One of the first recipients of the Geekdom Fund is Grapevine in San Antonio.
Geekdom announced the news Friday morning.
“This allows us to buy Ramen at the very least,” said Richard Ortega, one of Grapevine’s founders. “It gives us the opportunity to have enough wind at our back to fully dive deep into the product and idea.”
This allows Grapevine to take the company to the next level, Ortega said. The company plans to target the funding at new client acquisition in the food and beverage industry, Ortega said.
“We really appreciate the ability to grow and excel that being at Geekdom provides us and we’re thankful to the fund for giving us this runway,” said Erik Larson, founder of Grapevine.
The company, founded last year by Ortega and Larson, is a reputation management system right now targeted at restaurants and hotels. The site aggregates customer reviews from several different sites including Yelp, OpenTable, UrbanSpoon, GoogleLocal, CitySearch, InsiderPages and YellowPages and then sends an email alert to the restaurant or hotel manager.
The goal is to cut down the time that hospitality managers have to spend culling the Internet for information from customers. Grapevine also wants to help restaurant and hotel owners improve customer service by responding to customers in a timely manner.
The Grapevine service is for any industry that wants to provide better customer service. The startup just initially targeted the hospitality industry since Ortega has a background in hotel management.
Last week the members of the Geekdom Fund’s review board met with six startup companies applying for $25,000 in financing. They chose Grapevine, which has an office at Geekdom. Earlier this week, Grapevine’s founders presented at the inaugural San Antonio New Tech meetup.
The Geekdom Fund provides $25,000 equity investments and gives startups office space. The fund has the ability to invest in many startups, according to Nick Longo, director of Geekdom. So far, the fund has also invested in ZippyKid and Embarkly, which are both based at Geekdom. A condition of receiving the investment is the startup founders must be a member of Geekdom and they must set up an office there.