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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...
Gov Tech Startup Irys Closes $1.2M Seed Round
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Gov Tech Startup Irys Closes $1.2M Seed Round

Irys announced Tuesday its $1.2M seed round led by early-stage venture capital firm Good Growth Capital with participation from Arcadis and Techstars Ventures. Investors in the seed round from San Antonio include former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, Graham Weston, Pat Matthews, Victor Miramontes, and Matthew Starr. Cityflag, a government technology startup focused on helping cities flag and track 311 service requests, rebranded itself as Irys in mid-March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was triggering lockdowns across the country. Alberto Altamirano, Alberto Gomez, and Eduardo Bravo founded the company in 2017. That same year, they received a contract with the city of San Antonio for an app to revamp its 311 system. Read more: San Antonio 3...
The Sonar Company Founder and CEO Nick Hayward Dead at 37
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The Sonar Company Founder and CEO Nick Hayward Dead at 37

Nick Hayward, CEO and co-founder of The Sonar Company, died in a parasailing accident in Key West on July 17. He was 37. Hayward was born in Canada but spent most of his life in Costa Rica, where he met Allan Matarrita-Chinchilla at a startup incubator in Costa Rica called Parquetec. The two founded Sports Sonar, moving to San Antonio in October 2018 after the innovation accelerator VelocityTX reached out to the sports-tech startup via its Global Accelerator Program.  Sports Sonar's technology enables clients to send videos and other content to mobile phones easily and quickly without internet access by using an ultrasonic sound people can't hear.  Since the COVID-19 global pandemic shut down spectator-filled crowds for sporting events, Hayward and Matarrita-Chinchilla have been ...
SecurityGate.io Series A Funding To Fuel Growth of Its Cyber Risk Assessment Platform
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SecurityGate.io Series A Funding To Fuel Growth of Its Cyber Risk Assessment Platform

SecurityGate.io closed its Series A funding round for an undisclosed amount Tuesday. Houston Ventures, which invests in software for the energy industry, led the capital raise. The funding will help SecurityGate.io scale its predictive cyber risk intelligence platform for companies looking to automate the cybersecurity management of their operational technology (OT). Cybersecurity risk management experts Ted Gutierrez, CEO, and Cherise Esparza, CTO, founded the Houston-based software company in 2017. The SecurityGate.io software platform helps companies in critical industry sectors who must maintain compliance standards and improve risk management efforts. Their software as a service (SaaS) provides an integrated risk management platform designed specifically for the cybersecurity of cr...
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...