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ICYMI 2022: The Q3 Archive

You’ve found Dallas Innovates’ archive of news briefs from July - September 2022.

For the current edition of ICYMI, click here. Don’t miss a thing: Sign up for Dallas Innovates Every Day, the best of Dallas-Fort Worth innovation delivered straight to your inbox. 

Friday, September 30

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

‘Trick Shot Town’: Frisco’s Dude Perfect Plans New HQ To Serve as a Destination for Fans
IBM Acquires Dallas’ Dialexa to Tap Its Product Engineering Expertise
Form Bio Spins Out of Colossal Bioscience to Offer Scientists the ‘Missing Piece’
HiFAB Studio and Plant in Grand Prairie Will Create Modern Modular Homes by Lake/Flato Architects
Dallas Route Optimization Startup Routora Aims to Help You Save Time, Money on the Road
Innovative Spaces: AIA Dallas’ 2022 Built Design Award Winners
DI People: Wingstop, JLL, EWF International, Starla Wines, and More Make Leadership Moves
Dallas Financial Services Firm Beneficient Company Group to Go Public in $3.5B SPAC Deal
Amber Venz Box on Adding Virtual Storefront Checkout to the LTK App
A Texas Delegation Is on a Business Development Trip Across Europe This Week

More Things to Know

Eden Green vertical farm in Cleburne. [Video still: Eden Green Technology]

Eden Greens Grows Its ‘Hyperlocal, Hyperfresh’ Vertical Farm With Acres of New Greenhouses in North Texas

⟫ Eden Green Technology’s new greenhouses will be able to grow 1.8 million pounds of produce annually in just 62,500 square feet of growing space, the company says. The facilities use Eden Green’s proprietary microclimate environments, lighting solutions, and hydroponic vine systems. A second phase of the ag-tech startup’s planned $47 million expansion in Cleburne is now under construction. That’s expected to triple total production to more than 5 million pounds of produce annually. “We’re proud to have been one of the earliest—and now one of the largest—leaders in the space, creating fresh food and new opportunities for workers,” says CEO Eddy BadrinaRead more here.

The Comerica Bank Women’s Business Symposium 2022 features (L to R) Erica Dhawan, Aimée Mullins, Jamie Gwen, and Cassandra Worthy.

Comerica Bank Women’s Business Symposium Is Coming to Irving October 27

⟫ The Comerica Bank Women’s Business Symposium is returning to North Texas in an in-person format Thursday, October 27, from 10 a.m.  to 3 p.m. at the Irving Convention Center. Designed to help businesswomen “Learn, Connect, Grow & Celebrate” their potential, the networking event will feature (above, left to right) speaker and adviser Erica Dhawan, who’s been called the “Oprah of Management Thinkers”; Aimée Mullins, an inspiring Paralympian, actor, model, and speaker; celebrity chef, radio host, and cookbook author Jamie Gwen, who’s emceeing the event; and Cassandra Worthy, who’s known as the world’s leading expert on “Change Enthusiasm.” For more info and to register, go here.

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek [Photo: Rosewood]

Dallas’ HN Capital Partners Acquires Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

⟫ The historic Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek—originally built as a private estate in 1925 before being transformed in the early 1980s by Caroline Rose Hunt into a premier hotel destination—has been acquired by Dallas-based HN Capital Partners. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. The hotel will continue to operate as a Rosewood Hotels & Resorts-managed hotel under HN Capital ownership, the private investor group said. “Our goal is to respect the hotel’s history and work closely with the Rosewood team to further expand the luxury offerings,” HN Capital Partners Founder Vipin Nambiar said, adding that new services will ensure the property “remains the most beloved hotel for the Dallas community and travelers alike.”

