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Boerne Kendall County Angel Network Launches in Texas I-10 Corridor
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Boerne Kendall County Angel Network Launches in Texas I-10 Corridor

A new angel investor network is now open near the Interstate 10 corridor at the gateway to the Texas Hill Country. The Boerne Kendall County Angel Network or BKCAN is "a community of angels focused on making Boerne and Kendall County visible to entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to find a home for their next venture," said Justin McKenzie, CEO of the new investor organization. Officially launched in early 2021, the network's 20 members have been seeing a healthy deal flow unique for an angel network at this stage, according to McKenzie. A manager of energy services at the Bandera Electric Cooperative, a longtime advocate for entrepreneurship and innovation, and a Texas native, McKenzie has been working with like-minded business leaders to highlight the region's strengths on a glob...
San Antonio Startups to Watch in 2021
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San Antonio Startups to Watch in 2021

Despite the widespread impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the broader San Antonio tech ecosystem made some gains in 2020. From the skyrocketing sales of Xenex’s germ-zapping robots and 6Connex's virtual event platform to the aspirational building of Port San Antonio’s Innovation Center to be completed by 2022, we experienced some growth during unprecedented times. During the third quarter of 2020, San Antonio experienced the highest growth rate in tech jobs in the country at 21 percent. We still have work to do, but take this as a vote for guarded optimism for a subset of all innovative activity in San Antonio — startups. Despite its lack of relative density, San Antonio's startup ecosystem shows signs of innovation across many different fields. You'll find on the 2021 list mor...
Retail Data Startup Scraffic Adds Drive-Thru Customer Tracking for Retailers
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Retail Data Startup Scraffic Adds Drive-Thru Customer Tracking for Retailers

Scraffic, a retail customer traffic-counting Software as a Service (SaaS) company, created a new drive-thru traffic tracking service after seeing for themselves the pandemic-induced shift in consumer traffic. During the retail closures of 2020, there was a 26% percent increase in drive-thru traffic in the quick-service restaurant or QSR space. "As the pandemic unfolded, we watched how the traffic in our customers' stores decreased dramatically, with those numbers falling to and staying at zero in the early days of the pandemic," Scraffic CEO John West said. "We knew some of these stores would never open again. It's been tough to watch, but we've had locations close." West and chief operating officer Ryan Ward launched their in-store customer tracking startup from Geekdom in 2016. Scr...
AVA Propulsion Builds Large-Scale Drones for Delivery
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AVA Propulsion Builds Large-Scale Drones for Delivery

The future of product and people delivery via large drones is not as far off as you might think, especially if you ask AVA Propulsion, a San Antonio-based drone-building startup. David Gonzales, chief executive officer (CEO) and Kyle Johnson, president, are developing and building hardware and software for large-scale vertical take-off and landing autonomous drones that can move cargo or transport a person to hard-to-reach places. AVA Propulsion, Inc. (which does business as Aerial Vehicle Automation) has two models depending on customer needs. Their X8 is an electric multi-rotor platform that can deliver payloads up to 400 pounds over shorter distances. Their Winged X8 is a gasoline-electric hybrid platform for flying 200 miles with five flight hours. The Winged X8 takes off vertica...
HelpSystems Acquires Digital Defense to Bolster Its Cybersecurity Portfolio
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HelpSystems Acquires Digital Defense to Bolster Its Cybersecurity Portfolio

HelpSystems announced Wednesday its acquisition of Digital Defense, a San Antonio software-as-a-service or SaaS company specializing in network security solutions. The Minnesota-based company acquired Digital Defense for an undisclosed amount to help it establish a comprehensive, best-in-class security assessment toolkit for its customers. Founded in 1999, Digital Defense's security SaaS platform offers vulnerability management and threat assessment solutions to help organizations safeguard sensitive data and simplify information security.  Their cloud-native vulnerability scanning engine gives organizations in healthcare, legal, financial services, and other industries the ability to proactively detect infrastructure security gaps and take steps to safeguard against internal and extern...
Perytor Therapeutics, One of the ‘Most Fundable Startups,’ Develops New Kind of Anti-Inflammatory Biologic
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Perytor Therapeutics, One of the ‘Most Fundable Startups,’ Develops New Kind of Anti-Inflammatory Biologic

