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Meet Chris Cardinal of Synapse Studios in Tempe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Cardinal.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Chris. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My partner Bob Eagan and I started our custom software company 14 years ago, after meeting at ASU. We had both worked as software freelancers already by that time and realized we’d do well to join forces, so we formally started a software development company together. I’ve always been a tech hobbyist, building my own computers and such from an early age, so working on websites and web software felt like a natural fit for me.

When we started, we were fortunate to land work with a friend of a friend that turned into a longer-term business relationship. From there, we added a few employees, and sublet from their office. About 8 years ago, we began to outgrow the space and our team of six moved into our own office on Mill Avenue, where we are today. Now we’re a team of 28 software developers, designers, QA, and product people.

Some fun facts about me:
1) My wife Nina and I just had our first kid, a beautiful baby girl named Chloe, 9 months ago. That’s been its own fun challenge.
2) I was on Jeopardy! earlier this year! I took 2nd place against mega-champion Austin Rogers.
3) My dogs are internet famous. This video I made of them got 13 million views and ran on Good Morning America among other news shows:

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We struggled at first because no one comes along and tells you what to do, or how to start a business, it turns out. I was 18 when we filed our LLC paperwork. We just kept moving forward and learning as we went. One of my favorite expressions is “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” Let’s just say we have a LOT of experience.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Synapse Studios – what should we know?
Synapse Studios is a high-end custom software company that focuses exclusively on the web and mobile apps for startups, enterprise, and government clients. We’re a full-service shop in that we perform the design work, development work, and all testing and product development work completely in-house, with a 100% US-based team.

We’ve built software in the healthcare, entertainment, e-commerce, education, finance, and real estate spaces, to name a few.

What sets us apart is that we’re truly driven and focused on consulting with clients to build the best solution for their problem. We treat every project we touch as if we own it, and we push back on clients to make sure they have the information they need to make the right decisions. We’re also well prepared with a 7-member on-site testing team, which is relatively rare.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Personally, my parents and especially my father, are responsible for preparing me to be the kind of businessperson I am today.

My dad shared a proposal he had written for his packaging business early on that I was able to use as a template for my proposals, for example.

More recently, we’ve had the good fortune of working with some phenomenal people, and we’ve received referrals from the likes of Lauren McDanell at SeedSpot, Tyler Rives at Pivotal Group, Noah Barrasso at Keyser, and Dallin Harris at Skyhook Interactive. They’ve all been phenomenal cheerleaders of our business.

Finally, the entire business doesn’t run without the hard work of my partner Bob Eagan, and our product team, Kim Higdon, and Colby Gergen. (To say nothing of the rest of our great team.)


  • Our Product Design Workshop is approx. $12,000
  • Initial MVP app releases start at around $75,000
  • Full scale custom web or mobile apps typically run anywhere from $100-$500k

Contact Info:

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