Thursday, September 29

DFW Airport has ordered 22 CNG-powered buses and four four Axess EVO-BE battery electric buses (above) from ENC. [Photo: Business Wire]

DFW International Airport Orders Fleet of CNG, Electric Buses

⟫ Building on its status of being the “first carbon neutral airport in North America,” Dallas Fort Worth International Airport has put in an order with transit bus manufacturer ElDorado National to purchase 22 compressed natural gas-powered and four battery-powered buses. The subsidiary of Wisconsin-based specialty vehicle manufacturer REV Group said it expects to deliver the buses by next summer, making DFW one of 33 other airports to implement the vehicles. According to Ken Buchanan, executive VP of revenue management and customer experience at the airport, the buses will help transport the more than 70 million travelers that pass through the airport annually, while helping it reach the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

electric vehicles

Image: zoljo/iStockphoto

Texas to Build EV Chargers Along ‘Major Highways’

⟫ In more electrification news, Texas is taking the first step toward its goal of having an electric vehicle charging station in every county. With approval from the Federal Highway Administration, the Lone Star state plans to use $408 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to begin building the stations. In the first year, TxDOT is looking to build more than 50 stations along major interstates, the Texas Tribune reports. Over the following years, the goal is to have at least one charger in all of Texas’ 254 counties. According to the Tribune, while electric vehicles make up only around 1% of vehicles in the state, their number has tripled since 2020 to more than 150,000.

Lument Moving to New Dallas Office to ‘Attract and Retain Top Talent’

Lument, a New York-based commercial real estate firm, is moving its Dallas offices. The company announced plans to move from its location in Uptown to a new more than 22,700-square-foot space on an entire floor at downtown Dallas’ Plaza of the Americas development. With 120 employees at its local office, Lument’s move will place it closer to its parent company Orix Corp. USA, which is in the Trammell Crow Center. In a statement, Lument CFO Bob Kirkwood said the move will position the company to meet client needs and “create a space that will attract and retain top talent.” Lument has more than 30 offices across the U.S., per its website.

[Photo: KeHe]

KeHe Distributors Opens its Largest Center in Dallas

KeHE Distributors, a North American wholesaler focused on natural and organic foods, has opened the largest distribution center in its network of 16 other facilities in Dallas—one that comes with “enhanced technology,” including a climate-controlled ice cream room, robotics, and automation. The Illinois-based company announced the opening of the nearly 1-million-square-foot center this week, with Dallas City Councilmember Tennell Akins saying it will create more than 500 new jobs. KeHE said the new facility will help it provide “more dedicated support” to new and existing clients, with its VP of Operations Era Vaughn adding that the technology in the new center will allow it to “provide an expanded assortment of items.” KeHE’s new distribution center is located in far southern Dallas at 4450 Logistics Drive.

Tom O. Hicks [Photo: Texas Business Hall of Fame]

Dallas’ Thomas O. Hicks to be Inducted into Texas Business Hall of Fame

⟫ Six business leaders from across the Lone Star State are set to be inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame —and one of them is from Dallas. A leader in the local private equity and sports business space, Thomas O. Hicks will be inducted at a ceremony put on by the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation in early November, joining others from Houston and Austin. A private equity veteran and former owner of the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers, Hicks currently serves as the founder, chairman, and partner of local family office Hicks Holdings.  Hicks also currently serves as a senior partner and director at Dallas financial services platform The Beneficient Company Group, which recently announced plans to go public via a SPAC deal that values it at $3.5 billion. Read more about Hicks and see the other inductees here.

Wednesday, September 28

Element Towers in North Dallas are among the office buildings that have been sold in the area recently. [Photo: Element Towers]

Report: Dallas Is Top U.S. Metro for Office Building Sales

⟫ With a steady stream of companies expanding and relocating to the region, it’s no surprise that Dallas’ office real estate market is hot. Citing a report from Yardi Systems, The Dallas Morning News reports that for the first eight months of the year, the city was No. 1 in the nation for office building sales, with nearly $3.5 billion in deals (including one for Element Towers in North Dallas, above). And that’s not the only thing Dallas was noted for in the Yardi report. The city topped the list of metros with the largest increase in office-using business employment, a number that has grown by close to 10% over the last year. According to the DMN, business expansions and relocations have taken up more than 3.3 million square feet of space in DFW.

