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2017 Tech Job Fair (Part Deux!!)

Back in April, Techstars, CodeUp, Geekdom, and other sponsors helped make the 2017 Tech Job Fair a major success–so much so, in fact, that there was immediate demand for a repeat performance! So, what better way to please our community (and our evolving ecosystem) than by giving them what they want?

Just like the event in April, the second round of the Tech Job Fair will be held at The Doseum on Tuesday, September 26th, from 5:50-8:30 PM. How can you make sure you’re a part of it, you ask? Just follow these simple steps to register!

 

  1. Click on this link to head on over to the registration page, and click on the RSVP button to input your information
  2. On Tuesday, throw on something business casual, print out several copies of your resume, and park anywhere in the Doseum parking lot.
  3. At 5:30, only attendees that are on the RSVP list will be allowed in for the first hour.
  4. From 6:30 on, the job fair will be open to the rest of the public.

 

Just by registering early, you’ll have access to the entire fair for a full hour before the rest of the public!

Are you ready to find the next step in your path to a successful career? Register today!

Geekdom Guest Spot: Matthew Myers

As Geekdom grows, our community’s entrepreneurial reach has expanded beyond the US borders and has gone international! We have everything from established companies to brand new start-ups from across the globe who have set up shop right here in our building.  Nevertheless, immigration can be a very complicated process. To help give us some basics, community member and immigration lawyer Matthew Myers wrote this post to help describe a basic understanding regarding the “legalese” of immigration.

When it comes to noncitizens, many people in the United States have heard generally of immigrants and undocumented aliens.  Under U.S. immigration law, there are actually immigrants and nonimmigrants and those with other legal status (i.e. DACA or asylum).

Most employment-based immigration options require employer sponsorship, and many foreign nationals actually start in nonimmigrant status as an F-1 student, H-1B specialty occupation worker, Trade NAFTA professional, etc. before obtaining an immigrant visa.

  1. Getting your Foot in the Door: Nonimmigrant Visas

Commonly referred by immigration lawyers as an “alphabet soup,” the U.S. immigration system provides for nonimmigrant visa options for almost every letter of the alphabet, with certain letters having multiple variations.  Nonimmigrant visas authorizing work may be issued for a specific duration generally between 1-5 years and at renewal require the petitioning company to prove that the foreign national still qualifies for the position in order to extend the nonimmigrant visa.

Certain nonimmigrant visas have a cap on the years that a foreign national may remain in such status, after such period the foreign national either needs to change to a different nonimmigrant visa, secure an immigrant visa, or return to their home country. For example, the cap on the number of years spent in H-1B status is seven years, and the cap on the U.S. intracompany transfer visa options of L-1A Managers and Executives and L-1B Specialized Knowledge employee is seven and five years, respectively.  Not having the same time restrictions, an alternate option available to companies may be hiring Canadian or Mexican professionals under the TN visa if the job and applicant’s credentials align with a set list of over 60 professional occupations set forth by NAFTA.

Other nonimmigrant visas, such as the H-1B Specialty Occupation visa, have a cap on the number of new visas that may be granted annually. The H-1B specialty occupation visa is the most frequently utilized by tech companies in the United States, but the annual cap on new visas is reached shortly after the beginning of the fiscal year on April 1. Companies who require specialized workers outside of the cap may choose to hire nationals of Chile, Singapore, and Australia. The U.S. signed treaties with these countries that provide for a separate visa category for U.S. companies to petition for nationals of these countries who are qualified to fill specialty occupations.

2. The Holy Grail of Immigration: the Immigrant Visa

The immigrant visa, commonly referred to as the “green card”, is the holy grail of U.S. immigration law, other than citizenship, because it allows the holder to renew permanent residency indefinitely so long as that person remains admissible and a permanent resident of the United States. The renewal process is similar to that of a passport or driver’s license and may be done routinely generally without the legal advice and substantial evidence of continued qualification necessary to extend nonimmigrant visas.

Generally speaking, there is a correspondingly higher level of scrutiny in the self-sponsored or employer-sponsored options to request an immigrant visa, relative to nonimmigrant visa options. These options include the EB-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, EB-1B Outstanding Professor or Researcher, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa who invest $500,000 or $1 million, or the National Interest Waiver for individuals whose research is in the national interest of the United States who have proven accomplishments in the field.

Community Spotlight: Folo Media

It’s no secret that the Alamo city is in the starting phases of one of the largest population and industry booms of its 299-year history. People and businesses are looking to relocate here, while major companies like Hulu are looking to grow even larger in the Bexar area.

And yet, while all signs seem to point toward a bright future for San Antonio, it might not be available to everyone.

“I’m still pretty new to San Antonio, and I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a place quite this segregated,” writes Patton Dodd, Editor-in-Chief of Folo Media, “the seams between wealthy and poor show here, if you just look out for them a little bit”.

Comprised of three veterans of the news and media industries (Patton Dodd, Alice Rhee, and Benjamin Olivo), Folo examines the growing disparity and inequality between San Antonio’s wealthiest and poorest communities. As referenced on their website, two recent studies (linked here and here) argue that San Antonio is the most unequal city in the entire nation.

“Before we started Folo, we asked a lot of locals what they thought about local inequality, and they responded one of two ways: ‘That’s not something people talk about very much’ or ‘I had no idea’” Dodd said.

It was the surprising responses that led the team to dial in to this inequality and decide to focus solely on exposing and discussing this societal elephant in the room. With the support of the Laity Renewal Foundation and the H. E. Butt Family Foundation, Dodd, Rhee, and Olivo have set out to bring much-needed attention to San Antonio’s most vulnerable and at-risk communities.

“The Foundation tasked us with developing a project that would use media as a tool to serve vulnerable families and children,” Dodd explained, “We tested some ideas that were focused on national concerns, but as we got to know and love San Antonio and understand some of the most pressing local needs locally, we felt that this topic could benefit from sustained attention.”

The downtown districts have already experienced revitalization, and when coupled with Geekdom’s budding ecosystem of professional development and supporting local businesses and start-ups, Dodd knew Folo needed to be in the center of it.

“Entrepreneurialism is absolutely part of the answer to inequality, because people need jobs, and startups tend to provide jobs that pay more and offer more opportunity than jobs from aging firms.”

Dodd continued, “We’re also keeping an eye on the flow of venture capital to see if it spreads throughout the city via things like the Investing in Opportunity Act.”

But while business growth and entrepreneurs are part of the solution, what about on an individual level? For those of us who don’t have the start-up bug, how can we help encourage this vital conversation and begin to reverse this growing inequality in our city? Dodd’s answer is simple:

“Get involved. Local nonprofits do everything from building bikes for kids to serving food and making art. If you spend part of a day volunteering, you’ll make others aware because you’ll be wanting to talk about it.”

San Antonio is currently the seventh-largest city in the country, and although growing pains are inevitable, the Alamo city has all the talent and resources it needs to reverse the trend and spread the benefit to the entire population.

“This problem–systemic inequality–was created over decades, and it will take a long span of time to make systemic progress. Folo aims to cover every aspect of it because we think local citizens and institutions are going to have to throw everything at the problem,” Dodd wrote.

For more on Folo’s philosophy, or to read some of their recent articles, check out their website here, or stop by their office on the 7th floor!

Community Update: Whitecloud Drones

Happy Tuesday everyone! This won’t be the normal community blog post as we have written about Adam and Wes at WhiteCloud Drones before, but we wanted to give everyone a quick update on their recent landmarks and show off some of their latest footage!

The San Antonio Spurs Foundation was one of the first to sign with WCD, as they were in need of footage of the Spurs Coyote at some of the Alamo city’s famous locations to use as intro footage for the Coyote during home games. It wasn’t long before they were asking the pair to film for the Silver Stars, the Rampage, and even allowing them to operate their drones inside the AT&T center during the media day to catch players in the action!

Also, check out some footage here shot with Katt Slagle about the growing importance of STEM education in our youth and adolescent educations:

Finally, Wes and Adam recently had the privilege of collaborating on a passion project with Dodge South central Texas Viper Owners Association to create a breathtaking video of some of their finest driving on Devil’s Backbone, one of the most famous roads in the entire state of Texas, and a favorite among motorcyclists!

With several other projects in the works and other contracts  about to close, Adam and Wes are acting just like the drones they operate and soaring to new heights! Congratulations guys, and keep it up!

2017 Start-Up Weekend

It’s officially the Summer season! That means it’s time to break out the BBQ, Clean out the pool, and shotgun an energy drink because it’s time for the 2017 Start-Up Weekend!!

Starting June 2 at 6:30, participants will have a total of 54 hours to take an idea for a new start-up business from conception all the way to proposal! If you’ve ever had an idea for a business that’s been nagging at you in the back of your head, this event is for you!

Beginning with 60-second pitches, a round of voting will consolidate ideas and participants into a selection of teams that go to work on their shared idea. Teams will take over the 8th floor of Geekdom and use every resource at their disposal to research, brainstorm, analyze, and formulate a business plan that is as close to launch as possible for a final presentation on Sunday.

Food and caffeine will be provided to power through the weekend to keep your mind sharp and your brain churning. Not only that, but we’ll have a team of Geekdom mentors and veterans on-hand to help each team with any questions you might have and to give advice and tips along the way.

Of course, no good idea should go unrewarded, which is why awards will be given out sponsored by companies here at Geekdom! Here’s a quick list just to get you even more excited:

  • Geekdom
  • Biltt
  • Innocenti Jones
  • Key Ideas
  • Pear Analytics
  • Ace Screen Graphics

Each of these companies will be awarding packages tailored to your start-up weekend idea to help boost your business plan even closer to a reality. So what are you waiting for? Why are you still reading this when you could be signing up!?!

The 2017 San Antonio Tech Job Fair is Here!!

2016 was a big year for a lot of reasons. Within the halls of the Rand building, we’ve seen our community grow to include 1,400 community and office members. We also hit our fifth birthday, and we were proud to announce to the entire city that not only has the Geekdom experiment succeeded—it’s accelerating. In downtown alone, over two dozen tech companies have set up shop and brought a renaissance of new energy into the center of San Antonio.

There’s no argument that the demand for technology companies and talent is colossal here in the Alamo city. So trust me when I say there is no greater opportunity than now to get involved with the annual San Antonio Tech Job Fair, this year being hosted at the DoSeum!

On Tuesday, April 11 at 5:30, the DoSeum will be set up with 23 companies happy to answer questions, take resumes, and help hundreds of applicants take the next step in their tech career. If that wasn’t great enough, the first hour will be reserved exclusively for members of Geekdom, Codeup, and the Open Cloud Academy. Just by being a community member, you’re already ahead of the pack!

Companies will be looking for applicants in various fields from web development, software engineering, and network administration, to tech support, web design, digital marketing, and advertising. Here’s just a small sample of the companies that are going to be there, scouting for their next hire:

  • Accenture
  • Easy Expunctions
  • Swipe Track Solutions
  • Harland Clarke
  • Liquid Web
  • USAA
  • HEB
  • WP Engine

Here are some quotes from companies who have sponsored, participated in, and have hired applicants from this job fair in previous years:

  • “My advice for those looking to pursue a tech career is to build every core skill set they can – from programming to coding, networking to security – then identify a company whose corporate culture matches your values, and never stop learning.  With San Antonio’s growing tech scene, in startups and large enterprise, the upcoming Tech Job Fair is the perfect place to make connections, build your network and pitch yourself to your future employer.” –Will Gerrett, Build Sec Foundry
  • “IT jobs are starting to require broader skills than just technology.  Communication & collaboration skills are critical to a successful IT worker.  In addition, having business knowledge allows an IT person to “bridge the gap” and provide additional value to the company.” –Matt Reedy, USAA
  • “At WP Engine we offer careers, not jobs. Start out in support and choose your destiny. We train and promote from within and encourage continued learning. From development to the operations team, we support initiatives to increase your efficiency, allowing you to focus on providing an amazing experience for our clients. You are fully empowered to do your job but more importantly, ensure making the customer’s experience the best it can be.” –Roxanne Molina, WP Engine

