Company Culture
Business development / Coworking / Investing

Fairfax County invests $1 million in local innovation hub Refraction

The investment will help Reston, Va.–based Refraction expand coworking space and an apprenticeship program.

The Refraction lobby. (Photo via Fairfax County)

In an effort to foster more innovation and entrepreneurship, Fairfax County has made a $1 million investment into the expansion of a NoVa coworking space.

The $1 million investment into Reston, Va.–based Refraction was approved as an economic development support fund at the Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors meeting on Nov. 20. The fund was designed to invest one-time seed money into projects that will provide economic benefits to Fairfax County, the county’s site says.

Fairfax County said in a statement that the investment is anticipated to create 800 tech jobs, train 2,500 workers and eventually lead to $200 million in new capital investment over the next five years.

“Refraction is exactly the kind of partner that will stimulate our local economy,” Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova said in a statement. “As a county, we’re making strategic investments that help to support and grow our region’s innovation ecosystem, such as offering tech startups access to entrepreneurial expertise so they can scale their businesses.”

Along with offering a coworking space, Refraction seeks to stimulate a community for startups and high-growth companies while offering education programs, networking opportunities and mentoring events. The new funding will be used to move Refraction into a larger office space and to support its developing apprenticeship program with Northern Virginia Community College geared toward training workers for startups and high-growth companies.

Refraction is also partnering with the county’s chief equity officer and public schools to train underrepresented and economically disadvantaged girls and students on entrepreneurial skills, the press release states.

“We are excited about the county’s strong support of Refraction’s mission to nurture and mentor startups and help create jobs,” Esther Lee, CEO of Refraction CEO said in a statement. “This catalytic investment will help us accelerate and increase our impact in the regional innovation ecosystem. We look forward to working closely with the county and partners like Amazon and Comcast in this important work.”

As an agreement with the county, Refraction will report its financial results and success metrics annually over the next five years.


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