Annie and Jordan Spieth at a Jordan Spieth Family Foundation Spieth & Friends event in 2019. [Photo: Jordan Spieth Family Foundation]

Jordan Spieth Foundation Donates Its Largest Gift Ever to Children’s Health

⟫ The fundraising arm of Children’s Health announced landing the largest gift ever made by the Jordan Spieth Foundation. The $500,000 donation will go toward the expansion of the pediatric health care provider’s Children’s Medical Center Plano, where a family support lounge in the newly expanded Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders will be named after the foundation, which was formed by the pro golfer and his family (Spieth is shown above with his wife, Annie). The hospital’s 395,000 square-foot expansion—set to be completed in late 2024—will nearly double the size of the facility and expand its care programs in areas like cardiology, oncology, gastroenterology, and neurology.  

Founders Fund Aims to Invest in Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

⟫ National nonprofit Founders Fund is looking to invest in veteran-owned small businesses across the country. Through its Stephen L. Tadlock Fund, the organization is planning to distribute $1,000 in grant funding to 25 small business entrepreneurs. To qualify, U.S. businesses must be veteran-led and have between two and 50 employees. Applications are open through Oct. 18, with recipients planned to be announced on Veterans Day. According to Darlisa Diltz, managing director of the North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Training Center, which landed a grant last year, Founders First also helps with “gaining practical and tangible business best practices.”

[Photo: KERA]

KERA Wants to ‘Preserve Local Journalism’ by Acquiring the Denton Record-Chronicle

⟫ In a move to “preserve local journalism,” local public radio station KERA is looking to acquire the Denton Record-Chronicle. The move, which is expected to close next year, is being facilitated by The National Trust for Local News. While still working through the details, KERA said that a focus of the acquisition will be to keep Denton County’s largest newspaper “local and hyper-focused on the issues and people” of the region. The announcement comes after KERA took over classical radio station WRR 101.1 FM earlier this year.

Tuesday, September 27

Rendering of Trinity River Waterwheel design including solar power panels on hood over trash container. [Image: City of Fort Worth]

Trinity River Waterwheels Get a Design Reveal in Fort Worth

⟫ We told you last December about the solar-powered, trash-gobbling waterwheels coming to the Trinity River in Fort Worth. Powered by the sun and the river’s current, two waterwheels costing around $600,000 each will be able to capture tons of floating pollution daily—keeping the waterway’s surface pristine as it flows through Fort Worth. A canopy over each “trash interceptor” will be laden with solar panels capable of producing 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity each day. Now the city of Fort Worth has released a rendering of the waterwheel’s design (above), Fort Worth Magazine reports. You can read all about the moored garbage munchers in our story here.

[Image: metamorworks/istockphoto]

Perficient Brings its STEM Career Bootcamp to Dallas

⟫ Global digital consultancy Perficient is bringing its Bright Paths Program to Dallas, with the goal of attracting local talent. In partnership with Strayer University’s Hackbright Academy and DevMountain, the St. Louis-based company’s program focuses on providing STEM education and training bootcamp to underserved communities. The local program kicks off at the end of October, with up to 25 students attending the 16-week program. Upon graduation, some of the candidates will be offered jobs at Perficient in areas like software engineering and development. The company said that anyone living in or near the Dallas area can apply.

SunOpta plant in Midlothian. [Photo: SunOpta]

SunOpta’s $100M Plant-Based Milk Plant in Midlothian Nears Production

⟫ Plant-based milk products will soon be flowing from Midlothian. Minnesota’s SunOpta is close to finishing its $100 million, 285,000-square-foot Midlothian facility by the end of the year—making it the largest of the 12 other plants it operates across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, The Dallas Morning News reports. Through a bacteria-free process, SunOpta plans to produce milks, teas, and broths from the facility. The company has already brought on 30 employees, with plans to reach up to 150 by the end of next year. Seeing room for growth, SunOpta has already unveiled plans for a 150,000-square-foot expansion to the facility to up its production space.