Ready to take the next step in your career? Here’s the logistical stuff:

  1. Click on this link to Codeup if you are a job seeker and register. These spots fill up QUICKLY, so sign up yesterday!
  2. Find your way to The DoSeum (located at 2800 Broadway, at the intersection of Broadway and Mulberry) on April 11th.
  3. The event begins at 5:30 PM, but the first hour will be exclusive to members of Geekdom, Codeup, and Open Cloud Academy. At 6:30 PM, the event opens up to the public and will last until 9 PM.
  4. Business Casual attire is encouraged, but it’s never a bad thing to dress to impress. Make sure to bring at least a dozen copies of your most current resume.

The Tech wave is swelling here in San Antonio, and we here at Geekdom want you to ride the wave. We’ll see you there!

Community Spotlight: BySurface (and Quadrangular)

As far as neighbors go, Mexico has no shortage of ties to Texas; whether it’s business, political, economical, or culinary (queso has become a staple of the Texan diet), you can’t argue how our cultures have drawn from one another. Here at Geekdom, those ties have begun enticing Mexican entrepreneurs across the border in hopes of expanding their base into the USA marketplace.

“In Mexico we do business as Cuadrangular, we are known as the team that handled the digital campaign of the current governor of Nuevo Leon (Monterrey),” said Ruben Morales, of BySurface. “The challenge was that we needed to use technology to do something that has never been done before, which was to help on the digital side to win an election for an independent candidate, meaning that he had no political party.”

Ruben and his team at BySurface are all about the polished, higher end web design experience. As the average Google search result rises into the quintillions, the need for delivering sharp, intuitive web products that maximize results and minimize grief.

“No matter where you go, there will always be competition. Our most important tenet is ‘We Believe in Great Software Experiences’ and that means from the moment we meet with our clients, until we deliver the final product, it is all an experience. Beautiful digital products and outstanding customer care is key to us.”

While the entire company employs nearly 30 members, only a handful made the transfer here to the Alamo city to start the expansion. It was actually the 2016 Start Up Weekend event that made Ruben and his coworkers agree that Geekdom needed to be their new home in USA.

“We spoke with some Mexican entrepreneurs that are doing business here, then we brought part of our team to last year’s start up weekend so they could hang out with locals and see how the interaction was.”

As Ruben (and others) point out, San Antonio has become a sweet-spot of sorts for Hispanic development and business. With an already established and welcoming community, coupled with much more affordability than any other major Texas city, it’s no surprise more and more Mexican companies are eyeing our city as their next major growth.

“San Antonio has the perfect conditions for Mexican tech entrepreneurs because of the culture, the growing tech ecosystem and the openness.”

For more information about Ruben and his team, check out their site BySurface, or their Mexican counterpart Quadrangular!

Company Spotlight: WhiteCloud Drones

Drones—no term is better suited for being called a “buzzword” for 2017. They soar, hover, surveil, and even deliver small packages right to your front doorstep in select cities (though it’s expected to expand here to the Alamo city very soon). But a lot of people don’t know that drones are having a much more influential use outside of their military connotations.

“Drones have been a huge part of my life,” said Wesley Pruitt, co-founder of Whitecloud Drones, “I operated UAV’s/ Drones in the Navy [from 2007 to 2013] as mobile UAV operator for the SEAL Teams. I deployed numerous times to Iraq and Afghanistan flying for them.”

Whitecloud Drones recently moved into Geekdom late in 2016, but they’ve been putting their aerial skills to good use for years. San Antonio has been a major hub for drone technology for more than a decade now, so it stands to reason that their commercial abilities are finding solid footing here first.

“Aside from the USS San Antonio having a UAV Site onboard at all times the city of San Antonio has supplied updates to drone autopilots, as well as produce some awesome autopilots for the commercial markets.”

Of course, no good area of expertise goes unpoliced. Considering the already growing amount of aerial traffic occurring above San Antonio (and the bustling expansion of our international airport scheduled to be completed by 2018), it’s no surprise there are some significant laws regarding civilian drone operation.

“The new license is the Part 107 license that requires a person to take a knowledge test and pass with a score of at least 70%. The red tape list is large, such as operations near an airfield, 400 feet above ground level, filming historic locations [such as the Alamo], flight over people, and flight at night.”

But this hasn’t stopped White Cloud from droning ahead of the game and gaining all necessary permissions to film in places no one else is allowed to.

“We are the only company in San Antonio that can legally film Historic Locations.”

From a technical standpoint, when an operator can utilize heights unachievable with a crane camera, and couple that with programmable flight paths and camera angles that can’t be done by human means, the results are truly one-of-a-kind.

“Our ability to capture some amazing angles has led us to work with a lot of media production companies. We have a platform that allows us to fly around any camera and still be able to utilize all of the camera functions.”

Although they’re keeping a tight lip on what’s in the pipeline for 2017, they can tease us with one major client the entire city knows and loves.

“The San Antonio Spurs and the AT&T Center hire us to capture stunning images and video clips that they play on ESPN/CBS and NBC.”

So if you happen to look up one day while leaving the downtown area or perusing the farmer’s market at the Pearl and see a drone buzzing it’s way slowly across the sky, you don’t need to fret over a surveillance scare; in fact, you should throw your hands up and wave, and there’s a chance you might be able to spot yourself on Whitecloud’s next big commercial. Until then, check out this highlight reel they recorded out on Medina lake!

The Contagion of the SA Tech Community

Every now and then, Geekdom likes to reach out to some of our alumni and fellow alamo city techies to hear their thoughts on our burgeoning culture in the downtown area. Jessica Hernandez from Grok Interactive wanted to share her perspective on this “epidemic” that everyone should want to catch!

 

I am not talking about an infectious disease. I am talking about the infectious entrepreneurial spirit. The “let’s lift each other up” culture that has developed as a result of Geekdom’s efforts. If you are a part of this growing tech scene, you know the energy, the spirit and have grabbed on tightly to see how you can be a part of this vibrant ecosystem. For those not aware of our growing tech community, let me guide you through the web of knowledge happening in this city.

The tech industry’s growth in our city has helped with job creation. The highly coveted software developer job is most often discussed, but there are also opportunities in other key areas to include sales, marketing, and customer support. Remember that business degree you paid for and don’t know what to do with it? Well, tech companies need business minded individuals to help with day to day operations. Those skills are needed for strategic initiatives to help small tech companies grow.

Geekdom member and WordPress expert, Stefanie Young, from Grok Interactive gave a great example of her experience downtown. “I can walk down the street and ask any developer a question on any topic. Everyone is ready to help each other and provide support when we are looking for help.” Stefanie has also given back to the community by speaking at many engagements to share her knowledge with up and coming WordPress developers. She is a graduate from Codeup and is one of many Grok developers actively mentoring students. This is one small example of the open sourcing of information that is happening right now in our city.

If you are a current or former Rackspace employee, a short stroll down Houston street during a lunch hour will most likely lead you into a conversation with someone you used to work with and is now telling their story about their transition from a big tech company to a smaller start up environment reminiscent of Rackspace’s earlier years. For those not familiar with the Rackspace family and friends culture, you will be delighted to find many former Rackers who are willing to mentor and share their knowledge with others interested in this tech community.

Did I also mention that local downtown businesses are benefiting from the tech community’s growth? We are a group of hungry folks and we like to be fed good food. Pinch Boil House is an example of one of the eateries that will be opening due to demand and growth from this ecosystem.

Our collective community challenge in the coming years will be how will we allow this fostering of knowledge and information between each other to continue without allowing agencies to monopolize the community and make money off the values that we hold in high regard. You could be a Grok Interactive developer, a support team member of WPEngine, a database engineer at JungleDisk, a Codeup student, or working with one of the many startups at Geekdom, but our goals and aspirations are the same: continue to grow this thriving ecosystem and make it home to many of the tech companies of our time.

