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VelocityTX Launches Bioscience Accelerator Program, Co-Working Space
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VelocityTX Launches Bioscience Accelerator Program, Co-Working Space

The innovation hub taking root on San Antonio's Eastside has launched an accelerator program for bioscience startups. VelocityTX is accepting applications for its new BioGlobal Accelerator, a 16-week accelerator program for early-stage bioscience companies. VelocityTX's mission is to support the development of more early-stage life science and technology companies in San Antonio. Its BioGlobal Accelerator is designed to help local, national, and international companies with innovative, scalable business ideas accelerate the launch of their business. The program will run from February to June 2021. A panel of 42 local industry experts from bioscience and healthcare sectors will facilitate the 21 planned modules over four months. The curriculum plan includes modules spanning concept an...
New Venture Mentoring Service Connects UTSA, UT Health SA Entrepreneurs to Commercialization Expertise
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New Venture Mentoring Service Connects UTSA, UT Health SA Entrepreneurs to Commercialization Expertise

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and UT Health San Antonio (UT Health SA) have joined forces to launch the Venture Mentoring Service San Antonio (VMS-SA), a program that matches experienced mentors with aspiring entrepreneurs. The San Antonio chapter of the Venture Mentoring Service is a sister program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Venture Mentoring Service (MITVMS), which launched in 2000. The VMS-SA network is available for startups spinning out from either UTSA or UT Health SA. UTSA's Office of Commercialization and Innovation and UT Health SA's Office of Technology Commercialization will manage the new joint program. VMS-SA is open to all disciplines, with a focus on the biosciences. While in its initial launch phase, the program will focus on compan...
How the San Antonio Startup Ecosystem Has Changed in 2020
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How the San Antonio Startup Ecosystem Has Changed in 2020

What a difference a year makes. While San Antonio's entrepreneurial ecosystem has grown in 2020, our predictions at the end of 2019 didn't include a global pandemic. The San Antonio Startup Ecosystem Map represents a somewhat sequential startup life cycle. This macro-level graphic lists local resources available in San Antonio throughout an entrepreneur's journey, from a student interested in starting a company to a CEO looking for investment to scale operations. Compared with our first map version (which showed the startup resources in San Antonio from February to November 2018), San Antonio has since added many programs, organizations, and stakeholders supporting local startup activity. What has changed in San Antonio's startup ecosystem since the beginning of 2020? We noted fou...
Beam Angel Network For Female-Owned Startups Launches Across Texas
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Beam Angel Network For Female-Owned Startups Launches Across Texas

A new investor network is looking to close the massive gender funding gap for female-run startups. Women@Austin, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting female entrepreneurs, is launching the Beam Angel Network, the first Texas-based angel network for women-founded companies. Investors will fund early-stage, Texas-based, women-founded companies with high potential. Beam will aim for diversity and equity within their investor community, deal flow, founders, and community partners, said Jessica Gaffney, CEO  and executive director of Women@Austin. The share of venture capital or VC dollars that flowed into startups founded by a woman or a group of women in 2019 was $3.54 billion—only 2.7% of total VC investment. Yet, companies with a female founder perform 63% better than all-male f...
UTSA Opens Science and Engineering Building, Advanced Maker Space
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UTSA Opens Science and Engineering Building, Advanced Maker Space

San Antonio college students pursuing science and engineering have gained cutting-edge research laboratories and an advanced technology maker space at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). After three years of construction, the new Science and Engineering Building (SEB) will open August 22. The $95 million, 160,349 square-foot space will provide much-needed laboratories and classrooms, as well as an expansive collaboration space for UTSA students researching brain health, chemical engineering, computer and electrical engineering, biology, and chemistry, University officials stated. The new facility is a big part of UTSA's strategy to become a destination for research excellence. "The SEB has been in the making for a long time—conversations for it were already happening wh...
Port San Antonio Board Approves Funding for $60M Innovation Center
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Port San Antonio Board Approves Funding for $60M Innovation Center

Port San Antonio board members approved committing $60 million to build an innovation center after a meeting on Thursday, according to Port officials. The construction of a state-of-the-art innovation center will help advance the organization's Tech Port strategy to connect people with employment, educational, and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Port will fund the project construction costs via a commercial loan, to be repaid from anticipated multiple revenue streams from the center's entertainment events, conferences, and industry partnerships. In keeping with the Port's economic development mandate, the board also decided to allocate 100% of the innovation center's excess revenue (after expenses) to support technology-focused K-12, college-level, and professional development progr...
Plus One Robotics and the Future of Work: Port San Antonio’s Tech Innovation Series
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Plus One Robotics and the Future of Work: Port San Antonio’s Tech Innovation Series

"How would the world change if you could see a thousand miles away and your arm was that long?" Plus One Robotics CEO and co-founder Erik Nieves wasn't asking about imaginary superpowers. Delivering these capabilities to logistics clients is the core business of his Port San Antonio-based company. Plus One's technology is creating new types of jobs that make work in industrial environments, including e-commerce sorting facilities and manufacturing plans, safer and more efficient. These new career paths call upon the quick reflexes, problem-solving, and even video gaming skills from a new generation of employees. Available for job seekers are these new careers as automation network supervisors, who leverage the visual and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities robots have to help t...
Olifant Medical Device Protecting Healthcare Providers from COVID-19 Wins $1M Air Force Contract
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Olifant Medical Device Protecting Healthcare Providers from COVID-19 Wins $1M Air Force Contract

As more healthcare providers are exposed to COVID-19 while treating patients, innovators like Dr. Steven Venticinque are developing critically needed solutions. His startup company Olifant Medical won a $1 million Air Force award in mid-July to adapt a protective barrier device that can protect healthcare providers from COVID-19 exposure during medical procedures. This device is not the first invention that has garnered Air Force funding for Venticinque, a UT Health San Antonio anesthesiologist and former Air Force physician. He co-founded Olifant (one of the San Antonio startups to watch in 2019) in 2018 with engineer Justin Rice and scientist Christopher Carroll to bring an improved airway device to market. Carroll is Olifant's chief executive officer, Venticinque is the chief...
BioMed SA Recognizes Biomedical Engineer Rena Bizios for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience
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BioMed SA Recognizes Biomedical Engineer Rena Bizios for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience

Groundbreaking contributions on understanding how human cells interact with the materials in medical implants have helped advance the field of tissue engineering and tissue regeneration, thanks to a San Antonio-based biomedical engineering researcher. BioMed SA will recognize Dr. Rena Bizios for her innovative work with its 2020 Award for Innovation in Healthcare and Bioscience. BioMed SA, an advocacy organization promoting San Antonio's bioscience industry, recognizes innovators annually who have put novel ideas into action with transformational results. The researcher and professor serves as the Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) department of biomedical engineering. A chemical and biomedical engineer by training, Bizios joined the UTSA's f...
Texas BioMed Hires Will Focus on Commercialization Strategy for Infectious Disease Research
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Texas BioMed Hires Will Focus on Commercialization Strategy for Infectious Disease Research

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas BioMed) has grown its leadership team as part of a ten-year strategic plan launched in 2018 to position it as one of the world's top scientific centers focused on infectious diseases. Of its recent hiring announcements, two experts stand out for their focus on developing the nonprofit research organization's ability to commercialize its research discoveries for the market. Since early March, Cory Hallam, Ph.D., has been in the newly created position of vice president for business development and strategic alliances. He will also serve at the Institute as a professor of innovation management to help the faculty leverage commercialization pathways in getting research from the lab to the market. Hallam was the founding director of The Un...