Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Seattle Tax Could Advantage Arlington — “It wouldn’t shock us if Amazon started encouraging more of its executives to up and move their teams to HQ2, or a neighboring city in Washington state, now that the Seattle City Council has passed a progressive tax targeting the wealthiest companies in the city.” [Washington Business Journal]

Analysis of County Board Special Election — From @A_Hendel on Twitter: “Takis Karantonis received most of his share of the vote from South Arlington… In fact, almost no precincts north of I-66 cast 50% or more of their votes for Takis.” [Twitter]

Organizations Getting Big PPP Loans in Arlington — The American Diabetes Association, tech company ByteCubed, American Service Center, Bishop O’Connell High School and the Catholic Diocese of Arlington are among the Arlington-based organizations to reportedly receive $2+ million federal Paycheck Protection Act loans. [Patch]

Another Local Tech Firm Gets PPP Help — “Amazon.com Inc. may have posted record sales during the pandemic, but many third-party sellers on the platform foundered… Some of those sellers — like the Arlington-based Amify Inc. and Etailz Inc., based in Spokane, Washington — received millions of dollars worth of help from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.” [Washington Business Journal]

Water Main Repairs Today in Bluemont — “Thursday Emergency Water Main Repairs: Crews will replace 3 valves in separate locations tomorrow in Bluemont area. Some 100 customers have been notified of potential service interruptions 8 a.m.-5 p.m.” [Twitter]

Letter: W-L Renaming Happened at a Good Time — “The Arlington School Board’s renaming of Washington-Lee High School was autocratic, manipulative, adversarial and punitive. In retrospect, though, they unwittingly did the W-L community a favor.” [InsideNova]

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Morning Notes

Deadline Set for Back to School Choice — “APS will provide two instructional delivery methods for families to choose from – hybrid in-person with physical distancing or full-time distance learning – when school resumes. Families will have until July 20 at 5 p.m. to select one of the two instructional delivery methods. If families do not select one of the two options by the deadline, their selection will automatically default to the hybrid instructional delivery model.” [Arlington Public Schools]

HS Athletes Understanding of Cancellations — “Senior track and field stars Isaiah Mefford of Wakefield High and Rebecca Stewart of Washington-Liberty could have won state crowns during the outdoor spring season. ‘It was disappointing for all of us, but people were getting sick. So something had to be done,’ Mefford said. Said Stewart: ‘With all that was happening with that virus, we couldn’t think about ourselves.'” [InsideNova]

D.C. Area Facing Tech Talent Gap — “The Capital Region is expected to add more than 130,000 digital tech jobs over the next five years, but the demand for tech talent continues to outpace supply, according to a new study… The talent gap will only continue to widen, unless much more is done to create a robust tech talent ecosystem that makes deliberate connections between digital tech pathways and diverse learners.” [Greater Washington Partnership]

Photo courtesy Buzz McClain

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Jean Borno, CEO of Arlington’s 1787fp, attends the Collision conference with Arlington Economic Development in 2018.

This article was written by Alex Taylor, Senior Business Development Manager for Arlington Economic Development.

The Collision conference is one of North America’s fastest growing technology conferences, featuring hundreds of early-stage companies and over one-thousand investors.

The conference historically connects those early-stage, fast-growing companies to the capital and resources needed to accelerate growth and succeed in innovative sectors like AI, Cybersecurity and Fintech.

Arlington Economic Development (AED) attended Collision the last four years and brought a handful of Arlington’s most innovative companies to showcase the community’s growing tech economy. In “normal” times, promoting Arlington and its companies to a global audience through conferences and tradeshows was essential to attracting fast-growing companies and creating investment opportunities for Arlington’s existing companies.

Now, in these not-so-normal times, promotional opportunities benefitting our companies are going to be critical in stabilizing our economy and ensuring that our tech sector continues its growth in the face of historic economic challenges.

This year, Collision was scheduled to be held in Toronto, but due to COVID-19 the conference, “Collision from Home” was moved online for the first time. AED partnered with our neighboring regional economic development offices to adapt to the virtual format consisting of a three-day event beginning on June 23.

Arlington will “bring” three companies as part of the Northern Virginia cohort that includes Fairfax and Prince Williams Counties and the City of Alexandria. Arlington cybersecurity firms, Fend and HyperQube and training company, NextUp Solutions, will join hundreds of other like-minded companies taking advantage of the virtual format to make connections, meet investors and learn from some of the world’s top thought leaders.

