Tag: COVID-19

Smart Water-Bottle Lid Company Sapphire Wins Stumberg Competition $25,000 Prize at Trinity University
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Smart Water-Bottle Lid Company Sapphire Wins Stumberg Competition $25,000 Prize at Trinity University

Trinity University student entrepreneur team Sapphire won the $25,000 grand prize in equity-free funding in the final virtual round of the Louis H. Stumberg Venture Competition Thursday evening. Sophomores Tara Lujan and alumnus Zachary Taylor developed the first-to-market smart lid that tracks water consumption and replaces the standard lid found on most water bottles. Thoughtfull, a company offering a line of healthy snacks, came in the runner-up position. Sophomores Cannon Wilson and Amy Platter will receive $5,000 in funding. The six finalist teams have wide-ranging businesses: Sapphire was co-founded by sophomore Tara Lujan and Zachary Taylor who graduated in May. Sapphire is a smart replacement lid that fits most bottle brands. The lid automatically records fluid intake to...
Port San Antonio’s New Innovation Webinar Series Spotlights Knight Aerospace COVID-19 Air Transport Modules
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Port San Antonio’s New Innovation Webinar Series Spotlights Knight Aerospace COVID-19 Air Transport Modules

Port San Antonio's first program highlighting local innovators featured new technology that makes air transport and in-flight care for COVID-19 patients safer, faster, and more scalable than ever before. Joining the discussion were Knight Aerospace president and CEO Bianca Rhodes; Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Paul K. Carlton (Ret.), former U.S. Air Force Surgeon General and Knight Aerospace's medical adviser; San Antonio Economic Development Foundation president and CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, and Port San Antonio president and CEO Jim Perschbach. Iris Gonzalez, publisher of StartupsSanAntonio.com, moderated the recorded panel discussion. Retired Lt. Gen. Dr. Paul K. Carlton, who served as the U.S. Air Force's Surgeon General from 1999 to 2002, has advised Knight Aerospace engineers over many y...
Small Business Checklist for Reopening During a Pandemic
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Small Business Checklist for Reopening During a Pandemic

Luke Hayward writes for the Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows the public to lend money directly to small- and medium-sized businesses. He contributes today’s guest post on a reopening checklist for small business owners and startups during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business owners are no stranger to uncertainty, flexibility, and creativity. The nature of an entrepreneur is to look for ways to handle issues that arise and grow a business. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is a different sort of uncertainty. The unmatched difficulties surrounding the current pandemic left many small business owners and startup founders helpless as many had to close their doors for nearly three months.  With states reopening their businesses at various rates and with different regu...
What’s Happening in Venture Capital? Local Investors Weigh In
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What’s Happening in Venture Capital? Local Investors Weigh In

Startup founders know the COVID-19 pandemic has changed investor funding for the foreseeable future. Beyond the obvious shift to virtual pitching and team meetings, what else is going on in the world of venture capital (VC)? We spoke with three San Antonio investors who are tracking what’s changing during the global pandemic, and more importantly, looking ahead at the investing landscape over the next year or so. Level playing field, opportunities abound for innovative companies In April, Active Capital founder and CEO Pat Matthews said his venture firm had invested in eight portfolio companies and three new ones. “We also closed two Series As, two sidecars, and one M&A [mergers and acquisitions] transaction. I wouldn’t say it’s been business as usual, but it’s been busy,” ...
Tips for Remote Onboarding During a Pandemic
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Tips for Remote Onboarding During a Pandemic

Whether you're bringing on summer interns or adding new employees, the need for physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic dictates a transition to remote onboarding. We reached out to businesses across San Antonio to gather best practices for onboarding interns and new hires without face-to-face contact. A focus on formalizing fundamental practices, leveraging productivity-boosting technological tools, and integrating training into onboarding are just some of the tips San Antonio startups offered. Define and document your onboarding practices Companies may have informal processes for bringing interns and new hires up to speed during their first days on the job. With everyone working from home, the time to document the details of your organization's onboarding experience is ...
UTSA-Led Collaborative Team Wins Grant to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine
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UTSA-Led Collaborative Team Wins Grant to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine

A consortium of scientists from San Antonio's four largest research institutions won a $200,000 grant to fund COVID-19 vaccine development. Dr. Karl Klose, director of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases and professor of microbiology at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), leads the team. The presidents of UTSA, UT Health San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed) formed a new nonprofit in October 2019 called the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics or SAPPT. The partnership funds researchers from the four institutions who work together on the interdisciplinary development of breakthrough therapies customized for patients. Soon after the City of San Antonio announced pandemic res...
7 Tips for Small Business Owners and Startups Enduring the Coronavirus Pandemic
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7 Tips for Small Business Owners and Startups Enduring the Coronavirus Pandemic

Luke Hayward writes for Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows the public to lend money directly to small- and medium-sized businesses. He contributed today's guest post on seven tips for small business owners and startups during the Coronavirus pandemic. If you are a small business owner, you are understandably stressed about the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Beyond the obvious health concerns, people are staying home as society tries to flatten the curve, and as a result, people are spending less. For many small businesses, this lack of consumer activity is an existential threat. Revenues will start decreasing and there is no sign of when things will return to normal. While stress and anxiety are understandable, you need to get past these feelin...
Trinity University Adapts to the COVID-19 Pandemic with Virtual Stumberg Competition
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Trinity University Adapts to the COVID-19 Pandemic with Virtual Stumberg Competition

Instead of pitching to the usually packed audience of students, entrepreneurs, and judges, 10 Trinity University student entrepreneur teams presented their business ideas to judges via a Zoom video call Thursday evening in the annual Louis H. Stumberg Venture Competition. Of the 10 competitors, six Trinity University student entrepreneur teams each won $5,000 in seed funding. Since its launch in the spring of 2015, this two-part university-wide competition typically features 10 venture teams pitching their business concepts before a panel of judges with entrepreneurial expertise. The six winning teams have wide-ranging businesses: Chiropack was founded by sophomore Neha Kapur who is majoring in business analytics and technology. Her idea is to reengineer the daily-wear backpack ...
How Can Your Startup or Small Business Survive a Pandemic? Know What to Expect
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How Can Your Startup or Small Business Survive a Pandemic? Know What to Expect

Life is changing rapidly for everyone. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 infectious outbreak as a pandemic, the first pandemic in modern times caused by the emergence of a new or novel coronavirus. There is so much information coming at us daily. Yet, founders and small business owners are struggling to decipher what it all means for business operations. Let's walk through what we know and what we can reasonably expect, given the best available information from trusted sources. Then we can offer some recommendations to help you adapt your business operations during a pandemic. First, stay informed COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC...
During a Pandemic You’ll Need to Adapt Your Digital Marketing
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During a Pandemic You’ll Need to Adapt Your Digital Marketing

Marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic can definitely feel a little weird. I'm sure you've seen the social media posts that are not working. We're still seeing ones promoting events or telling customers COME SEE US (Hello? Social-distancing anyone?). The posts yelling at you to buy their product hardly acknowledge these times we're enduring. Even though we're in the middle of a pandemic, it is absolutely a great time to ramp up your social media marketing strategy, and it can work in your favor, especially as a small business or startup. Does that sound odd? Hear me out first. You need to stay informed. Stay true to facts. You probably don't want to get too political on your business page. Be sure you're sensitive to what's going on. Everybody is dealing with this. When you continue t...