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.
Wrapping up 2020: How Did San Antonio’s Startup Ecosystem Change?
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Wrapping up 2020: How Did San Antonio’s Startup Ecosystem Change?

San Antonio's entrepreneurial ecosystem has evolved in 2020, but our predictions at the end of 2019 certainly didn't account for a global pandemic. What has changed in San Antonio's startup ecosystem since the beginning of 2020? We've been tracking San Antonio's startup landscape to maintain the San Antonio Startup Ecosystem Map (an entrepreneurial 'life cycle' graphic listing local resources for those interested in the startup life) since our first map version (February to November 2018).  We noted five significant trends emerging in San Antonio over the past year. 1. There's venture funding for San Antonio startups "Startups end the year in a surprising deal frenzy." It's the fitting headline of a December New York Times article on startup investing trends. Investors ...
WellAware Launches a Smart Indoor Air Purification Service For Businesses
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WellAware Launches a Smart Indoor Air Purification Service For Businesses

A San Antonio tech startup focused over the last eight years on industrial remote monitoring of devices at oilfields is now working with local businesses to help protect staff and customers from COVID-19. WellAware launched its hardware and software solutions in 2012 to help oil and gas companies remotely monitor drilling equipment, well production, and pipeline operations. Since the pandemic impacted the oil and gas industry, CEO and co-founder Matt Harrison has been busy expanding WellAware's customer base. Harrison said his goal is to help connect "people to the things that matter" in manufacturing, logistics, and now, local San Antonio businesses. The tech startup launched an initiative earlier this month called Breathe Puro San Antonio. It is focused on helping restaurants a...
Need Co-Working Space in San Antonio? Check Out Our List
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Need Co-Working Space in San Antonio? Check Out Our List

Co-working spaces are adapting new sanitation, floor layout strategies, even free testing for members in order to create safe environments for startups and smaller businesses. If you're not ready to sign an expensive, long-term lease, you can find a co-working space in San Antonio that will suit your needs for location, access, budget, benefits, and vibe. Many co-working spaces offer additional benefits such as conference meeting spaces, mailboxes, and (mostly virtual) workshops. The rise in San Antonio over the past couple of years of specialized spaces for other industries means founders can now rent space in commercial kitchens, film and video studios, leasable bioscience wet labs and manufacturing facilities, and maker spaces across San Antonio. Check the website for each ...
Soilworks Grows Regenerative Agriculture Companies Wholesome Meats and Grazing Lands
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Soilworks Grows Regenerative Agriculture Companies Wholesome Meats and Grazing Lands

Soilworks Natural Capital has been growing its portfolio since its launch in June. Lew Moorman and Ed Byrne, co-founders of Scaleworks, have been busy investing in, incubating, and acquiring companies that can accelerate the adoption of regenerative farming practices. Moorman and Byrne launched Soilworks in June to focus on regenerative agriculture, a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and supports agricultural ecosystems. By September, Soilworks launched Wholesome Meats, a local business selling grass-fed beef supplied by local Carbon Ranchers who use regenerative grazing to create carbon-negative foods.  The Soilworks founders, along with Frates Seeligson, executive director at San Antonio River Foundati...
Modern Managed IT Lands $1M Seed Investment from Geekdom Fund
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Modern Managed IT Lands $1M Seed Investment from Geekdom Fund

Information Technology (IT) services provider Modern Managed IT announced Tuesday it had closed a $1 million seed funding round led by the San Antonio-based venture capital firms Geekdom Fund, which provided $750,000.  186k Ventures, an early-stage venture fund in San Antonio that makes investments in technology companies, also participated in the round. Modern Managed IT plans to use the investment to grow its IT staff as it expands operations in San Antonio and across Texas, Modern Managed IT CEO Luis Rodriguez told Startups San Antonio. “Top grade, cost-effective IT used to be a luxury for small businesses – not in a COVID-impacted world," stated Geekdom Fund managing director Don Douglas. "The new normal requires more online selling, remote operation, and modern technology for bu...
Active Capital Raises Over $25 Million for Second Startup Seed Fund
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Active Capital Raises Over $25 Million for Second Startup Seed Fund

