set their own prices, and we highlight them at every catering.”

Pahlevanis said most of the chefs start as part-time workers, but within a month go in full time. Some chefs make between $20,000 to $30,000 dollars per month.

But the other big component Pahlevani credits for Hungry’s success is delivery drivers — or ‘delivery captains’ as he calls them. Drivers can often struggle with getting into loading docks or finding the right rooms in office buildings, or when they do arrive they just drop off the bags of food.

“We train all of our deliverers to get inside loading docks, get clean, set up and clean up,” said Pahlevani. “You’re trying to optimize and train people to solve these people’s problems.”

Pahlevani says the company has seen so much demand recently that it’s still hiring new delivery drivers, just to keep pace.  The company is also hiring staff for sales and engineers or developers for the technology side of the company.

Photo via Facebook

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Ballston-Based Startup Aims to be Uber for Transporting Cars

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.

So you’re on a winter trip down to sunny South Florida and you need to fly home ASAP, but you’re not sure how to get your car back home. You could use a car carrier service, but those can be costly and often have inflexible schedules.

Starting in March, Ballston-based startup ReloRides could give you another option.

The app connects owners looking to relocate their cars with drivers interested in getting paid for a one-way trip.

“Our platform enables people who need to relocate their vehicle to post the location, preferred dates, type of vehicle and price to pay,” said Jon Gallinger, COO for ReloRides. “We would connect that vehicle with a driver going in the same direction.”

Gallinger said there is a demand both for people looking to move their car from one point to another, but also a demand for people hoping to travel but don’t have cars. With ReloRides, the owner of the car would post an offer, something like “I have a Chevy  Nova and I am coming back from Florida and want to go to New Hampshire.” Gallinger says the owner would list the car, the dates, and a price.

“The owner of the car offers flat fee and the driver says yay or nay,” said Gallinger. “We take a fee off what the owner pays, and the rest goes to the driver. The driver pays tolls and gas. It makes it easy on the owner.”

Gallinger said the alternative, car carriers that haul five or six cars, can be inconvenient for a number of reasons. They’re expensive, they take time to fill up with cars going to the destination, and the drop off locations are inflexible. Gallinger says he believes ReloRides can offer the same type of service for a fraction of the cost.

“Car owners have coverage, they should have coverage for a secondary driver,” said Gallinger. “Our terms and conditions require that the driver have liability coverage for anything caused by the driver… We do run background checks on all the drivers and screen them ahead of time. We won’t present a bad driver to the owner.”

But despite its potential, the startup does face one major big challenge.

“Haven’t booked any trips yet,” said Gallinger. “We had an owner who wanted to go from Denver to San Diego, but we couldn’t find a driver for that person. We’ve had that happen a couple times. It doesn’t have the critical mass yet for that to take off, but we feel that’s out there.”

Gallinger said the company has had the platform up for a little over a year but has done no advertising. The big advertising push for ReloRides is likely to come after the company’s website is upgraded.

Currently, 150 owners and drivers are signed up for the program. Gallinger says the company hasn’t been taking new signups until the upgrade is finished.

“We hope to get that up and running by March,” said Gallinger. “[That’s] the start of snowbird season, where people down south want to move their cars north. We want to be ready to go for that, then start marketing more heavily.”

Image courtesy ReloRides

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Call-Monitoring AI Startup Wins $5 Million Investment

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup 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.

Have you ever called a helpline and heard a message saying the call may be recorded for training and quality purposes? ExecVision, a startup based in Rosslyn, might be at the other end of that call.

“We’re one of the systems that sits behind [a call], allowing managers to coach [service representatives],” said Jesse Williams, director of marketing at ExecVision.

Williams said ExecVision’s conversation intelligence software, a type of artificial intelligence, can signal and flag key moments in a call to help improve performance and sales. ExecVision can also identify recurring problems with calls that can be used to review and improve performance.

ExecVision’s tech can be applied to either sales calls or customer support calls. Williams said any company that uses phone calls heavily in relation to their product could be a good fit for ExecVision.

