Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Syndeo Studios
Nov17

Entrepreneurship Spotlight: Syndeo Studios

Northeast Indiana is not exactly known as an animation hot spot. So, why did two young men fresh out of college decide to build their animation and design venture here? Chris Viel and Curtis Wood might have chosen to go the traditional path after college, but instead they decided to start-up something unique to Northeast Indiana. Founded in late 2011, the two of them have been growing together as entrepreneurs with their venture, Syndeo Studios, out of Huntington, Indiana. As they both headed into the Huntington University Digital Media Arts program, partnering on an entrepreneurial venture wasn’t exactly on the two classmates’ minds at first. “At first when I went into college, I was like ‘oh, I want to work for Pixar or whatever’ but then the professors kind of melded my mind,” said Viel. “Now I like the idea of kind of like an independent thing where you get to do your own thing…you’re not just doing the same thing over and over and over, and you have this creative freedom.” Syndeo is working to promote the medium of animation to clients in the region – and most of their clients are local. Viel and Wood create pieces in stop motion animation, 2D/3D motion graphics, compositions, and logo animations – unique media that make people stop and look. Take a look at their reel below. “That’s kind of our target…We do want to target this area and try and build up, and say to this area that this medium is actually important, and to make this area look better,” said Viel. During the initial startup phase, after talking with one of their professors at Huntington University, he took them in the direction of the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center’s Student Venture Lab, an incubator for student entrepreneurship at the high school, college, and post-graduate levels. From there they have been slowly building up their name and recognition from other people. From partnering with Kelly Lynch of Lynchpin Creative on some projects to doing projects for the alma mater, Viel and Wood are continuing to grow and get their name out there. They even won a Gold Addy® Award for their piece “Celebrate Norm” in 2014. With both coming from an artistic background, picking up the business side of things was not without its challenges. “I’m an artist. I didn’t go to school to learn business,” said Wood, “You know, I wish I would have minored in it at least.” Learning how to deal with clients and keep them happy has also been an area where Viel and Wood have grown. “That was the hard part, because we’ve obviously never...

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