With a growing private sector bolstering our federal government anchors, the Arlington economy is faring better than many, but we cannot rest on our laurels. Arlington must take advantage of new and innovative ways to market our community as a place to do businesses and ensure that our companies are primed to accelerate their growth as we move into a post-COVID recovery phase.

The Collision from Home conference will feature intimate face-to-face meetings, custom group discussion lounges, one-on-one investor meetings, company pitches, as well as hundreds of panels and discussions for attendees to digest.

To follow along as AED, Fend Tech, HyperQube and NextUp Solutions tackle the Collision from Home conference this week, check out @AEDBizInvest on Twitter.

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(Updated 1 p.m.) The County Board is directing $500,000 in federal coronavirus stimulus and recovery funding towards closing a digital divide that the pandemic has made impossible to ignore.

“Broadband connectivity is not a luxury, it is essential for households,” County Board member Christian Dorsey said.

Dorsey said the digital divide between households with broadband internet access and those without was present before COVID-19, but social distancing and the school from home has made closing that gap more urgent than ever. Ten percent of Arlington households have no internet access, either through a wired or a mobile connection, according to a presentation Tuesday afternoon.

“This will be a critical piece in ensuring students don’t fall behind simply because they don’t have sufficient family income,” Dorsey said. Arlington Public Schools has said its rationale for not teaching new material remotely during the last half of the spring semester was because of concerns about equitable access to online resources.

Some 5,000 to 8,000 families could qualify for the county’s new program, which will provide 25/3 mbs “Internet Essentials” access and will be administered by Arlington Public Schools through a contract with Comcast. Dorsey said that internet access will also be vital for many to seek employment during and after the pandemic.

The funding is a relatively small piece of the $20.66 million in CARES Act funding allocated to Arlington and aimed at supporting programs and services impacted by COVID-19.

“This will be broadband connectivity with decent download speeds and upload speeds,” Dorsey said. “There will be no necessary costs to incur for equipment to access connectivity, it will be provided through Comcast with a self-installation kit.”

Dorsey said there will be no activation or installation fees. Internet access will also be bundled with an option to purchase a computer for $149.99.

“This pandemic has made it clear that the internet should be a utility, like water and electricity, and that everyone is going to need it in this day and age,” County Board Chair Libby Garvey said.

At its meeting last night the Board also approved $400,000 for the Arlington Food Assistance Center and Arlington Thrive, the nonprofit that provides emergency cash to those in need, and allocated an additional $500,000 to Thrive for emergency assistance, including rental assistance, to residents in need.

That’s on top of another $1 million allocated to Arlington Thrive via separate federal grants, an action that was also approved last night.

CARES Act funding will also go toward the purchase of personal protective equipment, staffing for coronavirus testing sites, and hiring more public health workers, among other things.

More from a county press release, below.

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Morning Notes

APS Working to Keep School Construction on Track — “Top Arlington school-system staff are recommending doing whatever it takes – including shuffling money away from other projects – to ensure construction of a new elementary school in Westover does not fall behind schedule.” [InsideNova]

Yard Waste Collection Suspended Again — After a one-week reprieve, Arlington has again suspended its residential yard waste collection service. There’s no word on when it will resume, though the county has opened two yard waste drop-off centers. [Arlington County]

Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony to Be Livestreamed — On Wednesday at 8 a.m. “the Arlington County Police Department and the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office will host a virtual Observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor and pay tribute to the memory of Arlington’s seven fallen law enforcement officers.” [Arlington County]

New Superintendent’s Introductory Remarks — “Among other things, Dr. Durán pledges to close ‘access, opportunity and achievement gaps;’ to ‘commit collectively to sustain and improve the level of academic excellence for students in APs
through an equity and inclusion lens;’ and to help students and families ‘through these troubling times times.'” [Blue Virginia]

Paper’s Prediction: Dems Win Special Election — “The field is set at three: Democrat Takis Karantonis, Republican Bob Cambridge and independent Susan Cunningham. The arrival of Cambridge is probably music to the ears of Democrats, as he will help split the anti-Democratic vote with the better-known and probably more viable Cunningham, allowing Karantonis to win and avoiding a repeat of a 2014 special election when John Vihstadt went mano-a-mano against Democrats and wrestled them into submission.” [Sun Gazette]

