Verus Research is shooting for the stars in Albuquerque’s high-flying technology research and development community and loving every minute of it.
“Our vision statement has the word ‘joy’ in it, because we’re earnestly trying to enjoy our time,” said Verus CEO Wheaton Byers.”We’re not chasing dollar denominations, but creating technology opportunities for all of us.”
The company formed only three years ago, in April 2014, but it reached nearly $2.7 million in revenue and 21 employees in it’s first full-year of operations in 2015. That earned it a spot on the Journal’s 2016 Flying 40 list of fast-growing technology firms with under $10 million in revenue.
Last year, it tripled its revenue to $8.2 million. And this year, the company projects up to $11 million.
“We’re doing just shy of $1 million per month now,” Byers said.
As of March, Verus had grown its workforce to 55 people, with more hires expected soon, said co-founder and Managing Director Hank Andrews. It operates at a 10,000-square-foot space at 6100 Uptown Boulevard but also manages two high-tech test and development labs elsewhere in the city.
The company focuses on a range of engineering work in things like lasers, radio frequency communications like high-power microwaves, and nuclear engineering. That includes modeling, simulating, testing and designing things from blueprint to finished product.
The company manages contracts for both private clients and many federal customers, including NASA and all three branches of the U.S. Department of Defense. It has snagged a lot of work with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, which manages the AFRL’s directed energy directorate.
“There’s a big body of work done here in directed energy — in radio frequency and lasers — because of the AFRL,” Byers said. “It’s the country’s directed energy center of excellence, and that’s the customer in our own backyard.”
Verus prides itself on pursuing the nirvana of technology opportunities for its scientists and engineers.
“We’re all in one way or another refugees from larger enterprises where that enjoyment-focused culture is often lost,” Byers said. “For our senior group who formed the company, we have perhaps ten or more working years, and we want to enjoy it.”