Free Coffee, Workshops, and … Money? Geekdom Begins Offering Grants

San Antonio—Geekdom, the six-year-old co-working space in downtown San Antonio, has added a new perk to the free coffee, workshops, and mentorship opportunities it offers its more than 1,700 members: a chance at winning a $10,000 grant each month.

The grant money will come directly from Geekdom, which is calling the program The Community Fund. Both individual members and startups can apply to receive a grant, according to a news release. Geekdom is requiring winners to have already been members for at least 90 days.

Geekdom is handing out only one grant per month, amounting to $120,000 on the year. The fund was created to financially aid startups and individuals that have had trouble getting early-stage funding, according to the news release. Venture capital hasn’t always been readily available in San Antonio, though access to it has grown in recent years.

Venture capital investor Geekdom Fund opened its doors in 2013, and some of its founders went on to create the San Antonio Angel Network, now known as Alamo Angels, in 2016. That same year, Scaleworks, which buys companies outright, raised a $60 million investment fund. In 2017, the RealCo seed fund opened in San Antonio to help startups gain enough maturity to get further venture funding. VelocityTX was founded later that year, and has been working to bring more international startups to San Antonio.

Geekdom was created in 2011 by Rackspace co-founder Graham Weston and fellow entrepreneur Nick Longo. Former CEO Lorenzo Gomez is now Geekdom’s chairman; David Garcia replaced him.

The co-working space has played a large role in the expansion of the tech scene downtown, drawing startups to the eight floors of the 50,000-square foot Rand building on Houston Street. Some of Geekdom’s strongest growth, at least in terms of membership, has come in the last year, having grown by 500 members to more than 1,700 since December 2016.

Geekdom member startups have raised $10.3 million in venture funding since December 2016, when the organization last published a report on its tenants’ accomplishments. That brings the total capital Geekdom members have raised to $79.1 million since 2011, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report had one notable anomaly: It seems everyone at Geekdom has dramatically cut back on their coffee intake—or at least the amount of free coffee they drink.

The co-working space reported Tuesday that its members have consumed roughly 1.77 million cups of coffee since Geekdom’s inception in late 2011. Just a year ago, Geekdom reported its members had consumed about 1.74 million cups in its first five years. That would mean that Geekdom members drank only 30,000 cups of Joe during 2017 (or about 82 per day), even though they averaged 10 times that every year previously (a staggering 348,000 cups annually, and 952 daily). Geekdom hasn’t yet responded to Xconomy’s request for comment about the caffeination disparity.

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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