Amazon Running Arlington-Herndon Shuttle — “It’s too early to tell if Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will launch a Seattle-style shuttle service for its HQ2 employees, but the company has connected its Herndon and Arlington offices via shuttle.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Participating in Virtual Tech Conference — “For the last several years, Northern Virginia has taken dozens of promising tech start-ups to the Collision conference, granting them access to programming, investors, mentors and networking opportunities. This year, the Collision organizers have moved everything online, so instead of traveling to the conference in Toronto this year, eighteen lucky start-ups from Northern Virginia will get an all-access pass to the Collision from Home tech conference.” [Press Release]

Nearby: Alleged W&OD Trail Creeper Arrested — “City of Falls Church Police arrested Lamar Dontae McCarthy, 23 years old of Stafford, VA, and charged him with assault. On Saturday, May 9, police reported to Grove Ave. and the W&OD Trail for a report of a suspect who had pursued a woman on the trail. The woman stated she saw a man in a red hooded sweatshirt suddenly stop his vehicle and sprint after her.” [City of Falls Church]

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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. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Shirlington Gateway. Say hello to the new 2800 Shirlington, which recently delivered a brand-new lobby and upgraded fitness center. Experience a prime location and enjoy being steps from Shirlington Village, a large retail hub with a variety of unique restaurants and shopping options. Spec suites with bright open plans and modern finishes are under construction and will deliver soon!

(Updated at 1:55 p.m.) For a while, things at Wireless Rxx (2340 Columbia Pike) were going okay. Owner James Sampson said there was a rush on getting smartphones and other devices fixed the first week of March, and he was able to pay his employees and get them a small bonus.

Like many businesses in Arlington, however, the swift spread of the pandemic and the subsequent social distancing measures caused a sharp downturn by the end of the month, and Sampson was the sole worker left at his technology repair shop.

“Things dipped down so quickly,” Sampson said. “At first I had to furlough one college kid. Others had to let go and show them how to sign up for unemployment.”

Sampson said some of the signs were there early on for him.

“It started a little earlier with problems with the supply chain,” Sampson said. “In China, where our distributors are, Chinese Lunar New Year is the first week of February. There will be a week where you don’t get any shipments. But right after that coronavirus hit and nothing was shipping. It’s been months now where nothing’s shipping.”

Sampson said he started having to tell people that the repair parts for their devices were being held up at a warehouse in New York as impacts rippled down the supply chain. That increased prices too, with Sampson saying he had to raise prices $15 to $20 because of price increased sent down to him.

“I was getting letters from wholesale distributors saying they’re operating at 30 or 40% capacity,” Sampson said. “Because how how globalized economy and world is, it didn’t take too long to affect businesses in the U.S.”

Wireless Rxx is considered an essential business in Virginia and is open. But the store was briefly closed because Sampson didn’t feel comfortable making employees face possible exposure to COVID-19.

Today, it’s just Sampson. Before the pandemic, he said there were usually between 20-30 people walking into the store per day. It’s by appointment only, for now, with a sign in front of the store telling customers to call and set something up. Sampson also does on-the-go repairs now, traveling around Arlington to make fixes. Where he’d have 15-20 repairs a day, though, Sampson said he’s now doing between one and three.

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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. Monday Properties is proudly featuring a rare leasing opportunity at 1101 Wilson Blvd: 5 contiguous floors with exceptional views, building signage opportunity and brand new amenities. Enjoy all the perks of easy access and ample parking; a variety of food trucks at your front door; and enviable walkable amenities. Join YEXT and other leading tech companies at this vibrant location.14

The international coronavirus pandemic has put a brick on the gas pedal for one Ballston startup called GoTab, which was facilitating social distancing before it went mainstream.

GoTab locates nearby eateries and pulls up the menu, allowing customers to place their own orders directly into the business’s system and schedule a pickup. It’s more efficient than phone orders and is less costly to restaurants than delivery services like GrubHub.

“We do think the world is going to more online, it just went more online a lot faster,” said Tim McLaughlin, CEO of GoTab.

McLaughlin said the original design for GoTab was use in-restaurant for things like placing orders on your phone rather than waiting in line. It’s an idea that McLaughlin said is increasingly popular, pointing to Starbucks’ mobile order program. GoTab also benefits from having no need to create a profile or download an app.

Placing orders for takeout and delivery (by the restaurant’s own drivers) was just a side feature of GoTab, but COVID-19 changed that. McLaughlin said while the eventual goal is to get back to in-restaurant use, takeout and delivery orders have taken the spotlight.

