Innovative entrepreneurial activity in San Antonio is gaining momentum, and people are noticing.
Our inaugural compilation of 20 companies to watch in 2019 highlighted the types of innovation you can find in San Antonio, Texas.
That first list helped people across the U.S. and beyond discover entrepreneurs in bioscience and healthcare, cybersecurity, SaaS, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, artificial intelligence, and tech used for social impact.
We published stories about these startups in a magazine-sized, softcover book and sold out our first print run.
We don’t repeat company mentions from year to year, so you’re getting a look at the growing (unranked) list of startups to watch for growth, innovation, and potential to have an impact at scale given time.
These new companies (and one honorable mention) are leveraging innovation in impactful ways with promising early-stage traction and market-product fit to show for their efforts.
Based on research, we included startups that:
- Are privately-owned company
- Have revenue potential (if they are pre-revenue)
- Generate $5 million or less in revenue
- Employ 50 or fewer employees
- Have raised Series A or earlier funding rounds
- Have been in existence for five years or less
AVA Propulsion is a hardware and software technology company specializing in aerial vehicle automation that designs, develops, and builds large fixed-pitch multirotor and drone architectures to fly cargo to remote locations.
Cybersecurity startup Level Effect sold its network-aware endpoint detection and response technology to Huntress, a Maryland-based provider of managed detection and response to cyber threats.
FastVisa is a SaaS platform designed for integrated immigration and visa case management. Paul Kang and Ethan Jeong founded their startup in March 2016 and are one of the startups in the RealCo Accelerator program based in San Antonio.
Perytor Therapeutics is commercializing its discovery of a substance that combats inflammation and has the regenerative properties stem cells possess. They have created a new category of anti-inflammatory treatment for the market.
In 2019, Yoni Medhin and Matt Metchly founded Grain4Grain in San Antonio. Their patent-pending food-tech innovation converts spent leftover barley grain from beer brewing into low-carb flour in just 15 minutes.
Scraffic provides in-store traffic counting insights to businesses. During the 2020 pandemic, the startup pivoted to add a new technology platform that measures traffic in a business location’s drive-thru lanes.
Irys is a San Antonio-based SaaS startup scaling its global mission and capabilities from its original incarnation as the municipally-focused Cityflag. The startup rebranded itself in mid-March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic triggered mass shutdowns. Irys went on to win a $1.15M Air Force contract and close a $1.2M seed round in 2020.
After successfully working with municipal clients, Irys is now focused on expanding its civic engagement platform via its partnership with global development firm Arcadis.
Lew Moorman and Ed Byrne, co-founders of Scaleworks, launched Soilworks Natural Capital in June 2020 to acquire, invest in, launch, and incubate companies that can accelerate the adoption of regenerative farming practices. This focused investment in improving the way our food is produced is game-changing and worth watching.
By September, Soilworks had launched Wholesome Meats, a local business selling grass-fed beef from ranchers using regenerative grazing to create carbon-negative foods. In January 2021, the Grazing Land company launched its pasture grazing management SaaS platform.
JustAir, Inc. launched its patented advanced face mask system that protects users against COVID-19 with a powered air-purifying respirator in a more portable version than what’s used in medical or industrial settings.
The San Antonio-based biotech startup Vitanova Biomedical is developing a new way to treat cancer called photodynamic therapy that causes no side effects and can kill many cancers.
Leaptran advanced sub-metering package of advanced technologies helps large buildings optimize energy and manage increased demands for energy by integrating building energy management.
Read more: UTSA Startup Leaptran Wins Award for Sustainable Energy Innovation
Cyber Warrior Network launched the first cyber skills training and verification video game powered by artificial intelligence.
Read more: CyberWraith Video Game New Way to Close Cybersecurity Workforce Gap
Quickpath has a software application program interface, or API, that helps businesses lacking the specialized AI expertise connect different datasets to fuel machine learning AI.
Read more: Big Data Analytics Startup Quickpath Scaling as Machine Learning-Powered AI Demand Grows
Enflux developed its analytics software as a service for health science universities to track student performance, a leading indicator for schools maintaining accreditation status.
Read more: A Big Partnership for Higher Ed Data Analytics, Enflux Partners with ExamSoft
Renu Robotics is manufacturing self-running mowers that don’t need supervision to help solar power operations reduce their maintenance and labor costs.
Read more: Renu Robotics Uses Crowdfunding to Scale Autonomous Robotic Tractors Company
Lux Turn Technologies won the top prize at Trinity University’s Louis H. Stumberg Venture Competition for their after-market motorcycle signal accessory that illuminates the ground with signals for better cyclist safety.
Read more: Cycling Safety Tech Startup Wins Trinity University’s Stumberg Venture Competition
San Antonio startups to watch in 2019
Intrinsic Imaging is a full-service medical imaging core lab focused on supporting clinical trials for medical devices.
Read: Intrinsic Imaging Radiologist Develops Artificial Intelligence Tool to Streamline Workloads
Kinetech Cloud is an IT consulting and software development firm specializing in enterprise custom app development.
Read: City of San Antonio and Kinetech Cloud Launch New Utility Assistance Program Application
DC Industries creates customized cybersecurity and information technology training for transitioning military service members.
Read: Startup Companies DC Industries and Ractive Develop Cybersecurity VR Training
QualTex provides biological testing services to screen whole blood and plasma donations for international biotechnology customers.
Read: BioBridge Global To Scale Biomanufacturing at Merchants Ice Complex
Ractive works with game studios, government agencies, and businesses to develop cinematics and virtual reality experiences.
Read: Startup Companies DC Industries and Ractive Develop Cybersecurity VR Training
FunnelAI uses artificial intelligence to automate the sales lead generation and marketing process for companies.
Read: FunnelAI ‘s Artificial Intelligence Finds Real-time Customer Leads in Social Media
The IMG Studio creates client-focused content leveraging video production, animation, web, virtual and augmented reality, and customized applications.
Read: The IMG Studio Develops First VR Basketball Game for Adaptive, Paralympic Sports
Startups San Antonio E-book
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“Startups San Antonio finally gets it right and tells the story that has been a secret for far too long. News flash: San Antonio has an incredible startup scene filled with businesses solving some really tough problems in incredible ways.
Up until now, these startup stories have been siloed and mostly only heard by people who are involved with getting the products and services off the ground. Now, with the inaugural issue of Startups San Antonio’s Companies to Watch, the veil is lifted and we have clarity into the who, what, and most importantly, the why of these incredible local companies on their missions to change the world.
With her in-depth coverage of the companies that are featured, Iris elegantly captures the passion and spirit of the San Antonio startup world. The reader is left with an understanding of the personal connection the founders have to their projects, as well as what the future has in store for each company.
I highly recommend Iris’s book to anyone who is curious about what is really going on in San Antonio that keeps many of us so excited for the future.”
– Slidewave founder and CEO David Daeschler
“If you want to know what innovation is happening in San Antonio the resource to check is Startups San Antonio.”
– Active Capital founder and CEO Pat Matthews