San Antonio-based startup accelerator RealCo is expanding its presence to Austin and the Denver-Boulder area in Colorado.
That means RealCo will be holding more events and making more moves in Austin — as well as giving local startups in its accelerator program easier access for face-to-face meetings.
RealCo’s expansion to Austin was a natural move, given that one of its partners, Chris Saum, co-founder of MUD Geochemical (acquired in 2016), lives here. The Colorado expansion, meanwhile, was spurred by the recent hiring of Managing Director Richard Grote, who has been building startups in Colorado for 18 years.
The RealCo accelerator is largely credited for filling a void left when Techstars Cloud accelerator program closed in San Antonio in 2016. RealCo helps B2B tech startups grow from seed stage to a Series A venture funding round over a flexible course that lasts up to 15 months — a bit longer than most accelerator programs. It offers about $100,000 in equity funding in exchange for a small stake in the company — although it sometimes invests more or less than $100,000.
RealCo’s model is designed to suit founders’ needs. For example, it doesn’t require entrepreneurs to relocate to San Antonio, although most spend a week or more there during the program. There are currently four companies coworking on site at RealCo — FunnelAI and MR Presta, which have Austin roots, and Dauber and Dearduck from Houston. Three other startups are from San Francisco.
“RealCo is built around the idea that startups today are part of a global ecosystem from day one,” Michael Girdley, founder of RealCo and managing director of the Geekdom Fund, said in a news release. “Having partners geographically distributed reflects the reality of successful company-building today.”
RealCo’s expansion comes amidst a flurry of accelerator activity. Most recently, MassChallenge Texas announced 84 startups in its inaugural program in Texas. Meanwhile, Sputnik ATX, Impact Hub’s Affordable Housing Accelerator and Techstars’ new social impact accelerator are also among new ventures adding to the opportunities in Austin.
RealCo’s new reach into Austin also comes as Austin and San Antonio strengthen their startup connections. Capital Factory, for example, created a $100,000 San Antonio Challenge in a partnership with Geekdom. And Capital Factory will be partnering in events and office hours at Geekdom in San Antonio on April 17, when the $100,000 challenge awards are given out.