“It had always been a feature but not something we sold by itself,” McLaughlin said. “Takeout was not usually the majority of the revenue, it was always something that was bundled along with on-premises. Now that’s changed. Because it’s cost-effective, we just kind of said ‘let’s help restaurants get online quickly and easily.'”

As also reported by Washingtonian, the company is offering its tool for free to restaurants, taprooms, breweries and others that have been affected by COVID-19 related shutdowns.

Seeing heavier use than normal, the website had some technical bumps last week, but McLaughlin said they’ve been worked out. The main struggle has been adapting the tool even further to the extremes of social distancing.

“There’s things that are different now that we’ve had to implement quickly,” McLaughlin said. “People used to come in and talk to the host, but now people are standing outside the restaurant. People might bring [food] out and never exchange cards. It’s clean and low-to-no contact, but in order for that to work, need a way to communicate without face to face.”

McLaughlin said the company took the texting tools utilized already for the hotel side of GoTab and repurposed those for restaurant use.

Even once the pandemic is over, McLaughlin said he thinks there will be an permanent impact on the restaurant industry, and more mobile ordering is going to be a part of that.

“We’re not going back,” McLaughlin said. “There’s a population shift towards using your phone to do that for a whole host of reasons, one of them is that you know your order is right because you put it in. People also don’t want to stand in line… I think this is just going to push it a lot further in that direction. People are going to be fearful for a while about germs and it’s just convenient.”

Photo via GoTab/Facebook

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Arlington Public Schools, now in its second week of students staying home due to the coronavirus pandemic, is working to determine what the rest of the school year will look like.

Monday’s announcement by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam means that APS will be closed for the remainder of the academic year, with educational activities continuing to be held online.

The move to teleworking has some concerned that disparities in access to technology will deepen already existing achievement gaps in public schools. But APS spokesman Frank Bellavia said students brought home their school-issued iPads and laptops before schools closed and students without access to the internet at home were given MiFi cards, allowing all to stay connected to their teachers.

APS is now working to figure out how to finish the school year, given the governor’s order.

“For now, we will continue to provide the continuity of learning plans in place through Canvas, Seesaw and other platforms through April 3,” APS said following the governor’s announcement. “We will be honoring Spring Break and no new assignments will be issued during that week. We will soon announce plans for programming for the weeks following Spring Break.”

In another message to parents earlier this week, before the announcement, APS said that the amount of new content introduced will depend on their grade level.

“Elementary teachers will not introduce new content within the timeframe that schools are currently set to be closed,” APS said. “Secondary teachers may begin introducing new content the week of March 23. We recognize that all students do not have the same ability to regularly access and attend to learning new skills or content while at home. Secondary teachers who are introducing new content are mindful of the opportunity gap that this is likely to create and will plan strategies to address it.”

“While virtual learning can never replace classroom instruction, teachers are providing instructional activities meant to help students maintain their skills and knowledge and prepare for what’s coming next,” APS said. “We understand this comes with both challenges and perks as adults and students work to establish new routines.”

If there are problems with the tech tools given to students, parents are encouraged to email the school system’s IT teams.

Catholic schools in Northern Virginia, meanwhile, have moved to entirely distance learning, the Diocese of Arlington announced yesterday.

“Distance learning is now in place, offering interactive, personalized instruction to students through the remainder of the academic year,” said a press release. “The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools and four diocesan high schools serving almost 17,000 students.”

Update at 10:50 a.m. — Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson sent the following update to APS parents Thursday morning:

Dear APS Families,

As we all continue to support each other during these challenging times, I want to provide a brief update on our plans, based on guidance we have received from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to date.  But, first I want to acknowledge the impact this is having on family routines and thank you for your continued partnership in working through our present set of circumstances due to the coronavirus.

I understand the emotions our students, families and our staff are feeling, and I am confident we will move forward through this in a way that continues to serve all our students. Below are a few updates I can share now, with more to come.

Continuity of Learning Plan: Teachers will continue to engage in distance learning based on plans in place through Friday, April 3. Spring Break will proceed as planned the week of April 6-10. Monday, April 13 will remain a Grade Prep Day for teachers, and therefore APS will resume distance learning on Tues, April 14 with adjustments to our instructional model that will be announced prior to that time. Those plans are being shared with our advisory committees for input prior to sharing with families.

