Fairfax Innovation Center Client ‘Graduates’

Posted: May 16, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Students aren’t the only ones graduating this spring. Blue Collar Objects, a tenant in the Fairfax Innovation Center, a business incubator located at the Mason Enterprise Center, will soon move out and into its own space.

The center held a reception for the company last week.

BCO has been an incubator client of the Fairfax Innovation Center since 2002. Last year, the Virginia Business Incubation Association recognized the company as the top incubator client in the state with the annual Donna Noble Outstanding Incubator Client Award.

Solomon Thompson and wife Jean
Solomon Thompson and his wife, Jean, celebrate his company’s “graduation” from the Fairfax Innovation Center.
Photo by Evan Cantwell

BCO, an information technology solutions provider, experienced a 10-fold increase in size during its tenure at the center; it now has more than 40 employees and 2005 revenues approaching $5 million. Solomon Thompson Jr. is the CEO and president.

Blue Collar will relocate to a new 10,000-square-foot facility at 3702 Pender Drive, Suite 200, in Fairfax. The layout provides an open cubicle-less work environment, where the CEO occupies the open area with the rest of the employees. It is a reflection of the company’s strategy of having minimal hierarchy and maximum opportunity for collaboration and critical feedback from all segments of the organization.

“We’re delighted to see Blue Collar Objects graduate from the Mason Enterprise Center,” says Matt Kluger, Mason’s vice president for research and economic development. “The purpose of an incubator is to assist new companies to grow to the point where they can survive and prosper without the requisite infrastructure support that the MEC provides to all of its tenants.

“The concept of having innovation centers is a wonderful one and shows the important role that universities play in enhancing regional economic development,” Kluger adds.

“We have watched Blue Collar grow from almost its inception to a company experiencing substantial growth and success,” says Judy Barral, director of the Fairfax Innovation Center. “Although we are sad to see them leave the Innovation Center, we are excited to see where they will take their company in the future.”

Fairfax Innovation Center’s mission is to facilitate the growth and development of start-up businesses by providing a nurturing environment, with low-cost shared facilities, free one-on-one business counseling and networking and partnering opportunities. It is a partnership initiative between George Mason’s School of Public Policy and the City of Fairfax.

For more information, contact Barral at 703-277-7701 or jbarral@gmu.edu.

Write to at