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.
UTSA-Led Collaborative Team Wins Grant to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine
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UTSA-Led Collaborative Team Wins Grant to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine

A consortium of scientists from San Antonio's four largest research institutions won a $200,000 grant to fund COVID-19 vaccine development. Dr. Karl Klose, director of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases and professor of microbiology at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), leads the team. The presidents of UTSA, UT Health San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) formed a new nonprofit in October 2019 called the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics or SAPPT. The partnership funds researchers from the four institutions who work together on the interdisciplinary development of breakthrough therapies customized for patients. Soon after the City of San Antonio announced pandemic res...
Pinch Boil House Wins $25,000 Geekdom Community Fund
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Pinch Boil House Wins $25,000 Geekdom Community Fund

Pinch Boil House, a downtown restaurant, won the Geekdom Community Fund $25,000 award Friday. The popular fast-casual restaurant, co-founded by Andrew Ho and Sean Wen, opened to local diners in 2017. Typically held every quarter at well-attended Geekdom events, the founders gave their Community Fund pitches instead via Zoom video call. This quarter's finalists included: Allosense, an asset-tracking company that differentiates itself from competitors with "always connected" sensors that provide easy access to data Buzu Trading Cards, a line of trading cards with an emphasis on education and creative expression Sports Sonar, with its SafeWave fast and silent alarm system that can notify emergency responders without Wi-Fi or an internet connection Pinch Boil House,  a casual ...
UTSA Innovation and Commercialization Help Researchers Get Ideas to Market In Challenging Times
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UTSA Innovation and Commercialization Help Researchers Get Ideas to Market In Challenging Times

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OCI) kept a tight schedule meeting with researchers interested in developing an idea for the market. OCI is busier than ever working virtually with UTSA faculty on technology transfers, commercialization, and connecting scientists to newly available federal funding resources. UTSA's program provides intellectual property management and licensing, proof-of-concept development, new venture incubation, and entrepreneurial training that can accelerate the transition of intellectual property from the university to industry, OCI director Christine Burke explained. Their work now includes a new focus—helping researchers launch a company in an economically fraught era ...
Biotech Industry Leader Heather Hanson Named New BioMed SA President
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Biotech Industry Leader Heather Hanson Named New BioMed SA President

BioMed SA, a nonprofit advocacy organization that promotes San Antonio's bioscience and healthcare industry, named Heather Hanson as its new president Wednesday. She follows Ann Stevens, who retired in February after leading BioMed SA since its founding in 2005. Hanson has over 20 years of experience in the medical device technology industry, having worked at Seno Medical Instruments, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and Motorola. Before joining BioMed SA, Hanson was president of Corvax Solutions, a medical device development contract management and technology company she founded in 2010.  She is experienced both in senior management and the more operational aspects of biomedical research and development. Hanson is trained in mechanical engineering and holds 24 U.S. patents for ...
Trinity University Adapts to the COVID-19 Pandemic with Virtual Stumberg Competition
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Trinity University Adapts to the COVID-19 Pandemic with Virtual Stumberg Competition

Instead of pitching to the usually packed audience of students, entrepreneurs, and judges, 10 Trinity University student entrepreneur teams presented their business ideas to judges via a Zoom video call Thursday evening in the annual Louis H. Stumberg Venture Competition. Of the 10 competitors, six Trinity University student entrepreneur teams each won $5,000 in seed funding. Since its launch in the spring of 2015, this two-part university-wide competition typically features 10 venture teams pitching their business concepts before a panel of judges with entrepreneurial expertise. The six winning teams have wide-ranging businesses: Chiropack was founded by sophomore Neha Kapur who is majoring in business analytics and technology. Her idea is to reengineer the daily-wear backpack ...
Active Capital’s First Investment Pays off with VidGrid Acquisition by Paylocity
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Active Capital’s First Investment Pays off with VidGrid Acquisition by Paylocity

Paylocity, a provider of cloud-based human resources and payroll software solutions, announced on Monday its acquisition of VidGrid, a leading video learning platform provider. VidGrid provides two-way, peer-to-peer learning courses, transforming video into two-way communication. Paylocity has worked with VidGrid for several years to deliver a video-enabled learning management system to its clients. The acquisition effort was underway before the COVID-19 pandemic began forcing employees and students alike to work from home. "As a leading modern workforce platform, we are constantly looking for opportunities to make our product suite even more useful for our clients. We believe video will play a critical role in transforming workplace communication," Steve Beauchamp, CEO of Paylocity,...
UTSA Piloting Innovation from Startup Leaptran To Manage Campus Energy Usage
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UTSA Piloting Innovation from Startup Leaptran To Manage Campus Energy Usage

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is working with Leaptran, one of the startups from its commercialization and innovation program, to remotely manage the energy usage of selected campus buildings in a pilot program. Leaptran's innovative technology provides users the ability to remotely track and manage a building's energy use. UTSA is assessing its use of Leaptran's electrical metering package to collect, store, transfer, and access energy usage data remotely via meter hardware, a computation and communication device, and Leaptran's software. Leaptran has developed an integrated building energy management platform that combines a battery energy storage system, internet-of-things (IoT) platform, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, remotely accessible electricity sub-meters, and en...
TrueAbility Partners with Leading Testing Provider Pearson Vue
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TrueAbility Partners with Leading Testing Provider Pearson Vue

San Antonio-based TrueAbility announced Tuesday its multi-year partnership with Pearson VUE, a global leader in computer-based testing. TrueAbility works with companies to provide automated performance-based skills assessments used to certify test-takers in the workforce. TrueAbility's platform gives Pearson VUE the ability to streamline its exam operations as the testing provider delivers certification exams with more focus on performance-based assessments. "This agreement with TrueAbility will help us deliver a fully integrated and globally scalable performance-based certification program," said Bob Whelan, president of Pearson Assessments. "With TrueAbility as a partner, we're now in a position to give our customers an expanded, one-stop-shop experience with cutting-edge technolog...
Geekdom Announces 2020 Participants in Pre-Accelerator Program
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Geekdom Announces 2020 Participants in Pre-Accelerator Program

Geekdom announced the San Antonio startups selected for its 2020 pre-accelerator program Wednesday. The seven startups are: EvoSecurity is an affordable, flexible, and reliable multi-factor authentication solution for on-premise, hybrid, cloud, and multi-cloud service providers. Its goal is to take the complexity out of protecting managed service providers and their clients. Allosense is an internet of things startup producing a fleet of always-connected sensors and asset trackers to help businesses and governments manage their supply chains and reduce waste or loss of high-value assets. ClosetMelody is a digital styling app that offers suggestions on how to style your looks using the clothes in your wardrobe. Buzu Cards helps students learn standardized testing concepts u...
How Can Your Startup or Small Business Survive a Pandemic? Know What to Expect
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How Can Your Startup or Small Business Survive a Pandemic? Know What to Expect

Life is changing rapidly for everyone. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 infectious outbreak as a pandemic, the first pandemic in modern times caused by the emergence of a new or novel coronavirus. There is so much information coming at us daily. Yet, founders and small business owners are struggling to decipher what it all means for business operations. Let's walk through what we know and what we can reasonably expect, given the best available information from trusted sources. Then we can offer some recommendations to help you adapt your business operations during a pandemic. First, stay informed COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC...