Our founder, Deon Bonaparte started as an Audio Engineer major, but after taking an Entrepreneurship for the Novice course, something inside clicked. He immediately switched to Advertising with a focus in brand strategy, and the rest is history.
During his last year at Columbia College, in spring of 2020, he went and toured the biggest advertising agencies in Chicago and had an eye opening experience. No one at any of the top agencies looked like him. Although excited to begin a career in a field he loved, he couldn’t see himself in that space and he didn’t fit in with the culture. It was a tough pill to swallow but he knew that he wanted to create an agency where Black people could be represented by their own.
In May of 2020, Agency Evolve began as NDVU+LAB, and we decided to build the business around helping entrepreneurs with brand strategy. Soon after getting the first client, the business grew and we were able to make more than 6-figures in three months.
As time went on we gained momentum and things took off. In 2021 we rebranded NDVU+LAB because we wanted a look and feel that was more in line with our company ethos. The new name, “Agency Evolve” came from the desire to see our culture move forward.
We know we can’t solve the entire systemic problem, but we wanted to play our part. We have used our tools to help black and brown businesses increase revenue and longevity through marketing, branding, and strategy—it’s a start.