The Séura weatherproof outdoor television will be one of the things on display at the CEDIA Expo later this week. [Video still: Séura]

CEDIA Home Tech Expo Is Coming to Dallas This Thursday-Saturday 

⟫  The latest in cutting-edge home tech is on the way to Big D. The annual CEDIA Expo is coming to Dallas Thursday through Saturday, September 29-October 1, at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. CEDIA says it’s the only show dedicated to residential tech, aimed at home tech pros in the industry. Inside will be everything from home office video tech to connected products to an Innovation Hub. Outside, a 24,000-square-foot Destination Backyard will showcase things like a Séura weatherproof television (above). Over 150 sessions will be offered on new markets and emerging trends. For more info, go here.

Monday, September 26

Video gamer esports and The Center for Brainhealth

[Photo: :Sabrina Bracher/istockphoto]

Richardson Named a Top U.S. city for Esports Software Development

⟫ Site-selection firm The Boyd Company has released a list of the Top 25 U.S. and Canadian cities for esports software development. Richardson landed at No. 14 with a total cost of just under $19 million, a figure calculated based on operating a 50,000-square-foot center with 150 employees, NTX Inno reported. The study was based on the total estimated annual cost of operating an esports software development center in each city. Boyd notes that esports revenue is slated to reach $350 million in the U.S. this year and $1.41 billion globally—with expectations for $10 billion in global revenue by 2025, NTX Inno adds. 

[Photo Courtesy of Saltbox]

Saltbox to Open Its Second DFW Co-Warehousing Facility

⟫ When startups and small companies can’t afford a big office, they move into a coworking space. So what do they do when they need a warehouse? A lot of them call Saltbox, an Atlanta-based flexible logistics firm. Saltbox is opening a 128,000-square-foot co-warehousing facility in Carrollton, its second DFW location after opening one in Farmers Branch last year, the Dallas Morning News reports. The new location will offer 169 flexible warehouse suites and 10 offices, with tenants gaining access to a photo studio along with the loading docks.

AT&T Stadium [Photo: AT&T]

The YTexas Summit Is Coming to AT&T Stadium This Friday

⟫ The field at AT&T Stadium won’t have Cowboys on it this Friday. But it will have drones, robots, a self-driving Indy car, a military-grade helicopter, VR tech, and more. That’s because YTexas, the network for businesses expanding, relocating, and growing in Texas, is presenting its annual YTexas Summit at the stadium in Arlington this Friday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The largest business symposium in the state, it will feature networking, exhibitors, panel discussions, live demos, and more. “Our event will demonstrate the scope and scale of Texas’ massive $2 trillion dollar economy while also showcasing some of the state’s most noteworthy and iconic brands,” says YTexas CEO Ed Curtis. You can find out more, including ticket info, by going here.

Friday, September 23

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

HiFAB Studio and Plant in Grand Prairie Will Create Modern Modular Homes by Lake/Flato Architects
Dallas Route Optimization Startup Routora Aims to Help You Save Time, Money on the Road
Integrated Defense Products Relocates Its HQ from California to Rockwall
Comerica Bank Is Building a New Business and Innovation Hub at The Star in Frisco
‘A Global Influencer of Technology and Innovation’: Richardson Opens HQ for Its Innovation Quarter
UNT Dallas’ New Ryan Tower Is a Beacon of Promise in Southern Dallas
Follow the Money: Cerebro Sports Lands Mark Cuban Backing, Ryan Snags Tax Products from Thomson Reuters, and More
Plano-Based Universal EV Chargers Gets Nearly $10M in Federal Grants for Hotel EV Charging Expansion
Pier 1 Imports Owner Invests in Local Retailer Tuesday Morning in $32M Deal
Gamified Exercise, Medical Devices, and More: 10 Startups Bring Their Ideas to Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth Accelerator

