David Hayes Pic
David Hayes
UNF Degree: M.B.A. – ’88
Employment: Founder and CEO of Tempus Software; Part–time faculty – Coggin College of Business

Hayes shares skills with student entrepreneurs

 In 1991 David Hayes had a great idea for a new software company. He admits, however, had he not possessed the business skills gained by completing the UNF MBA program, it would probably have remained just that – a great idea.


Hayes worked at two Jacksonville health care systems long enough to decide there was a better way for hospitals to become more efficient. “I learned that about one–third of every dollar spent on health care can be attributed to waste. I knew there was an opportunity to make health care more efficient and to become involved in developing a company that could make a difference.”


With the help of a software designer, Hayes developed a program similar to an airline reservation system that allowed hospitals and physicians to more efficiently schedule patient appointments. After securing an investor group he established Tempus Software. Although he acknowledges there were some lean times at the beginning, he eventually turned Tempus into an $8 million a year company before he sold it in 2004.


“UNF gave me the knowledge which I either didn't learn in my undergraduate studies at Auburn University or had simply forgotten.”


Specifically, Hayes recalls the help he received from Lowell Salter of the Small Business Development Center in learning how to write a business plan as well as instruction by faculty members Don Wiggins and Gary Fane. “Frankly, although I was confident in my abilities, I didn't know what it really took to start a company. I gained specific knowledge in determining the financial needs of a startup, in developing an effective business plan, and in obtaining funding.”


In 2000, Hayes met Coggin faculty member Fred Pragasam who asked him to become an adviser for SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise). Today he's become one of SIFE's biggest supporters because of the real–world experience it offers students.


“We find that students who graduate from the SIFE program have a higher rate of employment and are much more successful after graduation.”

Hayes is so enthusiastic about the program he has created an annual SIFE scholarship to help support its students.


Obtaining that practical experience has become a paramount goal for Hayes, who teaches two courses in the Coggin College of Business. One of his classes, an entrepreneurial course, explores the reasons people start businesses and how they turn them into profitable enterprises. “I'm having a great time teaching at UNF. It's been a very rewarding experience.”


As for the future, Hayes and his wife, Cathleen, also a graduate of UNF, are interested in the arts. Cathleen is involved in community theater, and they are both interested in creating a company involved in hand–made goods. They divide their time between homes in Jacksonville and Asheville, NC.


He hasn't lost his entrepreneurial spirit. Hayes is also into auto restoration and is fascinated by the opportunities that may exist. “It's a $35 million market that is highly fragmented,” he says, halfway considering yet another business venture to help satisfy his entrepreneurial spirit.