Every business owner, entrepreneur, or fresh startup manager knows that the first few months (if not years) of an independent venture can be overwhelming. For inventors and innovators in San Antonio, you know you need more than hard work and capital. Things like networks, connections, and support teams are crucial for success. Thankfully, San Antonio is a thriving backdrop for creative startups and budding business owners. Local inventors have plenty of access to universities, institutions, online databases, and real-life communities to help start, support, and eventually launch their ideas. We’ve rounded up 16 of the top inventor resources one can find in San Antonio. Universities Trinity University Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, is an institution dedicated to transforming challenges into opportunities. They emphasize resilience, commitment, and creativity in their “unwavering pursuit” of excellence. For the past 150 years, Trinity students have enjoyed an increasingly diverse and interconnected learning environment. With a flexible curriculum of management and interdisciplinary programs, Trinity University alumni are well-equipped to handle real-world experiences. They offer comprehensive Business Administration courses for innovative entrepreneurs looking to be their own boss after graduation. Texas A&M University Started in 1876, Texas A&M University is the state’s first public institution of higher learning. It’s a research-intensive flagship university dedicated to the discovery, development, communication, and application of knowledge in different academic and professional fields. Their goal is to equip their students with the knowledge and education they need to assume roles of leadership, responsibility, and service to society. The TAMU School of Innovation is the perfect starting-off point for inventors and innovators who want to build their knowledge and expertise in this, particularly challenging industry. For budding inventors and innovative entrepreneurs, they also have an Innovation X Program that offers grants for year-long projects. Texas A&M also offers courses in Intellectual Property and Technology Law. This is perfect for the more legal-minded innovators that would like to supplement their creativity with some solid legal knowledge or are interested in a more legal background. Online Databases UIA of the United States of America All inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs need to have this non-profit organization bookmarked. Dedicated to providing the inventing, entrepreneurial community with valuable resources, the United Inventors Association (UIA) of the United State of America is a treasure trove of facts, references, and legal advice. They list upcoming Tradeshows and Events for innovators to network, Inventor News articles to keep creatives updated, and dozens of inventor resources for those looking. They have publicly accessible content, but more goodies and benefits await those with a UIA membership. You can find more information about that here. Inventors Digest Now on its 32nd year, Inventors Digest is the leading print and online publication for “the innovation culture.” Driven to “foster the spirit and practice of innovation,” Inventors Digest produces content on all things innovative and inventive. Full of useful information and cutting-edge data, these articles are meant to educate, inspire, and encourage independent and professional innovators to give life to their ideas and ultimately succeed. Notable article categories include: American Inventors Bright Ideas Inventing 101 Lander Zone Marketing Tips —and many others. Silicon Hills News Bringing you the latest Technology news in San Antonio, the Silicon Hills News website is an excellent source for recent events and local start-up news. Founded by San Antonio Express-News Senior Writer Laura Lorek, Silicon Hills News is the product of a $12,000 grant award from the J-Lab and McCormick Foundation’s New Media Women Entrepreneur 2011 program. Since then, this news website has been focused on covering technology and startups in Central Texas, and it’s still going strong. For inventors who want to stay updated on local tech start-ups, this is the best place to go. Small Business Administration Groups U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a general resource for all American-based businesses. Started in 1953, the SBA provides legal, expert, and contracting assistance for small business owners and entrepreneurs. They are a cabinet-level federal agency that offers step-by-step business guides and contracting assistance programs for interested parties. For independent innovators, the SBA website is a good starting point to get the general idea of how to develop a business. Entrepreneurial Groups The Women’s Community of Entrepreneurs | San Antonio An innovative group that propels the women’s empowerment movement a few good decades ahead, The Women's Community of Entrepreneurs, San Antonio chapter is—as the name suggests—a community created by women, for women. It is a heart-centered group that strives to “uplift, empower, and support local, female-owned businesses” by connecting women leaders, managers, and business owners into one cohesive human collaboration. It strives to co-create a safe, productive space for the “feminine & masculine energy of business” to finally harmonize. If you’re a female inventor or innovator in San Antonio, the WCESA could be your safe haven. They have monthly gatherings that you can keep track of via their MeetUp group. Their members are basically lady entrepreneurs with their own startups, startup ideas, businesses, inventions, or side gigs. You can also check out their Facebook group here. San Antonio Lean Startup Circle Following the Founder’s Journey Framework by LeanMastery, the San Antonio Lean Startup Circle conducts monthly workshops geared towards helping entrepreneurs learn and apply certified, tried-and-true startup principles. These principles—from the Founder’s Journey Framework—help first-time business owners and struggling startups avoid costly, time-wasting mistakes. Best of all, these workshops are free. They pride themselves on promoting genuine entrepreneurship not through “storytelling or get-rich-quick schemes.” They instead inspire people to pursue the American Dream through commitment, smart strategies, and delivering value. New members can access an overview of the Founder’s Journey Framework for free through this website. They also offer free access to the LeanMastery overview, which contains Essential Questions, Learning Objectives and Master Skills Gained, and more. Inventor Groups Alamo Inventors, Inc. Now in its 20th year and counting, Alamo Inventors, Inc.