Adage Innovations steps up to success with the SBDC
Awarded an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) of $24,000; Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan of $24,000; and a $10,000 Relief Initiative to Support Employers (RISE) grant from Fairfax County; created 15 jobs.
When Adrien Douard launched his own business in 2012, it was a one-man show. Six years later, to set his company up for success, Adrien reached out to the SBDC at the Community Business Partnership in Springfield.
With the SBDC’s support, Adage Innovations has taken off and now employs 15 people and services an impressive list of customers from American Airlines to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, US Department of Health and Human Services, Appraisal Subcommittee. Like most entrepreneurial enterprises, the company started with one man’s ambitions.
First educated in Senegal, West Africa, Adrien received a grant as top student in computer sciences and pursued his engineering education in France where he was named one of ten engineers to work on an international project for American Airlines.
“We were the first generation of engineers of the global travel reservation system, Sabre,” he notes. With Sabre’s work completed, Adrien pondered his next steps.
“I wanted to deal with customers directly, so I decided to step into the shoes of an entrepreneur,” he says.
From 2012 to 2018, Adrien was Adage Innovations’ sole employee. In 2018 he contacted the SBDC for advice on ownership and diversity certifications, and much more.
“Since 2018 I’ve worked with SBDC Director Vijay Vaswani,” Adrien relates. “Among other things, I needed advice on becoming an 8(a)-certified company and contracting with the public sector.”
As Adrien realized the possibilities for his company’s growth, he signed up for multiple SBDC training seminars and workshops.
“I attended seven or eight SBDC sessions,” he notes. “Through those presentations my questions were answered.”
Previously Adage Innovations relied on private financing, but when COVID-19 affected the landscape, Adrien applied for support, netting grants of $24,000 each from an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Fairfax County also awarded Adage Innovations a $10,000 Relief Initiative to Support Employers (RISE) grant.
“Overall, the SBDC’s guidance has been very helpful,” Adrien concludes. “We see the SBDC as a counseling partner. We listen to the experience of the SBDC consultants and leverage that advice to help our company grow.”