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Crystal City-based Second Front Systems, a startup that helps connect government agencies to commercially-developed technologies, recently received $6 million in seed funding to boost its startup technology assessment program.
Atlas Fulcrum is Second Front Systems’ platform that helps to catalog and organize venture capital-backed technologies and track market trends. The goal is to make it easier for the national security organizations to identify the latest new technological advances from startups in the private sector rather than relying on sometimes outdated technology from larger companies.
“I came back from combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan where my men and I were hamstrung by outdated technology that negated what should have been an advantage against insurgent adversaries,” said Second Front CEO Peter Dixon in a statement. “Subsequently, at the Pentagon, I watched as billions of dollars were awarded to traditional defense companies, many of whom were unable to deliver usable technology to front-line troops.”
“This venture financing and initial partnerships gives Second Front the velocity to build a new type of ‘lean systems integrator’ that can harness the innovations of the American entrepreneurial ecosystem where the traditional defense firms have failed,” Dixon said of the new round of investment.
The new funding was led by Artis Ventures, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that invested in YouTube in 2006 and has partnered with controversial defense contractor Palantir since 2014.
“The venture funding will be used to expand the capabilities of Second Front’s software platform, Atlas Fulcrum, which has recently received a major contract award from the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Air Force’s AFWERX,” the company said in a press release. “The U.S. military recognizes that commercially driven tech, such as autonomy, cyber, biotech, and AI, has surpassed the defense base in relevance to national security in the 21st century.”
Image via Second Front Systems
‘Life-Threatening’ Flooding Possible Throughout D.C. Region — The flash flood watch for Arlington continues through early Wednesday morning, with a “water hose in the sky” expected to blast the region with rain over the next two days. [Twitter, Washington Post]
Defense Spending Juices Hiring in Northern Virginia — From Arlington to D.C.’s more far-flung suburbs, the Trump administration has meant big business for contractors in Northern Virginia. Federal employment numbers may be shrinking, but the area added 12,800 jobs over the past year, including 5,700 federal contractors. [Washington Post]
NewsChannel 8 Gets a New Name — Arlington-based WJLA-TV is rebranding its sister station as “WJLA 24/7 News” starting today (Tuesday). The stations’ parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting, has attracted some intense scrutiny in recent months for its conservative bent, and its effort to buy up scores more local television stations. [Washington Business Journal]
John Vihstadt Earns Endorsement of County Firefighters’ Union — The County Board’s lone independent picked up his second endorsement from the Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association. The union cited his work to fight for a raise in first responder pay rates in its decision to back him over Democrat Matt de Ferranti. [InsideNova]
Arlington Soccer Teams Head to Nationals — The county is sending both a boys and girls team to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas today. [Twitter]
Nearby: Potomac Yard Death Investigation — Alexandria police are looking into a death on E. Reed Avenue, just across the city’s border with Arlington. The victim was an 82-year-old man, and police believe the death was suspicious. [WJLA]
Kaine Meeting With Defense Contractors in Arlington — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) will be in Arlington today meeting with Northern Virginia defense contractors. Kaine will be holding a roundtable discussion at Courthouse-based contractor Dynamis at 3:00 p.m. “The event today in Arlington will discuss the upcoming sequester cuts that are reported to threaten 1 to 1.4 million jobs with a disproportionate effect in Northern Virginia,” a Kaine spokeswoman told ARLnow.com.
Arlington Tax Surcharge Advances — A bill to restore Arlington’s 0.25 percent hotel tax surcharge is closer to passing in the Virginia General Assembly. The bill has passed the state Senate and last week passed the House of Delegates Committee on Finance, albeit with a three year sunset provision. The Arlington Chamber of Commerce supports the tax surcharge, which helps to fund county tourism promotion efforts. [Sun Gazette]
PBS Doc Films at Glebe, H-B Woodlawn — An upcoming PBS documentary called “The Path to Violence” filmed at two Arlington Public Schools on Sunday. The production filmed at Glebe Elementary School and at H-B Woodlawn, according to an email from Arlington County. The Path to Violence, which is expected to air the week of Feb. 18, will tackle the topics of school safety and school violence.
Corps of Engineers to Review Tree Concerns — The Army Corps of Engineers says it will revise its Environmental Assessment of Arlington National Cemetery’s planned expansion in response to concerns from residents about the loss of old-growth trees. [Arlington Mercury]
Flickr pool photo by Jorge Bañales
Fairfax Approves Pike Streetcar — By a vote of 7-2, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan to build a streetcar line along Columbia Pike from Pentagon City to the Skyline area of Fairfax. The vote gives Fairfax and Arlington, which approved the project last week, the opportunity to apply for federal funding. Fairfax Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova said of the project: “The streetcar will relieve congestion and present economic development opportunities for the Skyline area and serve a population with the demonstrated support and need for transit.” [Washington Post, Washington Examiner]
Moran Leads Fundraising Race — Incumbent Rep. Jim Moran (D) has out-raised his Republican opponent by a factor of more than eight. As of June 30, Moran raised $813,000 and had $308,000 cash on hand, compared to the $98,000 raised and $55,000 cash on hand for Republican challenger Patrick Murray. Independent candidate Jason Howell had $1,900 cash on hand. [Sun Gazette]
Defense Contractors Rally Against Cuts — Worried about the $500 billion in automatic defense spending cuts which will go into effect next year unless Congress acts, defense contractors held a rally in Crystal City on Monday. Among those in attendance was Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who joined local congressmen and business leaders in decrying the potential for more than 200,000 job losses in Virginia as a result of the cuts. [Patch]