Geekdom, 80/20 Promote Execs to Prepare for Next 5 Years of Startups

San Antonio—[Corrected 9/6/17, 3:26 p.m. See below.] Geekdom, the co-working space that has helped revitalize the downtown San Antonio startup scene, has a new leader, as does the nonprofit The 80/20 Foundation, which invests in groups that promote topics like entrepreneurship and tech education.

Alexandra Frey, who was the operations manager of The 80/20 Foundation, has been promoted to the role of executive director. David Garcia Jr. is taking over as CEO of Geekdom, where he was previously the chief operating officer.

Both executives are replacing Lorenzo Gomez, who simultaneously held both positions. Gomez, one of the driving forces behind creating a fledgling startup ecosystem in the city, is becoming the chairman of both the nonprofit foundation and the co-working space.

Gomez, who is an Xconomist, plans to dedicate his time going forward to new, undisclosed initiatives that he says he’ll announce in the next month or two. Because Geekdom has built a foundation for startups since it was founded six years ago, he now plans to focus on what Geekdom and The 80/20 Foundation can do to fill in gaps in the city’s startup environment more broadly. Though Gomez has targeted a few gaps in San Antonio, though he’s not saying what they are yet.

“We’ve studied enough cities where I think I know where the gaps are in San Antonio, and what we need to focus on for the next five years,” Gomez said in a telephone interview. “I’m not going anywhere. People are going to see me more than they did now—same T-shirt, just different activities.”

Frey is a relatively recent transplant to San Antonio, having moved to the city in 2011 from Wisconsin. She worked in hospitality before joining The 80/20 Foundation in 2016. [Corrected incorrect pronoun.]

For Geekdom, Garcia will aim to increase membership of the co-working space beyond its current 1,700 members. Founded in 2011 by former Rackspace chairman Graham Weston and fellow entrepreneur Nicholas Longo, the group has provided office space to hundreds of the city’s startups, which have raised almost $70 million in venture capital and created hundreds of new jobs, according to a Geekdom report in December of the previous five years. (Those numbers have likely increased since.)

For Gomez, the personnel changes are a necessary transition for a maturing organization.

“I need some people who think about scale, who think about repeatability: How do we do this in the same way, make sure it’s efficient, and serve everyone equitably and timely? That’s what Alex and David bring to the table,” Gomez says. “You just have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, as much as you want to be the person who can do it all, you just can’t.”

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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