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Matt Bernhardt, 37

CEO, Stickboy Creative

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  • | 11:00 a.m. October 13, 2017
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  • Class of 2017
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Stickboy Creative has evolved.

Co-founder and CEO Matt Bernhardt says the 15-person company started off as more of a design company working on branding for businesses. Now Stickboy mainly does custom software and application development while design work is done under a different brand — Vectra Digital. “It was really organic,” Bernhardt says of the change.

The company began designing larger websites, he says, which turned into larger e-commerce sites. In 2010, Stickboy developed an idea for an online coupon platform and built it out. “It was an incredible education for how to work on large systems that are more complex than a typical website,” he says. “We pushed ourselves from there.”

The coupon platform, which was acquired by another company in 2011, was a bridge to new projects. Stickboy is now working on a website platform for a company that does DNA analysis. The website will allow the company to sell and market its DNA product by using unique backend features. Bernhardt says Stickboy also recently finished the national consumer application for Jet’s Pizza, which enables people to order pizza through the app.

Stickboy works with a variety of industries, but it plans to market specifically to two or three industries going forward. Focusing on fewer verticals through marketing, he says, allows companies to “keep your message very specific and speak directly to those people.” It also allows companies such as Stickboy to “become an expert in those industries.”

That perceived expertise can be important when securing new clients. “Our industries are kind of like financial planners,” he says. “You don’t Google it. You’re going to ask a friend, ‘Who do you trust?’”

— Grier Ferguson

Survey says

Name: Matt Bernhardt

Age: 37

City of residence: Fort Myers

Employer: Self-employed — Stickboy Creative and Vectra Digital

Title: CEO

Birthplace: Mt. Clemens, Mich.

Years on the Gulf Coast: 14

Marital status/children: Married/0

Alma mater/degree: Ferris State University

Best place to network: Anywhere your target demographic hangs out

Messy desk or clean workspace: Messy

Eat lunch out or at your desk: Out

Best business lesson ever learned: Always do the right thing even when you don't want to

Weirdest job you’ve ever had: Kids toys salesman outside the front doors of Walgreens and Publix stores (hated it!)

A website that makes your job easier:

App you use the most: Amazon

One thing you do every day: Try to be better than the last day

Community group you’re most involved with: Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership

Favorite off-hours activity: Basketball

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Tony Robbins & Leonardo Da Vinci

What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Film actor/writer

Top item on your bucket list: Travel the world for a year with no itinerary

Your happy place is: Las Vegas

Your biggest fear: Dying

Favorite Ted Talk: Sir Ken Robinson — Do schools kill creativity?

Skill you’d like to learn: Jiu-Jitsu

Who would play you in a movie about your life: "Thin" Matthew Perry or Aaron Paul

Describe yourself in three words: Honest, caring and adventurous



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