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Atlas RFID Solutions

Birmingham, Ala.

Incubator: Innovation Depot

Robert Fuqua, founder

Revenues: $7.2 million (2012)

Employees: 38

http://atlasrfid.com/

In 2007 to early 2008, Atlas RFID Solutions was already a success story. Having created Jovix™ – a radio frequency identification product that uses technology to receive, store, locate and track materials on large construction jobsites – the company was working in six countries on four continents. But then the economic downturn put the construction industry on standby. By January 2009, the company was nearly defunct. With help from Innovation Depot staff, founder Robert Fuqua and a few loyal employees managed to steer the company back on track. “We had nothing but unbending will to find a way to get through the difficult period and to build a great company,” he says. Now, Atlas RFID Solutions is the world’s leading resource for mobile materials management.

Incubator’s role: Fuqua credits the Innovation Depot with helping it survive the economic downturn. Understanding the company’s plight, the incubator allowed the firm to downsize its leased space, enabling Atlas RFID Solutions to focus on building a business model that produces the level of growth Fuqua aspired to when he founded the company. The incubator staff made introductions to legal and accounting resources; coordinated Atlas’ first press release, which led to new business opportunities; and introduced the company to potential investors, including two who ultimately invested approximately $1.1 million in the company. Atlas RFID Solutions’ revenue grew from $200,000 in 2007 to $7.2 million in 2012, earning the company a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. “The Innovation Depot staff has been a reliable source for strong introductions to employee candidates, service agencies, investors and even customers,” Fuqua says. “Without the Innovation Depot, the probability is very high that Atlas would not exist today.”

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