FROM THE ARCHIVES: Guy Fardone, the Passionate and Energetic Founder of Evolve IP


Editor’s Note: VISTA Today originally published this profile of Guy Fardone on May 8, 2015. Fardone, who stepped down from his role at Wayne-based Evolve IP in late 2000 after a decade of leadership in various positions within the company, is now the Executive Chairman of Bridgepointe Technologies. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, with an office in Morristown, N.J., Bridgepointe is an IT strategy expert that helps clients meet their technology needs.


Guy Fardone parlayed his experience launching a car-detailing business in 10th grade into the COO position at Evolve IP, a cloud services company based in Wayne. It is Fardone’s third tech start-up.

VISTA Today asked Guy Fardone about his journey from a kid growing up in South Philly and Laffayette Hills to  cloud computing, Chester County loving visionary and how his work ethic and appreciation for people and process not only brought him much success but made him a much sought after board member and motivational speaker as well.

VISTA Today: Where did you grow up Guy?

Guy Fardone: I am a city kid. I grew up in South Philadelphia and when I was 12 my parents moved to Plymouth Meeting in Montgomery County.

VT: How were the two neighborhoods different?

GF: I remember our Philadelphia neighborhood was homogenous with much of the same ethnic backgrounds and cultures. When I moved to Lafayette Hill and attended school, however, it was a melting pot of America; all kinds of people and demographic diversities. Things were very different to say the least.

VT: How difficult was that adjustment from South Philly to Lafayette Hill for you?

GF: I’ll be candid; the first year or two were pretty rough. Eventually I found a few very good friends, many of whom I am still friends with today. I guess it was a character builder as they say.

VT: Did you stay in touch with any of your friends from South Philadelphia?

5.5.2015 Guy Fardone3
Federico Fardone and son Guy

GF: A few, but not as many. In my junior year in college however, my parents opened a restaurant named GiaCere on East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly. I worked in the restaurant while going to school and and was able to reacquaint with the “hood.” Those years were insanely busy but wonderful times.

Later in life, my dad and I published a cookbook with recipes from our restaurant and dedicated to my late brother Marc. Publishing that book with my dad was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

VT: What was your first job?

GF: I started an auto detailing business when I was 16 and in high school. I maintained that business all through high school and college, eventually selling it when I graduated from Villanova six years later. By the time I sold the business after college, I had eight high school and college kids working there.

VT: What lessons did you learn from starting and running your own business at such an early age?

GF: I learned three things that stay with me today. First, it’s all about networking to grow your business. Two, you have to surround yourself with the right people. Finally, process and procedure are key. I’ve used those three principles to my advantage in every business I’ve ever been involved in.

VT: What did you do after high school?

GF: I looked at several schools including Boston College, Dickenson to play football, St Bonaventure and the Rhode Island School of Design.

VT: Really, the Rhode Island School of Design?

GF: I was an art major in high school and thought I would major in art. In the end, I decided to major in Marketing and Management instead.

VT: In the end you settled on Villanova. Why?

VF: I chose Villanova because one, it has a great academic tradition and two, it was close to home. Being close to home allowed me to stay local and maintain my business.

VT: What was your first big break after college?

GF: Through networking my senior year at Villanova, I met two of my now partners, Tim Allen and Thomas Gravina. They were running a very successful business at the time and were looking for aggressive, energetic, hungry, passionate people to sell for them. They liked that I was a self-starter and had my own business. Twenty-six years and three companies later we’re still working together.

Guy & Molly Fardone. The Fardone's have 3 children, ages 13, 11 and 9.
Molly and Guy Fardone. The Fardones have three children: ages 15, 13, and 11.

VT: Those four words; aggressive, energetic, hungry, passionate, are the same words someone would use to describe you today.

GF: We’re very fortunate to have found a system for identifying and building those attributes in our Associates at Evolve IP. We’ve built a core nucleus of passionate people and then network to find others who will bring those attributes into the business.

VT: Those who know you say that you’re a big fan of Chester County. How did you fall in love with Chester County?

GF: Just go and look outside! Chester County is an absolutely beautiful place. It’s a phenomenal mix of scenic beauty and business culture. I’ve been here since I graduated college. I bought my first house in Paoli. My wife Molly says, ‘you know you live in a beautiful place when you feel good coming home from vacation.’

VT: What challenges do you see down the road?

GF: Evolve IP is well positioned in the cloud services business and continues to grow rapidly. We have a fantastic management team and our associate base is phenomenal. As a company, we’re in a good spot.

However, I do see a challenge that there isn’t a ready supply of able, properly trained, competent workers. I share some statistics whenever I get the opportunity; There are 90 colleges in the surrounding area. Faculty and alumni at these colleges have a combined 40 Nobel Prizes. In this same area, there are 10 FORTUNE 500 companies. Of the 65,000 or so students that graduate from these colleges each year, a staggering percentage of them don’t stick around. The graduates go back home or to another part of the country.

There are many statistics about college grads being unemployed or underemployed. Just a few weeks ago an article came out indicating that 1 in 2 grads are working in jobs that don’t require a college degree.

Here is the crazy thing: this is at a time when hiring for many tech/STEM-related positions is a zero-sum game. That means for us to hire we need to take them from someone else.

That’s a serious problem. America doesn’t yet fully understand the opportunities that lie ahead in tech and STEM.

I want to help change that. At Evolve IP we’re growing our own “eagles.” We take individuals who lack the experience and/or skills but otherwise have the right attributes and bring them into our farm system.

Once there, we provide the training and opportunity they need to succeed in our workplace. Last year we hired 26 new people and promoted 24. This year we may hire 40 or more. Now that we’ve been through it we wouldn’t want it any other way. Whereas before we did it out of necessity now we do it out of design.

I will say however it would be nice if these candidates came out of college more prepared and I don’t just mean technically.

VT: Outside of work, what causes do you get involved in?

042816DownintownStemGF: I‘ve been an advisory board member of the Downingtown STEM Academy since the inception of the school back in 2011. I think STEM is immensely important and needs to become main stream prior to high school. I’m on the board of directors of Junior Achievement, PACT and several startup companies.

I’m also very involved here in Chester County with Chester County Economic Development Council, I2n, iTAG and Vista 2025. I also helped start the Innovation Center at Evolve IP, a startup business accelerator which is now on its third expansion.

We’re also proud that Philadelphia Business Journal recognized Evolve IP/GPX in 2013 as one of the most philanthropic organizations in the Delaware Valley. Since our inception in 2007, we have donated over 4,000 hours of volunteer service and raised or donated close to $4 million dollars to various charities. Lastly I’ve been coaching youth football at Marsh Creek for about 10 years now.

VT: Finally, what is the best piece of advice you were ever given?

GF: I would unequivocally say it was something I picked up along the way. The advice was to learn when to consensus build and when to make the decision. When you’re in a collaborative, fast-moving environment, you want to get as much input and viewpoints as you can. This input doesn’t always line up. Sometimes you use it. Other times you just need to make the call and explain why.

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