America's Growth Cities
San Antonio, Texas
Stage For Biotech Startups
San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas, has put itself in the spotlight as a collaborative community for entrepreneurs who are funding and getting the players cast for their tech startups. One of the creative enablers in this is Debra Innocenti, an intellectual property lawyer who hosts SA New Tech Meetup, a monthly get-together held at the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology that gives local inventors a venue to showcase their technology to entrepreneurs looking for a breakthrough idea to put into play. As often as not that idea can be the catalyst for a partnership between audience members – between money and know-how and the next tech big thing.
An example of that kind of San Antonio synergy is Pelican Technologies, a biotech startup recently reacquired by the venture capitalists who founded it. Pelican is moving to San Antonio from Austin and is receiving $200,000 and certain concessions from the San Antonio government to do so. The quid pro quo is that Pelican, which is developing experimental immunology treatments for cancer, must create at least 22 new jobs in the next five years. One of those jobs has already gone to George Peoples, a San Antonio researcher and military surgeon who was picked to be Pelican’s chief medical officer. The company had already been working with Peoples’ contract research organization, Cancer Insight.
The Pelican arrangement is in keeping with the strategy of Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who stresses that biotech and healthcare are mainstays of the San Antonio economy. “Take the South Texas Medical Center,” said Nirenberg in a recent interview. “It employs 53,000 San Antonians and receives over five million patient visits a year. That makes it very much the focal point of an industry that delivers more than $30 billion in economic benefit for our city.” San Antonio’s biosciences industry overall employs more than 100,000 people.
Situated in the Medical Center is the unique Health Careers High School, a health professions-based magnet school that enrolls just under 1,000 students from San Antonio and the South Texas region. HCHS complies with Texas requirements for a standard high school curriculum, but additional courses that relate to the health field are also provided as electives, chosen by each student according to his or her specific field of interest. Some of these include:
- Medical/Surgical Technology
- Diagnostic Services
- Patient Care
- Medical Administrative Procedures
- Dental Science
- Scientific Research and Design
- Sterilization and Processing
Students are involved in the daily functions of a major research hospital, with access to medical professionals, some serving as mentors. HCHS is a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
San Antonio is a city of many attractions, prominent among them being, of course, the Alamo Mission and Museum. There is also Hemisfare Park’s lofty Tower of the Americas that overlooks the city, and the miles-long River Walk, a landmark pedestrian promenade along the banks of the San Antonio River that is lined with shops and cafes, a favorite setting with locals and visitors that Ernie Pyle once described as “The American Venice”. The city has its own symphony orchestra as well as the Ballet San Antonio with its much respected Academy of Dance. Basketball fans are looking for the San Antonio Spurs to win their sixth NBA Championship.
For residential consideration, Alamo Heights is an older, upscale neighborhood that, along with having some of San Antonio’s most attractive homes and beautiful parks, features several of the best restaurants, museums and shops in the city. It has become a popular neighborhood with successful young families, while at the same time retaining its charm for a generation that appreciates life’s traditional pleasures, including long walks in those parks and fishing in local lakes. The Alamo Heights Independent School District is ranked by Niche as #1 in the San Antonio region.
Coldwell Banker lists the median price for a home in San Antonio at $274,900. The median price in Alamo Heights is $675,000.
For EB-5 investors who would like to know more about what San Antonio has to offer as a home in America, Live In America EB-5 would be pleased to work with them. Please send us an email at: