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No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Shifting into Drive: Geekdom Pre-Accelerator Announces the First Class

Last month, Geekdom announced the launch of its very own Pre-Accelerator program, designed to help organize, develop, and galvanize new startups into fully-developed business plans worthy of real investment.

Well, after a review of applications and idea presentations, today is a red-letter day for Geekdom as the pre-accelerator, in partnership with Alamo Angels, announce the first class of teams to enter the program!

“We had more than 20 San Antonio startups apply to the program,” said Luke Owen, Co-Director of the Pre-Accelerator program, “The quality of startups that applied demonstrate the demand for more programs like this to support our local tech ecosystem.”

If you want to know more about the program, click here to head over to the website and to find out more. Now, let’s meet the teams that the Pre-Accelerator is about to whip into shape:

Ryan Ward, Co-Founder

 

John West, Co-Founder

Partnering with retail software providers, Scraffic provides foot traffic counting solutions and valuable traffic data to retailers of all sizes. Looking to disrupt the traditional models of monitoring foot traffic patterns, Scraffic has created an affordable and easy to install solution to empower retailers with powerful new data.

 

Jonathan Perry, Founder

Using the latest video game engine technology on the market, Ractive develops interactive virtual reality experiences to accelerate test performance, reaction times, and decision making skills. Ractive is currently focused on developing training scenarios that teach skills for saving lives!

Alberto Pina, Founder

Devoted to making the process of buying a manufactured home faster, Braustin Docs allows a home buyer to navigate the home buying process from their mobile device. After the home is delivered, Docs allows a homeowner to generate a punch list with pictures needed to order parts and complete service all in a single trip.

Julia Bates, Founder

Posture has been one of the biggest burdens on the average working professional. Mello{be} is a more comfortable and versatile meditation cushion designed to improve balance, posture, leg strength, as well as encourage the mind-body connection.

Quentin Burke, Founder

Divvee is a corporate meal delivery service designed to make it easy for companies to order from top local restaurants using a new ordering platform. Crafted from a large variety of menus curated from dishes across the city, you’ll never have to settle for a sandwich-and-soup combo ever again.

Brett Davidoff, Co-Founder

 

Nicholas Ramos, Co-Founder

Clutche us a smartphone application that connects venue customers directly to the vendors. Using their application, user can order anything from food, drinks, and merchandise to be delivered directly to their seats! No line, no waiting, no problem.

 

Beginning April 19th and culminating in a demo day on May 31st, these six teams will meet and work with mentors and speakers to help guide them through the rigors of setting up a business structure while also developing their product for debut. At the end of the program, real investors will be able to select a winning team to invest $10,000 toward their product or service!

For more information and updates on the program, bookmark their website, and be sure to join us on May 31st to see their presentations and final products!

A New Year, Your New Career: the San Antonio 2018 Tech Job Fair is Here!

It’s a new year, which means it’s the perfect time for another Tech Job Fair!

Hosted by CodeUp every year, the San Antonio Tech Job Fair is a public event where dozens of major tech companies meet up to find their next employee—and that could be YOU!

If you’re in the tech industry and looking to start the next chapter on your professional life, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to meet face-to-face with up to 40 different companies across all various fields of tech.

Ready to throw your techie hat into the ring? Here’s the details:

When: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Where: Jack Guenther Pavilion, at the Briscoe Museum

Click here to RSVP for the event so you can check-in problem free when the doors open at 5 PM. Worried about parking downtown? No need—all city parking garages and street meters are FREE after 5pm! Plan to get downtown early though, as traffic tends to be heavy around then.

Don’t wait until the last minute to sign up; every previous Tech job fair has filled up every single one of 500 spots. So get those khakis cleaned and pressed, print out a few dozen copies of your resume, and get ready to launch your career!

Community Spotlight: Samar Shah

Here at Geekdom, our community is a bustling group of entrepreneurs, start ups, and professionals from just about every industry out there. Every so often, we like to have one of our own come forward and give us some insight into their corner of business to help us better understand what they do. On this occasion, we asked Samar Shah, Managing Partner of Shah IP Law, a patent strategy firm here in San Antonio. 

