Angelo State alum Jason Snider didn’t so much found a business as it found him.
The San Angelo native and 2010 ASU graduate was a sophomore at ASU when a local information technology (IT) support company he was working for changed hands.
“I had a few clients who found out I was leaving and asked me to continue supporting them with IT,” Snider said. “My stepmother, Nancy Snider, talked me into it. She said, ‘What do you have to lose? You have no bills, you live at home.’”
Ten years later, the CEO and operations manager of San Angelo-based Snider Technology Services has been named 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) five-state region. The region includes Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas and Louisiana.
“In my experience, ASU professors have been very dedicated and always available outside of class hours. Most of the classes are of manageable size, so you aren’t just a body in a room.”
With a mission to help small- and medium-sized businesses leverage technology to achieve a competitive edge, Snider Technology manages and monitors IT networks, provides a 24-7 help desk and IT consulting.
“We do a lot of other things, but those are the top three,” Snider said.
He launched the business while he was a full-time student earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in management information systems.
“It was an awesome job to have during college,” he said. “The clients were all perfectly understanding of my class schedule.”
After graduating from ASU, Snider opened his first office on Beauregard Avenue, though it was still a one-man firm.
“I was tired of working out of my house,” he said. “In 2011, I bought a Dell warranty contract from a local company and hired my first employee, my little brother Jeremy Snider.”
“After that,” he added, “I saw the benefit of having employees. At that point, I had capped myself out on what I could get done alone. Three months after Jeremy, I hired again and I’ve been adding about two or three employees a year since then.”
Today, Snider Technology has a staff of 13 and has moved into offices on Concho Avenue downtown. ASU’s Small Business Development Center nominated Snider for the SBA award, which was presented in a ceremony on May 6 in San Antonio.
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award is presented to an individual younger than 30 who exemplifies the true spirit of an entrepreneur. The nominees are evaluated based on the success of the business measured in sales, the increase in employment opportunity produced by the business, development and implementation of creative and innovative business methods, and the demonstration of potential long-term success of the business.
“It is the last year I would qualify,” Snider said. “I will turn 30 in February.”
He credits his ASU education for much of his success.
“It’s a great school in a great town,” Snider said. “It’s the perfect balance of having plenty of things to do, without having to deal with the traffic and large crowds of people everywhere you go. In my experience, ASU professors have been very dedicated and always available outside of class hours. Most of the classes are of manageable size, so you aren’t just a body in a room.”
“The business and accounting classes I took were the most beneficial for preparing me as a business owner,” he added, “my accounting professor, Dr. Norman Sunderman, in particular. His style of teaching really forced me to understand the type of work we were doing in class, as opposed to just memorizing information and repeating it back on the exam.”
And Snider plans to continue growing his business.
“What I’ve always envisioned for it is to grow to the point where it’s still manageable, where we still have that personal touch,” he said.
He is also getting involved with a separate venture dealing with internet search engine optimization.
“I’m very excited about the new venture,” he said. “It’s not part of Snider Technology, but I want to be part of it.”
“I’ve always stayed pretty busy,” he added. “I don’t think I can feel normal unless I’m busy.”