LGS Innovations CEO Kevin Kelly.
Referring to San Antonio's burgeoning cybersecurity ecosystem, LGS Innovations CEO Kevin Kelly said his company wants to "be in the right place at the right time." Credit: Courtesy / LGS Innovations Facebook

Virginia-based technology company LGS Innovations is one step closer to standing up a 9,000-square-foot cybersecurity operations hub at Port San Antonio.

City Council on Thursday approved $180,000 in economic development incentives, and the Bexar County Commissioners Court awarded LGS a grant on Tuesday from its Innovation Fund. With the County potentially paying out up to $50,000 for the jobs LGS Innovations is slated to create, the total incentive package could amount to $230,000.

But just one day before City Council approved the incentive package, LGS was sold to another Virginia-based technology company for $750 million. The deal, however, won’t interfere with LGS’ plans to bring at least 46 high-wage, high-skill jobs to San Antonio, said Kevin Kelly, the company’s CEO.

“San Antonio is definitely a hotbed for [cybersecurity] activity,” Kelly said, pointing to the presence of the 24th and 25th Air Force as well as National Security Agency – Texas. “It’s a great location to recruit both from the commercial and academia ranks as well as those in the military who are seeking to separate from military service. … We want to be in the right place at the right time, and it’s a great place for us to be.”

LGS currently employs three cybersecurity staffers in San Antonio after transferring some of its personnel in Virginia. Kelly said he anticipates the Port San Antonio facility will be completed within six months, and the company plans to gradually grow its workforce in San Antonio.

“In the next few years we will hire 40 to 50 people locally and perhaps transfer employees to San Antonio,” he said.

The facility will be located in Port San Antonio’s Project Tech building, the first phase of which was completed last year. The 90,000-square-foot complex was designed with the Port’s growing cluster of cybersecurity companies in mind. Its first tenants include national defense contractor Lockheed Martin and locally based firm CNF Technologies.

LGS’ San Antonio operations hub will be among the company’s principal centers for cybersecurity, Kelly said, and will include such programs as network operations, software development, training, and program management.

“We are proud to welcome LGS Innovations as an exceptional addition to San Antonio’s robust cybersecurity industry,” said Tom Long, chief development officer at the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, which helped broker the deal. “The company will continue to strengthen our position as a leading center for cybersecurity innovation through their operations at the Port’s growing tech hub and involvement as a partner in UTSA’s new National Security Collaboration Center.”

Kelly said the cluster of cybersecurity operations at the former Kelly Air Force Base, especially with the construction of Project Tech, is drawing interest from LGS’ competitors and partners alike. And as the cybersecurity industry moves from “siloed missions” to more centralized and collaborative work, San Antonio is ideally situated in the hub of the government’s cyberwarfare operations, he said.

The Trump administration has also made a shift in policy, he said, to exercising the full force of the country’s offensive cyber capabilities when called for, and LGS wants to be on the forefront of developing those new technologies.

“We want to help with the planning, with the analysis, and eventually with the development of technologies to help make those missions successful,” Kelly said. “Of the top critical things that we’re doing, it’s pretty important.”

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez was a columnist, former editor and reporter at the San Antonio Report.