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Synergetics – Small Category 4th Place

At Synergetics, technology is a tool.

Founded as a part-time business by Jim Raines in 1992, Synergetics provides a wide range of computer products and services, including IP-based video security systems.

But, Raines also envisioned technology such as computers in classrooms and libraries in the state’s school systems becoming a larger part of the curriculum.

Lacking were the resources to support the technology.  There were no IT people to help educators work the new machines that were showing up in their schools.

A former U.S. Forest Service employee, Raines sprung into action.  He founded Synergetics in his spare time and the company quickly took off.

Fast-forward 16 years later, and Synergetics is now a full-fledged IT services firm based in Starkville.  It has 51 employees, a number that has grown by 15 percent the past two years.

Synergetics has customers spread across Mississippi and into Northwest Alabama.  They come from the public and private sector and include school districts, higher education agencies, state and local government agencies and businesses.

    With its education clients, Synergetics helps administer E-Rate, the federal program designed to make available affordable telecommunications and Internet access for schools and libraries, and develops professional development technology, helps with system maintenance and assists schools with state procurement contracts.

In turn, Synergetics helps its government clients navigate the contract procurement process.

The company’s work was recognized last year when it was named to Inc. magazine’s 5,000 List, which recognizes the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.  Synergetics also was named by the Mississippi Business Journal as one of Mississippi’s Top 100 Private Companies. 

The growth from a part-time side business to an established IT firm also earned the company a spot on the Mississippi Business Journal’s Fast 40 list.

“It’s been a dedication to growth,” said chief executive officer David Palmer.  “That includes adding the proper staff, finding new products, developing new markets, combined with employees energized with a purpose of doing something great.”

Like every other company in the industry, Synergetics has had to adapt since the recession wrapped around the economy two years ago, Palmer said.

“Keeping a positive mindset (has been the biggest challenge of the past year),” he said.  “Business is being done in good or bad economic times.  You just have to work harder in the bad times to get that business.  If you have a negative attitude because of a bad economy, you are already one step behind.”

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