Morgantown firm specializes in information technology services, consulting, security and more
It was Jeremy Harris’ experience in the military that piqued his interest in information technology.
Harris had originally planned on becoming an engineer before joining the Army. During his stint in Afghanistan, the decorated war veteran specialized in electronic warfare and signals intelligence. He took note of how much the technology was in demand. After he finished his military service, he pursued a career in the information technology (IT) field.
He worked several years for other companies before deciding to launch his own business, and IT Mindshare was born. The Morgantown firm, established in 2012, now has 13 full-time West Virginia employees.
“We’ve grown from what was just me and an idea of starting out with some consulting and taking a lot of knowledge from the DC market and bringing it into West Virginia,” Harris said. “So, we say we have national-level experience, but you still get the local support and with local people that can take care of you.”
Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year
IT Mindshare’s personal touch, paired with the quality service it provides, are just two reasons this company won recognition as Small Business Administration’s 2019 Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year, said Todd Crump of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.
Crump serves as Harris’ business coach and nominated IT Mindshare for the award.
“I was impressed with Jeremy’s dedication to the community and his commitment to his business within the confines of the state and region. He’s a great guy,” Crump said.
Harris said he was honored to be the recipient of the 2019 SBA Veteran Owned Business of the Year.
“For us it’s a little bit of validity in that we built something of value—not only for our employees that want to work at a cool company where we create this neat culture—but also for our clients, to prove that we are providing valuable services. They’ve stood by us and they continue to support us.”
Harris connected with Crump at the WV SBDC about four years ago when he was looking to create a business plan for IT Mindshare.
“I reached out to him for advice and consulting on how to grow a business. Once you start hiring employees, everything really changes and it becomes a bit more difficult from a standpoint of just planning,” Harris said.
“We’d been in business for a while without a solid business plan, and Todd was able to provide a lot of guidance. We had a great relationship back and forth as he helped us get a business plan that made sense to us and made sense to the banks. Banks like to see you have a solid plan in place for financing.”
Core support in the community
Thanks to assistance from the WV SBDC, IT Mindshare continues to flourish, providing Monongalia County and the surrounding region with IT support and IT consulting.
“We provide all types of IT services—everything from help desk to senior-level engineering, network servers, switches, routers … even structured cabling. We do a lot of website development, and we have a phone company as well. We do everything from consulting high-end stuff into the security all the way down into the daily IT work,” Harris said.
While the company operates in several states in the region, its home office remains in West Virginia, and Harris likes it that way.
“One of the greatest things I’ve found about owning a business in West Virginia is how genuinely supportive the community is. They really do want you to succeed and we love that. The community has been great to us,” he said.
“We also found, especially in the technology space, that there’s a huge area to make a positive impact, so we really like feeling that we are providing something of value.”