Funding Roundup: Frisco Wearable Tech Startup Raises $95K, Burleson Project Gets $900K Incentive

From startup capital to state incentives, take a look at recent funding announcements with Dallas ties.

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Head injuries, concussions, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy suffered on the football field have been a topic of public discussion in recent years. According to the Chicago Tribune, growing concerns about head injuries is leading to a decline in youth football enrollment. Frisco-based Interactive Sports Group has developed an electric version of flag football that aims to reduce the risk of physical injury. 

In its first round of financing, the company raised $95,000 from investors, and is targeting a $285,000 goal. The Dallas Business Journal reports the company will launch the technology in 2018, with the goal of teaching young players how to tackle and take hits properly. The design replaces flag football with wearable technology sensors. When a player is touched, a light and buzzer signal a tackle.

“There are concerns about safety and trying to maintain the integrity of the game,” startup founder Kevin Thompson told the Business Journal. “We love tackle football. We’re not trying to take over tackle football. But for those parents and those kids who want a safer alternative, that’s our market.”


Highlander Partners LP, a Dallas equity financing company, acquired audiovisual hardware and software manufacturer Biamp Systems Corp. from Lomar Corp. for an undisclosed amount.

Rashid Skaf, a senior advisor for Highlander Partners, will take on the role of president, CEO, and co-chairman of Biamp. Skaf is former CEO of AMX.

Biamp, headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, has additional offices in Brisbane, Australia and Rochester, New York. Lomar will continue as minority partner in the business, which provides audio systems for business, education, and government facilities.

Highlander Partners makes direct and control investments in manufacturing, consumer goods, and food and beverage products.


Dallas-based Surge Private Equity LLC invested into Busy Bee Cleaning Corp., a commercial janitorial services provider. Also on the equity receiving list were Busy Bee’s sister companies, Commercial Cleaning Services and Janitorial Cleaning Services. Though the funding amount was undisclosed in the official release, the Dallas Business Journal reports that Surge Private Equity raised $2 million, with help from Harvest Capital Credit Corp. debt, according to a filing.

“Busy Bee is a strong regional leader offering unparalleled service,” said Surge’s Tom Beauchamp in the release. “The company’s explosive growth and high customer retention rate are a product of well-developed systems, policies, and procedures that enable its many employees to provide superior service to a diverse customer base.” Beauchamp, along with Surge’s Lewis Sharp, will serve on the Busy Bee board of directors.

Surge Private Equity is targeting small, growing businesses for investment. Its portfolio includes online companies, business services, and health care industries with approximately $10,000 in enterprise value.


Golden State Foods Corp., a supplier to the fast-food industry, received a Texas Enterprise Fund grant offer of $900,000, contingent on a more than $19 million investment and creation of 150 new jobs in the area.

The company plans to spend $70 million on its new 200,000-sqare-foot facility in Burleson. The Dallas Morning News reports that the site will hold a manufacturing and distribution facility for Golden State Foods’ liquid products division.


Crescendo Power is planning to step up its project investments and equity raises with its newest hire leading the way. 

The Carrollton firm announced this week that Urs Gisiger would be joining as managing director. Gisiger will lead the company’s Boston office, and will work with project investments, developer partnerships, and on structuring additional funds.

Crescendo Power invests in placing equity and debt on energy and microgrid systems in the 1-10 MW size range. The company, which targets commercial, industrial health care, and education projects, is planning to wrap up its first project investment by the end of March.

Gisiger comes to his current position with a long list of credentials. His financing experience includes structuring project, private equity, and public-private partnership funding for companies as diverse as Hitachi Microgrids, Energizing Co., John Laing Group, and AIG Global Marine & Energy.

“Since our fund became active in April of 2017, the engagement from project developers looking for strategic investment partners has been strong,” Crescendo Power co-founder and Managing Director Todd Price said in a release. “Urs will directly help us allocate our flexible funding through well-defined development partners that are also focused on the 1-10MW Microgrid and DER project sector, while also reducing risk for our investors, partners, and end-customers.”

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