Our Story.

Founded in 1998, Robert Patrick as a young entrepreneur established what would go on to become one of Southern California's premier mobile and web development agencies, delivering applications for thousands of startups and some of the worlds largest enterprises. Robert's vision was to expand the company by incorporating a unique blend of top quality engineering with award winning design, and he formed a team that could achieve just that. Robert pulled together an all-star team and in 2011 expanded their web development business and dove into mobile applications head first.

This began the reimagining of the company into what it is today, PhD Labs Inc. We've won multiple awards, and have been nationally ranked by several best of the industry sites such as Clutch and Best Web Design Agencies. Our talented team has created a unique start up ecosystem to support app oriented companies making us one of the premiere development companies for start ups.

Our Philosophy

Let us take a minute to explain why we are who we are… With an array of clients, users, and partners depending on us, we pride ourselves in living out a blend of core values. When we transformed into a virtual office we were able to focus our additional energy into delivering technology that touches people’s lives and enhances the human spirit. It’s not arrogance you sense; we just truly believe that our clients’ experience is as important as the technology and design behind our products. Fun and games aside, we provide a creative culture so that all of our employees and partners can excel in their unique gifting.

We don’t trim around the edges; we get straight to the juicy center of it all.

Our Promise

When you hire PhD Labs you’re not just getting developers, you’re getting an actual team. It may be a bouquet of visionary nerds, but we assure you our professionalism shines through the silliness. There are a profound amount of perks with having a project manager, user experience and product designer, multiple developers, assurance testing, and an account manager at your disposal. With a combination of animated personalities and tenacious mentalities, we almost never catch clients yawning during our meetings.

Would you rather be lost in translation, or would you prefer us to take the time to explain ourselves and educate you in the process? Spoiler alert – We’re hoping you answered the latter. We have the knowledge, years of experience, and all it takes for launching your project. Accompany us in our journey to creating a brilliantly functional app catered to your desires, and let’s enjoy a cold one down the road.

What Clients Say

  • "For us to put the kind of trust in them to help spearhead and develop the first version of our platform, speaks volumes."

    Experian Interactive

  • "I’ve had nothing but good experiences."

    Henkel International

  • “PhD Labs came highly recommended, and our experience with them was outstanding. They listened with great care to our needs, spoke with deep understanding and thorough expertise to our (many!) concerns about the process, delivered a comprehensive plan... and then executed it flawlessly, communicating in detail with our management team at each step of the process.”

    The Jim Henson Company

  • "I particularly like how the PhD team builds on your initial concepts and creates an open dialogue to ensure that you are part of the process."

    J2 Global | eFax

  • "I think they’ve been great. They’re really passionate about what they do."

    Cliff Coglietti

  • "With them, from the beginning I felt like I had a very good interaction. I trusted them, and I feel like any questions, comments, or issues I have, I can reach them easily and get their response quickly."

    Medical App Startup

  • "The team excesded my expectations, with great knowledge and ideas. I felt like the team really understands the core idea of my business and are capable to deliver great result."

    Conrado Pontes - CEO - Join Us App

Our Awards

Frequently Asked Questions


It is very difficult to know how much an app will cost until we are clear about what features will be included. That is why most reputable companies require a design or ideation phase in order to get started. We call this process App Camp.


App Camp is a 30 day process which begins with a full day kick off meeting in one of our Southern California locations. On that day you and your hand selected team will discuss the features and functionality that will go into your dream app.


We would be happy to speak to you personally. In fact we prefer to have a detailed discussion regarding your idea. Just fill out our contact form below to get the process started.


We have never seen a successful app made for less than 50 thousand dollars. Our own rates for app development range from 50k to 150k per platform–while some companies charge 250k to over $1 million. Entering today’s ever more saturated app market with less than 50k invested in production is equivalent to go "all in" on a bad hand of poker. It's rarely a good play.


Simply put waterfall development has a fixed scope of features, while scrum development allows and plans for changes to take place during the process.​ For a more comprehensive answer, take a look at our blog "Waterfall vs Scrum".


If you are ready to take your idea to reality, or you would like to know more about our services we offer, give us a call or fill out the form below and we will contact you shortly to set up a time to speak personally. We can't wait to hear more about your idea ;-)


Typically apps require a 30 day design phase, then take 12 weeks of development and testing before they make it to the app market.


Because the best of the best already have ;-) Seriously, choosing a developer is a really important process. Whoever you choose should bring more than code to your project. PhD Labs will provide you the leadership and creativity it takes to make a successful app. Please take a look at reviews from some of our clients.