More Things to Know

2022 North Texas Giving Day Kickoff [Photo: Can Turkyilmaz]

North Texas Giving Day Raised Over $62M from 94,000 Donors

⟫ Yesterday’s 14th annual North Texas Giving Day raised over $62 million from more than 94,000 donors, reports the Communities Foundation of Texas, the nonprofit that founded and leads the event. The donations were raised for over 3,200 participating nonprofits serving across 20 counties in the region. All together, North Texas Giving Day has raised over $500 million since its launch in 2009. But the money given this year wasn’t just from locals—gifts were sent from all 50 states and 41 countries, the foundation says. Three weeks of early giving boosted the total in the run up to yesterday, with concerts, community events, and festivals prepping people to give. Dave Scullin, the foundation’s president and CEO, says the funds raised “will do a tremendous amount of good for our community.” This year’s event was presented by Amazon.

Photo: leekris/iStock

Report: Texas is America’s No. 1 State to Launch a Business

⟫ Texas is the No. 1 Best State to launch a startup in the U.S., according to a new report from Lensa, the jobs and recruitment platform. “Texas saw 492,243 new business applications in the last year, beaten only by California and Florida. This demonstrates just how many ambitious entrepreneurs there are in Texas,” the report states. Lensa notes that Texas’ corporate tax rate is just 3.95%, ranking it in the top 10 and helping small business owners maximize their profits. Texas also made the list of top 15 states for cost of living, which Lensa says can help startup entrepreneurs bootstrap their businesses. Texas was followed in the Best State Top 5 list by Georgia, California, Illinois, and North Carolina.


View of The Pegasus as seen on top of the Magnolia Building in downtown Dallas. [Photo: Kelleher Photography/istockphoto]

Dallas’ Historic Magnolia Building Is Getting a $65M Makeover

⟫ The landmark Magnolia Building in downtown Dallas is slated to get a $65 million redevelopment beginning in early 2023, reports the Dallas Morning News. The former headquarters of the Magnolia  Petroleum Company, which merged with Mobil Oil in 1959, is famous for the winged pegasus that crowns it. The building was turned into the Magnolia Hotel in the late 1990s, and was purchased last year by Grapevine-based hotel company NewcrestImage. Gensler’s Dallas office will be doing the redesign, which is expected to be completed in 2024, the DMN writes.

Luka Doncic’s Luk.AI digital metahuman creation on TikTok [Image: Luka Doncic/Twitter]

Mavericks’ Luka Doncic Turned Into Digital ‘MetaHuman’ on TikTok

⟫ Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic turned his TikTok account over yesterday to a “digital metahuman” version of himself that can interact with fans—and grow increasingly “smarter” along the way, WFAA reports. You can see real-life Luka helping to initiate the process in this tweet. The tech behind Luk.AI is called “MetaHuman Creator,” a browser-based software tool run by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5. Epic Games says the tech “empowers anyone to create photorealistic digital humans, complete with hair and clothing, in minutes.”

Thursday, September 22

Toyota and Kenworth have jointly designed heavy-duty “Ocean” Class 8 fuel cell EVs [Photo: Toyota Motor North America]

Toyota, Kenworth Prove Fuel Cell Electric Truck Capabilities 

⟫ Plano-based Toyota Motor North America and Kenworth Truck Company say they’ve proven the capabilities of their jointly designed “Ocean” heavy-duty, Class 8 fuel cell electric vehicles. A potential zero-emissions replacement for diesel-powered trucks, the EVs were developed as part of the Zero- and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) “Shore to Store” project in the Los Angeles area. The Ocean has a range of around 300-plus miles when fully loaded to 82,000 pounds, the companies say—adding that with no downtime between shifts for charging and a relatively short 15- to 20-minute fill time, the FCEVs could run multiple shifts a day and cover up to 400 to 500 miles. A Toyota chief engineer says the successful demonstration “opens the door to even broader future deployment.”

