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.
The Sonar Company Founder and CEO Nick Hayward Dead at 37
Articles, Featured

The Sonar Company Founder and CEO Nick Hayward Dead at 37

Nick Hayward, CEO and co-founder of The Sonar Company, died in a parasailing accident in Key West on July 17. He was 37. Hayward was born in Canada but spent most of his life in Costa Rica, where he met Allan Matarrita-Chinchilla at a startup incubator in Costa Rica called Parquetec. The two founded Sports Sonar, moving to San Antonio in October 2018 after the innovation accelerator VelocityTX reached out to the sports-tech startup via its Global Accelerator Program.  Sports Sonar's technology enables clients to send videos and other content to mobile phones easily and quickly without internet access by using an ultrasonic sound people can't hear.  Since the COVID-19 global pandemic shut down spectator-filled crowds for sporting events, Hayward and Matarrita-Chinchilla have been ...
SecurityGate.io Series A Funding To Fuel Growth of Its Cyber Risk Assessment Platform
Articles, Featured

SecurityGate.io Series A Funding To Fuel Growth of Its Cyber Risk Assessment Platform

SecurityGate.io closed its Series A funding round for an undisclosed amount Tuesday. Houston Ventures, which invests in software for the energy industry, led the capital raise. The funding will help SecurityGate.io scale its predictive cyber risk intelligence platform for companies looking to automate the cybersecurity management of their operational technology (OT). Cybersecurity risk management experts Ted Gutierrez, CEO, and Cherise Esparza, CTO, founded the Houston-based software company in 2017. The SecurityGate.io software platform helps companies in critical industry sectors who must maintain compliance standards and improve risk management efforts. Their software as a service (SaaS) provides an integrated risk management platform designed specifically for the cybersecurity of cr...
Level Effect Debuts Cybersecurity Boot Camp Developed During Pandemic Lockdown
Articles, Featured

Level Effect Debuts Cybersecurity Boot Camp Developed During Pandemic Lockdown

While many of us were adjusting to new routines during the early weeks of the COVID 19 pandemic, Level Effect founders Greg Ake and Robert Noeth focused on addressing the needs of job seekers interested in a cybersecurity career. Those efforts have paid off with their new cybersecurity training course that can certify students in the skills needed to be a cyber defense analyst. The cyber defense analyst training course is 13 weeks long and costs $8,000, with the first cohort starting July 6. The course content, labs, virtual machines, and networks are accessible regardless of the student's location, to accommodate those training remotely from home during the pandemic. Upon successful completion, the user is certified as a Cyber Defense Certified Professional (CDCP ), a new certificat...
SAMSAT CEO Growing Early-Stage Science and Tech Museum into World-Class STEM Institution
Articles, Featured

SAMSAT CEO Growing Early-Stage Science and Tech Museum into World-Class STEM Institution

There hasn't been a quiet day since Douglas King started in mid-March as the new president and CEO of the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT). At about the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions went into place, King was learning about the world-class collection of historical science and technology artifacts housed at Port San Antonio in the former Kelly Air Force Base chapel. The early-stage technology and science museum has been the centerpiece of the Port's planned innovation hub since SAMSAT founder, innovator, and entrepreneur David Monroe moved his collection to the Port in 2017. Conceived as a hub for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) innovators and entrepreneurs to work alongside industry partners, the Port's innovation center, once com...
New San Antonio Biomedical Seed Fund Invests $150,000 in Local Innovators for Military Medical Collaboration
Articles, Featured

New San Antonio Biomedical Seed Fund Invests $150,000 in Local Innovators for Military Medical Collaboration

A fund created to help support San Antonio biomedical companies announced its first recipients Friday. The San Antonio Economic Development Corporation (SAEDC) has chosen EmergenceMed, GaitIQ, and Renovo Concepts as the first recipients of financial support from the San Antonio Military Medical Innovation (SAMMI) Fund. The City of San Antonio established the fund in December 2019 to support local companies commercializing discoveries in medical devices, new drugs, and biotechnology and biomedical software that can meet military medical mission needs. The SAEDC board approved Tuesday $50,000 awards for each of the three biomedical innovators looking to collaborate with the military medical community, said Corey Levenson, the city's military medical innovation director. SAEDC creat...
Digital Marketing Technology Company Stirista Closes $13M Series A Funding Round
Articles, Featured