The AI has processed over 8 million calls since it was founded in 2015, but a new funding bump aims to expand those operations considerably.

The company recently secured $5.4 million in funding from Edison Partners, an investment firm in New Jersey. Williams said funding is a significant increase over the $2.5 million the company had raised up to that point.

“We’re excited to join the portfolio,” said Williams. “The majority of this investment is targeted at scaling up our operations and marketing strategy.”

Over the last year, ExecVision has undergone several changes to their program to improve administrative functionality, from a new transcription engine to a metrics tab. Most recently, the company created a new manager dashboard, allowing sales executives to track the logistics of coaching for their team. According to the press release:

“Sales executives can track the amount of coaching their managers are providing to their team, how effective that coaching is, how their coaching activities are distributed across the team, the time spent coaching, and the impact of coaching activities on their team’s performance over time.”

ExecVision was founded by David Stillman and Steve Richard and shares an office with their earlier startup, Vorsight, an appointment scheduling firm.

Williams said the company has a staff of around 35 employees, with plans to expand to 50 employees by the end of the year.

Photos of ExecVision software and co-founder Steve Richard courtesy ExecVision

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Crystal City Startup Acquires Holographic Football Training Program

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.

A Crystal City-based startup’s new acquisition will start to move the company toward offering hologram technology.

ByteCubed, a startup ARLnow first profiled in 2015, launched a new subsidiary, ByteCubed Labs, LLC, in November. The new subsidiary’s first offering will be “Pre-Game Prep,” technology from Maryland-based developer Mixed River that uses holograms for sports training.

The technology is currently being used by the Baltimore Ravens, who use the technology to simulate the opposing team on the field and react to real-time data, according to a release. Microsoft’s “HoloLens” glasses allows users to play-back recent plays and simulations.

“The acquisition of Pre-Game Prep and the launch of ByteCubed Labs allows us to expand our leadership in complex data analysis and advanced engineering to a new market of professional and college football teams,” ByteCubed CEO Ahmad Ishaq said in a statement.

Troy Jones Jr., who had helped oversee the product at Mixed River prior to acquisition by ByteCubed, was also hired as vice president of business development and operations at ByteCubed Labs.

“Pre-Game Prep” will now be offered through ByteCubed Labs, although the working relationship with the Baltimore Ravens will continue. The company’s specific plans for the holographic technology haven’t been announced yet, but the Washington Business Journal reported that security planning for events was one of the potential uses cited for the tech as it shifts from sports to government use.

ByteCubed also recently acquired InterKn, a data analytics and machine learning platform, and CHIEF, a branding and marketing agency.

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Teacher Feedback Company Wins ‘Startup Arlington’ Competition

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup 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.

EdConnective isn’t an Arlington startup, but starting early next year, it will be.

The Richmond-based company was chosen from 64 applicants as the winner of this year’s “Startup Arlington” competition. That means the firm will earn a temporary stay in the county, as well as some exclusive mentoring.

EdConnective’s mission is to provide virtual coaching and customized feedback for teachers. The startup launched in 2015 and has since worked in more than 30 schools throughout Virginia and surrounding states. More than 1,400 coaching sessions have been held with 70 coaches.

“EdConnective is thrilled to have been chosen as the winner of the Startup Arlington competition,” said Erik Skantze, Chief Operating Officer of EdConnective, in a press release. “Having a base of operations in Arlington will provide an enormous opportunity for us to grow our client base and to engage with investors. We look forward to an exciting and productive four months and beyond.”

According to the EdConnective website, participating teachers record a clip of their classroom instruction and share it with a coach, who shares feedback via Skype. These sessions are held twice a week for four to six weeks.

Pricing for the service ranges from $99 per session to $130 per session, depending on the package selected.

According to Arlington Economic Development, EdConnective will receive four months of rent-free lodging at Residence Inn Rosslyn and incubator space in Rosslyn at Spaces, a coworking space located in The Artisphere. The company staff will also receive transportation passes and exclusive mentoring.

