Geekdom co-founder: SA startup sector needs more urgency – San Antonio Business Journal – The Business Journals

The sale of a former Geekdom startup elicited mixed reactions from one of the organization’s co-founders — who has shed a little more light on the deal.
Nick Longo — who, along with Rackspace co-founder Graham Weston, launched Geekdom more than a decade ago — said Parlevel Systems Inc. isn’t giving up its Alamo City roots despite its purchase by 365 Retail Markets, a Troy, Michigan-based company.
“I can say from what I know they are staying in San Antonio and are a great example of what can be done when people rally around entrepreneurs with great ideas,” Longo said. “We need to get back to that in San Antonio.” 
While the Parlevel deal is a win for investors, including the San Antonio Economic Development Corp., it comes amid some broader industry concerns, according to Longo.
“Many people in the startup community have become complacent and most of the real mentors with experience we once had need to be brought back into the circle,” he said, while not disclosing any names.
Geekdom CEO Charles Woodin disagrees and said he doesn’t see the complacency from his vantage point. 
“I feel like we’re coming out the last couple of years stronger than we’ve ever been,” he said. 
Yet Woodin does acknowledge “without a doubt” more must be done to help move additional ventures beyond the startup stage. That includes identifying more funding support.
There is some help on that front with the launch this week of the gener8tor Cybersecurity accelerator in San Antonio. The new entity, which will initially host six companies, will provide access to experienced mentors, corporate partners, angel investors and venture capitalists.
“Ultimately, what a cybersecurity startup is going to learn during that stage is something that’s translatable to any other startup,” Woodin said. “It will serve a grander purpose beyond just these six cybersecurity companies.”
It could also focus wider investor interest on San Antonio’s tech community.
Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a staunch backer of the tech industry, suggests that some expectations for the sector, including the build-out of a major tech hub in the center city, may have been overly optimistic.
“Quite frankly, that has not happened,” he said. 
Stakeholders believe it’s a work in progress.
Woodin does note there is room in San Antonio’s startup ecosystem for additional experienced mentorship.
“We want to continue to put as much effort as we can into that and get mentors that are willing to talk to startups at any level — all the way down to that idea level,” he said.
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