Graduation: State Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced Tues, March 24, that high school seniors who were on track to earn a diploma later this spring will be able to graduate. We are currently exploring creative alternatives to celebrate the Class of 2020. These students have worked hard and have been looking forward to this moment for years, so we want to make sure we honor and celebrate their monumental achievement. This will take more time and is a priority for us all. Once a final plan has been reached, we will share it with students and families.

Grade-Level Placement: Students who were in good standing as of the (end of the third quarter) closure of schools on March 13 will proceed to the next grade level while students in need of support or students with failing grades will receive the necessary help during the fourth quarter to make up work and grades in preparation for the next grade level. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.

Assignment Grading: We are following VDOE guidance to develop a process to ensure grading is fair and equitable while schools are closed. While distance learning cannot replace the work that happens in the classroom, all students will have the opportunity to make progress and to learn and grow.

Special Education Support: Special Education teachers are connecting with families via virtual video check-ins to provide students with the reassurance of a familiar face, as well as consultative support. Related service providers are collaborating with special education teachers to design accessible instructional activities or adapt existing activities for home learning.  Additionally, if individual students or parents are experiencing difficulties accessing instruction, related service providers will set up a consultation with the parents.

AP/IB Exams: The May 2020 IB examinations have been cancelled, but students still must complete their required assessments. Students will take their AP tests online in place of the traditional face-to-face test. The College Board will release the AP test schedule in the beginning of April.

Standards of Learning: SOLs have been canceled for this school year. The VDOE is currently in the process of officially applying for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education, so additional information on SOLs will be released soon. Not having to take SOLs this year takes a lot of pressure off our students and teachers while allowing them to focus on instruction and essential skills during the closure.

Food and Nutrition: On March 16, APS began serving free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for children ages 2-18 at Kenmore Middle School and Drew Elementary. On March 25, APS added three additional sites at Barrett, Campbell and Randolph elementary schools. Meals are served from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday – Friday. To date, we have served 10,034 meals, just over 1,200 per day.

On the Friday before Spring Break, April 3, APS will provide a week’s worth of meals to families who come to one of the sites to ensure they have food during Spring Break.

We are currently evaluating plans for food distribution through the remainder of the year. Those plans are being developed based on state guidance and will be communicated when finalized.

I want to extend my appreciation to the food services workers who have been coming in to prepare the food for our students, as well as the APS executive leadership team and administrators who are volunteering at each of these sites. Thank you to our custodians and facilities staff who continue to clean and prepare our buildings. We also want to thank school PTAs, community partners, non-profit organizations and business who are supporting families through meal distribution and food drives. We have them listed on our website under Meal Services.

Telework and Schedule Adjustments

The transition to distance learning and telework has made it easier for continuous contact at any time of day, so I am asking everyone to please try to limit contact with teachers and staff to the hours they have communicated they are available as much as possible.

We will continue to keep you informed through our website with additional resources and updates on services as they are finalized.

In the meantime, please be safe and take care of yourself and your families.

File photo

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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. Monday Properties is proudly featuring a rare leasing opportunity at 1101 Wilson Blvd: 5 contiguous floors with exceptional views, building signage opportunity and brand new amenities. Enjoy all the perks of easy access and ample parking; a variety of food trucks at your front door; and enviable walkable amenities. Join YEXT and other leading tech companies at this vibrant location.

Ballston-based web development startup OpenWater Software has put together a guide for other businesses to replace physical meetings and conferences with virtual ones.

OpenWater CTO Kunal Johar said in the guide that while in-person meetings are invaluable and irreplaceable, a good online meeting can salvage some of what is lost.

“The rising impact of health concerns around the coronavirus is forcing organizations to reconsider, cancel or postpone their annual gatherings,” the company said in a press release. “Because a majority of OpenWater’s customers rely on annual meetings, conferences and summits, they created a downloadable guide and instructional video that shows step-by-step how to transition your physical event into a virtual event using Zoom, or similar meeting tools like GoToMeeting. OpenWater is not affiliated or being paid by either company.”

Johar suggested having one meeting URL per physical room that you would have had at a conference. A spreadsheet can keep track of which host will be running which room with permissions to manage that room on Zoom. These URLs can be published on a company’s site through a link.

In the guide, Johar said to make sure in settings you allow people to join before the host and to auto-mute everyone as they log in and disable sounds.

