Isaac Barnes

Founder and Chief Technology Officer in Crystal City, VA

Isaac Barnes is the President of Eminent, an 8(a) SDVOSB product and innovation company. After his father's death before his 18th birthday, Isaac spent 3 months grieving and contemplating his future.

While sitting in his mother's basement, one day, Isaac noticed a book on his dad’s bookshelf filled with lots of sticky notes. The book was “The Magic of Thinking Big.” After reading this book, he decided to join the military.

While working late nights and attending college, Isaac received a date (9-11-2001) for Marine Corps Bootcamp. That day the airlines canceled his flight due to the traumatic terrorist attacks. Isaac sat at the processing station and watched in horror as the twin towers fell. He left a month later after being consumed by uncertainty and fear of war. After overcoming his fear, Isaac decided not serving at this time would be worse than death.

Once in the Marines, Isaac spent many long nights and days learning to become a software developer. He became one of the top students in his class, which led him to work with the leading coders in the Marines in Quantico, VA.

Fueled by grief, passion, and a desire to serve, Isaac developed tools to help Marines globally. This landed him a job at the Pentagon working for the Secretary of Defense, where he would design tools to help modernize the military. This was when Isaac grew an interest in government contracting.

During this time, Isaac focused on helping another vet grow his defense contracting company from $3-17MM in revenue. He realized that by working for others, he could only impact one organization at a time. He then devoted his time and energy to learning business.

Isaac consumed hundreds of books, courses and attended events to learn how to pursue this new goal. In 2011, Isaac created GovPlayers.com to interview GovCon experts and share their best practices.

After a lot of trial and error, Isaac spent nearly 12 years partnering with leaders in the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Defense, Corporations, and nonprofits to deliver innovation. Today, he is focused on helping America's leaders use strategy, design, and technology to innovate faster.

At Eminent, Isaac combines design, strategy, leadership, technology, and spirituality to drive government innovation and societal change. His firm has won multiple large-scale federal contracts and industry awards. He also focuses on community work. For example, he helped Amazon raise $40MM to build their HQ2.

  • Work
    • Eminent IT, LLC