When Ben Mateus was eight, he took apart his first computer. The good news was, he also put it back together.
By middle school, he was designing his own websites, fan sites, video games, and by the time he reached high school everyone knew: This is Ben’s thing.
“I’ve always been attracted to it,” Mateus said. “I guess I’ve always just understood how things work and wanted to get in there and make something from nothing.”
Now, the 26-year-old Mateus is bringing Mateus Softworks web design to SouthCoast, working with an established team of coders, designers and thinkers to take businesses to the next level.
“It’s websites, it’s mobile apps, it’s everything a business needs to survive – and thrive, more importantly – in the digital age,” he said. “We aim to fill that gap that people know they need to fill. People are missing out, and we want to solve problems.”
Mateus feels that so many local businesses don’t have online presences that reflect how special their product or service is.
“It’s really like having a second storefront,” said the New Bedford High, BCC grad. “We assess your business, and we assess your competition, and we say. “OK, here’s what other people are doing. Now let’s make sure we do it better than them.”
That intake process, with lots of one-on-one access, helps local businesses feel comfortable in what can be an uncomfortable process.
“We work with you every step of the way, one on one, from concept to design to functionality, getting the picture of what you want and making it happen,” he said. “We know this is an important thing, something that is definitely a source of stress for people, and we want to make it easier.”
“We’re doing more than just websites, there are plenty of ways to build websites – we’re building solutions for your online business. Back end, front end – we’re an online startup in a box for you. We’re the way you get from being online to really driving business online.”
His father and cohort Joe Mateus is the codemaster for Mateus Softworks, and the two have worked side by side for years with Dad’s Mateus Web Design company.
“It’s in his blood,” Joe said. “I guess him watching me build websites, seeing my love of technology, how I embraced it. He kind of fed off of it and made his own mark, which I’m proud of. He’s a smart kid.”
Dad’s reference aside, over the course of a conversation with Mateus you get a sense of what makes him tick: knowledge and passion.
“Filling the void for SouthCoast businesses, understanding this culture, and just finding answers for people, that’s what I get excited about,” Mateus said. “This is such a great area, but I think sometimes we’re a little behind, especially in the online space, and I want to help us catch up.”
Mateus Softworks is also launching its first app this year (still strictly under wraps for proprietary reasons), and app design is a specialty for the company.
“I think people think ‘Oh, an app, that’s going to cost me a hundred thousand dollars, but that’s not the case anymore,” he said. “And when it comes to folks my age, twenties, teens, they’re not going to a laptop, or a desktop, or walking around downtown just looking around, they’re doing it all with their phones. And that is a space local businesses can afford to be in – they almost can’t afford not to.
“It’s a completely different world, really a new fight that everyone has to commit to, and we want to help businesses win that fight,” Ben said – then, with a smile, added, “And hey, it’s fun!”
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