Business Bobcat Q&A: Matthew Benson
Tuesday, October 25 2016 12:00am
Matthew Benson started his own business three months ago and it's already growing fast.
By Marshall Payne
Name: Matthew Benson
Major(s): Entrepreneurship and Finance
Class year: 2020
Why did you choose Ohio University?
I chose OHIO for the great opportunities with faculty, the College of Business Honors Program, and the Cutler Scholars Program. The Cutler Scholars Program emphasizes the development of future leaders who will give back to their communities. I have two Cutler Benefactors, Jack and Sue Ellis, who have been incredibly helpful and supportive with my transition to Ohio University.
How did you choose your major(s)?
I was always interested in business, and I actually started a few businesses in high school. The first was a glow-stick business, where the model was relatively simple: my friends and I would buy glow-sticks for cheap, bulk prices, and resell them for a profit. The second was a DVD company, where we would record dance recitals, music concerts, and other school-related events, and sell the footage to parents. My father and mother ran their own law practice for 30 years, and they must have passed that business acumen on to me.
You have started a company called SnappyCast, could you tell us more about the company and what you hope to achieve?
SnappyCast is a one-stop-shop for messaging, focused on the educational system. It's an app that focuses on connecting different types of communication and streamlining them all into one app. For example, let's say school is cancelled last minute due to a snow storm. SnappyCast would allow administrators to send out one singular message through the app that would reach parents via email, text, social media, voicemail, media outlets, and through the app itself, as opposed to having to use each of the different platforms to send multiple messages.
How do you plan on generating revenue from your business?
We will sell directly to schools at $0.80 per student, and once we gain a foothold there, we plan to partner with different education-related companies and offer them our platform to maximize communication efficiency. The potential uses for this product are limitless, but we believe education is a good place to start.
When did you start SnappyCast?
Only about three months ago, and it's growing fast. We have received excellent feedback and a ton of interest based on our beta testing, and there is a lot of demand from our initial users for us to continue to build the product and expand our offerings.
How has your involvement in student organizations/select programs added to your education?
The Center for Entrepreneurship has been incredibly helpful, not only with the schoolwork, but with supporting our budding business. The entire OHIO business community has been extremely supportive. As a freshman, the transition from high school to college presents challenges, and everyone from my classmates to the faculty has helped along the way.
What is your favorite class in the College of Business and why?
I would say Business Introduction, or BA 1100, with Dr. Pueschel. He’s new to the College of Business, but his energy is contagious, and anyone who teaches with that type of enthusiasm and engagement can make any type of curriculum interesting.
What are your career goals, and how did you figure out what you wanted to do?
I want to be the CEO of my own company. My short-term plan is to develop SnappyCast to the point where it’s successful. Long-term, I would like to use my business knowledge to become a venture capitalist and help other entrepreneurs achieve their goals. One aspect of business that I love is how it provides the opportunity to give back and contribute to the growth of individuals and communities.
Where is your favorite place to hang out on campus?
Casa Nueva, which is also my favorite place to eat. The food is great and everyone who works there is friendly.
What do you like best about living in Athens?
The sense of community. There aren't a lot of place where strangers will randomly say "Hi!". Everyone is welcoming and warm, which I appreciate.
Why should a prospective student consider Ohio University’s College of Business?
We have great professors, and not only are they qualified educators, but most of them have amazing real-world business experiences that really add value to the experience as a student. They truly care about developing their students and are willing to go the extra mile. Also, for anyone interested in entrepreneurship or starting a business, the level of innovation for such a small town is mind-blowing
What was your favorite career management-related experience at the College?
I’m in a unique situation as a student-entrepreneur, so I’m actually experiencing career management in every facet of my education here. I'm learning about career management every day here in Athens!