Author: 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.
Cyber Warrior Network Creates Cyber Esports League to Fill Jobs
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Cyber Warrior Network Creates Cyber Esports League to Fill Jobs

A new cyber esports league will be hosting the Cyber Esports Tournament at this year's DEF CON, thanks to a startup founder with a vision for closing the cybersecurity workforce gap. Players in the world's first cyber warfare esports league will validate their cybersecurity skills and get matched to fill real-world cybersecurity jobs at the annual DEF CON, a hacker convention that starts this year on August 5, immediately following Black Hat in Las Vegas. Players finishing in first place will win $1,000. To register, click here. U.S. Air Force veteran Nigel LeBlanc launched Cyber Warrior Network (CWN) in 2015 after he realized transitioning military members needed help connecting with civilian employers looking for cyber experts.  LeBlanc and his startup team created the highl...
Uber, Virgin Galactic Founders Invest in Advanced Tech Startup Allosense
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Uber, Virgin Galactic Founders Invest in Advanced Tech Startup Allosense

Uber co-founder Garrett Camp and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson have invested an undisclosed pre-seed funding amount in the advanced technology startup Allosense. "Their investment put us as oversubscribed on our pre-seed round," said founder and CEO Roman Sandoval. "The backing from world-class investors via Garrett Camp’s Expa Ventures sets us up for aggressive growth.” As part of the investment, the San Antonio-based company also joined the Expa Accelerator, a pre-seed program created by Camp to support startups during the earliest stages of company building. With a program acceptance rate of less than 1%, Allosense was one of three companies selected globally this year. “We understand what it takes to build a scalable company and we’re taking a hands-on approach to t...
Geekdom Pre-Accelerator Program Mentors New-Member Startups
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Geekdom Pre-Accelerator Program Mentors New-Member Startups

Geekdom, a downtown San Antonio co-working community, is seeing the changing demographics of people launching companies since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. In its fourth year, the six-week pre-accelerator program started working with six early-stage companies in early June. Five out of six are helmed by new Geekdom members who have joined over the past year. Two companies got their start during Geekdom's first-ever virtual Startup Weekend held in December of 2020. Four of the six companies are run by female founders. The free Geekdom Pre-Accelerator program held once a year helps prepare local startups for accelerator applications or early-stage investment. Area tech leaders and investors mentor the teams, who also attend weekly workshops and practice in pitch session...
How EPIcenter, Geekdom, and Venture for America Startup Programs Adapted to the Pandemic
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How EPIcenter, Geekdom, and Venture for America Startup Programs Adapted to the Pandemic

Launching a startup is exciting but risky to pursue, even in the best of times. Throw in a pandemic that's still impacting how we connect, collaborate, and innovate, and you've got plenty of challenges to navigate, especially for those stakeholders helping founders build and scale their young companies. We spoke with EPIcenter, Geekdom, and Venture for America San Antonio (VFA), three startup programs in San Antonio, Texas, to learn how they're adapting their entrepreneurship programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. EPIcenter The energy innovation nonprofit organization supports founders developing groundbreaking commercially viable technologies and energy infrastructure services. Chief of the EPIcenter Energy Incubator and Accelerator (EEIA) Andi Littlejohn said that since its launch i...
Smart Pill Bottle Startup PatchRx Raises $1.2M Seed Funding, Relocates to Oklahoma
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Smart Pill Bottle Startup PatchRx Raises $1.2M Seed Funding, Relocates to Oklahoma

PatchRx, a startup that combines hardware and software for improved patient adherence to taking medication, has raised $1.2 million in a seed funding round led by Atento Capital, with participation from Cortado Ventures and the Gaingels Network. The company, founded by Andrew Aertker and Gavin Buchanan while they were students at Trinity University in San Antonio, also announced the relocation of its operations to Tulsa, OK. The startup has 10 employees, according to LinkedIn. PatchRx has raised a total of $1.6M in funding over two rounds from the Tulsa-based lead investor Atento Capital for their medication management platform. According to Atento's website, they "look for exceptional entrepreneurs addressing large markets ... Being based in Tulsa is not a requirement for direct...
MR Presta Founder Cesar Manduca Dead at 47
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MR Presta Founder Cesar Manduca Dead at 47

