ARLINGTON Va. — The Arlington County Board today accepted a grant awarded by the Commonwealth of Virginia to initially fund an innovative public-private initiative that will connect fast growth technology product companies with national security agencies headquartered in Arlington and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The initiative, TandemNSI (National Security Innovation), will foster new opportunities for entrepreneurs and national security agencies and highlight the tremendous opportunities for matching technology innovators with national security challenges and technology.
TandemNSI is a public-private partnership of Amplifier Ventures and Arlington County, funded with an initial grant of $350,000 from the Commonwealth of Virginia, matched with $175,000 from Arlington County.
The public-private partnership will highlight Arlington and the Commonwealth's attractiveness as a location to grow, attract, and retain successful national security-related businesses. It is part of the County's 6-point plan to accelerate its role in promoting an innovation economy, as outlined in County Board Chair Jay Fisette's January 1, 2014 address.
“As Arlington works to grow its innovation economy industry base, we are focusing on cyber security, healthcare IT, education technology, data science and renewable energy technology,” Chair Fisette said. “A public-private partnership such as TandemNSI supports a very specific and critical part of the innovation economy, one with a high potential for growth and economic benefits for Arlington.”
“Arlington has long been the place where innovative technologies such as the Internet, GPS, Siri, artificial intelligence, video conferencing, autonomous vehicles, cybernetics and many other world-changing technologies were conceptualized and fostered,” said Arlington Economic Development's (AED) Jennifer Ives. “Arlington companies – many of whom are leaders in the innovation economy, globally – stand poised to benefit from this public-private partnership.”
About Amplifier Ventures
Amplifier Ventures specializes in matching entrepreneurs with federally funded technology, and identifying and implementing new innovation models for the federal government. It has worked with DOD, DARPA, DHS, the Air Force, Army and other national security agencies since 2011, as an expert in reaching “nontraditional performers” for national security innovation challenges.
Amplifier Ventures also operates an early stage venture capital investment fund management business, and has formed 16 technology companies since 2005. Jonathan Aberman, Amplifier Venture's Managing Director, has previously partnered with Arlington's economic development team in successful initiatives including Start-up Virginia, Venture Camp and the Ballston Innovation Initiative (BI2). Jonathan Aberman will be the Managing Director of TandemNSI. Jennifer Ives, AED's Director of Strategic Partnerships will be the Director of Innovation and Strategic Partnership for TandemNSI.
“When we talk about national security, we are focusing on the Department of Defense and a broader range of opportunities than narrowly focusing on cyber security,” said Jonathan Aberman. “If you look at the economic history of our country, there is a high correlation between technology developed for national security and the development of new industries and economic growth. In Arlington, and around the Commonwealth, are some of the brightest and most engaged technologists in the world working hard and challenging problems and creating great technologies. We want to make sure that they are connected.”
About the Fact Fund Grant
The TandemNSI's initial funding has been provided through the Commonwealth of Virginia's Fact Fund, which was established in 2013 by the Governor to assist Virginia communities that have been negatively affected by federal government actions such as BRAC and sequestration, to help communities throughout the Commonwealth create new, innovative economic development programs that would have a positive impact on the economy. Arlington County's matching funds committed today ensure that the TandemNSI program operates for at least one year.