News, Member Spotlight

Developmate: The brand-new startup that won second place at TechFuel 2022

Christian Garcia works on his pitch at Geekdom, courtesy photo

Geekdom member spotlight on Developmate CEO and founder Christian Garcia

San Angelo native Christian Garcia made a conscious decision to relocate to San Antonio in search of an entrepreneurial community. He found it when he toured Geekdom, a startup community and co-working space based in downtown San Antonio. Garcia joined Geekdom’s incubator program and completed Geekdom’s pre-accelerator program in time to compete in San Antonio’s largest cash-prize pitch competition for startups. 

The first-time founder and CEO of Developmate was one of five finalists in the Oct. 21 TechFuel pitch competition, winning second place and $20,000. Bexar County and Tech Bloc, a San Antonio technology industry advocacy nonprofit, run the annual non-dilutive, three-tiered $100,000 cash-prize pitch competition to help emerging tech entrepreneurs launch innovative companies.

As a teen, Garcia worked alongside his father, who built new construction homes. 

“I understood the magnitude of the problem development firms faced when building a new project. Processes in real estate were not as efficient and optimized as I had imaged,” Garcia said. “I found myself doing things repeatedly, so I started thinking about streamlining the development process.”

What Developmate does is simplify real estate due diligence for developers. “We reduce the countless hours developers spend manually gathering data to zero,” Garcia said.

Geekdom’s incubator supported Garcia’s ideation of Developmate

After Garcia first toured Geekdom in 2019, he spoke to his wife about starting a business in San Antonio. After relocating from Fort Worth to the Alamo City, Garcia began to work on his idea for Developmate over the summer of 2022. Geekdom’s incubator program gave Garcia the resources to think through his business model. 

“The incubator helped me hone in on what I wanted to build,” Garcia said. “After about three or four weeks, a mentor came to speak to us. That’s when I heard the message loud and clear from Jobward co-founder Drew Hicks who told us, ‘Build something you can sell to someone today.’”

That decision spurred Garcia to create his DealMap platform for Developmate to collect and keep all real estate development due diligence data in one place. That time savings for developers is from “not having to gather information from 40 to 50 websites,” Garcia said. That, plus doing studies using this data, helps developers understand where the concentration of permits are pulled in a city, and for how much. 

“Developmate can show where investments are happening in a city, Garcia said. “For a developer new to the area to understand this quickly, it’s knowledge that’s decades in the gathering.”

By the time Garcia completed his time in Geekdom’s incubator, he had launched his company and made his first sales of about $20,000 from real estate professionals interested in finding locations suitable for a developer’s needs. 

Now, it was time to accelerate building Developmate into a thriving company.

Developmate joins Geekdom’s pre-accelerator, Venture for America accelerator

After completing Geekdom’s incubator and selling his services to his first couple of customers, Garcia knew he needed to add a technical co-founder and build a team. During the Geekdom pre-accelerator, Maxwell Kennedy joined Developmate as its co-founder. 

Geekdom’s pre-accelerator is a six-week program designed to help early-stage startups effectively pitch their company and learn about startup financials, all while building connections with local business leaders and fellow founders.

During the pre-accelerator, the Developmate team honed its pitch for the upcoming TechFuel pitch competition in late October. By then, Developmate had made over $70,000 in sales.

“If I was going to talk to investors about my company, I knew I needed to work on my pitch deck and pitching skills,” Garcia said. “Geekdom’s pre-accelerator helped me understand what potential investors are looking for and how I can best represent that.”

Garcia would go on to win second place in his first-ever pitch competition.

“We were impressed that he already had sales in the first months of operation, plus he communicated his clear vision for scaling growth, adding new products, and expanding to other cities in the U.S.,” said TechFuel judge and Startups San Antonio publisher Iris Gonzalez.

Garcia was also interested in Venture for America (VFA). He graduated from Angelo State University with a double major in accounting and finance and became a Venture for America fellow in 2017.

San Antonio director Sarah Oliverez told him about San Antonio’s robust VFA network and recommended Garcia join VFA’s accelerator program for the fall 2022 cohort, which he is completing.

The three-month program helps VFA fellow-founded pre-Series A companies with a minimum viable product. VFA provides a $2500 monthly business stipend, access to a network of peers, mentors, subject-matter-experts, and investors, and a chance to win up to $10,000 in prize money at a Demo Day. Like Geekdom’s pre-accelerator, VFA’s program requires zero equity to join.   

Next steps for Developmate

Garcia plans to expand Developmate to other cities across the U.S. and is looking to hire local talent. Developmate is on track to reach $100,000 in revenue by the end of this year, Garcia said.

“We anticipate more products in our pipeline,” Garcia said. “Our mission is to build an all-in-one solution for real estate development, one app at a time.”

Geekdom has accepted Developmate into its startup program for founders that offers reduced prices for renting a professional space at the downtown co-working space.

“Christian’s journey at Geekdom has been an incredible example of how our programs can guide startup founders in the right direction while preparing them for the next growth stage,” said Jon Ryan Garcia, Geekdom’s program manager. “We’re excited to continue to support Developmate through our programs and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this Geekdom-born company.”

The featured image is of Christian Garcia working on his pitch at Geekdom. Photo courtesy of Geekdom.

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