Tracy Barnes started his IT consulting business because he felt he could deliver better service for clients by dealing with them directly.
Started in 2004, Entap Inc. today is a multimillion-dollar technology consulting company holding contracts with 10 to 12 state government agencies, the city of Indianapolis and some federal offices.
Entap stands for enterprise and applications. “We’re not a mom-and-pop shop,” said Barnes, who took on a partner, Joey Harpst, when the business was a year old. “We compete with large organizations for contracts.”
“We work on systems for organizations,” Barnes explained. By “looking at and understanding their business,” Entap can “determine what software system is the best fit,” install it and train the clients to use it.
Barnes said it’s gratifying “knowing that we’re making their jobs easier.”
A Detroit native, Barnes grew up helping his electrician father and enrolled at Pennsylvania State University to study electrical engineering when fate intervened.
While taking a required computer class, “I fell in love with that world,” he said, decided to switch career paths and transferred to Butler University to major in computer science.
When still a student at Butler, he became a full-time employee of the college, working on the university’s database.
Today, he is on the advisory board for the school’s Computer Science and Software Engineering Department and founded the “Move Ahead” scholarship fund, which gives financial support to African-American students majoring in computer science.
He also is chairman of Stonegate Early College High School for Science and Technology charter school in Indianapolis.
With a growing company and community service commitments, how does he manage his time?
“I have not been able to figure that out yet,” he said, laughing. He admits to having workaholic tendencies. He also has a wife and four children ages 1 to 14.
“My wife does a very good job pulling me back in” when he’s been out of the family loop too long, he said.•