FARMINGTON — Mt. Blue High School junior Matthew Gallant has been working with computers since he was 13 years old.
Now 17, Gallant is building websites and mobile apps for customers.
Gallant of Farmington said he is self-taught and did a lot of learning online. He is also a programmer and co-captain of the Blue Crew, Mt. Blue’s robotics team.
“One of the biggest parts was looking at what other people have done,” he said, “and understanding how it worked and that has helped build my understanding.”
He was recently recognized as the winner of the Junior Entrepreneur Challenge, sponsored by Skowhegan Savings Bank, for his business idea to develop Gallant Media. He plans to use the $1,000 prize to help with the costs of starting a business.
Gallant is enrolled in the Entrepreneurship Program at Foster Career and Technology Education Center, which is integrated into Mt. Blue High School.
“All of my skills have accumulated,” Gallant said.
Last year, he picked up his first client and built a website for a Chesterville business and continues to maintain it.
Prior to winning the award, Gallant developed a business plan and worked with the instructor of the Foster’s Business Education Entrepreneurship Program, Bonita Lehigh, to create a three-year financial projection.
Gallant created a presentation to present to a panel of judges in the classroom and won. He also presented his plan to a panel of judges for Skowhegan Savings Bank prior to being chosen as winner.
Though he was a little nervous before doing his presentation, once he got up there he says he felt confident.
“I knew my stuff in and out,” he said. “I had presented several times to my class.”
He enjoys working with computers in the classroom and outside of it, but he also enjoys a break.
“A big part of what I want to do is increase economic development in Franklin County,” Gallant said. “I have a philosophy that low-cost computer services and websites can help to boost our local economy.”
He has shared his philosophy during every presentation he has done.
“I am working on a program for the tech center that would ease the process of giving students internships. That is my big project right now,” he said. “I also have some other irons in the fire.”
After the internship program, he hopes to build a program to ease the process of enrollment.
“I am working to build a program to help others to get into internships all across the state,” Gallant said. “It is going to be a website that will have all the functionality in it.”
In addition, he is in the early stages of developing an app that is kind of like Uber for rural areas.
“I expect this to meet a need here in rural Maine where transportation may be a challenge for some,” he said.
Once he develops that app, he is hoping to build this product for the Franklin County area and expand it to other regions of Maine and the rest of the country, he said.
“I have already built a couple of tools,” Gallant said. “I have built Cougar Express, which is a platform for ordering coffee and chocolate by your phone.”
Gallant’s biggest product — so far — is Gallant WebMaster, a tool that allows businesses to work on their websites from anywhere on the planet.
Matthew Gallant of Farmington, a junior at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, creates apps and websites at his business, Gallant Media. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)
Matthew Gallant, 17, of Farmington, who has started Gallant Media, looks over a business magazine with Bonita Lehigh, instructor in the Business Education Entrepreneur Program at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)