Invention success straight out of Arlington


Touch of Modern

Athlights can stick to any piece of clothing anywhere from head to toe.

Many of the popular innovations of the past year have come from Arlington entrepreneurs. DrinkMate, Notify AnyWhere, Snagajob, ValueCrates and Athlights are some of the major inventions that have gained popularity throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV), and around the world.

DrinkMate, an app designed to be a mobile breathalyzer, spent most of 2015 in development. It was first released for Android in 2015. The iPhone version is expected to be released some time this month. Due to its success in 2015, the company plans to roll out new inventions and products in the new year. “I think being in such a populated area really helps with the start-up of these companies,” senior Emnet Altebachew said. “Areas like Clarendon will really appreciate inventions like DrinkMate and will be quick to use anything new to the market.”

Notify AnyWhere is a unified notification platform that allows users to notify subscribers of events, updates or send out mass messages, in hopes of making notifying others less of a hassle. This past year was a year for growth as the company expanded to reach countries such as China, India and the United Kingdom. It was also the year the app was able to launch its Android and web platforms.

Snagajob, the national business that matches hourly workers with employment opportunities, was able to open its first location on Glebe Road. Employees looking for a job are able to browse its website or apps for Android or iPhone and can search based on hours, commitment, location and position. Snagajob was also able to hire 100 new employees, which increased its number of “snaggers” to a total of 300. After being in business for 16 years, 2015 was a strong year for the company. “Any way to get the jobs to the people, especially with an area that has so many people looking for employment will really be beneficial,” junior Jordan Armstrong said.

By renting out moving crates and dollies for a month at a time with set prices, the company ValueCrates was met with an overwhelming demand that led to them consistently be out of stock. Having been in business since summer of 2014, it was recently able to receive the funds needed to meet its growing demand. Due to the new expansion, the company can now reach more customers by delivering the crates right to their door.

Athlights, are lightweight magnetic lights that stick to walkers, runners or cyclists clothing experienced multiple firsts in 2015. The company hit stores for the first time this past October, from Amazon to independent running stores. Its first shipment to Mumbai was sent out this past year, allowing it to break into the international market. The company was also able to sell out for the first time since its start in 2012.

This past year became a year of milestones for many Arlington start-up companies. The coming months bring hope of continuous success for each company as well as anticipation of what is next to come out of Northern Virginia.