In an unprecedented year of economic downturn triggered by a pandemic, the San Antonio-based venture capital firm Active Capital has raised over $25 million to invest in the business-to-business (B2B) software as a service (SaaS) market. Pat Matthews, Active Capital's CEO, is an entrepreneur and angel investor in more than 50 startup companies. The venture firm raised $21.5 million over 18 months for its first fund in late 2018.  Matthews, along with co-founders Pat Condon and Cat Dizon, typically lead seed rounds for founder-led B2B SaaS companies based outside of Silicon Valley. The team mentors their portfolio founders as they grow their startups into sustainable businesses. At the beginning of 2020, Matthews had communicated with potential investors for Active Capital's second fu...
Fintech Startup FloatMe Closes $3.7M Seed Round
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Fintech Startup FloatMe Closes $3.7M Seed Round

The financial tech startup FloatMe announced Thursday it had closed a $3.7 million seed funding round led by ManchesterStory, a leading firm focused on early-stage fintech and companies using technology to disrupt the insurance industry. San Antonio-based Active Capital, Denver-based SpringTime Ventures, and existing investors Drummond Road Capital and HTV Industries are among the 17 investors who participated in the seed round.  Joining FloatMe's board is ManchesterStory co-founder and managing partner Matt Kinley, who has 21 years' experience as a venture capitalist focused on early-stage through growth-stage fintech, healthcare, and technology companies.  "We think the opportunities for FloatMe to help clients improve their finances are endless, and FloatMe's offering is appealing...
Manna Foods Raises Seed Funding for Beetle Protein Powder Startup
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Manna Foods Raises Seed Funding for Beetle Protein Powder Startup

There's a new technology-driven food startup in San Antonio using proprietary processes to produce an alternative protein powder. How alternative? Manna Foods protein is made from Tenebrio molitor or the darkling beetle — nothing else. Manna Foods has been selling out its beetle protein powder since the startup launched its production facility in September. The startup is now raising a seed funding round to meet the growing demand for the finely milled, mild-tasting powder that smells faintly of sunflower seeds. One 30 gram serving of manna powder provides 21 grams of protein, which appeals to people on Keto and paleo diets who are invested in a clean, sustainable approach to healthy eating, according to Luke Wright, CEO of the e-commerce business-to-customer company. The darkling...
Tech-Driven Braustin Homes Lands $1.9M Seed Funding Round
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Tech-Driven Braustin Homes Lands $1.9M Seed Funding Round

Braustin Homes, a San Antonio-based factory-built home business, has landed a $1.875 million seed funding round led by the venture capital fund Geekdom Fund, with participation from City Rise Ventures investors Graham Weston and Pat Matthews, and angel investor Pat Condon. Brothers Alberto and Jason Piña founded Braustin Homes in 2017 with a vision to build affordable manufactured homes in South and Central Texas. They plan to use the seed funding to scale operations across the state of Texas. A tech-fueled home-buying business model The Piñas discovered the homebuilding industry struggles with a complicated buying process. From its earliest days, the startup incorporated technology into their operations for a seamless customer experience.  Based out of Geekdom, a downtown co-worki...
Food Startup Grain 4 Grain Wins $50,000 at Tech Fuel Pitch Competition
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Food Startup Grain 4 Grain Wins $50,000 at Tech Fuel Pitch Competition

As craft beer brewing grows in popularity, so does the staggering amount of leftover spent barley grains — over 6 billion pounds annually. That opportunity for food innovation is what drove Yoni Medhin and Matt Metchly to launch their low-carb spent barley flour company. Grain4Grain won the top prize of $50,000 Wednesday evening at Tech Fuel, San Antonio's largest, an equity-free cash-prize pitch competition for early-stage tech startups.   Launched by Tech Bloc, a San Antonio technology industry advocacy nonprofit, the three-tiered $100,000 competition is funded by Bexar County’s Innovation Fund to help emerging tech entrepreneurs launch innovative companies. Five judges with venture funding expertise questioned, then selected the $50,000 grand prize and $20,000 second-place winners...