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Manos Sifakis, 34, is the president and CEO of Customedialabs, an interactive media start-up that combines smart marketing with the latest multimedia technology.
Sifakis’ dream of running his own company began when he was a young boy growing up in Larissa, Greece. He attended college at Manchester, U.K., where he studied engineering and computing. He moved to the Philadelphia area with his American wife after college, hoping to pursue a career in information technology. In 2000, when Sifakis was just 23, he launched Custom I.T. a technology firm with one employee: himself. Sifakis grew the company’s European client base in his free time during his mandatory two years of service for the Greek military. By the time he returned to the U.S., he’d established a second home for Custom I.T. in Larissa.
Despite the world economic recession and tendency of more than 50 percent of small businesses to fail in their first five years, Sifakis’ company overcame all odds and kept growing. He transformed Custom I.T. into a full-blown interactive media agency and renamed it Customedialabs in 2007 to reflect its unique blend of marketing and technological innovation. His client list grew to include Organic Valley, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and Cordis, a Johnson & Johnson company. In the fall of 2009, Customedialabs partnered with Philadelphia’s Ronald McDonald House to revamp its website; the new site has increased donations by 333 percent since its launch.
Customedialabs is now comprised of 20 full-time employees split between the headquarters in Wayne, PA, and offices in Larissa and Athens, serving clients throughout the United States and Europe. Customedialabs is a major player in Philadelphia marketing and has won multiple awards, including a Webby Award for the Museum of Science and Industry’s website and a silver ADDY award for its pharmaceutical marketing.
Sifakis’ work has been featured in global industry publications such as Communication Arts and .net magazine.