Both programs have had giant ripple effects throughout the technology community since then, said Graham Weston, co-founder and chairman of Rackspace. He worked to create both programs to benefit San Antonio’s startup community.
“TechStars created an entrepreneurial ecosystem for San Antonio,” Weston said during an interview Saturday at TechStars Cloud for a day.
Even though the 11 teams that participated in the 2012 inaugural class didn’t come from San Antonio, they had a positive and lasting effect here, he said.
For one, they helped attract attention to what was already going on, Weston said.
And Geekdom served as the catalyst to bring everything together, he said. Geekdom, a collaborative coworking space on the 10th and 11th floors of the Weston Centre downtown, hosted the TechStars class. But it also hosts daily seminars, put on by its members, on all kinds of tech issues from programming to marketing. Geekdom now has 500 members and dozens of companies based there.
“Geekdom has brought everything together,” Weston said. “A lot of this stuff was going on throughout the city but they needed a place to go to collaborate and exchange ideas. Geekdom filled that void.”
The TechStars Cloud program also helped attract venture capital, public relations, marketing, programming, business development and other expertise to San Antonio.
The 11 teams in the last class have collectively raised more $15 million.
“VCs took notice of what’s possible here,” Weston.
And this year, two strong teams from San Antonio have submitted applications to participate in the TechStars Cloud program. It’s too early to tell whether they will be accepted, but the fact that they exist shows the benefit the program has had here, Weston said.
“What I like about this year is I see more possibilities or B to C rather than just infrastructure and just pipes,” said Nick Longo, director of Geekdom, during TechStars for a Day.
Longo said he has his fingers crossed that the San Antonio teams will make the cut for the TechStars Cloud program.
“Today is a very telling day. There are only going to be ten, maybe 11 teams selected,” he said. “I hope we get our San Antonio team or teams with an s.”
The application deadline for TechStars Cloud was Sunday at midnight. Jason Seats, managing director of the program and others will select the 10 to 11 teams that will participate in the program, which kicks off Jan. 14.
Geekdom is a sponsor of Silicon Hills News