One of the most fundable startups in the U.S. is developing a new category of anti-inflammatory treatment for the market. Perytor Therapeutics is commercializing its discovery of a substance that combats inflammation and has the regenerative properties stem cells possess. The San Antonio-based startup was named one of Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School's 20 Most Fundable Companies in 2020. Perytor founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Ramon Coronado said the active agent in stem cells provides the dual benefits of reducing inflammation and stimulating tissue regeneration. The Perytor treatment is a new category of therapeutic that helps patients with many conditions, such as degenerative joint disease and more severe conditions like inflammation of the lung from chro...
What’s Changed in Co-Working Spaces? How San Antonio is Adapting to the Pandemic
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What’s Changed in Co-Working Spaces? How San Antonio is Adapting to the Pandemic

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic changed how we use co-working spaces. At first, we stayed home and worked in our sweatpants. But as the months wore on, the desire for a quiet, uncrowded workspace is driving the transformation of co-working spaces. One-way hallways, fewer desks in common areas, measures to limit how many can access spaces, and clear plastic screens to guard against airborne viruses are becoming office standards as more are seeking out co-working spaces again, say experts who predict trends in co-working. It's no longer about the growing number of new co-working places but rather, the quality of these spaces as they evolve to meet public health demands. In San Antonio, we lost several co-working spaces in 2020, including Annex Co-Working, The Garage, the Boerne-based Co...
Seno Medical Breast Imaging Technology Receives FDA Pre-Market Approval
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Seno Medical Breast Imaging Technology Receives FDA Pre-Market Approval

The commercial pathway for a San Antonio-based medical technology company that began its development over 15 years ago is closing in on the U.S. market. Seno Medical Instruments Inc. has gotten pre-market approval from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Tuesday for its medical imaging tool to diagnose breast cancer. Seno Medical’s imaging system uses opto-acoustic technology combined with laser optics and conventional ultrasound technology to provide an image of breast tissue in real-time. The company developed its Imagio breast imaging device to give physicians a way to examine breast tissue via images to rule out the need for invasive, expensive biopsies in patients with benign breast masses. About one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast canc...
Irys and Dutch Design Firm Arcadis Partner on Global Community-Engagement Solutions
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Irys and Dutch Design Firm Arcadis Partner on Global Community-Engagement Solutions

A San Antonio startup has forged a global partnership that will allow these innovators to leverage its award-winning engagement digital tools in communities worldwide. Arcadis, a leading international design firm focused on infrastructure, sustainable water, buildings, and environmental solutions, announced Monday its partnership with San Antonio-based Irys, a startup focused on improving the quality of life in communities through the use of technology. The Dutch design company stated they would incorporate Irys’ innovative citizen-driven engagement tools within its own infrastructure, mobility, and building projects to increase community involvement and collaboration and improve decision making in development projects. “People who live, work, play, in a specific place or city kno...
JustAir Launches Portable Powered Face Mask To Protect Against COVID-19
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JustAir Launches Portable Powered Face Mask To Protect Against COVID-19

Thanks to an entrepreneurial doctor, a recently relocated startup has brought to the market a new kind of face mask that protects wearers from airborne pathogens like COVID-19. JustAir, Inc. has launched its patented advanced face mask system that uses a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) in a more portable version of what's used in medical or industrial grade systems. The mask protects both the wearer and surrounding people, filtering the user's inhaled and exhaled air. The face mask is made of electrostatic felt and two fabric layers and can be adjusted to fit your face. A small rechargeable, battery-powered blower supplies fresh, cool air to the mask. The positive pressure airflow technology pushes air through a medical-grade HEPA filter that traps 99.97 percent of viruses, a...