Möbius Partners is a San Antonio technology company that focuses on helping businesses innovate and transform their IT departments. From the humble beginnings of a home office 20 years ago, the company has progressed into a thriving business in partnership with prestigious brands such as Hewlett Packard, Dell EMC, and Cisco, among others. In the past few years, Möbius has achieved such accolades as being named to CRN’s 2017 fast growth list and was one of 2018’s 30 Tech Titans. Where did this success come from? Founders Junab Ali and Jay Uribe attribute Möbius Partners’ prosperity to their focus on relationships, something they learned under the tutelage of their very own city, San Antonio.
Junab and Jay met as sophomores in high school. At that time, it seemed unimaginable that years later they would start an IT company together. Although both of Junab’s parents were entrepreneurs who moved from Detroit to San Antonio – his dad was a real estate agent and his mom started a beauty salon – starting a tech company was far from Junab’s young mind. Jay went to college with a basketball scholarship and got a degree in kinesiology, planning to one day be a basketball coach. Years later, though, they reconnected at a job interview, and it didn’t take long before they agreed to start a business together.
Möbius Partners began with Jay and Junab borrowing a few thousand dollars from their families and taking out an SBA loan, all of which they were able to pay back in a year with 30 percent interest. Besides that initial aid, they had no outside investors, and within a few years, Möbius grew to a multimillion dollar company. Jay and Junab believe their success came – and still comes – from their emphasis on relationships, which was recognized early on by Steven Hagler, an executive at Hewlett Packard.
At a meeting in Möbius Partners’ first real office – a 1,300-square-foot space off U.S. Highway 281 and Isom Road – Hagler told Jay and Junab they would soon have a $10 million company (at the time Möbius Partners was only a multimillion-dollar company) because they were “groovers.” They took that idea to heart, and even today use the term to describe their employees. Junab defines groovers as having that “special sauce,” people with a can-do attitude who will do whatever it takes to get the job done. They are the type of people who understand and cherish relationships, which is the backbone of Möbius Partners.
When building a business, Jay and Junab believe in the importance of networking and finding people to work with who mesh really well. Whether it’s in the workplace or in the community, you have to that chemistry because no relationship is one way. For Möbius Partners, a business relationship that really highlights this is with the Bank of San Antonio. Junab explains when working with the Bank of San Antonio you feel that they are genuinely interested, and you get the sense that the person on the other side of the table wants to understand your business. This creates a level of comfort and a transfer of trust, which Möbius Partners knows is ideal.
This emphasis on relationships is even embodied in the name Möbius Partners, which Jay and Junab chose to symbolize their vision. A Möbius strip, discovered by German mathematicians in the 1800s, is a shape akin to an infinity symbol that seems like it has two sides, but it really has only one that never ends. This image represents Jay and Junab’s interdependence as business partners – that they are “long-term folks” – and also exemplifies their connection as a company within their community.
Möbius Partners is a humbling example of the power a city can have on shaping a business and its future. Jay and Junab took what they learned growing up in San Antonio and made it the focal point of their business model. They began in a home office with just the two of them. Now, nearly 20 years later, they have grown to be a pillar of the San Antonio business community, and they believe that growth will continue with their slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mentality.
“San Antonio is a relationship city,” Junab said in an interview with the San Antonio Business Heroes’ podcast, and the culture of San Antonio has been ingrained in their business since day one. Now they are thriving. Even with this success though, Junab says every day as an entrepreneur is “a balance between exhilaration and terror,” and every day is a chance to learn something new. The good thing is, if they ever need a refresher course on the power of relationships for their business, all they have to do is be right where they are, San Antonio.
To learn more about Möbius Partners and other San Antonio entrepreneurs, listen to the San Antonio Business Heroes Podcast, also available on Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcast.