Just four years after launching as a consultancy, the Frederick software company Datakwip has moved into its own office on Aviation Way. The move, and Datakwip’s recent growth and success, can largely be attributed to the business incubator FITCI, or the Frederick Innovative Technology Center Inc., of which Datakwip is a graduate.
Datakwip’s software is designed to monitor energy usage in commercial buildings, and then pinpoint how the company can become more energy-efficient, and save money in the process.
Cory Perdue, CEO and founder of Datakwip, looked at incubators and startup spaces in Northern Virginia, D.C. and Baltimore before the Office of Economic Development pointed him toward FITCI. After touring both of their locations, Perdue knew he wanted to apply.
“It really wasn’t about the real estate, it wasn’t about the office space. It was about the organization and the people here, and Kathie herself, and really the resources they could offer,” he said.
Kathie Callahan Brady, president and CEO of FITCI, said that Perdue was the perfect candidate for FITCI. She pointed to his team-building skills and his knowledge of the industry as key factors. But more importantly, she said, he was always willing to ask for help and get advice.
“When he made a decision, he got the right advice from the right people, and he vetted the people, he vetted the decisions, he vetted the questions,” she said. “So when he made a decision, it was a really good, solid decision.”
Perdue said that FITCI was a “fantastic steward” into the Frederick business community. He also added that their advisory board as a well-utilized resource. The board consists of 38 advisers who have all started and have run, or are running, their own successful businesses.
Callahan Brady takes pride in the high caliber of the organization’s advisers, and how they all have different specialties, including branding, sales and financing.
“Trying to run a business is so, so hard, and you come in as one person trying to wear all these different hats, and that’s where FITCI kind of takes some of the pressure off,” she said.
Perdue particularly enjoyed the symbiotic relationship between the incubator and its client.
“It’s not like high school. You’re not going there and having stuff pumped in your mind,” he said. “It’s about joining the community.”
For him, the relationship was equal parts the incubator contributing to his company, and his company contributing to the incubator.
“If you join an incubator and you think you’re going to sit through some classes and you’re suddenly going to get better, that’s not true. You get out what you put into it.”
Datakwip was a client of FITCI for about a year. In that time, the company expanded from three to seven employees. It outgrew the space, and Perdue knew it was time to move on.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new office space, at 411 Aviation Way in Frederick, was on Wednesday.
Callahan Brady was proud to see the company move on.
“Cory used his resources, and I really do believe that’s why he is as successful as he is today. And he will go far. I’m proud of him,” she said.
At the ceremony, several Datakwip employees and keynote speaker Jason Hartke of the Alliance to Save Energy spoke about working toward a sustainable future. While Perdue’s goals include becoming a national and international provider of energy and commercial facility analytics, the ultimate purpose of the company is more important to him.
“Thirty percent of the energy in commercial facilities is wasted,” he said.
The goal is to help companies save money and be more sustainable by using Datakwip’s software. However, he said, that is just one step toward having a truly sustainable future.
“The point is we’re never going to stop improving. We’re going to keep getting better and better and better until this problem is solved, and then we’ll solve the next problem,” Perdue said.