DC daily roundup: A Series A for finding pathogens; NASA’s Mars contracts; OpenAI, LGBTQ+ biz on the budget

Plus, meet the new Terp Startup Accelerator cohort.


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HyperSpectral lands $8.5M Series A

This Alexandria startup scored a big raise to double its staff in the next year and further develop its technology.

HyperSpectral uses artificial intelligence with spectral data, which includes everything from ultraviolet to infrared light range, to pinpoint different pathogens and contaminants. The technology started off in the food safety sector, and now the startup is moving into human health to spot similar issues — including viruses.

“This is the opportunity to not only make the food supply safer,” cofounder and CEO Matt Theurer told me, “but to actually lower costs and deal with supply chain problems that occur.”

➡️ Read more about HyperSpectral in my latest report here.

Coded by Kids rebrands and drops ‘kids’

Coded by, a Philly-based tech education nonprofit, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in tandem with a name change from  “Coded by Kids” to “Coded By.” It’ll still have a focus on young people, but increasingly prioritize helping youth succeed long term, CEO Danae Mobley told

Since its founding in 2014, Coded By has expanded to have programming at 30 locations across three states in the Philadelphia region. It has also worked with more than 2,000 students, according to Sarah Huffman,’s reporter in Philadelphia.

“We now see a pathway for students to not only just enter the tech field, but to really build their own companies,” Danae said. “Then, reinvest that wealth back into building the communities that we all deserve.”

➡️ Learn more about the nonprofit and its future plans here.

News Incubator: What else to know today

• Hundreds of people in DC and Virginia are receiving fake robocalls claiming to be from local police stations. [NBC4]

• The Chantilly government contractor VTG acquired Clear Cloud LLC, a Reston-based cloud services startup. It’s VTG’s second acquisition in less than two months. [Washington Biz Journal]

• NASA awarded $1.5 million contracts to several companies, including Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin and Rockville-based Quantum Space, to help the agency develop plans for a Mars mission. [TechCrunch]

• The DC Council is set to vote on the 2025 budget this week, which includes grants to allocate to LGBTQ+ businesses in the city. [Washington Post]

• University of Maryland’s Terp Startup Accelerator, a summer program for student entrepreneurs, kicked off last week. [University of Maryland]

🗓️ On the Calendar

• The technology services firm Nava PBC is hosting a fireside chat on June 11 with Joanne Woytek, a leader in federal technology. It’s hosted by Kaleidoscope, the company’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group. [Details here]

• Axios is hosting an event about IP innovation in the private sector, and balancing regulation and innovation, on June 12. [Details here]

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