Matthew Manos Founder / CEO, verynice
Matthew Manos is a neo-philanthropist, design strategist, and social entrepreneur that is dedicated to disrupting the way the design industry operates. Manos began his freelance design career at the age of 16, which is the same year he took on his first pro-bono client, and launched his first company. Three years later, he founded a verynice design studio, a design and innovation consultancy that dedicates over 50% of its efforts toward free services for non-profit organizations. Manos has helped build over 250 brands in every sector and industry across the globe, and his studio works with a diverse clientele that range from Fortune 500 companies to small local shops. As of December, 2012, verynice has also provided over $500,000 worth of pro bono design and consulting services in 30+ countries spanning 6 continents to benefit 175+ organizations thanks to a team of 100+ people located around the world. Notable clients have included The United Nations, NASA, MTV Networks, Edison International, Facebook, Toyota, Kaiser Permanente, UNICEF, Disney Imagineering, and Human Rights Campaign. Manos is also the founder of Decks for Parks, a CSR solution for skateboard manufacturers looking to give back. Decks for Parks is a dynamic business model that enables skate brands nationwide to develop their brand while raising funds for the building of skateparks in low-income areas. So far the model has been adopted by one brand in the Silicon Valley. Most recently, in 2012, Manos launched a new social enterprise, “That’s an Awesome Resume,” in order to create the first affordable resume outsourcing solution for college students. 25% of all proceeds benefit non-profit organizations that are cultivating the next generation of leaders. The company, like Decks for Parks, is a side-project, but it has already had international impact. Aside from working as a serial-entrepreneur, Manos has also had proven success as an “intrapreneur” in the non-profit sector. In 2009, Matthew founded the Marketing & Communications division of Youth Leadership America. Over the course of three years, the Marketing team grew to house a staff of 10 designers, writers, and strategists. Manos served as the VP of Marketing for the non-profit for over 2 years, and now serves as an advisor to the marketing team. During his tenure with the organization, YLA has expanded from one program to 3 programs across California. Similarly, in 2010, Manos launched the Marketing division for The $100 Solution, and he served as the Global Director of Marketing for almost two years. By night, Manos creates work under the name “Alexander Featherweather.” Alexander is a Los Angeles based artist and writer focusing on traditional illustration and printmaking. While the medium of choice is nostalgic, the content of each piece is quite the opposite. Featherweather’s work explores the implications of a hyper-connected society, and his drawings examine issues including surveillance, censorship, accessibility, data, and the internet of things through the creation of optimistic solutions for a dystopian context. Matthew’s work and ideas have been published in 100+ print and online venues internationally including Forbes, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and Wired Magazine. Manos is a writer for Beautiful/Decay Magazine, a featured curator for GOOD Magazine, and a contributor to Social Earth and SocialChange.is, two platforms focused on Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He speaks regularly at events and institutions across the United States including a TEDx talk in 2012 titled ”Reinterpreting the Role of a Designer.” Representative of his passion for connecting the fields of design and business, in the summer of 2012, Manos pioneered the first class on entrepreneurship in the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture. He holds a BA in Design Media Arts from UCLA (2010), and an MFA in Media Design from the Art Center College of Design (2012).