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Tech company sprouts from the ground up

Tyler Golberg (front) serves as a Web designer and developer for CYBERsprout, while Brad Chancellor (back) is the project manager. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)1 / 3
Rachel Golberg has a background in blogging and serves as CYBERsprout’s operations manager. Her sister, Marni Latka, is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and is one of the company’s Web developers. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)2 / 3
The CYBERsprout team is made up of four members: Rachel Golberg (left), Tyler Golberg (center), Brad Chancellor (right) and Marni Latka (not pictured). (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)3 / 3

Rachel and Tyler Golberg came up with their Web development company's name from a baby's onesie, of all things.

"Sully, our son, had a onesie that had a piece of broccoli on it that said 'sprout,'" Rachel said. "We were going through and putting down words, thinking, 'What are words associated with technology?' We wanted to communicate that we had a fresh perspective. He (Sully) was sitting in the high chair next to me and we kept falling back onto 'Cyber' and then I was like, 'Oh, my God, CYBERsprout."

In the two years since, CYBERsprout has become a go-to for local businesses looking for website aid, and the Golbergs say they are busier than ever. The company was recently hired to create a new website for the city of Alexandria.

But in a way, Tyler says, they never meant to fall into this business. According to the couple, the whole thing happened somewhat accidentally.

After staying home with the couple's first child for six months, Rachel, who has a background in blogging, decided she wanted to return to work in some capacity. So, when she came across a part-time website redesign, it was a perfect fit.

"I was actively looking for something and stumbled upon Explore Alexandria needing someone to help update their website," she said.

Explore Alexandria, a website dedicated to tourism in the Alexandria area, was the Golbergs' first project as CYBERsprout, though they had yet to name the business at the time.

"It was a really ambitious first project," Rachel said. "It definitely made us see our potential as far as what we could do."

CYBERsprout officially began in February of 2015 with just Tyler and Rachel, but it quickly became obvious that the company needed to expand due to the work load.

"We brought my sister (Marni Latka) on six months in, then brought her on in a full-time capacity six months after that. Then a year later, we brought Brad (Chancellor) on," Rachel said. "We couldn't do everything anymore, to the point where we had to specialize. We were getting beyond the cute husband and wife team doing something on the side."

In the time since establishing CYBERsprout, the company has designed a number of local websites, including those of Vital Fit Club, Billmark's Lakes Area Insurance and DJ's Tap House.

The company specializes modern design, search engine optimization and ease of website use.

"A lot of people want to be able to maintain and add content to their site, edit it, that kind of thing," Tyler said.

In order to achieve this, they utilize Wordpress, a content management system used to design and manage websites.

"We're a big fan of that because the adoption rate is so high," Tyler said. "Twenty-seven percent of all websites are Wordpress. I started out with custom development, but it's such a wonderful platform and community to be a part of that we decided we were going to specialize."

In addition to developing websites, CYBERsprout is creating a platform called SproutWorx, that will help Web designers simplify the process.

"We're building a platform for other Web designers to be able to design sites off of," Tyler said. "We're looking at making a startup kit that helps with how to talk with clients, how to do proposals, how to do deployment to your site, how to test, all that stuff. I think a lot of designers get into it thinking, 'I'm going to do web design,' and then you spend a lot of your time doing marketing and accounting and project management. The goal is to eliminate all that noise and focus on what they love doing."

The Alexandria Technical and Community College will be adding more web design courses into their Communication Art and Design program, something Tyler says could benefit CYBERsprout and create a partnership.

"We're hoping that can help as far as growing our team," he said. "We're going to try to be involved with that as well."

Rachel says that the relationships CYBERsprout has formed with other area businesses has been vital in the company's success.

"We have a good network of contractors we can reach out to if we need something and vice versa," she said. "That's been kind of cool and unexpected. Usually, you think these people could be our competition, but that's not how it's worked out for us here."

Though the company has had back-to-back projects in the past months, the Golbergs say they wouldn't have it any other way.

"The last six months or so have been crazy, but it's a great problem to have," she said.

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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