Growth and Exploration with Apt Labs LLC
By Genevieve Horvath
On March 25th, members of our team had the pleasure of sitting down with William Im and Benjamin Dattilio, seniors here at IU. In addition to majoring in cybersecurity and global policy, the two pull double duty as founders and co-owners of Apt Labs LLC. During our conversation, we learned about how their LLC came to be, what the project looks like now, and how you could be involved going forward.
Apt Labs officially became an LLC in November of 2022, but the project began in Will and Ben’s dorm at Champlain College in Vermont about three years prior. The name stands for either Advanced Persistent Threat, a kind of Linux software, or serving as a nod to their apartment, depending on who you ask. Founded on the principles of academic exploration and pre-career experience, Apt Labs is a small, client and community focused cloud-hosting solutions company. For the non-compsci literate, Will explained this as providing a physical place for blogs, apps, websites, anything that exists on the internet, to be stored. The goal of cloud-hosting, he says, is to establish “a medium between the interactions of an internet startup and their clients, giving them a presence to communicate.”
As a rule, Apt Labs prioritizes freedom to experiment. When not working directly with clients, the team is free to use Apt Labs resources to further their formal education. Ben and Will have worked to cultivate a comfortable and creative environment, understanding better than most that juggling a job and a college education is no small feat.
Since transferring to IU for the opportunities offered by its cybersecurity program, Apt Labs has flourished with the support of the IU community. Both Ben and Will have worked with the cybersecurity club and other students in the informatics field, allowing them to expand their team for the LLC to six students.
Getting down to business, the two founders handle client relations personally. When asked how they can compare to Amazon and Google, who offer similar cloud-hosting services, Will said that because of their small scale, they can provide a cheaper and more personalized experience. “We’re dealing with a small handful of clients,” he said, meaning, “we can talk to them one-on-one, and put in the resources to get them exactly what they want.”
Ben confirmed this; Apt Labs’ smaller business model gives them a flexibility that larger companies just can’t match. While they are not currently prioritizing profit, their ever-growing web of client contacts means that a profit model is becoming more and more realistic, likely to be implemented sometime soon.
Speaking of growth, Ben and Will are looking to expand their team further. Will told us that he and Ben want to help foster further educational opportunities for compsci students, saying that with Apt Labs, “you can learn whatever you want to learn, with the support of a small company behind you.” Specifically, they’re looking for help with front-end development and marketing. Ben says that they want someone with artistic vision to cultivate a good UI experience for their clients.
If you’re interested in utilizing Apt Labs’ services, or potentially joining their team, you can contact Ben and Will at their company emails, located below.
This interview was conducted by Joe Utagawa and Genevieve Horvath. Some remarks have been edited for length or clarity.