VelocityTX hoping to bring innovation district to San Antonio's East Side

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SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Research & Technology Foundation purchased the 4-acre site on the East Side of San Antonio on 1305 East Houston Street. A portion of the property will house the foundation’s subsidiary, VelocityTX. Company officials said their ultimate goal for the innovation center is to build 330,000 square feet in the area, which will cost about $220 million. VelocityTX also bought the lot across the street that is .8 acres. 

“We believe this innovation district will put us on the map as one of the leading cities in science, technology and innovation in the country,” Randy Harig, CEO and president of VelocityTX, said. 

Harig said the foundation's mission is to help companies succeed from day one. Since opening its doors in 2017, that need has been expressed in its growth. 

“They come to us and say here’s my idea, here’s my patent protection, but I’m a scientist and so maybe we need to put a CEO with them. So we bring business expertise. We bring in lawyers and accountants. We bring in marketing people to help,” Harig said. 

When completed the foundation estimates 665 jobs will be added in San Antonio, totaling $78 million in wages and benefits. 

Besides helping build companies, the foundation also partners with established companies. It’s first tenant is Biobridge Global. The company will lease 21,000 square feet to establish the second phase of its Gencure Biomanufacturing program

While building companies is the mission of the foundation, its heart is also in the future of the community. 

“We have a program developing where we are going into middle schools on the East Side and talk to these kids about taking math, biology and chemistry. And if you do, I’ll have a job for you out of high school at a good-paying wage in your neighborhood,” Harig said. 

About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

Jason Foster is an executive producer at KSAT. He's worked in the news industry in Texas for more than 15 years, including as a photojournalist.