Hayes Fountain, co-founder of Widescope Consulting and Contracting Services, got interested in entrepreneurship while working for large corporations that were founded by entrepreneurs.
"After 16 years of active duty on nuclear submarines, I went to work for Robert Johnson who founded BET. That's where the bug of entrepreneurship really hit," said Fountain. "It was clear that his vision for the channel was born from his own spirit. Doing the $3.3 billion integration with Viacom really opened my eyes to the breadth of what business can result in. I left to work with Ted Turner as VP of Network Operations and learned a lot about business from the vendors who provide support to understanding how small businesses were aiding a large business like Turner Broadcasting. Understanding all the business principles of managing a balance sheet and budget really infused in me a spirit of wanting to do it for myself. When I moved to Florida, it really grabbed me that it was time for me to turn the page and go after this."
Widescope Consulting provides a wide array of services to federal, state and local governments as well as commercial clients including cyber services, IT support services, architecture, software design, implementation and testing as well as training and security camera system modernization with GPON, PA systems and hardening materials.
"Our differentiator is the quality and care that we provide to our customers," Fountain said. "We stay after the job is complete to ensure full continuity to our customers."
Fountain works with the SBDC at Pinellas Economic Development Center to help grow his business.
"I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of the SBDC," he said. "From FBO searches to contacts within the Tampa market and other business owners to registration on SAMs, they all were instrumental in helping me leverage resources available for helping me get the company off the ground."
Fountain's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs focuses on persistence and grit. "Don't give up," he said. "The best thing you can do is plan to not be paid. Plan to live your dream and don’t give up. You'll work harder for yourself than anyone else, but the reward is hugely more beneficial inside than anything you could do for someone else. I went 20 months without getting paid. If this is your dream, you have to be prepared to stick with no paycheck and meeting with people, shaking hands and getting your thing going."