3 minute read

Nicholas Stoddard – Antimatter Labs and Dart Frog Events


Last November, four terrifi c Black entrepreneurs pitched their businesses at the BBI’s InMotion pitch competition. Th eir ventures were excellent and their presentations superb. Th e judges had a diffi cult task on their hands. Nicholas Stoddard was announced winner. Stoddard is the personifi cation of believing “in the grind”. At just 28 years old, he is the Co-founder of Antimatter Labs and Dart Frog Events. Antimatter Labs is a marketing agency providing a range of services including web design, graphic design and printing. Dart Frog Events is an augmented reality event company creating themed events and renting out photo booths for corporate events, weddings and parties. Stoddard and his partners started both companies in 2018. It is no surprise that Stoddard’s business partners describe him as a “machine.” His ambition and steadfastness are evident not only in business but in all areas of his life. Because he loves what he does, he says, he loves Mondays and he is excited about getting up every morning. It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Stoddard’s entrepreneurship journey can be traced back to his need to buy a slice of pizza when he was in grade 5. Th e school brought in pizza every Friday and a slice went for $ 3.50. His mom would not give him the money, so he looked for ways to make his own. Someone in his neighborhood was collecting and returning grocery store carts for money. Stoddard wanted in and the gentleman agreed to pay him a dollar for every cart he brought. Before long, Stoddard had recruited his friends and they were bringing several carts each day. Th e young entrepreneurs were happy with the money they made but their joy was short-lived. Stores started using lock wheel systems that prevented people from taking the carts. “Tech put me out of business,” jokes Stoddard. With both his companies, Stoddard now vows to stay on the cutting edge of technology. In fact, Dart Frog Events hosted Canada’s fi rst augmented reality event. Life hasn’t always been rosy for Stoddard. He grew up in public housing and didn’t have the supports that other children had. But what would have been challenges, he turned into drive for becoming an entrepreneur. “I didn’t want my parents’ lifestyle to be my lifestyle. I didn’t want it for them either.” Stoddard wanted to do more and earn more now and aft er retirement. “Even aft er they have retired, entrepreneurs have many young people asking for their advice. Th at’s the old age I dream of”. One of Stoddard’s greatest joys as an entrepreneur is being able to give back to the community. “Before I became an entrepreneur, I wasn’t donating to any organization. Now, we have donated thousands of dollars,” says Stoddard who coaches kids in soccer every Sunday. Antimatter Labs also off ers subsidized rates for non-profi t organizations in addition to helping them with grant writing. Like many other businesses, Stoddard’s companies have been interrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. A lot of their events have been cancelled and he says one of the reasons they are still able to pay their bills is that they do not take on big debt and if they must, they will “fi nd low interest loans from organizations like the BBI”. His advice to other entrepreneurs is to look at the big picture, tread light and be moldable. “If the environment changes, are you ready to change with it?” He also adds that entrepreneurs need to think about businesses that are globally scalable over the internet. Dart Frog Events has been to 23 cities and they hope to cover all of Canada and have a representative in each city by 2021. Stoddard’s entrepreneurship journey is one of courage, hard work, persistence, strong work ethic and striving for excellence. His tenacity is inspiring and some of it can be attributed to a lesson he learned while playing semi-professional and Varsity soccer. “Run until you puke. If you haven’t, you can still run some more.”

By Sharon Ishimwe Photography contributed

Nicholas Stoddard, Animatter Labs & Dartfrog Events

Nicholas Stoddard Animatter Labs & Dartfrog Events 902-817-2393 www.antimatterlabs.ca, hello@antimatterlabs.ca 902-448-5610 www.dartfrogevents.com dartfrogevents@gmail.com