Technology startups from across Texas will compete ths October in the recently relaunched TechFuel pitch competition for $100,000 from Bexar County.
"We're shooting a flare out into the technology and entrepreneurship community to say we know that technology is creating jobs, its an economic force, and we are supporting and nurturing its growth," said Dax Moreno, chief talent and recruitment officer for Tech Bloc.
Small Texas companies will compete here in San Antonio for the grand prize of $50,000. To be eligible, they must have launched in the last six months, make less than $1.5 million a year and have less than $1 million invested.
They will compete in multiple rounds of judging. A group of 25 semifinalists will be narrowed to just five, that will compete at the Tobin Center on Oct. 22.
First runner up will receive $20,000, second runner up, $10,000 and honorable mention will receive $7,500. The lower two awards will be decided by a live audience poll.
Tech Bloc, which advocates for the local tech industry, announced the relaunched competition after a three year hiatus. At $100,000 dollars the total prize amount is twice what it was in 2016. TechFuel is fueled by Bexar County's Innovation fund.
“We know startups are often on the cutting edge of innovation,” said Judge Nelson Wolff.
The Innovation Fund was set up to spur technology jobs in the county. There are grants for things like expansion, recruitment, technical training and talent development competitions such as TechFuel.
The county funded the 2016 TechFuel competition which was won by SnackDot, a personalized snack delivery service.
The three-year hiatus, Judge Wolff said, is due to the demand for grants from the revolving million dollar Innovation Fund.
The winning company will have to maintain a presence locally.
Applications are due by Sept. 23.