Hyperion Sensors, a groundbreaking tech company that boasts an extraordinary gathering of engineering tech talent, is creating the world’s smartest transformer, right here in Markham, Ontario.
Led by co-founders Anselm Viswasam and Gerald Manuelpillai, Hyperion Sensors started their business journey in 2015. The vision? Generate real-time data and critical information for large, high voltage electrical assets to reduce power grid failures and increase power efficiency so that grid operators can generate greater revenues from their existing asset base.
As the engineers began developing their idea, the team also tapped into the massive support system across Ontario – The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). By leveraging this ecosystem, the company was able to scale significantly, carry out its leading research and development, and partner with leading industry players in its target market within a few short years.
Here’s how they did it.
Working with The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Hyperion was introduced to ventureLAB and was able to secure an OCE SmartStart Seed Fund grant. The team was then invited to exhibit at national and international innovation conferences including Photonics West, IEEE Transmission & Distribution and the industry-led Ellis Don Technology Forum. This recognition also included two IRAP funding awards.
The company’s early successes led to its selection as The Branham Group’s Top Up and Coming ICT Company in 2017, as well as a high-profile position as the only Canadian company selected to join the U.S. based Ameren Accelerator in the same year. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Organizations across York Region and the ONE Network collaborated to find the right program and opportunity fits for Hyperion. From an R&D project with Innovation York (York University) to a proposed advanced manufacturing proposal with ReMAP Network (Celestica), and ongoing support from OCE and NRC-IRAP, Hyperion is building on the opportunity to prototype and develop its technology in Canada, using Canadian dollars.
It is important to recognize the value of a story like this – the development of a globally competitive technology company coming out of Markham. While this region is often swept up in a geographically broader narrative, our wealth of capital, diverse talent pool and technology success stories point to something incredibly unique and culturally significant.
We collaborate to launch globally competitive tech companies, and we do it well.
Despite the challenge of a long sales cycle, key stakeholders throughout York Region, including ventureLAB, rallied behind Hyperion to push it forward and advocate for government funding and support. Our ecosystem acted as a validator for the technology, increasing visibility and raising the young company’s profile. This is truly the benefit of being involved in an innovation community like ours, versus developing a technology out of a garage in a vacuum.
Anselm notes the added benefits of being physically located in the IBM Innovation Space – Markham Convergence Centre, “All of the delegations that walk through, the government officials, the economic development advisors on a daily basis – none of this would have been possible without that support.”
Now, Hyperion is taking a leap forward into global markets. The team have secured contracts in St. Louis and Canada’s Veridian Connections (a leading Canadian electric utility service provider in Durham Region) as their first smart transformer goes live in 2018. “Here’s where Hyperion is today,” says Anselm, “we’ve actually figured out a way to build this technology, embed it into these assets and make them smart devices.”