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Herndon startup among five to get grants from inaugural Fairfax Founders Fund

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust with NearStar Fusion CEO Amit Singh and Vice President and co-founder Christopher Faranetta (via NearStar Fusion/FCEDA)

A medical device printer in Herndon is among five local companies that will receive funding from Fairfax County’s new grant program for startups.

3D Orthobiologic Solutions (3DOS), which launched in 2019, seeks to manufacture 3D-printed medical devices and dental impacts.

“Their IP technology licenses a Stanford University patent. The company has been accepted by Johnson & Johnson’s accelerator program JLABS,” the county said in an overview.

The Fairfax County Department of Economic Initiatives announced the inaugural winners of Fairfax Founders Fund grants earlier this month. The fund is intended to support companies that are involved in creating innovative technology products and have demonstrated potential for growth.

The other four companies that received funds are:

  • Anapact: An Alexandria-based company that makes smart headgear for boxers and MMA fighters to offer real-time feedback on performance, impact and damage.
  • BloomCatch: The Centreville company aims to combat the growing labor shortage in the gardening industry by offering digital access to plant care information through an app to train employees.
  • NearStar Fusion: The Chantilly-based company, which was founded in 2023, provides a globally scalable clean fusion energy option by using pulse plasma guns as a new component for a fusion power plants.
  • Healp: The company, which is based in Fairfax Station, provides an app that connections patients and medical providers that focuses on rare conditions and illnesses at no cost to the patient.

“We are delighted to recognize and support these exceptional startups in Fairfax County,” Department of Economic Initiatives Director Rebecca Moudry said in the announcement. “These grants will empower our local firms to advance their innovations, meet business goals, and drive economic growth and technological progress in our community.”

The application period for the next round of funding runs from Nov. 27 through Jan. 8. Companies receive up to $50,000 to prepare for later-stage investment.

To be eligible, companies must be based in Fairfax County, have raised no more than $1 million of startup funding so far and have received no more than $250,000 gross revenue in the 12 months before they apply, among other criteria.

First proposed in July 2021, the Fairfax Founders Fund was conceived as a way to support female, Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs, who are less likely to receive investments for startups from other sources than male and white entrepreneurs.

“The primary objectives of the fund are to stimulate economic development, connect startups with local resources and partnerships, and promote economic mobility by ensuring that early-stage capital is accessible to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds,” the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority said.

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