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Things We Loved About 2020

 

Let’s be real—2020 was pretty crazy. Let’s all share a collective sigh of relief because it’s finally coming to a close. We’re ecstatic to go into 2021 with the hope of returning back to business as usual here at Geekdom. We can’t wait to share some of the new things we’ve been putting together for all of you.

With so much to look forward to in the new year, we also have a lot to reflect on and celebrate that occurred in 2020. Despite all of the ambiguity and obstacles thrown at all of us, our community has continued to do some amazing things together. Cheers!

**Queue “We’re All In This Together” from Disney’s “High School Musical”**

 

Here are some of our favorite moments, accomplishments, news stories, and fun times from this last year:

 

Community Fund

The Community Fund is our quarterly pitch competition that gives Geekdom Members the opportunity to receive $25K in seed funding. This year we awarded the following companies:

 

Pinch Boil House

A Southeast Asian inspired restaurant and downtown lunch hotspot that specializes in seafood, street food, and snacks. 

 

Buzu Trading Cards

 A behavior management and at-home learning tool for kids disguised as a fun and interactive trading card game.

 

White Cloud

A media company that specializes in visual storytelling, while focusing on giving clients complete ownership of their footage.

Betty’s Co.

A women’s health company working to change the way young women receive gynecological care through the use of mobile clinics.

 

We’re immensely proud to have been able to continue this program for the companies and founders in our community. A huge thank you to all of the judges and everyone who voted for your crowd favorites!

Pilot Programs

Throughout the year, multiple member companies were able to utilize our space for their pilot programs. Innovation and collaboration are at the core of what makes our community great. When we have the opportunity to help a startup ideate, cultivate, shape, and grow their product or service, we’re on board. Shoutout to the following companies:

 

Polis

2020 Geekdom Incubator team, Polis, installed Bluetooth beacons around Geekdom to pilot features of their pedestrian wayfinding and ping notification app. We look forward to seeing their Riverwalk pilot launch in 2021.

Allosense

Participant in our 2020 Pre-accelerator, Allosense launched their pilot program code named “Lemonade” on our 8th floor. The goal is to test a new form of asset tracker by collecting data from the foot traffic of volunteers inside of Geekdom. This data will be helpful with contact tracing efforts.

WXYZr

A social technology startup bridging the gap between businesses and consumers through the use of NFC, RFID, and other contactless communication mediums and tools. We’ve implemented WXYZr’s Tap-In device to streamline our member check-in process. 

GaitIQ

A revolutionary med-tech startup developing software that aims to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s by analyzing a patient’s manner of walking. The technology being tested in our Event Centre will potentially save people thousands of dollars in health care costs by detecting the disease early.

 

Space Improvements

 

Geekdom has had many updates this year. We painted the walls of the 7th floor, removed the wood ceiling slats, replaced the lighting in the lobby and added new furniture to the community areas and conference rooms. For the last 9 years, businesses have been built upon the numerous IKEA tables in Geekdom. In 2021, we’re excited to give our members a refresh of the space and some wicked cool furniture to sit their laptops on.

Here’s a quick overview of the changes:

7th Floor

-Painting & lighting

-Wood Slats in ceiling

-Furniture in community area and conference rooms

 

8th Floor

-Updated furniture in the community areas

-New layout to help with social distancing

Basement

-Dedicated creative space for photo/video

-Updated podcast studio

-Maker Space/Geekdom Labs

 

Event Centre

-Sample collection for Community Labs

 

Events

In March, we transitioned to make all of our events 100% virtual. With this we’ve been able to continue hosting workshops, interviewing members, highlighting companies, and even share some laughs over drinks through Virtual Fermented Fridays (shoutout to Jackbox Games).

Here are some of our favorites:

Startup Weekend

Geekdom hosted its first virtual Startup Weekend where over 60 people from across the US and Canada came together to pitch their ideas, tackle business models, conduct customer validation, meet with mentors, and build prototypes. The final 7 teams pitched to a panel of judges for prizes from our awesome in-kind community sponsors. Replay the live final pitch event on the Geekdom Crowdcast!

 

San Antonio Startup Week

San Antonio Startup Week transformed into a whole MONTH of panels, sessions, clinics, fireside chats, community awards, and the TechFuel pitch competition. This year’s theme was all about how the community can reconnect, how we are rebuilding, how we can revive, and how we’re rebooting. A perk of the virtual event world: if you missed the events this year, you can still watch the recordings on the San Antonio Startup Week YouTube channel.

