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Applications Open for SAMMI, a San Antonio Biomedical Seed Fund for Military Medical Collaboration

San Antonio is investing in innovators who are commercializing discoveries in medical devices, new drugs, and biotechnology and biomedical software that can meet military medical mission needs. The San Antonio Military Medical Innovation (SAMMI) Fund has opened applications for its bioscience startup seed fund.

If chosen, each company will receive up to a $50,000 award in the form of a convertible promissory note with a three-to-five-year term, depending on the loan amount and current stage of the company, said Corey Levenson, the city’s military medical innovation director. Levenson helps coordinate and align economic development strategies with San Antonio’s unique military medical assets.

The financial terms will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the maturity of the company and other factors. The company will receive portions based on achieving certain project milestones.

Interested innovators should apply to the SAMMI Fund by Oct. 31.  Two online information sessions are scheduled for Oct. 6 and Oct. 15 for those who are interested. Contact Corey Levenson at to register.

The San Antonio Economic Development Corporation (SAEDC) created the fund in Dec. 2019 to support local companies interested in collaborating with the military medical community. The SAMMI fund is one of the recommendations enacted from the Military Life Science Commercialization Action Plan adopted by the city in August 2018.

Interested biomedical #startups with innovations that address military medical needs can apply to the SAMMI Fund by Oct. 31. Click To Tweet

For SAMMI’s first award round, the SAEDC board selected EmergenceMed, GaitIQ, and Renovo Concepts. The three biomedical startups have innovations that address military medical needs:

  • GaitIQ is a primary healthcare cloud-based application using machine learning and artificial intelligence software designed to detect early signs of dementia (and 2019 San Antonio startup to watch).
  • EmergenceMed is developing a one-size-fits-all emergency medical suction device for obstructed airways. Dr. Robert De Lorenzo is a professor of emergency medicine at UT Health San Antonio. In 2019, he and his team participated in UT Health’s first cohort of Tech Novum, a technology commercialization accelerator for faculty researchers.
  • Renovo Concepts is developing a Mechanical Tissue Resuscitation (MTR) device for surgeons to reduce the damage caused by inflammation in response to severe traumatic injuries of the brain, heart, and spine.  Their equipment helps treat those with traumatic brain injury (TBI), a significant combat casualty for the military.
Some GaitIQ team members at the Glenn Biggs Institute. From left: James Lechleiter, Ph.D. (not with GaitIQ), Sudah Seshadri, M.D., Rick Morris, and Carlos Jaramillo, M.D., Ph.D. Photo credit UT Health San Antonio.more
EmergenceMed founder Dr. Robert De Lorenzo talks during the TechNovum Demo Day about an emergency medical suction device for clearing airways. Photo credit: Startups San Antonio.
Renovo Concepts is commercializing a medical device invented by Drs. Michael Morykwas, Ph.D. (left) and Louis Argenta, MD (right), courtesy photo.

While the SAMMI fund focuses on early-stage companies, established businesses are also eligible, Levenson said.

Strengthening collaboration among stakeholders in San Antonio’s economic development, military medicine, and bioscience companies can “help support the emergence of more new companies invested in bringing discoveries to the market and generate more bioscience entrepreneurial activity,” Levenson said.

Close collaboration among biomedical stakeholders like SAMMI, BioMedSA, VelocityTX, SAEDC, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, and the San Antonio Economic Development Department is focused on “shared goals to grow the local life science ecosystem,” said Levenson.

“San Antonio is fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures,” Levenson said. “People who come here are impressed by the biomedical expertise and unique concentration of military medical assets that resides here.”

Featured image is of an Army combat helmet. Photo taken by Israel Palacio on Unsplash.

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Iris Gonzalez

Iris Gonzalez is a writer based in San Antonio, Texas, covering innovation in emerging tech, cybersecurity, and bioscience startup companies in San Antonio.

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Iris Gonzalez

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