While attending Dalhousie University, Stoddard was mentored by Cynthia Roney, a former female entrepreneur who raised more than 59-million as a CEO of her biotech company in Vancouver, BC. From that experience, he was able to start building his own client base by building e-commerce websites for clients from BC while attending school.
After years of experience with online marketing and sales, Stoddard put his knowledge to the test by scaling a local event company called Dart Frog Events to 1.2-million Facebook views. This helped in landing Dart Frog Events on several major news sources such as Global News, CBC, 95.7, the Daily Hive, The Chronicle Herald, Virgin Radio, Iheartradio and many more. The event company went from a few hundred tickets sold to several thousand with events held in 23 cities across Canada.
From that experience, Antimatter Creative Labs was born. Antimatter is a web development company that helps local businesses build platforms, navigate online marketing, print, sales and funding.
Stoddard has put his marketing ideas to the test by helping clients scale online, and also by helping his family with their own ambitions, including his sister, who launched her own company called MJ’s Eatery, a vegan vs. meat eaters’ restaurant located on the Bedford highway. He also helped his mom, Iona Stoddard, who became the first black woman to serve on the Halifax council.
Life hasn’t always been rosy for Stoddard. He grew up in public housing and didn’t have the supports that other children had. He has turned these challenges into drive for becoming an entrepreneur. At the age of seven, Stoddard collaborated with the Atlantic Superstore, returning stolen grocery carts for $1 per cart, making approximately $60 per weekend in Grade Four. Stores started using lock wheel systems that prevented people from taking carts. “Tech put me out of business, and if you can’t beat em’, join em,’” joked Stoddard.
Like many other businesses, Stoddard’s companies have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of their events have been cancelled and he said one of the reasons they are still able to pay their bills is because they do not take on big debt.
His advice to other entrepreneurs is to look at the big picture, tread lightly and be moldable. “If the environment changes, are you ready to change with it?” He added that entrepreneurs need to think about businesses that are globally scalable over the internet.
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.”