SAN ANTONIO – As we see at Port San Antonio and Geekdom, the tech community in San Antonio has grown exponentially over the last five years — and there is no sign of slowing down.
TechFuel is a local startup pitch competition hosted by Tech Bloc and sponsored by the Bexar County Economic & Community Development Department.
The award? $100,000 in non-dilutive cash prize money.
“Don’t fall in love with your product, fall in love with your problem because your product will be pivoting and your product will be led somewhere else, right? You have to just fall in love with the problem that you’re going to be solving,” Ileana Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez knows the local San Antonio tech sector well.
“I went to UTSA, got really involved there. I ended up being student body president my senior year. I was an entrepreneurship major and so I got into pitch competitions,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez helped build the San Antonio tech sector to where it currently stands. When it comes to TechFuel, the idea is to help the community and local entrepreneurs.
“The support of the county has been amazing,” she said. “We are so appreciative of them because I don’t know of any other county that does this for entrepreneurs and their tech ecosystem, and so I’m super excited to bring it to light.”
Applications are open right now with a deadline of Sept. 25. The actual competition is during San Antonio startup week, and the final day of competition is Oct. 21 at the Tobin Center.
“Just the experience Itself teaches you a lot, right? Because this is a five-minute pitch, five-minute questions and answers, strike out or strike in right. And so your storytelling side of the pitch competition is just super important. And so even going through the process teaches you so much as an entrepreneur,” Gonzalez said.
She has seen the city grow firsthand and helped shape it. She knows how important competitions like TechFuel are to local companies and to the city.
“Not only are we pushing San Antonio, we’re pushing our state. And like I said, we are a part of that triangle. And so what it means for San Antonio is to place us in the map, that there are things happening here,” Gonzalez said.
You can learn more about TechFuel and apply here.