Cesar Manduca, CEO of the financial technology startup MR Presta, died July 3 of leukemia after seven months of illness, according to his co-founder Carlos Rosso. Rosso and Manduca — from Mexico and Venezuela, respectively — met while completing the MBA program at Yale University in the late 1990s. They both worked in New York City for different investment banks until they reconnected and formed MR Presta. The San Antonio-based small business loan startup provides financing to underserved small businesses in Latin America. Manduca graduated from the Yale School of Management in 2001, starting his financial career as vice president at Citigroup leading a team that developed a new credit default swap program for domestic Latin American sovereign debt marketed to U.S. investors. After a...
San Antonio Biotech Startup Intrinsic Imaging Acquired for $80M
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San Antonio Biotech Startup Intrinsic Imaging Acquired for $80M

If you look at startup exits, you don't usually see biotechnology startups represented since they typically generate their biggest profits long after an IPO or acquisition. One San Antonio biotech acquisition has broken that mold, with an amount that netted its limited partners an exceptional return, even by angel investing standards. Intrinsic Imaging, a biotech startup that provides imaging support mainly to clinical trial vendors, has been acquired by WCG Clinical, Inc. for $80 million. According to the S-1 form filed with the SEC on July 1, WCG Clinical purchased Intrinsic Imaging's artificial intelligence (AI) radiology imaging support services to add the innovative capability to their "proprietary suite of technology-enabled solutions." WCG Clinical is a clinical research trial...
Port San Antonio Created Over 1,200 Jobs in 2020
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Port San Antonio Created Over 1,200 Jobs in 2020

Despite the past 16 months of pandemic-induced restrictions, Port San Antonio has stayed the course powered by its mission to create an innovation hub and more tech jobs at its San Antonio campus. Startups and established global enterprises on the Port’s 1,900-acre technology campus have added more than 4,600 new jobs since 2018 — including over 1,200 jobs in 2020 alone, Port San Antonio chief executive officer (CEO) and president Jim Perschbach said at the annual State of the Port update Tuesday morning. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and District 4 Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia kicked off the community’s first major technology innovation showcase since early 2020. The function included a brief update on the Port’s recent milestones, led by Port Board chair Chris Alderete and P...
Renovo Concepts Raises $6.4M Series A Funding for Traumatic Brain Injury Device
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Renovo Concepts Raises $6.4M Series A Funding for Traumatic Brain Injury Device

The San Antonio medical device company Renovo Concepts announced the completion of its $6.4 million Series A preferred stock fundraising round Thursday. Renovo is developing a way to reduce the damage caused by inflammation setting in after severe traumatic injuries to the brain (TBI) with its Mechanical Tissue Resuscitation (MTR) device. The round was oversubscribed, as the company raised approximately $6.4 million in new money on a stated $6 million offering. Proceeds from this funding round are being used primarily to fund product development, initial manufacturing, and safety human clinical trials. The funds will enable Renovo to get its device through the testing evaluations required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. After that point, Renovo will then pursue clinical trial...
Port San Antonio Robotics Company XYREC Wins Innovation Award
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Port San Antonio Robotics Company XYREC Wins Innovation Award

XYREC has won a prestigious award for its ground-breaking laser coating removal robot, a 72-foot-tall robotics system that uses a 20-kilowatt laser to remove paint from aircraft and other large pieces of equipment. The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) announced the 13 winners of its 2021 Innovation Award earlier in May. ACT-IAC is a non-profit public-private partnership dedicated to improving government through the application of information technology, providing a forum for government and industry to collaborate on critical technology issues in the public sector. A panel of judges selected the 13 award winners from 169 nominations. The 13 companies include global industry leaders such as MITRE and Oracle and highlight technological advances in...