When they hear the word “startup,” many people have a preconceived notion of a room filled with computers and team of website and app developers, working tirelessly on the next “big thing” in the tech industry.

Sure, some startups look exactly like that – but certainly not all. To be considered a startup, according to Merriam-Webster, is be “a fledgling business enterprise.” There are no clear-cut parameters for profit, staff size, time limit or industry and you don’t have to know the difference between Python and JavaScript to work for or establish a startup. Some have said it’s really more of a state of mind.

Regardless, startups compose a vast entrepreneurial ecosystem that is changing San Antonio’s labor force and culture. To let readers build their own definition of what a startup really is and to introduce rising stars in the startup community to a greater San Antonio audience, the Rivard Report and Geekdom is launching a podcast series called Startup Stories. Each episode, hosted by Geekdom Business Development Director Tommy McNish, will profile local startups and the people behind them. Many, of course, will be members of Geekdom’s downtown co-working space, but McNish will have little trouble finding the entrepreneurial spirit in all parts of the city.

Our first guest is Luis “Pilo” Gonzales of Parlevel Systems, a startup based out of Geekdom that creates vending machine software that provides real-time data and analytics to vending operators.

Another goal of this series is to give aspiring entrepreneurs insight into the human aspect of startups and what it takes to launch a successful business. Gonzalez sat down with McNish and discussed a wide range of topics from how the idea for Parlevel came about to pursuing venture capital.

We hope you enjoy this new series and find inspiration. Explore the tracks of our interview at the top of the page.

Have a startup story idea? Contact us at jaime@rivardreport.com.

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Jumping the Corporate Ship into a Sea of Startups

Jaime Solis is the director of development and advertising sales for the Rivard Report. You can contact him at jaime@rivardreport.com.