The two were completing MIS degrees at the University of Southern Mississippi and working to pay for school by waiting tables. As the result of an assignment, both attempted to pitch to their respective restaurants the idea of putting menus and directions online. However, in 1999, the Internet had yet to take off, and both general managers scoffed at the idea that customers would want to see the menu before arriving at the restaurant.
With that rejection, the pair met with the leadership of the Restaurant Association of Mississippi and pitched their idea to create a basic form that restaurants could fill out with that information and put it online. The association agreed, and Christ and Fountain say it was the hardest sale they ever made.
After graduation, Christ moved to Louisville and Fountain moved to Seattle, but they continued working nights and weekends to keep ModernGigabyte going. As their customer list grew and they set up new accounts for hosting and designing Web sites, they found that the billing and collection of accounts was too much to handle. So they created a software program that automated their billing and allowed recurring payments to be billed and processed.
This development became ModernBill and was the software that laid the foundation of their success.
Today, the pair is working on the fifth version of their original platform and have expanded their scope of customers from simple Web-hosting clients to large ISP providers. The company has clients in 66 countries, including a partnership with Google.
And although the Louisville-based company has been courted by venture capital firms, Christ and Fountain are in no hurry to take on partners, making sure they do the right thing with the right people at the right time.
How to reach: ModernGigabyte LLC, (502) 566-7754 or www.moderngigabyte.com