9th Birthday Party & Extra-Life Charity Event

At our core, Geekdom exists to #BeHelpful. This year, instead of hosting an in-person birthday celebration, we took part in the Extra-Life game day streaming games from 9AM-9PM to raise money for our local Children’s Hospital. Thanks to our community’s commitment to giving back, together we raised over $9,000 for the Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital. Special thanks to Terrell Stewart, Omar Quimbaya, Chad Keck, and Pebbles Le for stepping up for the kiddos! #BeHelpful

 

SmartSA Datathon

CivTechSA and the SmartSA partners teamed up to share datasets with the public, challenging teams to create data-driven insights and solutions to improve affordability, environmental quality, and access to services in San Antonio. Four finalist teams pitched to a panel of community leaders at the virtual competition to win cash prizes from our local sponsors. Check out their pitch videos on our YouTube channel.

 

Programs

Incubator

2020 saw the launch of our Incubator Program with local startups Polis, solovaGo, and Pawtify being the first to shape their business idea into a viable civic technology company over 12 months. We’re excited to share more news in the near future about our 2021 cohort.

Pre-accelerator

We hosted our biggest cohort to date in 2020 with 7 amazing founders building 7 awesome companies. We were honored to showcase all of the hard work from Buzu Trading Cards, Allosense, Closet Melody, TenFore, myCoffeePass, Cyber Warrior Network, and Evo Security, with a Virtual Demo Day put together with help from JLen Events and White Cloud. You can watch here.

 

CivTechSA

Outreach Grid and Rise Civic Consulting, participants in the 2019 Residency Program, secured contracts with the City of San Antonio in 2020! We’re beyond stoked to see these companies make amazing changes for our city, and look forward to seeing how the 2020 Residency teams progress with their solutions.

 

Community Announcements

Long Live the Geek & The Return of Braustin Homes

The people have spoken! In November, our community placed their votes for the member that they felt exemplified Geekdom’s core value of #BeHelpful. We were thrilled to find Alberto Pina, co-founder of Braustin Homes, to be the winner and couldn’t be happier to gift him the crown (and a sword that still hangs in the Braustin office).

Braustin Homes returned to Geekdom with their growing team of rockstars and took the biggest office on our 8th floor. The office is just a few feet away from where the company was founded, right next to the phone booths on 8. Congratulations to Alberto and Jason Pina, as well as the whole Braustin Family for their continued success.

 

Assurance Testing

2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have proven to be one of the most difficult times in our 9 year history. We are so tremendously grateful for all of our members, community partners, online supporters and of course the whole Geekdom Staff, for the work that went into creating and implementing the Assurance Testing program. 

With the help of the Geekdom community and Pathology Reference Labs, we ran a COVID testing pilot program that led to the creation of Community Labs. Community Labs is now working tirelessly to #supressthespread of COVID all across Texas for businesses and schools, allowing people to return to their offices and classrooms.

We can’t express enough how amazed we are with the adoption, participation, and willingness to innovate and problem solve demonstrated by our microcommunity. Thank you.

 

 

Downtown Park Opening

If you walk out of the front doors of Geekdom and look across the intersection of Houston and Main, you’ll see that there’s an epic and beautiful new park sitting right in front of the Frost Tower. What kind of events will be held there by our community? How many boils can we squeeze in for Crawfish Season 2021? (Looking at you Pinch!) Will there be some mindful meditation sessions while sitting on some Mello{Be} cushions? (Love you Julia!) 

Let’s just say that we CANNOT WAIT until we can all be together in person again. This new park is not just a cool new place to hang out in Downtown San Antonio, it’s a symbol of a growing ecosystem of new startup companies, restaurants, partnerships and exciting things to come in 2021. 

 

Startup Investments & Growth

We also want to recognize and celebrate the major news that has come out of the greater San Antonio startup ecosystem. The work that the SA investment community has been putting in to help our local startups grow has been game changing to say the least.

We’ve also seen more and more outside investment  interest in local tech companies and that is great news for our city. It’s truly inspiring to see the evolution of these companies both inside and outside of Geekdom.

Check out some of these news stories from 2020.

 

Big Sun Community Solar

FloatMe

MMIT

Braustin Homes

Irys

Allosense – Tech Fuel 

 

Thank you

There were many phenomenal moments and inspiring stories to reflect upon this past year. Our community as a whole made some amazing things happen despite the numerous challenges that came in 2020. But together we rolled with the punches, continued to support one another, stayed resilient, and laid the groundwork for so much more to work toward and achieve as a community in 2021.

With all that being said, Happy New Year!

 

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