Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: San Antonio, TX

San Antonio

Home of the Alamo, San Antonio is a thriving community for entrepreneurs and potential startups.

San Antonio, TX, home of The Alamo, is the second-most populous city in the state and the seventh-most in the entire country. The city ranked 22nd on WalletHub’s 2017 list of the Best Large Cities to Start a Business, with a number two rank in the “Business Environment” category. Also in 2017, WalletHub ranked San Antonio as the 13th-best city for Hispanic entrepreneurs. The Kauffman Index listed the San Antonio metropolitan area 14th in entrepreneurial growth and sixth in startup activity.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up San Antonio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

The AlamoREIA is a group of real estate investors in the San Antonio area that holds regular events in which members can network and share information.

B.R.A.G. stands for Build Relationships And Grow, the main goal for the entrepreneurs that are members of this group.

Aims to provide support to Christian women entrepreneurs and small business owners in and around San Antonio.

Weekly networking events over lunch to help entrepreneurs create relationships and grow their businesses.

A space located in the San Antonio downtown public library that hosts networking events and workshops designed to help area entrepreneurs grow and reach their full potential.

A group that teaches members ways to successfully grow their small businesses using the internet.

A large networking group that holds regular events to help small business owners find success.

The San Antonio branch of Tech Talent South teaches people how to use and succeed with technology to find success.

 

Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

An annual five-day conference organized by Launch SA that celebrates and promotes entrepreneurship in the San Antonio area.

San Antonio is home to one of the many Techstars-organized startup weeks, week-long conferences focusing on entrepreneurship.

The North San Antonio Chamber hosts an annual awards dinner honoring the best and most successful small business leaders in the area.

 

Startup Competitions:

Social Venture Partners hosts Fast Pitch competitions to help support social entrepreneurs around the country, including one in San Antonio.

Hosted by LiftFund, the InnovateHER Competition aims to find products and services that impact the lives of women.

UTSA’s Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship hosts a pair of competitions for student entrepreneurs.

Launch SA organizes a competition in which participants can walk away with a share of the $40,000 worth of cash prizes.

 

Co-working Spaces:

A co-working space specifically geared towards creative people and helping fuel their creativity and allow them to succeed.

A peaceful and professional co-working space located one block from the Pearl development and the San Antonio River.

A co-working space specifically designed for entrepreneurs that boasts eight floors and over 44,000 square feet of space to work and resources to help.

The Impact Guild is a co-working space and collective of entrepreneurs with the goal of helping them succeed through the connections made.

A co-working space open 24/7 that offers a variety of membership opens and work plans for its members.

Venture X offers a wide array of amenities and discounts to events as well as 24/7 keycard access and high-speed fiber internet to its members.

In addition to more traditional contract membership plans, VenturePoint offers members the ability to pay by the hour for a spot in the co-working space.

A home-style co-working space in a beautiful San Antonio neighborhood that offers a number of membership options.

 

Maker spaces:

A large maker space in San Antonio with a wide array of equipment for members to use.

Make San Antonio is a maker space that encourages people of all ages to create and gives lessons and instructions on do-it-yourself projects.

San Antonio Academy offers a maker space to students that includes a 3D printer.

 

Incubators:

An incubator program based in San Antonio that supports startups in the security industry around the state of Texas.

Hosted at UTSA, the San Antonio SBDC connects startups with advising, workshops, professional referrals, and other resources necessary for success.

UTSA’s NVI helps establish and support technology companies either working with the university or founded by students and faculty.

UTSA also has an incubator program specifically for early-stage student companies, particularly those based around technology.

 

Accelerators:

Break Fast & Launch is an accelerator program that supports food- and beverage-based startups as well as product creators and those in food tech in San Antonio.

An accelerator program that supports cybersecurity startups in San Antonio in an attempt to make it the premier city in the cybersecurity scene.

The San Antonio-based Free Trade Alliance houses an accelerator program designed to help international businesses make the transition to America.

The Maestro Entrepreneur Center has a pair of accelerator programs for San Antonio-area entrepreneurs: a traditional program and one for culinary entrepreneurs.

A cross between traditional accelerator programs and a seed fund, RealCo provides capital and support to internet-tech B2B startups.

TIBA is an accelerator program that helps support economic development in Texas by helping foreign companies looking to establish themselves in Texas.

Hosted by LiftOff, the Women’s Business Accelerator is an eight-week program designed to support women-led businesses.

17 Questions to Ask Before Attending an Accelerator

 

Colleges/Universities:

The Alamo Colleges District has established a Business & Entrepreneurship Institute to help support students interested in those areas.

St. Mary’s offers a unique yearlong entrepreneurial education program for students in all majors that includes activities and exercises both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition to a Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship that provides resources and support to students, Trinity offers an interdisciplinary minor in entrepreneurship.

UTSA’s Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship provides a number of resources to entrepreneurs in both the university and the community as a whole.

 

Angel Groups/VCs:

An angel investing group that looks to invest in high-growth startups around San Antonio.

EnCap Flatrock Midstream is an investment firm that works solely with promising companies and opportunities in the midstream sector of the North American oil and gas industry.

A venture capital firm that invests in early-stage companies that use innovative technologies in the medical field to advance patient care.

With a location in Boulder, CO as well as San Antonio, Fraser McCombs Capital invests in technology startups disrupting the auto industry.

A venture firm that works with B2B and software startups in the seed- and pre-seed stages across the United States and occasionally Canada.

With four offices around the state of Texas, LKCM invests in high-quality businesses across Texas with a strong market-share position and strong balance sheets.

Texas Next is a venture capital firm that invests in stable companies throughout a variety of industries across Texas.

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Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

Launch SA offers several newsletters that cover different events in the San Antonio entrepreneurial community.

The San Antonio Business Journal covers the business and entrepreneurial scene and offers several newsletters to help keep subscribers up-to-date.

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce offers a newsletter that keeps subscribers aware of what’s happening with the Chamber itself and the business community as a whole.

Silicon Hills News covers technology and startups in Texas, with a focus on the cities of San Antonio and Austin.

The Texas-Squared newsletter is a weekly report on the biggest stories in entrepreneurship and business from around the state of Texas.

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in San Antonio not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment, and we will add it to the article. 

Interested in Ecosystem Spotlights of other cities in the USA?

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Article by Quinn Pilkey


Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at Funding$age where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.