For his post, Samar walks us through the subject of patenting software and describes some of the intricacies when coding meets law. 

Here is some trivia to test your knowledge about software patent eligibility: can you successfully patent a piece of software that incorporates a self-referential lookup table to improve a database system’s memory configuration?  What about a piece of software that enables a user to archive digital images over a cellular network?

The answer is (as you would expect in almost all legal contexts)–“it depends.”  Recent Supreme Court decisions and subsequent lower court opinions have introduced significant ambiguity to a traditionally straightforward analysis.  Today, we need quite a bit more information before we can make a patentability determination on the questions posed above, including more information on the underlying technology, and how the patent application is written.

If the software in question improves “computer functionality” (i.e. improves computing speeds or reduces the amount of computing resources required), or performs the computing tasks in an unconventional way, then it may be patentable.

The answer also depends on how the patent is written.  Notice how the lookup table question above describes a technical feature of software (self-referential lookup table).  Whereas, the archiving system question describes what a user is enabled to do as a result of the software (archive digital images).  The former approach is more like to be deemed patentable, while the latter approach is more likely to be deemed unpatentable.  To put it in more startup friendly terms, if your patent is focused on one way to solve a customer’s pain point, then you have a better shot at patentability.  But, if your patent attempts to claim the benefits that a customer will enjoy as a result of your software, then your invention will likely be deemed unpatentable.

Put simply, Software based inventions are still patentable in the United States.  But, in order to patent eligibly, software patent applications must meet certain technical requirements, and must be written very carefully.

Although these requirements seem straightforward, there is much confusion about how to apply these requirements to sort software inventions into various patentability buckets.  Unfortunately, the patentability question for software inventions often comes down to how the patent and the patent claims are written.

You can improve your odds of getting a patent by describing the technical (read engineering) challenges in your field of invention, and specifically describing the solutions that you have come up with to address those challenges.  Moreover, you must claim your invention very carefully.  You should not claim every method of relieving a particular pain point.  Instead, your claims should be narrowly tailored to claim only the solutions that you have come up with.

Quick Detour:
should software be patentable in the first place?

Before we jump into a discussion of software patent eligibility, it is important to at least acknowledge a viewpoint held by many developers: software shouldn’t be patentable in the first place.  Many techies argue that software patents actually impede innovation, and that 99% of software is neither “novel” nor “non-obvious” to other developers who are equally skilled in the same technical field.  (All inventions must be “novel” and “non-obvious” in order to be patentable).  (Brad Feld outlined some of these criticisms in his blog post here).

We tend to agree, and sympathize, with the anti-software-patent community, but software patents are often an important point of emphasis for some investors and large corporate buyers.  We are not taking a position on the larger philosophical debate here; we aim to simply demystify the laws around software patent eligibility based on the rules that have been promulgated by the United States Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

One for the Books: Geekdom’s 2017 in Review

Happy New Year everyone!

2017 is already over, can you believe it?! We here at Geekdom sure can’t. Like a snap of your fingers, this year went by at breakneck speed while startups, entrepreneurs, and even Geekdom itself took risks, created new innovative projects, and continued to fulfill the Geekdom philosophy of blossoming the SA tech scene here downtown.

So, with all that, let’s take a quick look back at some of this year’s highlights and toast to an even greater 2018!

Soaring to New Heights: White Cloud Drones Takes to the Skies

There’s no argument that drones have become a major player in the technology industry. Wesley Pruitt and Adam Dusenbury saw an opportunity to combine flight and preprogrammed flight patterns with HD footage to create a media company to rule the skies. Creating aerial shots that usually require helicopters to obtain, Wes and Adam quickly found business with everyone from CPS energy, to the Spurs foundation, and even the Dodge car company and their line of Vipers. Seriously, check out this video they made on Texas’ famous “Devil’s Backbone” highway!

As their business grew, so dd their need for more office space. Unfortunately, Adam and Wes had to move their operations out of Geekdom, but they continue to be active members within the Geekdom community. They recently helped Alberto Pina with a few videos and clips for his Braustin Mobile Homes business.

