SAN ANTONIO When San Antonio Startup Week began in 2016, it featured approximately 50 educational sessions attended by 500 people. By SASW’s opening day in 2023, it had grown to more than 75 educational communities, more than 1,000 people registered, and more than $300,000 in prizes awarded in five different business competitions.
Saige Thomas is a Texas Fashion Week entrepreneur and one of hundreds of people filling the top of Frost Tower on the first day of San Antonio Startup Week.
How to better grow your business, how to meet other people, how to network, it’s definitely a place to learn as both a business owner and an entrepreneur, Thomas said of SASW.
Geekdom CEO Charles Woodin said Startup Week brings together people from all walks of life to support the innovation, entrepreneurship and social impact seen across the city.
Woodin sees firsthand companies that start as startups and flourish.
More and more people are interested in starting something new, building on an idea they already had or a side hustle, Woodin said.
One of these companies, Irys, started something new.
We developed the 311 system here in San Antonio, said Beto Altamirano, who founded Irys in 2016.
Irys had a small office at Geekdom, but it quickly grew.
There was more. That’s how we started. We are currently working with the (Department of Defense) on data analysis. We also work with engineering firms that study the built environment to better understand cities’ infrastructure, Altamirano said.
The city is clearly growing, especially around Geekdom, and the mission of San Antonio Startup Week is to create a foundation for small businesses to grow with our city.
Supporting startups on their journey and supporting small businesses, no matter what stage of development they are in, to be able to find the resources that exist here in San Antonio, Woodin said.
Woodin added that there has been great progress in support. Two years ago, they planned to launch 500 startups and assumed that they would achieve it within 10 years. They are already at 279.
As for Beto Altamirano and Irys, they are thriving and he has advice for every entrepreneur.
We must try, try and try again, and we cannot give up, Altamirano said.
More information about San Antonio Startup Week can be found here: https://sasw.co/
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