San Antonio—[Corrected 7/26/18, 2:06 p.m. See below.] A “pre-incubator” program launched earlier this year by two organizations seeking to stimulate startup activity in San Antonio has graduated its first group of companies.
The program aims to help the early stage businesses test out the viability of their ideas for new products and services, and determine whether they should proceed with, pivot from, or ditch their current business. The program lasted for eight weeks and is operated by the startup-focused organization VelocityTX and EPIcenter, which promotes renewables and the “new energy” sector.
The graduates of the pre-incubator, known as Velocity360, can apply to a follow-on incubator, currently called Velocity, according to a spokesperson. None of the first group of companies applied to the incubator because they’re still at the ideation stage, according to the spokesperson. The Velocity incubator is still being developed. [Corrected to clarify that the graduates of the pre-incubator can apply to Velocity, not the Global Accelerator Program.]
One of the graduates, VertiPro, is developing a mobile app that uses augmented reality to treat patients with vertigo. Founded in 2017, the company is trying to build software that would let a physician treat a patient suffering from Vertigo. The second company, Cloud 9 Lives, has developed an online marketplace for handmade pet supplies and gifts. Finally, Imagine Books and Records runs a music venue for local artists, and also sells books and records.
One other startup that went through the pre-incubator, Morton Gestalt, is participating in EPIcenter’s New Energy Incubator and Accelerator, according to EPIcenter CEO Kimberly Britton. The company is developing an app called Talking Walls, which aims to use data analysis to improve the energy performance of buildings. [Updated to add comment from EPIcenter CEO.]
The pre-incubator is now starting a second program with four companies.
VelocityTX unveiled itself in late 2017 as a superhub for startups. Founded by bioscience and tech economic development group Texas Research & Technology Foundation, VelocityTX runs startup programs, is building a large innovation center, and provides other resources to tech and life science companies in San Antonio.
EPIcenter is a think tank, incubator, and exhibit space that advocates for innovation in clean energy. It hosts conferences, develops new companies and ideas, and pushes for research and development in the energy sector.