Bobby Whitman once had to hide his youth when seeking clients for his company. No more, now that he’s reached the ripe old age of 24.
The 2006 graduate co-founded a web site design company while studying at Xavier. He and co-founder Matt Dopkiss, a Miami University student at the time, turned heads with their youthfulness.
“We would walk into a business meeting with potential clients,” says Whitman, “and they would glance at us like, ‘Are these guys for real? Can they really get the job done?’ We always tried to avoid the age question because we were still in college. But now, we’re pretty much getting past that. We have a very strong portfolio, so we let that speak for us. We say, ‘Hey, we’ve been doing this four years, we’re doing this full-time and we have all these employees. We can get the job done.’ ”
At age 24, Whitman and Dopkiss—who were chums at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio, and shared a keen interest in web sites—have more than 200 clients at their Columbus-based DynamIt Technologies, a web engineering, design and development firm.
“In sales meetings, we’ll talk about how we don’t really know what it’s like to not have the Internet,” says Whitman. “For instance, we were in college when Facebook started and we know everything it’s about and how to leverage it for business. It’s not just about using these things, but how a business can benefit from not only what is already out there but how a business can build from what is out there. Because we’re young, it’s natural for us to understand the technologies.”
With a staff of six people—all in their 20s—and three full-time subcontractors, Whitman and Dopkiss are planning expansion. “We’re having discussions about where we want to be a year from now,” Whitman says. “We want to grow, but not explode. We want to control our growth.”