ScreenX demo from CJ 4DPLEX

Dallas-based Cinemark Is Bringing Multi-Wall Tech to Texas Theaters

⟫ Like going to movies, but tired of only seeing them on one wall? You’re in luck. Dallas-based Cinemark is partnering with South Korea’s CJ 4DPLEX to bring a new way of seeing movies to Texas theaters: ScreenX, an immersive, 270-degree format with images appearing on the left and right cinema walls. Recent ScreenX films have included Elvis, Bullet Train, and Top Gun: MaverickScreenX works closely with filmmakers and studios to ensure the highest quality presentation of the film in select key scenes, Cinemark says. The companies plan to convert auditoriums in six Cinemark theatres in Texas and California by year end

[Photo: Alto]

Alto Is Giving Away Boots and Beer for State Fair Tailgating Season

⟫ Alto, the Dallas-based rideshare service now operating in six markets nationwide, is kicking things up a notch for the tailgating and State Fair of Texas season. From Oct. 1 through Oct. 7, riders will find a scratch off ticket inside their Alto ride. If you find three gold boots, you’ve won the grand prize of a $2,000 gift card for Lucchese boots. And starting Oct. 2, every Alto vehicle will have complimentary EIGHT beer (Troy Aikman’s newly launched brand, get it?) waiting for riders. Depending on how the Cowboys do in the New York Giants game Monday night, you might need to find some extra, too. 

Wednesday, September 21

Al Franken is the winner of the 2022 Ernie Kovacs Award from Dallas VideoFest

Al Franken to Receive the Dallas VideoFest’s Ernie Kovacs Award Thursday

⟫ Former U.S. Senator and Saturday Night Live comedian Al Franken will receive the Dallas VideoFest 2022 Ernie Kovacs Award in an event that begins Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. VideoFest Founder Bart Weiss will present the award. Franken will be attending along with Joshua Mills, son of Edie Adams, who was married to legendary TV comic Ernie Kovacs until his death in 1962. “Many comedians today talk about the tremendous influence of David Letterman and Conan O’Brien, and deservedly so,” Franken said in a statement. “Both have inspired today’s generation of comedians in the same way that Kovacs inspired me and so many others.” Once the award is handed out, the 2006 documentary “Al Franken: God Spoke” will be screened. Tickets are available here.

Illustration: metamorworks/iStock

Report: Dallas Is No. 2 in the U.S. in Fastest-Growing Tech Salaries

⟫  Careers marketplace Hired is out with its annual State of Tech Salaries report, and anyone following the North Texas tech jobs boom of the last year knows we probably came out well. How well? Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 2 in the U.S. in average local tech salary increases, with an 11.3% increase. Only Philadelphia ranked higher in the category, with an 11.9% increase. “The hiring climate this year has been full of contradictions and challenges,” Hired CEO Josh Brenner said in a statement on U.S. tech jobs overall. “We’ve seen climbing salaries, aggressive hiring, and layoffs—all at once. However, the hiring landscape remains competitive as companies innovate and diversify their teams through remote work.”

American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Flagship Suite Seat. [Photo: AA]

‘Flagship Suite’ Premium Seating Coming to American Airlines

⟫  Fort Worth-based American Airlines has unveiled a nicer way to fly by introducing its new Flagship Suite premium seating. As seen above on the Boeing 787-9, the new seats will have sliding privacy doors. Once inside your cloud-piercing domain, American says you’ll be “surrounded with comfort and expansive personal surface and storage areas.” The seat’s chaise lounge position can be converted into lie-flat seating to make those long-haul flights go by in a blink. But don’t pack your bags yet—Flagship Suites won’t be available until 2024, with new deliveries of American’s Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A321XLR aircraft. The airline will also be retrofitting some existing aircraft with the new suites by late 2024.

