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 game-like training scenarios that teach and test lifesaving skills.

Braustin Docs allows a homebuyer to navigate the home buying process using their mobile device to scan and upload photos and documents easily and receive real-time notifications during the home buying process. After the home has been delivered, the homeowner can use the app to create a list with photos of items to be addressed by the seller in a single trip.

Mello{be} is a more comfortable, ergonomically designed cushion that lends itself to multiple uses beyond yoga and meditation.

Divvee is a corporate meal delivery service for companies to order from top local restaurants for meetings and work events through their online ordering platform.

Clutche is a smartphone application that connects the entertainment venue vendors directly to customers attending the venue’s event. Customers can order food, drinks, and other merchandise to be delivered directly to their seats.

Geekdom’s Luke Owen co-directs the new program with Chris Burney, executive director of the Alamo Angels investor network based in and around San Antonio.

“We had more than 20 fully formed quality companies apply for the pre-accelerator which demonstrates there is a need for this type of program in our startup ecosystem,” Owen said. “The program’s partnership with Alamo Angels is a good fit, as it reflects the local investment community’s support.”

Each team will attend a weekly 3.5-hour session and meet one-on-one with entrepreneurs and other startup experts throughout the week.  The seven-week program is free of charge and no equity is taken to participate. Once the teams complete the program, they will present at the Geekdom Pre-Accelerator Demo Day May 31. The Alamo Angels have committed a $25,000  equity investment to a chosen team at the end of the program.

Given the number of teams that applied to the pre-accelerator program, Owen said he anticipates there will be additional similar programs in the future. Geekdom’s pre-accelerator program joins EPIcenter’s newly launched incubator and accelator program for clean energy startups.

Read more: EPIcenter Announces Incubator, First Energy Startups

After working in Edmonton, Alberta for the last eight years as a creative director and cinematic director for BioWare, Ractive founder Jonathan Perry returned to San Antonio to start his own business creating in-game cinematics and virtual reality experiences for major game publishers.

“After 10 years in the video games industry, I tried virtual reality and the experience was so powerful I instantly knew it was the future of entertainment and education,” Perry said. “In addition to building a solid pitch deck, my goal is to finish the program with new relationships and investments that can help Ractive take the next steps forward.”

Clutche Tech founders Brett Davidoff, Nicholas Ramos, and Matthew Mussenden presented their idea at UTSA’s “The Big Rowdy Idea” pitch competition in 2017 and came in third place. The business concept idea evolved after Ramos missed crucial parts of a sports event while he was in line for food. The team researched and found only one indirect app for ordering food from one’s seat at a game and one newly launched app in an extremely limited market.

“We realized the national market is untapped,” Davidoff said. “We decided to target the Texas market first to become established, then think about scaling across the U.S.”

Alberto Piña and his brother Jason founded Braustin Mobile Homes in early 2017 as a disruptive model for selling mobile homes, leveraging the use of drones and virtual reality technology to create a virtual mobile home dealership on the eighth floor of Geekdom. They soon realized they had operational bottlenecks common for many home sellers—the document backlog in the home buying process. Braustin began working last summer with another Geekdom startup, customer software developer SlideWave, to develop an app for homebuyers.

“Our team originally built this app to fill an internal need in our company so starting a software company is a brand-new world for us,” Piña said. “The pre-accelerator will give us the tools and mentorship we need to become a player in the SAAS [software as a service] space.”

As San Antonio’s startup resources grow to match the growing entrepreneurial community, more founders like Piña are making connections and collaborating on new business concepts.  The six chosen startups will also leverage the pre-accelerator’s extensive mentorship to make valuable connections to San Antonio’s entrepreneurial network.

“Success comes from the people you know,” said Davidoff.

Featured image is of Alberto Piña showing the Braustin App to Geekdom’s Luke Owen at Geekdom. Photo credit: White Cloud Drones

 

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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.

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