—started in 2000—is a community for like-minded innovators to gather together and support each other. Once a month, members meet to collaborate, interact, share, and educate each other on their inventions, all with the intent to succeed. Open to first-time guests and curious entrepreneurs, Alamo Inventors is meant to be a safe space where inventors can catch up on their fellow innovators and swap trade secrets about: Inventing Manufacturing Protecting Patenting Marketing —and other similar topics. By providing them with the network, knowledge, and connections they may need to launch their concepts, Alamo Inventors strives to be a “the compass, resource, and inspiration” for all local entrepreneurs and inventors. Aside from monthly meetings, Alamo Inventors also organizes open forums, hosts guest speaker events and posts additional online resources. Startup Help Venture Weekend Up for a little challenge? Then VentureWeekend San Antonio might be right up your alley. Organized and hosted by VentureLab—a not-for-profit organization for innovators and entrepreneurs—VentureWeekend is a three-day course that challenges 40 students to start a company within that time frame. Yes; 72 hours to build an enterprise from the ground up. VentureWeekend provides the food, the venue, and the setup. The 40 students—all young professionals from different backgrounds—must then work together to brainstorm an idea on Friday and release a minimal prototype by Sunday. The goal is to ultimately build enough momentum amongst a community of motivated, like-minded innovators; so much so that the energy lasts well beyond those three days. Intense, but definitely worth it. Break Fast & Launch Hosted twice a year at Launch San Antonio, Break Fast & Launch is a 10-week Accelerator Program that takes early-stage owners of culinary businesses through a fast-paced course geared towards helping them build sustainable food concepts. The tools and strategies used to achieve this include hands-on training and mentoring from successful San Antonio-based business owners. Experiential learning using a tech-based approach is also implemented. Run three times a week, the program has four major pillars: Build—participants are given tools, techniques, and vital knowledge on how to be sustainable. Mentor—participants are matched with experienced, successful mentors to give personal guidance throughout the course. Train—participants are provided with business insights on business plan creation, marketing, sales, and accounting. Support—participants have fully access to a community of mentors and successful alumni, all willing to work together to support the growth of culinary businesses in San Antonio. Touted as the nation’s first Culinary Business Incubator, Breakfast & Launch was recognized by the White House as 1 of 50 national recipients of the first SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition in 2014. Launch San Antonio A “fueling station for business” founded in 2014, Launch San Antonio (or Launch SA) is a small business center located in San Antonio, Texas. Focused on building a safe, thriving community of innovators and entrepreneurs, Launch SA encourages sustainability. Its ultimate goal is for all startups and businesses to have a sustainable support network as they continue to develop their passions and create local opportunities. Launch SA provides “direction, education, mentorship, and community” to the small business owners and fresh startup managers who want it. Backed by over 100+ resources and 200+ mentors, they are able to connect you with real success stories who can give you real, true-to-life answers and solutions. To benefit from Launch SA’s incredible network, simply complete their online Personalized Assistance Form to start your assessment. SCORE With over 10,000 volunteers in over 250 chapters, SCORE is the nation’s largest network of expert business mentors dedicated to helping small business owners get their ideas off the ground. Since 1964, these volunteers have shared the secrets of their success to help budding entrepreneurs grow and achieve their own innovative goals. For years, SCORE has been a platform of business education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs—and counting. A not-for-profit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE continues to provide its incredible services and sustainable support network at virtually no cost. This is made possible by the thousands of generous, selfless contributors every year. Startups San Antonio Dedicated to highlighting San Antonio’s thriving startup scene, Startups San Antonio publishes covers and content on the “emerging capabilities, companies, and the people” behind the latest innovations and creative solutions in San Antonio, Texas. With new companies coming to life almost every day, the team behind Startups San Antonio decided to create a platform dedicated solely to this discussion. From technology and science to engineering and cybersecurity, Startups San Antonio is the best source of groundbreaking advancements brought to light by local aspiring—and even established—inventors. Patenting Help/Education Inventor Process Inventor Process, Inc. is a team of professionals dedicated to assisting independent innovators and inventors patent, market, and launch their unique inventions. They provide advice, programs, and step-by-step processes for inventors to develop their ideas and—eventually—release them for public consumption. As a professional firm, Inventor Process’s team is comprised of experts backed by decades of combined experience in invention development, patenting, marketing, and royalty negotiations. They run a Direct Submission Program that was developed to help inventors “minimize risk while maximizing potential.” USPTO Inventor & Entrepreneur Resources The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the official federal agency that grants U.S. patents and registered trademarks for inventors and entrepreneurs based in the U.S. Their Office of Innovation Development offers assistance for independent innovators, small business owners, university-affiliated startups, and struggling entrepreneurs. The website alone offers tons of free resources regarding intellectual property (IP) law, legal protection, and IP policy enforcement. The USPTO also registers and monitors an individual’s intellectual properties, ensuring that the rights of inventors are upheld. San Antonio Patent Attorneys San Antonio is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The River City is home to booming Healthcare, Bioscience, and Aerospace industries. We understand the difficulties of growing your ideas and business in such a competitive market such as San Antonio. That is why we exist; to help our clients through the legal processes of intellectual property. Click here to find out more about the #1 patent firm in San Antonio! About Bold Patents: Known for serving the bold and the brave, Bold Patents has been helping its clients get the patents that they need in order to make their business ideas (and inventions) a reality. Because they focus only on patents, they are able to find the lawyer(s) that best fit a certain company’s needs. If you would like to know more about what a patent is and what the steps for finding the patent that’s right for your invention, then check out this article on what is a patent. In Conclusion There you have it, everyone! A multitude of all the different resources available to inventors and entrepreneurs as listed above and below. Table of Contents Universities Trinity University Texas A&M University Online Databases UIA of the United States of America Inventors Digest Silicon Hills News Small Business Administration Groups U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Entrepreneurial Groups The Women’s Community of Entrepreneurs | San Antonio San Antonio Lean Startup Circle Inventor Groups Alamo Inventors, Inc. Startup Help Venture Weekend Break Fast & Launch Launch San Antonio SCORE Startups San Antonio Patenting Help/Education Inventor Process USPTO Inventor & Entrepreneur Resources In Conclusion In the meantime, what other resources would you recommend to your fellow entrepreneurs and inventors in Seattle? Please let us know in the comments below!