“As opposed to increasing risks to physical health or completely canceling an event or meeting, virtual conferences ensure that attendees can still benefit and view recordings from any session while keeping their sponsors happy by allowing them to have dedicated virtual sessions or incorporating them in the beginning or middle of a session,” the company said in the press release. “By following this guide, event managers can transition their event to be virtual in one day with ease and without prior tech experience.”

Johar also suggested, in communications with attendees, to include links to how attendees can access refunds from travel and booking companies.

Image via OpenWater

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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. Monday Properties is proudly featuring a rare leasing opportunity at 1101 Wilson Blvd: 5 contiguous floors with exceptional views, building signage opportunity and brand new amenities. Enjoy all the perks of easy access and ample parking; a variety of food trucks at your front door; and enviable walkable amenities. Join YEXT and other leading tech companies at this vibrant location.

There are a lot of ways not to launch a startup. Unstuck Labs, a small company in Rosslyn, aims to help entrepreneurs avoid the early pitfalls of a new company with a course aimed to walk small companies through the process.

“We’re sort of Yoda for startups,” CEO Wa’il Ashshowwaf said. “Most days, the team here is helping people with modules and helping guide people.”

The company guides startups in a 12-week program. Ten startups have gone through the program and Ashshowwaf said 100% have raised some kind of seed funding and 60% have generated revenue.

The company is based out of Spaces (1101 Wilson Blvd) in what was once the Artisphere. Ashshowwaf said the Rosslyn location means they have good access to bigger companies like defense contractors, small entrepreneurs, and a variety of academic resources.

The course works in 18 building blocks that take entrepreneurs through the methodology of building a company. For the more technically-inclined, the focus might be on marketing, for those with a marketing background the focus might be on how to build a business model.

Ashshowwaf said the entrepreneurs that come to them are generally people who are just getting started or people who have launched a company but have struggled with growth. The startups are typically smaller in scale — Ashshowwaf said there’s a lot of “Uber for something” type companies and startups that bring chefs to people’s houses — while others are people like engineers and doctors who have big solutions for a problem but don’t know how to take that to market.

The number one mistake most new startups make, Ashshowwaf said, is starting with a solution in search of a problem.

“They build an app for tech that they like, but they don’t talk to customers,” Ashshowwaf said. “It’s Thor’s hammer. It’s a product just for you and no one else can use it.”

Unstuck Labs walks entrepreneurs through the technical side of starting up an app or a website, but Ashshowwaf said they also guide them through the business side, like reaching out to potential customers to get feedback and looking at how to scale a project.

Ashshowwaf said Unstuck Labs is different because instead of just giving out tools and reviewing work, the company is very hands-on with helping guide each person through the process.

The course is $9,470 with Unstuck Labs having the rights to invest early, after graduation.

Unstuck Labs is taking applicants for their startup studio. Ashshowwaf said the ideal applicant is someone who is about to lift up the phone and call an app developer.

“They should call us instead,” Ashshowwaf said. “Somebody called us today after they went straight to building a $40,000 website. They should have called us.”

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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. Monday Properties is proudly featuring a rare leasing opportunity at 1101 Wilson Blvd: 5 contiguous floors with exceptional views, building signage opportunity and brand new amenities. Enjoy all the perks of easy access and ample parking; a variety of food trucks at your front door; and enviable walkable amenities. Join YEXT and other leading tech companies at this vibrant location.

Rosslyn-based tech startup DeepSig recently raised $5 million to help develop artificial intelligence that can effectively integrate with 5G wireless systems.

“The additional funding will accelerate DeepSig’s AI and machine learning (ML) software development and deployment to improve performance and security while reducing power consumption and cost in 5G and other wireless systems,” the company said in a press release.

The company aims to build its AI from the ground up to focus around 5G coverage, rather than adapting decades-old algorithms. DeepSig says its software will be able to detect the local coverage conditions and “improve user data rates and dramatically reduce the amount of hardware and hence power.”

The new funding also shows that the company has caught the eye of some local military contractors, with some of the investment coming from Lockheed Martin Ventures, the venture arm of aerospace contractor Lockheed Martin.

“The advanced technology developed by DeepSig can optimize communications within a wide spectrum environment,” said Chris Moran, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures. “Applying deep learning and artificial intelligence to the application of real-time signal processing is an impressive capability. We are pleased to be a part of this endeavor and work to integrate the software into programs.”

Photo via @deepsignl/Twitter

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