NWA Entrepreneurial All-Stars: Matt Francis

Aug 11, 2021

After more than a year of being forced apart by the pandemic, we are celebrating what makes the Northwest Arkansas venture ecosystem great by highlighting the incredible founders and hardworking entrepreneurial support organization leader – all of whom drive our region forward and make it a better place to start a business!  

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing profiles from some of the region’s entrepreneurial all-stars… Be on the look-out for more!  

Matt Francis



Who has had the most influence on you in your professional/entrepreneurial journey?

If I have to pick just one person… I’ll pick two! My parents by far have had the greatest impact on my decision to be an entrepreneur and encouraged me to try everything and do what I love.


What do you think has been your biggest achievement yet? 

Crossing the line at 10 years in business at the company I started. The longest I’ve ever worked anywhere!


What about your biggest setback or challenge; and how did you overcome it?

Hard to name just one, but there have been some big, critical projects we really needed to win, and didn’t. Each time that has happened, we always looked at what happened, and what was in our control and out of our control.  Every now and then a pivot is needed in your strategy; finding out its time is painful!


If you could go back in time and give your younger self advice, knowing what you know now, what would it be? 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and figure out how things work… especially when things don’t make sense! Even complex things have to make sense in the end. If you don’t know, probably nobody else does.


What’s your favorite business tool? 

As far as an actual “tool” I’ve learned the hard way that every business it different, and there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for lots of business tools. We use lots of open source to run our business, and glue things together with custom programs.  I found this to be incredibly powerful in a tech startup, since it allows us to build to our work flow without becoming the business the tool wants you to be.

In the more general sense: the MVP

The concept of the lean canvas and the minimal viable product concept have been very useful to us. We solve really complex problems, and it’s amazing how many times you find there can be either a really simple solution, or a totally different product that comes out of taking a step back and looking at the landscape.


What makes a successful entrepreneur? 

A successful entrepreneur is someone who is resourceful, empathetic and purposeful.  Someone who sees opportunities in problems and is willing to learn from mistakes.

Someone wants to start their own business – what’s the first piece of advice or first step you recommend to them?

Surround yourself with folks that want to help you and listen to your idea.  We’re so lucky to have great organizations (like Startup Junkie) in our region and state that support getting folks off the ground.


What’s a typical day of work look like for you?

First thing in the morning I spend updating with our various contributor teams, and then I either work through customers/partners or on various projects.  I try to keep some time for myself in the afternoons for technical or development projects, and always end the day with my leadership team, identifying our challenges for the next day.


What keeps you up at night? 

Not knowing what I don’t know.  Sleeping depends on dedicated time to gathering and analyzing data to make business, technical or operational decisions.


How do you stay motivated?

The opportunity to come to work with this amazing group of people each day and work together to solve really hard problems for our customers.