Head on over to their Facebook page to read more about some of the incredible things Adam and Wes have accomplished this year!

Dreaming Big: Winslow Swart Launches 1 Million Dreams

Do you have any big dreams? Travel to Europe? Start a Business? Win a marathon? Do you ever stop and think your dream might just be too big to achieve? Winslow knows that fear all too well, but he wanted to find a way to silence that doubt and create a new way to organize that dream to make it become a reality. Hence, One Million Dreams was founded.

Working with software developers both in and out of Geekdom, Winslow spent 2017 building a smartphone app that can help you set up goals, checkpoints, and milestones that help you turn your dream into a reality, step-by-step. And last month, Winslow held a launch party for the beta version of his app! Here is an article by KSAT on the Android beta version, which is currently available on the Google Play store. Go download it and start planning your next big life milestone!

Social Media Meets Local Government: Alberto Altamirano’s CityFlag 

One Million Dreams was also instrumental in helping another Geekdom member, Alberto Altamirano, with CityFlag. Coming from Austin in 2015, Alberto had the idea of creating a more intuitive, social media-friendly way of interacting with local government regarding public issues and problems. Instead of calling 311, people will post on CityFlag’s smartphone app that connects citizens to public services and local government leaders.

It was a bold enough idea that it caught Xconomy’s attention with an article here, and to make things even more incredible, Alberto was named one of the top 30 social entrepreneurs under 30 by Forbes! Congratulations Alberto!

 

These are just a few of the amazing accomplishments done this year by our Geekdom community, without which Geekdom would never exist. Every day, the 6th, 7th, and 8th floor of the Rand building bustles with our fantastic community members working toward making downtown the place to be. And Geekdom will be there to succeed along with them. As we look ahead to 2018, get ready to see Geekdom transform into an even better place to turn your startup idea into a bonafide success story. The basement of the Rand building will be totally redesigned into a new resource center for Geekdom members, while the 7th and 8t floors will also start to see aesthetic and functional improvements to better utilize the physical space to tell our story.

Lastly, we the Geekdom staff would like to thank all of you for joining us on this incredible journey. We wish all of you a fantastic New Year, and hope 2018 will be as incredible for all of you as it will be for us. Cheers!

Epic Office Hours: Investor Speed Dating with Joshua Baer

Here at Geekdom, we use every resource at our disposal to provide opportunities for members to succeed. As part of that mindset, we recognize the need for outside investment—and securing it—can be real obstacles for companies as they grow.

If you’re looking to meet serious investors, the Ask Me Anything (AMA) event with Capital Factory is the most important event of the year. Here’s what you need to know:

This coming Tuesday, December 12th, Executive Director Joshua Baer of Capital Factory from Austin, Texas, will be in the Event Center for the day hosting two events.

The first event, Epic Office Hours, kicks off at 1pm, connects you with some of the greatest influencers and investors in the state of Texas. Think of it like speed-dating for your business! Josh has been instrumental in connecting entrepreneurs with significant financial investments in Austin, and he wants to replicate that here in the Alamo City.

Later in the day, Josh will host an AMA at 4pm for the community to divulge his experience and knowledge in how to fundraise successfully and efficiently here in Texas. When it comes to scaling out your business, Josh is a crucial resource of expertise in anticipating financial challenges and knowing how to overcome them.

Click here to register for the Epic Office Hours event. It’s worth mentioning that this event is absolutely free to attend and can potentially have fantastic results for your company!

Click here to register for the AMA with Joshua Baer. Admission is $10, which includes catered food and a happy hour immediately following the presentation.

Events such as these are landmark moments for burgeoning ecosystems like ours, and it could also be a landmark moment for your company. Sign up now and let’s make this a success not only for yourself or for Geekdom, but for the future of San Antonio!

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!

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!

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

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.”

