February 18, 2013

eGroup Expanding: Another Month, Another Tech Firm Grows into New Office

Brendan Kearney  /  The Post and Courier

There are the requisite flat screens, white boards and various "flair." There's a video game room in progress and plans for a small in-house gym.

But the main thing you notice when you walk around eGroup's new Mount Pleasant headquarters are the walls: They're all painted in shades of blue, the de facto hue of the computing industry.

The firm is a team of technology specialists, and they want you to know it.

They've been around for more than a decade, but to hear the consultancy's founder tell it, eGroup's work helping area companies and agencies keep up with the rapid pace of change has been largely out of view.

"We've often been accused of being successful despite ourselves," said Mike Carter, a 1992 Citadel graduate with generational ties to the Lowcountry.

The company, which Carter started in Charlotte in 1999 and sells everything from cloud services to data analytics, brought in almost $20 million in revenue last year.

"If you pick any major company in Charleston, they're a customer," he said, naming General Dynamics Land Systems and Piggly Wiggly as examples.

With ramped-up branding and sales efforts afoot, eGroup hopes to bring in closer to $30 million in 2013.

An important part of that plan is the new office. eGroup moved in last fall but will officially open the 9,000-square-foot space off Long Point Road on Thursday night with an oyster roast.

It's a major upgrade from eGroup's home since 2004: 2,000 square feet over on Ben Sawyer Boulevard. Now the company has 40 employees, half based locally, and things are starting to accelerate. Carter expects to hire "at least" 20 more people by the end of the year.

"We leverage our past to finance our future," he said of the business plan.

The company, which also has offices in Columbia and Charlotte, plans to open more around the Carolinas and in Jacksonville, Fla.

The company picked its new headquarters location in part because there's adjacent acreage for expansion. In other words, the Charleston tech forecast calls for more blue.