If you are not participating in the scene, you should be. Come downtown, grab lunch at Moshe’s, and get a membership at Geekdom. Find that energetic group of techies and ask them how to solve that business problem you have. Better yet, ask how you can contribute.

-Jessica

Company Spotlight: BILTT – Brick by Brick

Chalkboards & punk rock – that’s how projects begin to take shape at BILTT.

They are a design-first shop that specialize in helping startups and SaaS companies with logo and identity systems, marketing websites, and their digital products or applications.

BILTT was founded by Chris Welch and Josh Seltzer the beginning of 2014. Neither born and raised here, they originally met during the early days of Geekdom at the Weston Centre in March of 2012.

“It was pretty interesting meeting some rando dude in this city that matched my passion for quality work. Chris, although I don’t like to tell him, is an amazing designer and after a few quiet walks on the beach, it just seemed to make sense to work together”, said Josh Seltzer.

“Busted knuckles and broken backs are how we had food on the table every night.”

BILTT was born out of hard work and passion for delivering good design to good people. Even more impressive is the work ethic. This team is relentless at delivering something people can trust in and be proud of – and that kind of effort is home-grown.

Chris Welch puts it, “We come from blue collar families and backgrounds. Our fathers were both hammer-swinging carpenter types. Busted knuckles and broken backs is how we had food on the table every night. We wanted to build something that represented that work ethic.”

 

biltt-team-band-photo

“Aesthetics is a very small part of our job… design is about solving problems and delivering a message.”

In 2015, BILTT grew to add one more person, Claire Osburn. Prior to BILTT, Claire was working with SA2020, but took the first front-end development course that Codeup provided. It just so happened that Josh Seltzer was helping teach that course and BILTT hired her immediately.

“Claire is amazing. Her eye for detail and addiction to results is what keeps us moving forward some days. I can’t imagine a day without her around”, said Josh Seltzer. “The good thing about our team is that we overlap. We can move in and out of each others space. Claire can code and do Information Architecture, while I’m coding or working on UX, and Chris is working on UX or high-fidelity designs. I think we compliment each other and its awesome we can help each other out.”

Though small in team size, BILTT’s success and influence around these halls are bigger than you think. Between Techstars Cloud, Startup Weekend, Startup Next and even Geekdom (to name a few) they have been avid supporters of the local community.

biltt-team-3

“We consider our clients and partners to be friends. Working with people that we like, believe in and trust is huge for us. We like to say that as much as a client chooses to work with us, we choose to work with them. Getting to know the people and companies at Geekdom has played a major role in making that possible.”, said Chris Welch.

Stop by their office sometime, located on the 7th floor in the Mortal Kombat office. They may say hi or give you a “why are you bothering us look”, but truly do appreciate visitors even if they tell you to leave immediately – they’re probably just kidding – I think.

Otherwise you can find them at:
http://biltt.co
http://instagram.com/bilttco
http://twitter.com/bilttco

biltt-insta_1024

 

 

Company Spotlight: Digital Creative Institute

Graduation is as much an exciting ceremony as it is terrifying; while there’s always a lot of handshaking and picture taking and the like, there’s that subtle thought underlying everything that you can’t ignore anymore—you’re a grown-up now, time to “adult” with the rest of the world. And it can be a tough place, especially for the people who are just trying to get into it for the first time.
“I observed firsthand the challenges of finding your way as a newly minted grad,” explained Brad Voeller, founder of the Digital Creative Institute, “However, I also noticed that grads who overcame these odds and found early success had two common traits: A solid team of mentors behind them and hands-on experience in their chosen field. So I began to ask the question, why can’t we design a vibrant learning community around these two core elements?”

In order to achieve this, Brad and his team are taking the concept of apprenticeship—one with centuries of history behind many trades and industries—and digitizing it for the modern-day graduate.

“The word’s latin origin, ‘pretendere’ means to ‘grasp with the hand’. We’re re-interpreting this learning methodology for the digital age. Every skill is developed by building personally meaningful projects targeting real-world digital marketing challenges” Voeller said.

