By LAURA LOREK
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
San Antonio is the nation’s seventh largest city, yet it doesn’t have a lot of tech startups run by women and backed by venture capital.
But San Antonio’s booming life sciences industry holds a lot of promise for women-led ventures. Two women, both biotech industry veterans, lead two of the startups on this list.
San Antonio also has had some very successful technology companies run by women. In 2008, Nancy Kudla sold dNovus, a company she co-founded with her husband Frank, to Kforce for $38 million.
And Janie Gonzalez, an early Internet pioneer, founded Webhead Technologies in 1994. The web design and consulting firm is still going strong.
Bluegrass Vascular Technologies – Dr. Gabriele Niederauer took over the reins of this life sciences startup last September as president and CEO. The company is creating devices and methods to let doctors easily access veins. Last year, the company moved from Kentucky to San Antonio and landed $4.5 million in venture funding.
VentureLab – Cristal Glangchai, CEO and Founder of VentureLab, created the startup with the goal of increasing the participation of girls and women in entrepreneurial activities and the Science Technology Engineering and Math fields in San Antonio. She also wants to fill the gap of women in the workforce by reaching girls earlier and encouraging them to pursue STEM fields. The startup conducts workshops, camps and other programs targeted at girls as young as five.
InnerAlly – Cynthia Phelps co-founded this startup, which created a platform that lets people perform simple actions to stabilize their mental health. “Every year billions of dollars are forfeited to lost productivity of employees suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues,” according to the company. “By empowering workers to maintain their mental health we can dramatically reduce those losses.”
Firecat Studio – Susan Price founded this Web design and online marketing company. She also runs First Friday Co-Working in San Antonio and the annual TedXSanAntonio conference.
Sweb Development – Magaly Chocano founded her startup in 2008. She saw the market developing for iPhone apps. She launched the first do it yourself platform online for creating iPhone apps. She also landed some major clients and developed native apps for them. Her firm also does social media marketing.
Webtegrity – Kori Ashton co-founded this web design firm. The startup also offers technical classes and training. It also specializes in search engine optimization, consulting services and social media marketing. She also organized the first Wordcamp San Antonio along with Michelle Lowery.
Leto Solutions – Becky Ariana serves as CEO of this medical device company that spun out of the University of Texas at San Antonio. The startup, led by a team of four engineers, created the Aquilonix Prosthesis Cooling System. The thermoelectric cooling device fits into the socket of a prosthetic limb and runs on a five-hour battery which can be turned on or off by the wearer.