Top 5 Tech Trends in San Antonio

Being at Geekdom affords us a unique vantage point into the world of San Antonio’s growing technology scene. Consequently, for your own edification and reading pleasure, we’ve compiled a list of the five most exciting tech trends in San Antonio:

Cybersecurity

infocyte

Within Geekdom, there has always been a strong cybersecurity presence–thanks to companies like Infocyte and Global Infotek. San Antonio itself is consistently ranked in the top 2 for cybersecurity due to its education, talent and businesses. With the advent of new programs like the Cyber Incubator running out of Geekdom, San Antonio’s cyber program has begun to mature. San Antonio stays relevant in cybersecurity because of the educational focus that universities place on it, as well as the steady stream of talent coming from existing cybersecurity companies and the 24th Air Force Cyber Command. It’s safe to say that this is one San Antonio industry that is perpetually trending upward.  

Tech Courses

codeup

We’ve all heard the proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” In our digital age — where technology is a normal part of our daily experience — tech trade skills have become the new “fishing,” and for good reason! With programs like General Assembly, Tech Talent South, Open Cloud Academy, Iron Yard, and our very own Codeup, people of all backgrounds can now learn desirable and tangible skills that many employers seek.

The growing startup culture has made it possible for all of these boot camps and programs to thrive. Startups drive demand for graduates from these programs while the graduates themselves often start their own ventures. Beyond serving startups, many of these boot camps, such as San Antonio’s Codeup, function like startups, too — fast, nimble, and embodying the endearing “geek” culture.

The Downtown Movement 

downtown

‘Entrepreneurial density’ is a phrase that gets thrown around from time to time — particularly when the conversation revolves around cities and startups. With San Antonio, this phrase is becoming more and more relevant. In fact, there’s a growing trend of companies moving downtown or starting in downtown. The idea of density is crucial simply because when you are a small company, you cannot be on an island. You need the support of other people — a community. Density isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it is certainly a catalyst for growth. This is why the downtown community is so important to Geekdom.

This wave of new business inherently comes with some major economic and cultural implications, too. There’s job development, restaurants, real estate development, entertainment, along with hints of the dreaded ‘G word’ (Gentrification), purely as a result of more businesses being downtown. This is to say, we should be both excited and cognizant of the impact startups have with populating downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Simply put, businesses are realizing they need to move downtown.

Satellite Offices

Google-Fiber-Rabbit-logo

San Antonio is quickly becoming a place that companies, of all sizes,  trust to build out their existing business. The most common example we see in San Antonio are high growth startups creating sales and/or support offices here — although large companies are also beginning to take notice. Tidemark, Oscar, WP Engine and Google are just some of the exciting companies putting roots down in San Antonio — largely due to the burgeoning tech scene that is developing here. Now to be fair, this isn’t necessarily where we want to end up — a destination solely for existing business to branch out. However, these companies definitely help validate our tech ecosystem and entice talent to come to this city. This is an important first step.

An interesting sidenote: this trend is partially due to San Antonio’s loyalty. People enjoy living in the city and finding solid careers rather than job-hopping to the ‘the next big thing.’ This ‘brand loyalty’ is certainly one of our cities largest competitive advantages.

Hosting

rackspace

However trite and cliche this tech trend may seem, we would be doing San Antonio’s startup culture a disservice if this was not mentioned. Why? Simply because hosting is one of the largest reasons why San Antonio’s technology scene was able to take off. Some of San Antonio’s most foundational companies were all in the business of hosting: Rackspace, Hostway, Peer 1, etc. Being a part of that environment inspired many nascent entrepreneurs to pursue their own ideas in the tech space. In fact, many of the founders and employees from these hosting companies have already started their own successful businesses (e.g. Help Social, DialPad, Jungle Disk) all over San Antonio — ultimately bringing in more jobs, more opportunity, and more young people. To put it succinctly, in the absence of schools and boot camps, hosting can be seen as San Antonio’s next-gen talent engine.

It’s not necessarily the ‘sexiest’ industry, but it was, and still is, crucial to the continued growth of our city.


Here’s the most important takeaway that we can gather from these tech trends: San Antonio cannot, and must not, be complacent — as there’s an entrepreneurial fire that needs to be stoked and nurtured. The city must continue to grow organically and push itself to be open to opportunities it may not be used to. In the meantime, San Antonio is poised for greatness — especially as these trends continue to push us in the right direction.

 



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