The company is scheduled to start its Arlington operations next month.

Image via Startup Arlington

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Arlington Startup Aims to Make Painting Personal

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.

Normally, when someone wants to paint their business or a room in their house, they go to a contractor, who in turns hires another subcontractor, and so on. But Harrison Edwards wanted to do things a little differently.

Edwards, the founder of My Painter, LLC, says the Arlington-based startup is intent on being a one-stop shop for painting needs.

“We are employee based,” said Edwards. “There’s no subcontractors. We’re the painters. We’re the employees.”

Edwards said being an employee-based, rather than subcontractor based, painting company has allowed the company to form close relationships with its clients. Often for subcontractors, Edwards said clients have experienced problems trying to get ahold of which painters were working in which location.

Edwards said he spends very little on marketing, preferring to work based on referrals. Edwards said the company works at about 30 t0 40 percent profits from their jobs.

“People know our painters and they see us, it’s how we get referred,” said Edwards. “We get callbacks a lot of time, which means each client could theoretically be worth $1,000 per year, although a lot of time these are one-time jobs.”

The company is small, with 13 employees currently, but is looking to expand with another seven employees in 2019. My Painter is based out of Clarendon and takes jobs throughout the Washington, D.C. region, but does 90 percent of its work around Arlington.

Edwards founded the company in 2016 and said he was inspired by his father, who is a general contractor. Edwards wanted to work in specialized contracts, which meant learning a lot about painting and learning a lot about business.

“There was a lot of trial and error at first,” said Edwards.

Edwards said one of the lessons was that for painters, one of the most important parts of the job happens before the brush ever touches the wall. The preparation for a painting job is all about finding a way to respect and protect property as painting is going on around the space and making the painting work as unintrusive on the client’s home or office life as possible.

Edwards said My Painter also sets itself apart by offering to bring on color consultants before the job starts to help the client identify what colors would work best for the space.

In the aftermath of a job, Edwards says he helps clients coordinate with the painters on areas that may need work or touching up.

“It’s all about taking the headache, heartache and hassle out of painting,” said Edwards.

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Four Arlington Tech Companies Rank Among Top 500 Fastest Growing Firms

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup 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.

Several Arlington startups have made an appearance on Deloitte’s top 500 fastest growing technology companies in 2018.

The annual “Fast 500” list looks at companies developing everything from entertainment to biotech nationwide. Overall, the survey found that the fastest growing industry sector was software, accounting for 64 percent of the total tech company growth over the last year. On the list were four Arlington software companies: Distil Networks, Mobile Posse, Fonteva, and Higher Logic.

The highest on the list was Distil Networks, ranked at number 131.

Distil Networks is a bot mitigation network that scans incoming data to filter out “bad bot” traffic hiding among the human and “good bot” information streams. The aim is to protect websites from data mining, spam and fraud.

“Founded in 2011, Distil was at the forefront of the bot problem before bots were part of everyday discourse, particularly surrounding social media and election meddling,” said Tiffany Olson Kleemann, CEO of Distil Networks. “We’re the experts at protecting websites, mobile apps, and APIs from automated attacks. We’re honored to be listed among so many esteemed and innovative companies solving some of today’s most challenging security and business problems.”

Over the last year, the company saw 872 percent growth. The company is located in Ballston at 4501 N. Fairfax Drive.

The next highest was Mobile Posse Inc. at number 237. Mobile Posse develops non-intrusive advertising on mobile devices, which delivers messages to locked screens and home screens. The company works with major North American phone carriers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

“Our experts at Mobile Posse are dedicated to creating new and innovative solutions to put the content people love at their fingertips,” said Jon Jackson, Founder and CEO of Mobile Posse, via email. “The ‘Fast 500’ is an award that punctuates our belief that we are moving into a new era of mobile content discovery, one where innovative solutions make it simple and easy for smartphone users to thrive and win.”

