Tech Trek Takes Over Downtown for a Third Year
April 23, 2019 - Tech District (Downtown SA)
By: Jonathan Guajardo - Editor, San Antonio Sentinel
The ever-expanding Downtown San Antonio Tech District buzzed with excitement Tuesday night as tech professionals, entrepreneurs, and other enthusiasts wandered from building to building down Houston Street in search of the 11 locations hosting Tech Trek parties. With free alcoholic beverages and food available at every stop, participants made their way to the locations to receive a stamp as well as a free Tech Trek t-shirt and Fiesta Medal. Hosted by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the evening was designed to engage San Antonians and provide them with info about the city’s growing tech scene and upstart tech companies.
Javier Yanez, a first-year attendee, described his experience at Tech Trek. “It’s a pretty good turnout. I think it’s great for the tech community,” said Yanez. “It’s free food and free drinks so you can’t beat that.”
Although there was no official starting point, most participants chose to begin their journey at Downtown’s most well-known co-working space, Geekdom. Located in the newly-renovated Rand building, Geekdom had two floors of the building dedicated to their space and the companies housed within their co-working location. With a DJ spinning tracks in the basement, music reverberated throughout the center of the 106-year-old building, filling the foyers and hallways with beats the partygoers could jive to while mingling with strangers, colleagues, and potential clients. Also within the Rand building, attendees could check out Jungle Disk, WP Engine, and Open Cloud Academy, with Google Fiber being located just outside of the building.
Groups of people wearing bright pink shirts made their way down Houston Street to check out the other venues serving refreshments and giving out free stickers and other promotional items. Many used Google Maps to find their way around while others simply glanced at the map provided to them upon registration for the free event. Scaleworks, CodeUp, Tech Bloc, the Kadence Collective, and the U.S. Military also maintained locations along the Trek for attendees to stop at and get more information about all they have to offer to young, tech-centric professionals.
Ryan Salts, Director of Launch SA, had a booth at the Jungle Disk offices to promote the services of his program, which provides support and advice to entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them scale their enterprises. He described how he appreciated the layout of this year’s Tech Trek. “They’ve actually facilitated sort of a true journey and a stop off point with actual parts that make you have to include yourself in conversation with vendors and partners and the like,” described Salts. “So what we get out of this is really an opportunity to share our message.”
Members of the cybersecurity and government sectors were also present at the event to try to reach out to community members and give attendees a chance to learn more about the work they do at a national level. “So this is our third year attending Tech Trek,” described longtime attendee and cybersecurity professional, Albert Salinas. “As of right now, San Antonio is number two in the Nation in hiring cybersecurity professionals, so this has been a great venue for folks to come together, collaborate and to share ideas and to grow in San Antonio.”