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STARTUP MOBIUS LABS: Software tester tries training, too

June 25, 2007

STARTUP

MOBIUS LABS Software tester tries training, too Type of business:

software testing Location: 9229 Delegates Row, Suite 290

Phone: 218-7709

E-mail: info@mobiuslabs.com

Web site: www.mobiuslabs.com

Founded: March 2007

Owner: Alan Wlasuk

Owner's background: Alan Wlasuk, 56, has a bachelor's degree in math from Drexel University and a master's in computer science from Ohio State University. About 20 years ago, the software developer founded two local enterprises for AT&T. Then 14 years ago, he created software-development firm Wlasuk, Delporte and Davis. Mobius was spun off this year to test software.

Why started business: In addition to testing software, Mobius aims to provide training in testing methods.

"As we were looking for testers we realized there weren't that many and the majority didn't have the technology background nor the formal training for testing," Wlasuk said. "The goal is to produce a company that is dedicated to the training of software testers and the consolidation of skills that are required for competent and efficient testing."

Competitive advantage: Mobius' training isn't widely available, Wlasuk said, because there is only one university in the United States where a student can get a degree for software testing and quality assurance. The fact that his employees will be well-trained is another advantage, he said, because not many companies use professional testers.

Startup cost: $250,000

Funding source: Wlasuk, Delporte and Davis, personal capital and outside funding

Projected first-year revenue: $1 million-$2 million

Potential problem and contingency plan: IT managers may not understand the need to get proper help with software testing, he said. Even though Mobius will continue working with large companies, he said he hopes smaller companies will seek bids from his business; now, many handle such tasks internally.

First-year goal: He said he hopes to have a separate office for Mobius. He'd also like to grow the testing firm from five employees to 10-20. Wlasuk also would like Mobius to establish itself as a training resource. Ultimately, he hopes referrals will help it grow.

Five-year vision: Wlasuk envisions having 40 to 50 employees and being the first choice among large businesses that have ecommerce sites that need to be tested, for example. He also would like to gain a foothold in the medical field, where testing is federally mandated.
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