“I see nothing but positive growth for us. We could be four or five times larger in five years,” he said. “In 2014, our volume of work doubled and we hired five new employees. A lot of our growth in the next five years depends on what’s going on in the world. Someone comes to us with a problem and we work with them to solve it.”
A lot of Hyperion’s work is with the U.S. government and involves the military and homeland security. Tension in the Middle East and surging terror groups portend a continuing need for the company’s threat detection systems.
The company developed and manufactured a sniper detector system that uses acoustics and infra-red technology that’s being used in Afghanistan.
Hyperion also works with other U.S. Government groups, including research and development for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency); work that led to their involvement with Storm Chasers on the Discovery Channel for four years.
On the industrial side, Hyperion builds products — machines that are used in factories — for suppliers of Toyota and Nissan automotive manufacturers.
Noting that the company has grown faster than he thought it would, Carter said field offices in university towns were specifically chosen to help keep abreast of research and technology.
“Technology is changing so fast and we have to keep up,” he said. “We work with national labs so we’re on the inner circle of technology. We may be working on one thing today and get a call from a customer who wants something different; that happened with the sniper detection system for the Army.”
The sensors, electronics and hardware developed in Tupelo are also built in Tupelo.
“We try to keep it all local for security and to maintain control with quality and time lines,” Carter said. “We can respond rapidly. If the Army calls, we may have to delay another customer.”
He said getting a foot in the door with government entities and national labs is all about relationships. The association with professors at Ole Miss led to Hyperion’s involvement with Los Alamos National Laboratory and other groups.
“That helped us get started and now these groups trust us,” he said. “It takes two years to get in the government’s budget cycle.”
Carter, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from Mississippi State University, was always interested in engineering. His grandfather was an engineer who worked for NASA in the Apollo program.
“I took things apart as a kid,” he recalls. “It was okay with my things but my sister didn’t like me messing with her things.”
He lived in Connecticut until age 12 and then in Florida until his mid 20s. He worked in broadcasting at a station in Florida owned by Frank Spain before moving to Meridian to work at another of Spain’s stations.
The father of four children, Carter predicts continued growth with the Internet. “The way we use it will continue to evolve,” he said. “Our devices will interact with it, which will change the way we do things. Also, cars will communicate directly with automotive shops about any needed service. And coming from a broadcasting background, I see that we’ll have a la carte packages and will watch TV differently. My kids already don’t watch TV the traditional way.”
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