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An Innovative Winch, AR App, and Medical Device Win UTSA CITE Competition
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An Innovative Winch, AR App, and Medical Device Win UTSA CITE Competition

Just outside the entrance to the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) Convocation Center, UTSA mechanical engineering students Caleb Lansdale, Kris Carlton, Yannis Routsas, and Marcus Haraway stood next to a truck explaining their innovation to Alamo Angels director Chris Burney. The team of student mechanical engineers devised a vehicle-mounted electric winch with a universal design that can be used with any vehicle. Their patented winch spools the line cleanly onto the drum every single time, preventing costly cable tangles that are the leading cause of expensive winch motor failure. Undergraduate students pitched their innovative prototypes to business leaders for a chance to start their own companies Tuesday at the annual UTSA Center for Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneur...
Nonprofit SAMSOC Opens Cyber Range, Training Lab at Port San Antonio
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Nonprofit SAMSOC Opens Cyber Range, Training Lab at Port San Antonio

Cybersecurity professionals new to the field become experienced by honing their skills, finding vulnerabilities and defending against massive cyber-attacks. Companies and software startups also need to test tools and apps in a realistic but virtual environment to see how well they work and make adjustments before going to market. The place for these activities ideally is not within a company’s active computer system, but at a cyber range—a controlled virtual environment where “white hats” or cyber professionals in training can practice their skills or test their product in a simulated, robust computer infrastructure. Port San Antonio is now home to a new cyber range that operates as part of a collaborative nonprofit organization called SAMSOC or the San Antonio Multidiscipline Security ...
The IMG Studio Develops First VR Basketball Game for Adaptive, Paralympic Sports
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The IMG Studio Develops First VR Basketball Game for Adaptive, Paralympic Sports

Virtual reality (VR) sports content is being used increasingly for training typical athletes and encouraging people to work out and be more active. For Paralympic athletes, those VR training tools have been lacking—until now. A San Antonio digital media content development company has created the first-ever VR basketball game that gives players wearing VR goggles the perspective of playing basketball as a wheelchair athlete. The IMG Studio developed this game as a powerful recruiting tool for South Texas Regional Adaptive & Paralympic Sports (STRAPS) and Morgan’s Wonderland to recruit new basketball players, both with and without disabilities, as well as to train users before they play on the court. “We at STRAPS are so excited that this emerging technology is putting players in ...
Easy Expunctions Wins $100K Capitol Factory Challenge
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Easy Expunctions Wins $100K Capitol Factory Challenge

For any promising startup, winning $100,000 in a pitch competition can be game-changing. For San Antonio-based Easy Expunctions, winning the Capitol Factory $100,000 cash investment out of 151 San Antonio-area entrepreneurs competing in the pitch challenge Tuesday at Geekdom is a resounding vote of confidence in founder Yousef Kassim and his startup's legal document automation service. For people seeking an expunction, a legal process for permanently removing certain types of arrests, charges, or convictions from a person's public records, Easy Expunctions offers an online legal software service that checks a person's record for eligibility without the need to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees for traditional legal services. Kassim developed patented software algorithms based on a ...
Geekdom’s New Pre-Accelerator Program to Mentor 6 Startups
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Geekdom’s New Pre-Accelerator Program to Mentor 6 Startups

What happens when there are over 1,700 entrepreneurially-minded members developing new businesses in a co-working space? The demand for early-stage startup programs surges. In response, the downtown San Antonio co-working space Geekdom launched its new Pre-Accelerator and announced the first 6 startups to be admitted to the program Tuesday. Designed to prepare local San Antonio startups for an accelerator or seed investments, the program allows startups to continue working on their product while learning from expert mentorship. The companies include the following: Scraffic partners with retail software providers to offer retailers valuable foot traffic in stores of all sizes. Ractive develops interactive virtual reality virtual training content using “gamification” to develop g...
EPIcenter Announces Incubator, First Energy Startups
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EPIcenter Announces Incubator, First Energy Startups

EPIcenter has chosen the first two San Antonio-based startup companies to join its new Energy Incubator and Accelerator program. EPIcenter CEO Kimberly Britton will announce and introduce Go Smart Solar and Morton Gestalt at downtown San Antonio co-working space Geekdom Tuesday afternoon. The incubator aims to help budding entrepreneurs develop innovative business ideas in the energy sector. EPIcenter plans to transform a century-old power plant on the Mission Reach of the San Antonio Riverwalk into a world-class center that will house the nonprofit organization’s think tank, incubator, and exhibit space highlighting innovation in clean energy. While the $74 million project is in the design and fundraising phase, EPIcenter occupies space in Geekdom and is working closely with the co-wor...
After 1 Year, RealCo has 7 Startups, 1 New Managing Director, and Ambitious Plans
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After 1 Year, RealCo has 7 Startups, 1 New Managing Director, and Ambitious Plans

The first year of the RealCo Long-Term Accelerator program has been extremely productive. The accelerator started in March 2017 with two companies and now has seven in its cohort. RealCo also celebrated its anniversary by announcing its latest addition to lead the company— the new managing director, Richard Grote. Grote started at RealCo Monday and joins Michael Girdley, the founding RealCo partner and co-founder and managing director for the Geekdom Fund, a venture capital fund investing in early-stage tech startups. Co-founder RealCo partner Chris Saum, who helped start MUD Geochemical Inc., a software startup that sold research and development services to the oil and gas industry, and partner Jenni White, former chief of operations at Codeup, round out RealCo’s managing team. Real...
MIOSA Links Medical Industry Startups to Resources
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MIOSA Links Medical Industry Startups to Resources

Not all medical or health-related technology companies are large—even the big pharmaceutical or medical device companies once launched as a small life science startup. For these science-focused entrepreneurs looking to make an impact on the medical industry, the costs for specialized lab space and equipment coupled with the challenge of finding scientific staff with specific expertise, often cannot be bootstrapped with one’s personal resources. San Antonio scientists who are also experienced founders established a private group to help local medical entrepreneurs overcome the challenges of developing a medical industry startup. The focus of MIOSA, or the Medical Industry Organization of San Antonio, is to foster collaboration between scientists and health care professionals and those in...
FloatMe App Links Workers to Paycheck Sooner for Less
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FloatMe App Links Workers to Paycheck Sooner for Less

Financial emergencies can happen anytime. When they do, a surprise expense that pops up in-between paychecks can trigger late fees from not paying bills on time, to mounting bank fees from over insufficient funds and overdraft fees, to exorbitant interest on payday loans. Founder Josh Sanchez experienced this when he had unexpected car expenses once and was short that week. After getting a payday loan for $200 that turned into a $250 payback balance after only two weeks, Sanchez started thinking of less expensive options to access money short term. His idea turned into FloatMe, an app that enables workers to get a “float” or short-term advance on their next paycheck without paying hefty fees or interest. Once Sanchez paid back his payday loan, he discovered the high costs for many de...
Trinity University Awards Seed Money at Stumberg Competition
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Trinity University Awards Seed Money at Stumberg Competition

Five Trinity University student entrepreneur teams were each awarded $5,000 in seed funding Tuesday evening in the annual Louis H. Stumberg Venture Competition. This university-wide competition consisted of 10 student venture teams selected from a pool of applicants to present their business concepts before a panel of judges with entrepreneurial expertise. The five winning teams pitched wide-ranging businesses: MONA is an augmented reality (AR) app that enables users to use real-world objects like embroidered patches that can project three-dimensional objects in augmented reality when scanned. InterSourcing provides U.S. businesses access to international production and customized solutions in manufacturing when the business is ready to scale up in growth. PATCH, or  Pill Adm...