In just five months, tech startup Cyber Fision has gone from zero to 60 miles per hour, building apps and websites for small businesses at about half the cost of other developers, says owner and founder Ben Nguyen.
Nguyen started Cyber Fision in February, launching his business at the Louisiana Business and Technology Center at LSU’s Innovation Park. Cyber Fision’s first app, built for Acadian Home Theater and Security Systems, became available for download on iTunes last week.
“I really got inspired by the vision of building a technology-based entrepreneurial development system,” says Nguyen, who moved to Louisiana from Vietnam in 2010 to study at McNeese State University in Lake Charles. “Right now the average cost of building an app for a business can get to about $10,000 or even more, and that price is not affordable for smaller businesses and not-for-profit organizations.”
Cyber Fision has hired two full-time employees in the past few months, as well as three part-timers, and Nguyen says he is looking to hire more. The company has spent the spring and summer developing a baseline app complete with several commonly used functions.
The app can be customized for any business need or brand, a process Nguyen says takes about two weeks and cost clients roughly $2,500. By using the basic app, Cyber Fision cuts costs and work required to launch an app.
Nguyen says he didn’t initially set out to work with technology. He started out at McNeese as a pre-med major, but he found out it wasn’t for him and changed his area of study. Nguyen was later introduced to the business incubator in Lake Charles, and from there he transferred to Innovation Park in Baton Rouge.
“Everything has been planned out so perfectly with my education background. When I was in Vietnam I had almost finished my degree; I had two years in multimedia design and two years in software development,” Nguyen says.
Starting a business in a new country could be daunting, Nguyen says, because as an outsider he didn’t have a good understanding of the market, but he was inspired by the idea of Louisiana becoming the “Silicon Bayou.” The LBTC incubator helped make the process easier and brought Cyber Fision some of their first clients, he adds.
Cyber Fision also designs e-commerce websites to make it easier for businesses to sell products online. One client, Hydra-Guard mouthguards, is another LBTC startup. Hydra-Guard launched their brand this summer and will begin to sell their products online this month using an e-commerce website. Nguyen says he wants to start developing software to meet needs of food trucks and caterers.