The QUAD in Uptown. [Rendering courtesy Stream Realty Partners]

Chicago Title Becomes First Tenant of The QUAD in Uptown

⟫ After breaking ground earlier this year, Dallas’ Stream Realty Partners has landed its first tenant for its 12-story The QUAD in Uptown, which is expected to open doors in early 2024. While not moving far, Chicago Title has inked a deal to take up 20,000 square feet of space in the building. Previously, the company had a 15,600 square-foot space on a building the same site as The QUAD. Clark Pulliam, Chicago Title’s director of operations and counsel, said the move will provide an easier commute for employees as well as providing amenities for client meetings. In addition to office space, the 345,000-square-foot building will offer features like a “penthouse amenity club” and fitness studio, along with surrounding green and retail space.

Tuesday, September 20

DFW airport Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

[Photo courtesy of DFW International Airport]

DFW Airport Named No. 2 “Most Connected” Airport in the World

⟫ OAG, a leading data platform for the global travel industry, released its Megahubs 2022 list today. Of the Top 50 “most internationally connected airports in the world,” Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport now ranks No. 2. The North Texas airport made a big leap from its 2019 ranking, when it placed No. 19. Only Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport ranked higher, with a total of 66 international destinations served. OAG noted that American Airlines is the dominant carrier at DFW Airport, with an 85% share of flights.

Alex Holmes, CEO of MoneyGram. [Photo: MoneyGram]

MoneyGram International Helps Empower Digital Payments for Millions in Asia, Africa, Middle East

⟫ Through an expanded strategic partnership with Emirati tech and investment group e& International, Dallas-based MoneyGram International is helping empower digital payments to 160 million people across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Utilizing MoneyGram’s network of locations and services, the millions of e& customers will be able to send real-time payments globally via e&’s money mobile wallet. The companies said the service is now live in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Afghanistan, with Egypt, Pakistan, and “several other markets in Africa” launching over the next few months.  “As a result of our strategy to invest in our digital network that now extends to over 100 countries, we’re seeing increased demand to access our global platform,” says MoneyGram’s chairman and CEO Alex Holmes (above).

Proposed Development Could House More Than 300 Families in Oak Cliff

⟫ A proposed development in Oak Cliff could potentially provide housing to more than 300 families, with the goal of focusing on ownership rather than rentals. The proposed 63-acre mixed-used development—called the Parks at Oak Cliff—is led by real estate development firm Oak Cliff Investment Fund (OCIF), the Dallas Observer reports. In addition to alleviating affordable housing needs in Southern Dallas, the project hopes to build community and economic development through things like health clinics, cultural centers, and hotels. After gathering community feedback and drawing up concepts, the OCIF is in the process of raising funds to purchase land, with plans to begin construction next year.

Marty McDonald. [Photo: Boss Women Media]

Boss Women Media Launches Three-City Tour

⟫ In partnership with Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator, Dallas education and empowerment platform Boss Women Media is launching a new initiative. Called Building Women for the Future, the three-city popup event is aimed at providing female entrepreneurs of color the “tools and resources needed to create successful brands and businesses.” In addition to programming and networking, the initiative will include pitch competitions, with the goal of providing $10,000 investments to five winners. Building Women for the Future kicks off in Washington, D.C. on September 23, before rolling into Dallas on September 30 and Atlanta on October 23.

[Photo: Smoke’N Ash B.B.Q.]

Two DFW Eateries Make New York Times’ Top 50 Restaurant List

⟫ The New York Times is out with its Top 50 Restaurant List for 2022, and two local eateries made the grade. One is Sister, the “Italian-ish” restaurant on Lower Greenville in Dallas, which lives in the hallowed former home of the legendary The Grape. (Sister is from Duro Hospitality, the group behind The Charles, Bar Charles, and an upcoming restaurant in the former Highland Park Pharmacy.) The other is Smoke’N Ash B.B.Q. in Arlington (above), whose owners Patrick and Fasicka Hicks fuse Texas barbecue with Ethiopian fare. The Times says the restaurant’s “vibrant Ethiopian flavors” are “an ideal match for barbecue.” Only one other Texas restaurant made the list: Canje, a Guyanese-Caribbean spot in Austin.

