Capital Business is teaming up with the Northern Virginia Technology Council to find the area’s most interesting product innovations.

Here’s how it works: we show you a new category of companies each week, you tell us which ones are best. The top four in each category – apps and platforms (week 1), safety and security (week 2), health, education and energy (week 3), and wearables and robotics (week 4) – will be invited to pitch their product for a panel of experts at the Washington Post’s 15th Street Northwest headquarters.

This week is the safety and security category — companies that are coming up with ways to keep people out of harm’s way or trying to protect valuable company data. Voting is now closed for the safety and security category – click here to see the winners.

Last week you voted on the apps and platforms category and four contenders advanced to the next round: Fairfax County Public Schools, HumanTouch, Avanade and George Washington University’s Division of Information Technology, Business Intelligence Services. Click here to see last week’s competition, and be sure to come back next week to see the region’s health, education and energy innovators.

Here are this week’s contenders:

AppGuard from Blue Ridge Networks

Blue Ridge Networks is a Chantilly-based company that provides cybersecurity solutions for companies and government agencies. AppGuard is a software designed to prepare systems against a cyberthreat before it comes, guarding against known and unknown threats.

SurfPAD from INDMEX Aviation

INDMEX is a Herndon-based company that develops technology and solutions for airports and the entities that manage them. SurfPAD is a tablet-based software designed to prevent fender-benders on the runway by giving airport staff an up-to-the-second map showing the movements of vehicles on the runway, whether they be airplanes preparing to take off, traveling baggage-handling vehicles or crews responding to an emergency. The product not only spots where vehicles are at a given time, but also analyzes where a vehicle will be based on its trajectory – giving vehicle operators an alert before they make their way into danger.

ChildAware by R2M Innovations

R2M Innovations is a Potomac-based start-up that focuses on creating technologies that make life easier and safer for children, disabled individuals, and other vulnerable members of society. One innovation aims to prevent heatstrokes that can occur when someone is left in a car on a hot day with the windows down. The company is developing a technology – currently still in the prototype stage – to recognize and mitigate the problem when it occurs. The company says that, once finalized, the technology will continually assess the risk of a heatstroke based on in-car sensors and take automatic action to address the problem – opening a door, turning on hazard lights, or spiking the air conditioning even if a parent or caregiver is away from the car.


Developed by Scatter Inc., an Arlington-based start-up with two full-time employees, Scatter is a software that protects users’ data by “fragmenting” it, breaking it into unintelligible pieces of information stored across multiple different cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud Drive. Users can still access their information and the data itself is not damaged – but no single cloud provider has more than one piece of the puzzle.The software is currently in a beta format offered to a limited pool of companies.

Encryption as a service from SecureDB

Corporations are investing heavily in data security after last year’s high-profile data breaches. But what about small businesses without large IT departments?

SecureDB is a Herndon-based start-up offering a system that lets Web developers easily encrypt their information without going through the trouble of coding their own encryptions. The company caters to small and medium-sized businesses that don’t want to spend months building their own security systems, giving them pre-coded templates to easily encrypt their data.

IR-Flow from Syncurity Networks

Companies are often overwhelmed with potential cybersecurity threats, and sorting through the deluge of alerts can take time. Arlington-based Syncurity Networks offers a Web application that helps triage and respond to incoming security alerts, helping IT departments weed out the non-issues and spend more of their time on real threats.

Stealth from Unisys

Unisys is a Pennsylvania-based IT company that sells IT technology and services to government agencies and companies. Rather than try to keep bad agents out or plug the leak after a data breach, Unisys tries to make critical aspects of a company’s IT system entirely undetectable from the outside. Stealth uses a range of data cloaking techniques to obscure the people and servers that hold the keys to a company’s IT infrastructure, leaving outsiders in the dark.


vClick3d is a Fairfax-based start-up consisting of a small team of communications executives and engineers. The company has developed a 3-D surveillance camera technology that reduces the bandwidth and storage space to zero for a given surveillance video, while simultaneously increasing the amount of provable imagery captured. The service steps away from compression as a means of storing files, instead employing what the company calls “dynamically measured space”: flooding the space with light to continually create three-dimensional images rather than compressed one-dimensional files.

Wave Extinguisher

Two George Mason engineering students, Viet Tran and Seth Robertson, have developed a fire extinguisher that uses sound waves to put out fires rather than flame-retardant foam. If commercialized, the Wave Extinguisher would protect company assets from being damaged by the chemical foam shot out by traditional fire extinguishers, and prevent employees from having to breathe in the fumes. Robertson and Tran say they also hope the system can be mounted to drones to help fight forest fires, and may have applications on space stations, where zero gravity can thwart traditional foam-based extinguishers.