San Antonio Invites Startups Backed by Federal Grants to Stay and Grow Here

Startup growth celebration in San Antonio.

San Antonio Invites Startups Backed by Federal Grants to Stay and Grow Here

The City of San Antonio has approved over half a million dollars in grants allocated for nine local bioscience and technology companies. Interestingly, these firms have already reaped financial support from federal sources. The goal of these modest grants, which range from $50,000 to $75,000, is clear – to urge these innovative ventures to stick around and expand in San Antonio.

A Sign of Solidarity

Bob Hutchens, CEO of StemBioSys, a company that has made significant strides in stem cell technologies and was awarded a $50,000 grant, deeply appreciates this initiative. “Even though these grants might be small, they are very meaningful because they display the city’s strong desire to back companies that are crafting innovative solutions. Furthermore, San Antonio has always been a wonderful place for us to do business,” he said.

The selection criteria for federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grants ensure that your startup is technically sound, feasible, and holds commercial potential. Thus, giving money to such pre-validated companies ensures that the city is investing in something that has been duly vetted and has a meaningful driving force,” explained Hutchens.

Looking Forward

Winner of these grants are required to give updates to the city officials on how the grant money is being utilized three months post-award, and are expected to respond to survey inquiries after six, 18, and 36 months post-award. Shelling out $581,000 through its matching grant pilot program, the City’s Economic Development Department seeks to stimulate growth through these grants, funded by the department’s Economic Development Incentive Fund.

Fostering Innovation

Among the awarded companies is SygnaMap, which received $256,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF), to develop an advanced tool for efficient analysis of biological molecules, hence improving pharmaceutical practices. Other startups include Blocmount Corp, which earned similar funding from the NSF for the development of advanced cybersecurity software, and Irys Technologies, which won a $74,852 grant from the Department of Defense to facilitate improved communication and personnel monitoring for the U.S. Air Force. These companies establishing innovation in areas from cybersecurity to pharmaceuticals are just few of the startups that will benefit from the city’s efforts to keep and cultivate talent locally.

Continued Support and Expansion

Other notable mention among the grant winners include GaitIQ, a tech firm developing AI technology that enables care providers to monitor patients’ gait to detect risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, MedCognition, advancing with almost $390,000 from HHS to design realistic person simulators, or “PerSims,” for the training of emergency medical responders, and Astroport Space Technologies, that bagged a $1.3 million grant from NASA for its initiative to develop materials for lunar surface landings and launch pads.

Moreover, as part of this pilot program, the city will disperse grants of $2,000 each to three new companies aiming to apply for SBIR/STTR funding, helping these startups to see beyond the early stages of launching and to conquer the challenging ventures of the business world.

In essence, this financial support is a significant boost, encouraging these aspiring businesses to expand and flourish right here in San Antonio.

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