Digital Marketing Technology Company Stirista Closes $13M Series A Funding Round

Stirista, a San Antonio-based digital marketing technology company, closed a $13 million Series A funding round, led by Boston-based Wavecrest Growth Partners. Industry veteran ​Dennis Ainge​, a founding executive of TARGUSinfo and a former executive at Neustar, participated in the round, which closed Tuesday. This is the first-ever growth equity financing for Stirista. The most in Series A funding ever invested in a San Antonio company according to Crunchbase was $13.3 million for Earth Class Mail in January 2008. The largest seed round funding in San Antonio was $6.8 million for World's Greatest Videos which closed in December 2018. Stirista specializes in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) data services and tools. The company, located in San Antonio’s Highwa...
Scaleworks Co-Founders Launch Regenerative Agriculture Company Called Soilworks, Acquire PastureMap
Articles, Featured

Scaleworks Co-Founders Launch Regenerative Agriculture Company Called Soilworks, Acquire PastureMap

The co-founders of Scaleworks have taken on a new mission to invest in, incubate, and acquire assets that can help accelerate the adoption of regenerative farming practices. Their new company, Soilworks Natural Capital, is focused on expanding the regenerative agriculture economy. The B-corporation public benefit company launched Tuesday with the announcement of its first acquisition, PastureMap. Soilworks has acquired the California-based software company that developed a grazing management application farmers and ranchers use to manage animal herds for more sustainable land practices. Lew Moorman and Ed Byrne founded Scaleworks in 2015 to buy and help technology companies grow either via venture equity deals or with venture finance support. Their newest Soilworks venture will take...
The Sonar Company Pivots Sound Wave Technology From Sports to Education, Nonprofits
Articles, Featured

The Sonar Company Pivots Sound Wave Technology From Sports to Education, Nonprofits

Most startup founders learn to embrace pivoting as they search for product-market fit. Since the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the founders of  The Sonar Company have expanded their product line with new applications for the sports, education, and nonprofit sectors. CEO Nick Hayward and CIO Allan Matarrita first founded Sports Sonar in 2018 while in Costa Rica. The duo moved to San Antonio in September 2018 when VelocityTX reached out to the sports-tech startup through its Global Accelerator Program. Sports Sonar’s technology enables event sponsors to send videos and other content to mobile phones using an ultrasonic sound people can’t hear. Fans can play games on the platform that does not require using internet access. The startup can customize an app for sports clients to...
What’s Happening in Venture Capital? Local Investors Weigh In
Articles, Featured

What’s Happening in Venture Capital? Local Investors Weigh In

Startup founders know the COVID-19 pandemic has changed investor funding for the foreseeable future. Beyond the obvious shift to virtual pitching and team meetings, what else is going on in the world of venture capital (VC)? We spoke with three San Antonio investors who are tracking what’s changing during the global pandemic, and more importantly, looking ahead at the investing landscape over the next year or so. Level playing field, opportunities abound for innovative companies In April, Active Capital founder and CEO Pat Matthews said his venture firm had invested in eight portfolio companies and three new ones. “We also closed two Series As, two sidecars, and one M&A [mergers and acquisitions] transaction. I wouldn’t say it’s been business as usual, but it’s been busy,” ...
Tips for Remote Onboarding During a Pandemic
Articles, Featured

Tips for Remote Onboarding During a Pandemic

Whether you're bringing on summer interns or adding new employees, the need for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic dictates a transition to remote onboarding. We reached out to businesses across San Antonio to gather best practices for onboarding interns and new hires without face-to-face contact. A focus on formalizing fundamental practices, leveraging productivity-boosting technological tools, and integrating training into onboarding are just some of the tips San Antonio startups offered. Define and document your onboarding practices Companies may have informal processes for bringing interns and new hires up to speed during their first days on the job. With everyone working from home, the time to document the details of your organization's onboarding experience is ...