The innovation hub taking root on San Antonio’s Eastside has launched an accelerator program for bioscience startups. VelocityTX is accepting applications for its new BioGlobal Accelerator, a 16-week accelerator program for early-stage bioscience companies.
VelocityTX’s mission is to support the development of more early-stage life science and technology companies in San Antonio. Its BioGlobal Accelerator is designed to help local, national, and international companies with innovative, scalable business ideas accelerate the launch of their business.
The program will run from February to June 2021. A panel of 42 local industry experts from bioscience and healthcare sectors will facilitate the 21 planned modules over four months. The curriculum plan includes modules spanning concept and ideation, legal, regulatory, quality and clinical, design and development, sales, business, and special topics.
All accelerator advisors are certified in the GrowthWheel methodology, said VelocityTX vice president for global development David Fonseca.
“We are offering accelerator participants a balance between the more technical bioscience advisors and mentors experienced in commercialization,” Fonseca said. “Our curriculum is focused only on eight companies with a ratio of two entrepreneurs-in-residence to each startup, which we feel will result in more coaching.”
To qualify, companies must be developing a medical device or biotech application, already be incorporated in the U.S., have at least two members, and show traction in the form of intellectual property, proof-of-concept testing or prototype, and investors.
Applications for the eight available spots in the accelerator’s first cohort close November 20, 2020.
Once a participant completes the accelerator program, the startup will assign 3.5% in equity shares to VelocityTX.
VelocityTX had launched a Global Accelerator Program or GAP in 2018 to give international companies a pathway to fast track their growth in the U.S. That program brought companies like The Sonar Company to San Antonio as a result.
The GAP program has since evolved into one that is open to local and national startups as well as international companies, Fonseca explained.
“We’ve pivoted that program into a broader one focused on accelerating bioscience companies,” Fonseca said.
The former chair of USAA, Robert McDermott, founded the Texas Research and Technology Foundation (TRTF) in 1982 as an economic development nonprofit with an endowment fund for investing in early-stage companies.
TRTF formed its nonprofit subsidiary VelocityTX in 2017 to function as an innovation hub within the organization’s new headquarters within the Merchants Ice and Cold Storage Company buildings on the 1300 block of East Houston Street.
VelocityTX also has launched its co-working space within its location in the Merchants Ice Complex. Entrepreneurs looking for a conference room to rent can reserve a space with day passes priced at $30. Monthly memberships are $50 and come with free parking and internet access.
Companies looking for office space at VelocityTX can rent on a month-to-month basis, “given the challenges of COVID-19,” Fonseca said.