Don’t Miss “San Antonio Tech: Seizing the Momentum” on Feb. 20

San Antonio—There’s a rustling of change in San Antonio. In a city often most associated with the Alamo, the River Walk, and the Spurs, a tech ecosystem has been taking shape and shifting the city’s business culture.

A surging startup community, a group of blossoming sectors, and a rush of capital are stimulating San Antonio’s southwestern entrepreneurial spirit. From the six-year-old co-working space Geekdom to flourishing industrial parks like Port San Antonio, San Antonio has become a new western frontier for business leaders looking for an innovative city in which to build a business.

Yes, San Antonio’s tech ecosystem has built up momentum, capitalizing on a core of cybersecurity, healthcare, and energy companies. But how can San Antonio take that foundation and take its tech and startup network to the next level?

That’s what we’ll be discussing on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at “San Antonio Tech: Seizing the Momentum,” a half-day forum that’s Xconomy’s first public event in town. Some of Central Texas’s most successful entrepreneurs and innovative technologists are joining us to talk about where the city’s business ecosystem is and where it’s going. The event is at the Pearl Stable in San Antonio’s beautifully renovated Pearl District—a fitting location for an event that’s discussing the progress of an emerging city.

You can check out the full agenda here, but here are a few highlights to entice you:

—Graham Weston and Lorenzo Gomez will be discussing San Antonio’s progress and future during a fireside chat at 5 p.m. This intimate discussion is a can’t-miss opportunity to gain insight from two of San Antonio’s most prolific entrepreneurs. Weston, known for building Rackspace into a tech giant, also co-founded Geekdom and the 80/20 Foundation—two organizations that helped establish the burgeoning startup ecosystem in town. As chairman, Gomez runs both organizations for Weston. The pair plan to dive into their views on entrepreneurship, how they helped make San Antonio is what it is today, and what San Antonio’s tech community might look like in a decade.

The background:
As Rackspace Battled, Then Befriended Amazon, San Antonio Tech Matured

Free Coffee, Workshops, and … Money? Geekdom Begins Offering Grants

80/20 Foundation Donates $600K for New San Antonio Tech High School

—While Weston and Gomez will cap the event, Manoj Saxena is kicking off a fantastic lineup of panels as a keynote speaker at 1:30 p.m. Saxena is a serial entrepreneur, who was the first general manager of IBM Watson. He’s a founding general partner at The Entrepreneurs’ Fund, and the chairman of two artificial intelligence companies: Spark Cognition and CognitiveScale. Suffice it to say that if Saxena speaks, especially about artificial intelligence, you should listen.

—Have you used the Internet recently? If so, the next discussion about cybersecurity is for you. U.S. Rep. Will Hurd will be moderating an all-star panel of local cybersecurity executives—including Jungle Disk’s Bret Piatt, Infocyte’s Chris Gerrtiz, and Jacob Stauffer of Coherent Cyber—who will discuss the various risks businesses and individuals face today in this new era of cyber threats. Congressman Hurd will kick off the panel with some updates about what he’s working on at the national level.

—Rackspace is the alpha and omega of San Antonio tech. Find out what’s new at the company, which was acquired by private equity for $4.3 billion in 2016, from its new chief operating officer, David Meredith.

—San Antonio is good at business—from oil and gas to healthcare to insurance, the city has its fair share of big companies. The city is also gaining ground in the number of entrepreneurs, and local leaders are doing their best to foster that entrepreneurial spirit. A few of them, including Pat Matthews, Teresa Evans, and Jorge Varela, will discuss ways they’re personally trying to boost the success of local innovators.

A little more on finding tech talent:
Filestack, Owned by Scaleworks, Rides Wave of Interest in API Services

RealCo Accelerator Opens in San Antonio for Internet Tech Startups

—Have a startup, but no money to fund it? Listen to a 4 p.m. discussion between venture capital investors who want to fund the brightest startup ideas out there today, including two executive directors of Texas angel investor groups. Michael Girdley of Geekdom Fund, Cat Dizon of Active Capital, Claire England of Central Texas Angel Network, and Alamo Angels’ Chris Burney will provide insights into innovative ideas and how they get funded.

Money matters:
More Women, Minorities Join Angel Investor Group, Austin’s CTAN Says

—San Antonio startups do more than just cloud computing and cybersecurity. At 4:30 p.m., a group of local executives will talk about the various emerging industries they’re working in that are still seeking to reach a critical mass in San Antonio, including wearable device maker WiseWear, new energy proponent EPIcenter, and healthcare executives from MedSpoke and InCube Labs.

Need a little precursor? Here’s some background:
EPIcenter Developing Energy Incubator, Think Tank in San Antonio

Starting a Medtech Company? Try Skipping Venture Capital, VCs Say

There will be plenty of time for Q&A’s with the audience—making it an event any entrepreneur or budding executive won’t want to miss. Get your tickets now.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at [email protected] Follow @xconholley

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