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A change in top leadership is coming for San Antonio’s tech-centric co-working space and startup catalyst Geekdom.
David Garcia announced Wednesday he is stepping down after nearly two years as CEO to pursue other opportunities. The organization has named Charles Woodin as interim CEO, effective immediately. Woodin has served as Geekdom’s membership director for two years.
A native of Michigan, Woodin served eight years in the Air Force as a cryptologic linguist before attending the University of Texas at San Antonio. He worked in Apple’s business division for three years prior to Geekdom.
Founded in 2011 by Graham Weston and Nick Longo, Geekdom operates as a startup incubator space with mentoring, workshops, networking, and funding opportunities for its 1,700 members. Geekdom moved into the historic Rand Building’s top floor in 2013 when Lorenzo Gomez served as CEO.
“Because I have built a world-class team that is filled with talents and skills of such versatility, I am ready to step away,” Garcia stated, adding that he will continue to work at Geekdom, which he called a launchpad for entrepreneurs until he takes the next step in his career.
“During this transition, I will continue to support the Geekdom team, but will also take the time to seek new opportunities,” Garcia said. “I’m grateful for the time spent serving and growing the Geekdom community, and I wish the best for its continued success.”
In January, Geekdom released an economic impact report that showed member companies have raised $97.8 million in capital over the course of its seven years – with $29 million coming in the past two years since the organization last released an economic impact report.
But Geekdom-based companies took a hit in the revenue department, with $32.9 million generated by member startups in 2018, a decrease from $35.7 million in revenue in 2016. Fewer than two out of every five companies hit their revenue goals in 2018, according to Geekdom’s impact report.
Geekdom has launched companies such MergeVR, Codeup, Medspoke, and FunnelAI, a San Antonio startup that sells its artificial intelligence software to car dealerships and just announced it has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. A total of 1,011 jobs have been created via Geekdome companies since 2011, with another 376 projected for 2019.
Competition in the tech co-working space also could be coming. The New York-based WeWork has said it plans to open a site in San Antonio sometime this year. And last fall, H-E-B chose Austin for its 81,000-square-foot innovation center that will house hundreds of tech-centric employees.
Yet with the University of Texas at San Antonio slated to build a National Security Collaboration Center and School of Data Science downtown, and Geekdom retooling its offerings to include an educational component, the state of the sector remains strong.