TECH SA: City council approves $250,000 grant for program that will help people start their own business

The city of San Antonio is teaming up with Geekdom to provide mentorship and resources to local entrepreneurs in a new pilot program.

The San Antonio City Council approved a $250,000 Economic Development Incentive Fund grant for the new Geekdom Incubator Program.

Geekdom created a 12-month program that provides different resources for people looking to start their own business.

“We’ll be able to help them, kind of, achieve their milestones as they move forward," said Joyce Deuley, program manager for Geekdom. “Then, they’ll also have access to potential investors who could come in and support at a later date, and they’ll also be partnering with city departments to help them build out the solution as they go.”

The pilot program is a continuation of CivTechSA, a program where startups help city departments come up with solutions for some of their problems.

The Geekdom Incubator program will run for two years. Three teams, which have already been chosen, will be helped in the first year. The teams were a part of the CivTechSA program.

One of the three teams is Solovago, a group developing a neighborhood safety app.

“They’re going to help neighborhood assessment in terms of whether or not your neighborhood is walkable and safe," Deuley said. “So they’re going to be doing environmental and crime data reporting, as well as a heat map. And so, you’ll be able to do non-emergency reporting, as well as be able to find out what’s going on in your neighborhood.”

Another three teams will be chosen next year.

“We're trying to create startups. We really want to make sure that there is a market opportunity for them to have customers beyond San Antonio,” Deuley said.

Year one of the program is expected to launch in January. Applications for the second year will open sometime in 2020. Both years will focus on helping college students and entrepreneur teams based in San Antonio with ideas to improve our city.

A committee made up of Geekdom staff and city partners will select the teams.

As they continue growing this program, the organization also wants to help entrepreneurs in the E-Sports and gaming industry, as well as people in the manufacturing industry.

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