This series is part of a monthly blog series about Frederick County businesses that grow and expand. It is a snapshot of Frederick County business success stories. Check back each month for more businesses that grow in Frederick County or read Volumes 1, 2 ,3, 4 and 5.
With just two employees, Akonni Biosystems, a molecular diagnostics firm that develops, manufactures and markets genetic testing devices, was one of the first clients at the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc (FITCI) when it opened in 2005.
In one year, Akonni had grown to six employees and graduated from FITCI in 2007. During this time, they added eight more employees and moved to a 20,000 square foot space on Sagner Ave. From 2007-2008, they doubled their staff to 28 and from 2009-2010, they doubled again to 50 employees. In 2011, Akonni entered into a licensing agreement with the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases to aid in fighting potential bioweapons. Around 2011-2012, markets became volatile and Akonni took this time to reorganize and change their business plan, capitalizing on grant funding with less staff. In 2013, Akonni received a $30 million dollar grant for five years. Now with a staff of 20 employees, and seven patents to their name, restructuring has positioned them for a better future.
ALTEK Information Technology
ALTEK’s Founder and President Anne Lipman started ALTEK from her Frederick, MD home in 2004. An IT staffing and project support company with a niche in health information technology, ALTEK grew quickly and planted its headquarters at Frederick’s Glass Factory in 2006. In 2012, the company established a second location in Chicago, IL to better serve clients in the Midwest.
In 2014, the company was recognized by Inc Magazine’s 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in America, coming in at number 2,627. Reporting at 3-year growth rate of 143%, ALTEK generated $26.2M in revenue in 2013. Today with 14 employees in Frederick, two in Chicago and 130 consultants and contractors working in the field for ALTEK, the company is continuing to expand and thrive in Frederick.
AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association)
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is a nonprofit individual membership association. AOPA was founded in 1939 with the mission to make general aviation flying safer, more affordable, and more fun. Today, AOPA is the world’s largest and most influential general aviation association. AOPA employs a staff of approximately 240 and is headquartered convenient to the Frederick Municipal Airport. The staff includes experts on virtually every aviation subject imaginable. Approximately forty percent of AOPA’s staff are pilots.
In 1983, AOPA moved from Bethesda, MD to Frederick and at the time, had 263,000 members. By 2010 more than 400,000 individuals were AOPA members. Whether a pilot, aircraft owner or an aviation enthusiast, AOPA has the resources needed to keep skills sharp, stay informed and remain connected with the aviation community. AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels, to flight planning products and opportunities.