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.
Level Effect Debuts Cybersecurity Boot Camp Developed During Pandemic Lockdown
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 companiesIn 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
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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 practicesCompanies 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 ...
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 ...