Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Blake Yeager, head of the Techstars Cloud program in San Antonio at Geekdom

Blake Yeager, head of the Techstars Cloud program in San Antonio at Geekdom

The Techstars Cloud program for 2015 kicked off Monday at Geekdom in San Antonio with a pizza and beer reception in the evening.

The program features ten companies including one from San Antonio, Nebulab, a cloud-based storage, organization and collaboration web app for researchers and one from Austin, BitFusion, which makes hardware aimed at researchers and scientists.

Nebulab originally spun out of a 3 Day Startup program in San Antonio and received initial funding from the original Geekdom Fund.

This year’s class also has three international teams from Poland, Israel and Brazil, said Blake Yeager, managing director of the Techstars Cloud program. And entrepreneurs from Mexico and India. The other teams come from New York, Seattle and Blacksburg, VA. and two teams from the Silicon Valley region.

The three month program concludes April 9th with Demo Day at the Aztec Theater.

The Techstars Cloud program emphasizes intense mentorship, Yaeger said. The first week the teams meet with between 60 to 80 mentors, he said. The local mentors include Pat Matthews, Pat Condon, Graham Weston, Michael Girdley and Lew Moorman. The rest of the program includes an accelerated development timeline which includes drills on pitching to investors, business planning, marketing and advertising and customer acquisition. The teams also benefit from workshops and talks given by experienced and successful entrepreneurs and experts.

“With the cloud program we try to go after teams that are solving technical problems,” Yaeger said.

This class includes business to business companies but it also has a few consumer facing companies, Yaeger said. Three of the companies already have paying customers, a few have beta customers and some are pre-revenue and haven’t even launched yet, he said.

“I’m really excited about the class,” he said. “We’ve got 10 awesome companies.”

This is the third Techstars Cloud class in San Antonio. The first classes took place in 2012 and 2013. Jason Seats ran the program. He then left in 2013 to launch a Techstars program in Austin. Yeager previously served as a mentor to the Techstars Cloud program. He also joined one of the teams, ZeroVM, which Rackspace acquired.

The 11 companies in the Techstars Cloud 2012 program collectively raised $44 million. To date, eight are still operating, two failed and one got acquired. The 12 companies in the 2013 Techstars Cloud class raised $49 million. Eleven are still operating and one got acquired.

The team behind Fantasmo Studios includes xxx, Jameson Detweiler,

The team behind Fantasmo Studios includes Thomas Pytleski, Jameson Detweiler and Ryan Measel.

Thomas Pytleski, Jameson Detweiler and Ryan Measel make up the Fantasmo Studios team. They are creating a virtual reality and augmented reality game for mobile phones. The first game will be like the card game Pokemon, but will take characters and layer them into the real world using augmented reality. Then game players will be able to catch them.

The other teams include (descriptions supplied by Techstars):

Appbase is building a real time events based database with full-text search and collaborative features via an easy to use API. With Appbase, building a real time production app takes only a few hours.

Card Isle distributes greeting cards through touch screen printer-based kiosks, utilizing local and independent artists as well as personalized text.

Callinize integrates your existing phone system and your CRM. It’s a hosted solution which takes just minutes to setup and works with the systems you already use.

Elasticode provides an online platform that enables real time deployment and unique personalization, optimizing end user mobile experiences.

Knowtify is Mailchimp for the personalized emails you send from your app. It saves app builders from having to code and maintain their own email systems allowing them to drive better user engagement, retention and growth.

Stabilitas addresses the safety and security concerns of international travelers with location-specific safety information, and a lifeline to help, all through a traveler’s smartphone.

VirtKick is a free and open source platform that easily hosts virtual servers to improve VPS business with one click installation. The functional, streamlined interface provides users with a feature packed marketplace and freedom from cloud providers.