Geekdom is blowing the horn this week to gather San Antonio’s cybersecurity and tech scenes together in advance of its first cybersecurity accelerator.

The Gener8tor Cybersecurity Accelerator at Geekdom — a partnership between the tech co-working incubator and a Wisconsin-based national accelerator called Gener8tor — offers to help cybersecurity startups with coaching, capital and connections.

Organizers hope the initiative will supercharge the city’s already established reputation as a hub for the fast-growing cybersecurity field.

The cybersecurity accelerator launched in November, but last month it gained its first managing director, Amanda Lee Keammerer. The San Antonio native, who has a background in technology consulting and national security, said Geekdom and the Wisconsin group are pushing an “updated launch” this week.

Keammerer and Geekdom CEO Charles Woodin, joined by Gener8tor co-founder Tory Vosseller and senior managing director Haley Medved Kendrick, are knocking on the doors of potential partners in San Antonio and Austin.

“We’re rallying the cyber ecosystem together in person,” she said.

In San Antonio, they’re meeting with representatives of the City of San Antonio, Bexar County and large employers with a presence in the cybersecurity field. These larger companies could act as mentors and experts in the accelerator, and the startups they nurture could eventually turn around and develop products beneficial to those companies, organizers said.

In Austin, the group is meeting with potential investors and venture capital groups to join the existing funding network Geekdom already has in San Antonio.

The Gener8tor Cybersecurity Accelerator is a 12-week program, and its first cohort of 25 companies will start in July, working out of Geekdom’s space at the Rand Building downtown.

Each company will receive $100,000 in funding, as well as mentors and funding partners.

Applications to enter the accelerator are due July 8 and are open to companies all over the United States. Companies will be selected through a competitive review process.

Gener8tor has established more than 160 accelerators programs in nearly three dozen cities across the country, with more than $1 billion raised in follow-up financing for its startups, according to its website.

Geekdom earlier this year announced a goal to grow 500 companies within the next 10 years, with at least 75% based in San Antonio.

Woodin said the Gener8tor Cybersecurity Accelerator would address what he sees as a gap in San Antonio’s startup ecosystem. “There’s a lot that’s happening at the early stage company creation level, and there’s a lot that’s happening in the later stage — such as investments and spacemaking — but in the middle, there’s a stage we refer to as the valley of death.”

He said the cybersecurity accelerator would help these middle-sized companies get a better grip on how to scale and how to adapt their product pitches between customers and investors, for example.

“The companies that will be a part of this accelerator are at a much higher growth stage than the majority of companies you’ll find here inside of Geekdom,” he said.

San Antonio has one of the largest concentrations of cybersecurity professionals in the country, according to Greater:SATX, the local economic development foundation. The $3.3 billion local industry employs more than 16,000 individuals across large employers like USAA and Accenture, as well as federal defense outposts like the National Security Agency (NSA) Texas Cryptologic Center.

The city also boasts many higher education institutions with programs recognized by the Department of Homeland Security, such as UTSA, the Alamo Colleges and the University of the Incarnate Word, and many of these institutions are growing their programs. UTSA is set to complete construction on its School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center building this summer.

Keammerer and others driving the Gener8tor Cybersecurity Accelerator hope it will enhance that position by helping more startups blossom.

“If I come out of NSA, if I come out of the military, if I come out of USAA, do I know that I can stay in San Antonio and grow a cybersecurity business? We want that answer to be yes,” she said.

This article has been updated to clarify the construction timeline for UTSA’s School of Data Science and National Security Collaboration Center and to reflect the application deadline for the accelerator being extended.

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Waylon Cunningham

Waylon Cunningham covered business and technology for the San Antonio Report.