There have been some negative feelings in our tech scene lately. I agree that everything isn’t rainbows and unicorns.
However, we’ve had some really amazing wins recently. I made a list of the most impactful things to happen this year.
Biggest San Antonio Tech Wins in 2017
(most impactful to least)
Scaleworks launches as a meta-startup with huge impact. These guys have done more to create startup jobs to town than anyone. In their first year, they’ve brought in a half-dozen companies into the ecosystem. Last night, they announced the acquisition of Keen.io, have been part of the Mailgun move here and others.
CAST Tech Brings K12 Tech Education Downtown: Backed by HEB and many others, this high school is an in-district charter in SAISD designed to enable more kids to pursue tech careers. It's located a 2-minute walk from the Tech District.
Alamo Angels (formerly the San Antonio Angel Network) Gets Off to a Fast Start: In it’s first year, this organization has already aided over $1mm put into startups and has quickly become the fastest growing angel network in the USA.
Venture Capital Grows Up. Geekdom Fund raised $20mm for its second fund. In addition, the second tech fund in town, Active Capital launched.
Accelerators Come Online: I’m partially responsible for this one, so take it with a grain of salt. Techstars ending its run in town in 2016 left a big gap. RealCo, Bunker Labs and the BuildSec Foundry have done a nice job filling in.
MergeVR Goes Big Time. In January, these guys went and knocked it out of the park at CES in Las Vegas. That led to their VR headsets and Cube being placed in Wal-Marts throughout the USA.
USAA Moves Hundreds of Techies Downtown. We’ve seen the impact of this already as these guys and gals are getting more involved in the community. It’s exciting that USAA has doubled down with their purchase of the Bank of America building, too.
VelocityTX launches with a Big Backing and Vision. I think what’s exciting about this effort is the scale. The TRTF is quietly a very deep-pocketed supporter of local innovation. VelocityTX is their effort to get their hands dirty to create change.
SA Says “No Thanks” To Amazon’s HQ Shennanigans. I put this one as I think it’s one of the smartest things our city leaders did this year. We all knew SA had no shot at Amazon. Our leaders didn’t waste our tax money or their time on it.
Tech District Amenities Coming Online. Rosella at the Rand, the restaurant by night and cafe by day, and the soon to come online Commonwealth in the first floor of the Weston Centre are bringing options downtown that tech workers love. Given the crowd in Rosella each day, it's working.
Not-Downtown Startups Happening. From Enflux to WiseWear to TrueAbility, tech companies are sprouting up and growing throughout town.
Love to hear your thoughts on this list. Holler at me! @mgirdley on Twitter.