To land InCube Labs and its Silicon Valley founder Mir Imran, City Manager Sheryl Sculley junked the regular means of attracting companies to San Antonio. Instead of doling out tax abatements and other giveaways, she proposed placing a high-risk, multimillion-dollar wager in hopes of juicing the local life-sciences industry, and the City Council happily went along, voting unanimously for the deal in June.
Breaking with tradition, the City acted like a venture capitalist, agreeing to invest $6 million over the next five years for a slice of ownership in biotech companies that the San Jose, Calif., company incubates here under the agreement. It also brought along the County and three other taxpayer-supported entities, which will contribute a combined $4 million. The state kicked in another $9.2 million from the Emerging Technology Fund in September.