While the average graduate comes out of college with a basic understanding of marketing and advertising, most students rarely have the opportunity to get real experience with specific types of popular software or digital marketing tools that today’s companies are in demand for. At DCI, candidates will have both the time and the team to actually learn these highly sought-for skills and become adept at using them before becoming a full-blown employee.

“We work with program candidates seeking to enroll in the program to help them develop a basic understanding of analytics, PPC, and Inbound Marketing strategy,” Voeller described, “Once a candidate is successfully placed with a company and begins the apprenticeship experience, they collaborate with the other members of their cohort in strengthening the skills that are useful to all digital marketers regardless of their specific role.”

In a sense, DCI combines job training and job placement into a single entity where candidates receive guidance and the proper tools to learn what their future companies actually need from their marketing department and tailor the candidates to their strategies. So far, the results have been extremely positive and both the San Antonio and Austin markets are expanding.

“At scale, we should achieve a presence in 50+ markets with an average of 300 apprentices a year going through the program in each location!” said Voeller.

When it comes to succeeding in the professional world, you need all the help you can get, and the team at DCI is helping make that journey a lot smoother for the future of the San Antonio community. For more information or to sign up as a candidate, check out their website here!

Member spotlight: One Million Dreams

What is a dream to you? Is it a proverbial pot of gold at the end of a career rainbow? An ideal you want your moral compass to point toward? How about floor seats to the next Spurs vs. Mavericks game?

The beautiful thing about dreams is that they can be anything—a physical object, a spiritual state of mind, or a lifelong achievement of conquering a literal or metaphorical mountain. Of course, the intersection between our dreams and life itself rarely intersect at the time and place we want them to. That’s where Winslow Swart and Alberto Altmirano come in.

Winslow has been a member of Geekdom since our very first year, and has been a collaborator and mentor on several Geekdom projects. By day, he is the owner of Winslow Consulting, and after the sun sets he is the highest ranking Shihan at Kenseido, a Japanese martial arts dojo. Should the office ever be assaulted by thugs or ninjas, He is our greatest line of defense.

We spend so much time doing what we have to do, or what we are responsible for; work, family, friends, expectations, that eventually most of us give up on what we really wanted out of our life. I don’t want that to ever be an expectation for anyone looking to get the best out of their life, big or small.

“Dreams are what have kept me motivated since my younger years,” Winslow explained, “I always have five that I’m actively working on, but I’ve got 95 others I want to get to as well.”

OneMillionDreams.me is a dream mentoring platform they like to refer to as a “dream accelerator”. With nearly 70% of the workforce reporting to be “actively disengaged” with their work life, the inspiration to dream is being snuffed out from stress and pressure to perform for superiors. But without dreams to motivate us, what does any person truly have to look forward to? What really drives them to succeed?

Questions like these brought Winslow and Alberto to city councilman Alan Warrick who helped found Dare2Dream, a pilot program of dream mentors committed to inspiring people and civic groups, who have given up on themselves or their community, to start dreaming again. Then, find them the resources to start working toward that dream.

“Warrick was a catalyst for us when he came in. He saw our potential in a new way that could extend into the San Antonio community and especially for our youth, and that’s when this platform really took off” Winslow said.

Their upcoming web application will be the extension of that philosophy. Due to debut in early 2017, Winslow has been working with programmers in developing an algorithm that assists in dream achievement. As a type of gamification of the path to success, potential ‘dreamers’ would input as much description about their dream as possible, including timelines, dates, potential risks, challenges, benefits, and what success might lead to. From there, the application will design a rubric of “action steps” that act as positive feedback and reinforcement as the dreamer works toward their dream.

Part ninja, part geek, but all dreamer, Winslow has no intention of stopping dreaming, and to do so is to give up on part of what makes life so wonderful.

“We spend so much time doing what we have to do, or what we are responsible for; work, family, friends, expectations, that eventually most of us give up on what we really wanted out of our life. I don’t want that to ever be an expectation for anyone looking to get the best out of their life, big or small.”



Build it at Geekdom.