Jackson said one of the biggest events for the company over the last year was the launch of Firstly Mobile, a new platform that allows advertising content to be placed on the home screen and be accessible by swiping. The new product aimed at making advertising as “frictionless” as possible.

Jackson said soon after launch, Mobile Posse topped 7 million active daily users. Overall, Deloitte said the company saw 387 percent growth over the last year. The company is located in Ballston at 1010 N. Glebe Road.

At 286th on the list is Fonteva, a company that sets up membership software for associations and organizations.

“It is an honor to be recognized among so many talented companies,” said Jerry Huskins, Fonteva CEO and co-founder, in a press release. “Our past, present and future is a testament to the passion and engagement of our employees, customers, and partners. This combination is a force to be reckoned with and has resulted in a business with products that make us incredibly proud.”

Over the last year, Fonteva saw 291 percent growth. The company is located in Ballston at 4420 N. Fairfax Drive.

Higher Logic, a cloud-based engagement platform, sits at 348 on the list. The company offers organizations new ways to set up online communities and automate marketing.

The company, located in Rosslyn at 1919 N. Lynn Street, saw 228 percent growth over the last year.

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Arlington Startup Aims to Save Sharks with Artificial Intelligence

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup 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. 

(Updated at 4 p.m.) JJ Linser and Jack Linkous have a dream. They want to save sharks, and they want to do it with artificial intelligence.

They are the co-founders of L2Platforms, a startup in Arlington founded earlier this year, that aims to use an AI program to track boat movements and identify suspicious behavior.

“Visualize different places where this fishing is taking place as a huge map,” said Linser. “We want to figure out, based on previous illegal fishing activity, where that is currently happening. It’s all about tracking those patterns.”

Right now, Linkous says the only way to really catch illegal shark fishing is through random searches. Linkous says the aim of L2Platforms is to help direct those searches and make them a little less random.

“With limited resources, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Linser. “Right now, we’re trying to refine that.”

Using publically available data sources, L2Platforms should be able to model where illegal fishing takes places.

Linser said all of this data is fed into an AI that continually learns from these events and builds a map of suspicious activity. It’s a lot of data, there might be 100,000 suspicious events registered drawn from billions of points of data, but the AI will refine those events down to ones where it is 90 percent sure something illegal is occurring.

Because of the scale of the data being collected and processed, Linser and Linkous say they want to start small.

“We’re going to start with a place like the Galapagos islands,” said Linkous. “There’s a lot of sharks around there and a lot of nefarious fishing. We’ll start small with [tracking that] and grow from there.”

The development of the AI technology behind L2Platforms is largely drawn from Linser and Linkous’s experience working in the defense industry.

“We both have experience writing these kinds of models,” said Linkous. “I come from a defense background and you see these same types of stuff being funded at the Department of Defense. We want to use our knowledge in fields that get less love.”

The pair is currently working with Neil Hammerschlag, director of the Shark Research & Conservation Program (SRC) at The University of Miami.

“[Linser and Linkous] have been supporting my shark research with their impressive skill-set,” said Hammerschlag in an email. “It is an exciting collaboration. In addition, we have conceived an exciting collaborative research project that uses artificial intelligence to inform shark conservation efforts. We are currently seeking funding for this research project.”

Linser said L2Platforms is currently looking at working with conservation foundations for funding, then possibly looking at government grants starting in 2019. If they can secure funding, Linser says they hope to hire a small team of engineers over the next year.

Linser and Linkous, who met while walking their dogs, are both Arlington residents. They are working from home for now, but say they are currently looking for an office somewhere along a Metro corridor in Arlington, specifically because of the technical talent in the area.

“Arlington is where we have a core group of engineers that we know,” said Linser. “There are lots of talented software engineers in this area.”

Photo courtesy Neil Hammerschlag

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Arlington Agenda: November 5-11

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

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday, Nov. 5

Home Buying Seminar – Learn How to Buy Your 1st Home!*
The Keri Shull Team (1600 Wilson Boulevard)
Time 607:30 p.m.

