The purpose of the Bexar County Innovation Fund is to spur and accelerate the growth of the innovation ecosystem within Bexar County. Wherever possible, collaborative, multi-agency applications are strongly encouraged and will be looked upon more favorably.
The County collaborates with our Innovation Ecosystem and economic development partners to identify and vet prospective applications, and determine appropriate grant amounts. Grant amounts will depend on the strength of the project’s positive impact on the Technology Ecosystem, available Innovation Funds, funding, or other incentives provided by other partners, and is subject to Commissioners Court approval.
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To support economic development and Innovation Ecosystem growth by persuading innovation companies from outside the Bexar County market to expand into or to relocate their operations to Bexar County.
- A company that is not yet operating in Bexar County with plans to relocate or expand its operations into Bexar County, with either:
- A minimum of 5 employees, with 70% of all employees earning the High Tech Wage ($32.58/hr), with no employees earning less than the Living Wage.
- Or, have successfully completed a formal accelerator program:
- Full-time employee wages
- Number of full-time employees
- Other incentives provided by partner agencies
- Letter of recommendation and/or recruitment participation by Technology Ecosystem partners.
Expansion projects support the local Innovation Ecosystem by encouraging existing Innovation Companies with headquarters or primary business operations in Bexar County to scale up operations.
- A company whose headquarters or primary business operations have been in Bexar County for a minimum of 36 months.
- Minimum Annual Revenue: $1 million, and be current on County property tax obligations.
- Employ a minimum of 5 local residents, with 70% of employees earning the High Tech Wage, and no employee earning less than the Living Wage.
- Small Business Innovation Research Matching Grant
- Companies that have been awarded Federal SBIR funding may apply for a matching grant up to a maximum of $50,000.
- Security Clearance Stipend
- For companies with a demonstrated need to attain official security clearances for their existing or new employees.
- Up to $7,500 per person, maximum of two per company per year.
- Skills Development
- $1,000 in training funds per new employee, with a maximum annual award of $50,000 per company (100 employees).
To build the Bexar County entrepreneurial base by affiliating with experienced Innovation Ecosystem partners to host innovation technology competitions, challenges, showcases or boot camps, in order to accomplish the following objective: identify, retain, develop and support innovative entrepreneurs and companies by vetting innovative companies through objective competitions or other collaborative workshops.
All proposals must be affiliated with a local innovation incubator space, university innovation programs, co-working space or other partner capable of providing mentorship and business support services, including access to successful, experienced entrepreneurs, as well as to appropriate sources of venture capital.
- Must be a Bexar County company or non-profit entity.
- Be affiliated with a Bexar County incubator.
- Commit to Bexar County based operations for minimum of six months post award and agree to a proposed reporting requirements.
Bexar County partners with local companies, Technology Ecosystem agencies and training providers to equip residents with the required skills to attain high- wage jobs at innovative technology companies.
Service Provider Eligibility
- Be an innovation company located in Bexar County or
- Be a local university or other governmental subdivisions and entities qualified to provide training
for skills needed in the Technology Ecosystem for programs designed to cover certification exam costs, any local training provider, agency, or
institution that provides the training necessary for an individual to be eligible to take the certification exam may propose a partnership with Bexar County to fund the cost of the certification exam
Training or Certification Candidate Eligibility
- Must possess the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to be a qualified candidate capable of successfully completing the training program, boot camp or pursuing the certification
- The program partner is responsible for determining KSA competency for each potential candidate
- Must have successfully completed the training and other prerequisites required to take the professional certification exam
- Training providers must: administer a curriculum as developed and/or approved by private companies, and provide the actual training courses, including subsequent professional certifications as applicable
- Training-related programs must have a local sponsor company or cohort of companies or agencies who have the means and ability to hire or promote those qualified candidates who successfully complete the program
- Boot camp programs must have an established program with the means and resources necessary to effectively deliver and produce the desired boot camp training outcomes
- Provide private-sector funds to leverage against Bexar County grant or other public funding
- Must result in attaining the skill set necessary to obtain a high tech job currently needed in the
- Utilize or partner with qualified training providers that are also a part of the local Technology
- Only current Bexar County residents are eligible to receive training
- For programs that work with active duty military or recently-separated veterans, documentation that the individual is or will be based in Bexar County will be required
- Other funds or incentives provided by partners or other agencies
Anticipated total cost of the program
Expected outcome of the program
To build increased awareness of Bexar County’s innovative technology sector both locally and in other innovative Ecosystems. Bexar County will solicit or receive applications from Technology Ecosystem partners that are experienced in successfully managing brand-building or related image marketing projects, programs or initiatives.
- In order to create a unified and cohesive message, a lead agency should submit one application for the group of Technology Ecosystem entities involved.
- Seek to project a consistent positive message deployed through technology ecosystem- appropriate media channels and platforms with data analytics and other effectiveness determinants and metrics, as appropriate.
- Have matching private sector funding.
- In-kind contributions from the partners are desirable, but do not substitute private sector matching funds.
Grant Award Basis
- Available innovation funds, other funds, or incentives provided by partners or other agencies.
- Anticipated total cost of the program.