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Smart Algae. Underwater Drones. An Internet for Mars. How Hypergiant Is Inventing for the Future.

It's not easy to build the stuff for tomorrow when you also have to run a sustainable business today. Inside the crazy world of Hypergiant, an ambitious company that's figuring it out.

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This story appears in the December 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

How do you dress for the Pentagon? Most people hoping to secure a contract to send satellites into space would put on a suit. But Ben Lamm is not a fan of the expected. So on a visit to Washington, D.C., the night before his big meeting with Air Force generals, he was at a restaurant deliberating two important style questions: Which jean jacket would he wear? And which swanky scarf? 

Courtesy of Hypergiant
Lamm in the skull scarf he wore to his first Pentagon meeting, which led to scoring a satellite project.

His dinner date that night knew the Pentagon well. It was Susan Penfield, a longtime executive VP at consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton, which does a lot of work with the federal government (as well as with Lamm). “I don’t know if it will fly at the Pentagon,” she told him — but if he insisted on a scarf, she suggested one with all-American red, white, and blue colors. The next morning, Lamm thought, Maybe not and threw on his Alexander McQueen — black with white skulls. “For good luck,” he explains now, with a shrug.

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