This class will help coach first time home buyers in what to know about the process. The event is free and casual, with local experts discussing issues like financing programs, calculating a budget in the right way, and finding off-market properties.

Tuesday, Nov. 6

CrafTEA
Connection: Crystal City Library (2100 Crystal Drive)
Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Guests are invited to bring their arts and crafts from home to the Connection every first Tuesday of the month for a free collaborative work session. Tea and supplies for those who don’t have a project will be provided.

Wednesday, Nov. 7

Free Lecture on World War I Expeditionary Forces
Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 5-6:30 p.m.

Historian Robert J. Dalessandro will host a lecture on the evolution of the American Army during a few decisive moments of World War I.

Thursday, Nov. 8

History of Fort Myer
Reinsch Library Auditorium, Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Former Ft. Myer historian Kim Bernard Holien will hold a class on the fort’s history, including little-known facts and debunking old myths. The program is free and open to the public.

Friday, Nov. 9

The Lucas Bros LIVE
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30, 10 p.m.

Keith and Kenny Lucas, brothers who featured in the Netflix series “Lady Dynamite” and “22 Jump Street,” will be performing four shows this weekend. In addition to the Friday shows, the Lucas Brothers will perform at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Saturday, Nov. 10

Scouting for Food
AFAC (2708 S. Nelson Street)
Time: 8-9 a.m.

Local scouts will be collecting non-perishable food donations for the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Bags distributed throughout the county this weekend by Scouts can leave it filled at the door by 8 a.m. to be picked up.

Sunday, Nov. 11

Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra – Armistice Day celebration concert
Kenmore Middle School auditorium (202 S. Carlin Springs Rdoa)
Time: 4-6 p.m.

The free Armistice Day celebration concert will also feature the Bowen McCauley Dance company and violin guest soloist Joel Fuller of the National Symphony.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Convene Opens New Penthouse Meeting Spaces in Rosslyn

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.comStartup 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.

Convene, a New York-based company offering flexible meeting and event spaces, has moved into a new space in Rosslyn.

The Rosslyn Convene location opened last Thursday (Nov. 1), occupying the top two floors of the CEB Tower at 1201 Wilson Boulevard.

Inside the new offices are full-service meetings and event spaces and amenity services for building tenants like research and advisory firm Gartner Inc., from whom Convene is subleasing the 35,000 square-foot space.

The company offers flexible workspaces, but the focus of the new office is on providing spaces for building tenants.

Convene will also manage a full-service culinary program, offering meals and pantry services to building tenants.

The new occupancy comes at a crucial time for Rosslyn, which is in the process of reducing its 29 percent office vacancy rate with new tenants like Nestle and Cerner.

“Opening Convene at 1201 Wilson is an exciting moment for Convene, for both tenants of CEB Tower and companies located the Rosslyn and D.C. area,” said Michael Burke, vice president of real estate and development at Convene, in a press release. “This space is a perfect example of how Convene’s approach to partnering with landlords benefits both property owners and tenants, and we are excited to expand our presence in the nation’s capital and serve the Rosslyn business community in more places and more ways.”

Convene is signed to the space for 14.5 years.

This is the second Washington, D.C. area location for Convene, which also operates a 15,000 square-foot location in Tyson’s Corner.

Photo via @RosslynVA

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Celtic Festival Returns to Shirlington, Set to Prompt Road Closures Saturday

Expect road closures along Campbell Avenue in Shirlington tomorrow (Saturday) for the fifth annual Samuel Beckett’s Celtic Festival.

From 8 a.m.-8 p.m., the street will be closed from S. Randolph Street to the parking garage entrance in front of the Shirlington Harris Teeter.

The event itself runs from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Live music, as well as bagpipes, is scheduled both inside and outside Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street).

After 7 p.m., the party is scheduled to continue inside the pub with a band performing from 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Irish food and drink vendors will be located along Campbell Avenue.

Street parking during the festival will also be restricted. Motorists are encouraged to park in the Randolph Square Parking Garage behind the pub.

Festival photos via Facebook

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