Prepare to Launch
Mobile application developers Mantid Interactive locate at newly opened Launch Fishers
Mantid Interactive LLC, a mobile software business, is doing big things on small screens at Launch Fishers, a co-working space and business-incubator in the Fishers Library.
Launch Fishers is a space aimed at startup businesses, offering a professional environment to businesses at a low annual price – as low as a total of $300 in addition to a start-up fee.
But the founders of Mantid, Barry Geipel and Chris Keaney, are not new to the game.
Quite contrary, the developers have been in the mobile software business long enough to be called veterans.
Geipel has been programming since 1979 and has seen every major innovation and change to the industry since then. Chris started off in the industry at the turn of the 21st century, working with Mobile Web and Palm operating systems, finding he wanted to continue working in mobile development. Both worked for ExactTarget, a marketing and communications company, in Indianapolis prior to teaming up, and they continue to work with their old employer on projects.
Today, they work across society’s popular mobile platforms – Android and Apple’s iOS gadgets.
“If you can hold it in your hand and touch the screen, it’s pretty much what we do,” Geipel said.
Mantid focuses on partnering with businesses, meaning they work with other companies to build a product, as opposed to being contracted to do specific work like other services around the world.
“That allows us to focus on what we intended, which is the mobile technology,” Keaney said. “It’s evolving so fast it’s incredibly difficult to keep up when your focus is spread out amongst all of technologies.”
They’ve built a library of games to use a “portfolio,” and they’ve worked with businesses big and small to build mobile applications, including startups like CoatChex (a recent participant on ABC’s “Shark Tank”) and Simon Malls, as well as companies on the west coast.
Geipel said, “One of our things we always said: ‘Don’t outsource to India, you can outsource to Indiana – only a few more letters and very high quality work.’”
Geipel, a Carmel resident, and Keaney, a Noblesville resident, have brought their business to Fishers, with Launch offering benefits to their two-person company a home office couldn’t supply.
Geipel said leading up to November, was ran out of home offices.
The duo would Skype call each other to work on projects and meet with clients at either the clients’ facilities or at local Starbucks locations.
“Sometimes it’s cool and hip,” Geipel said, “sometimes it’s just annoying.”
Besides a professional space to take advantage of at Launch Fishers, the new space is giving Mantid the ability to do something that businesses need to succeed – grow.
Keaney and Geipel said it’s difficult to bring on new staff when work is done virtually. It strains the training process and some problems need to be worked out face-to-face to begin with.
Adding a new member, as well as space, to the Mantid team will give them the ability to take on bigger projects, and more of them, he said. “Turning down work is really not nice.”
Keaney said mobile developing is challenging partly because of the platform the programmer works of off of. A mobile developer’s programming has to be good enough to combat dead spots and more issues that don’t apply to the traditional desktop.
He said that’s why businesses like Mantid are in demand – because not all programmers know how to program for mobile devices.
In the business “enclave” at Launch Fishers is Mantid and a group of other entrepreneurs paying an extra $150 per month for private work space.
Geipel said he already envisions being able to enlist help from other programmers working out of the incubator on projects.
“I think it’s going to help all of us grow,” he said.
“This is the perfect environment for fostering that next step to get you over that next barrier to growth,” Keaney said.