Some of the fair food items up for votes at Burleson BTX Best. [Image: City of Burleson]

Burleson’s BTX Best Fest Offers State Fair-Inspired Foods

⟫  Participating restaurants in Burleson, just south of Fort Worth, have worked up their own State Fair-inspired culinary creations for the 2022 BTX Best Fest. The items above are just some of the delights on offer (Fried Oreo Truffles? Yum).Diners can go here to vote for their favorites and find out how to get a “passport” stamped by each restaurant they peruse, with a prize package awarded by participating businesses. Alex Philips, economic development director at City of Burleson Economic Development, wrote on LinkedIn that this is BTX Best Fest’s third year. It was originally launched when the State Fair of Texas was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Monday, September 19

Siemens Digital Industries Software and sustamize collaborate on carbon footprint calculator. [Photo: Siemens]

Siemens Partners With sustamize to Add Carbon Footprint Calculator to Its Platform

⟫ Plano-based Siemens Digital Industries Software is collaborating with climate tech company sustamize GmbH to add Carbon Footprint Calculator software to the Siemens Xcelerator platform. The new solution enables companies to measure, simulate, reduce, and track their product carbon footprint early in the development phase. Siemens VP of sustainability Eryn Devota says the solution can help companies “avoid hazardous materials, use materials and energy efficiently, develop clean manufacturing procedures, and help to accelerate the transition to net zero.”

JCPenney Beauty is rolling out in a partnership with e-commerce destination thirteen lune. [Photo: JCPenney]

JCPenney to Expand JCPenney Beauty Experience Nationwide in October

⟫ In a partnership with e-commerce destination thirteen lune, Lewisville-based JCPenney has announced plans for a nationwide rollout of its new JCPenney Beauty experience. Beginning in October, the inclusive experience will expand from 10 pilot locations to over 600 stores by spring 2023. Thirteen lune focuses on “beauty brands created by Black and Brown founders that resonate with people of all colors.” According to the Dallas Morning News, the offering was created to replace Sephora in-store shops in JCPenney’s brick-and-mortar stores. The first DFW JCPenney stores to get the new experience will be in Fort Worth, Frisco, and Denton; Town East Mall in Mesquite already launched it in the pilot phase.

Uber Intros Electric-Only Rides in Dallas, 24 Other Locations. [Video still: Uber]

Uber Rolls Out Electric-Only Ride Option in Dallas as Part of Sustainability Effort

⟫ Uber customers in Dallas can now request more than just a ride. With a click of a button on the Uber app, they can go electric in a premium EV like a TeslaPolestar, or Ford Mustang Mach-E. Uber’s Comfort Electric service debuted four months ago in a few California cities. Now, partnering with Hertz, Uber is enabling 25,000 drivers in Dallas and 24 other cities to rent an EV to pick up passengers. The program is part of Uber’s commitment to becoming a zero-emissions mobility platform by 2040.

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Launches First Brand Campaign. [Image: DHHRM]

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Launches First Brand Campaign

⟫ From its new 55,000-square-foot home in downtown Dallas’ West End, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum offers a wide array of cutting-edge exhibits and immersive education resources. Now it’s getting the word out in its first big 360-degree brand campaign. Local agency of record Tegan Digital, which already redesigned and launched a new website for the museum, will kick off the campaign this month across connected TV, out of home, print, digital displays, paid search, and paid social. Tegan client services VP John Herrington says the campaign will help the museum fulfill its mission to “keep the truth of history alive and accessible for new generations and to continue inspiring people to stand up to injustice.”

Friday, September 16

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

⓵  Dallas-Based Texas Brand Bank Will Merge with 121-Year-Old Harmony Bank, and Take Its Name
Dallas Water Commons Project Will Transform 17 Acres of Wetlands Into a Public Greenspace in The Cedars
Dallas Startups and DUKE.AI Land Google As New Backer
Innovative Greenspace Coming to Frisco Is Named ‘Kaleidoscope Park,’ Gets Its Own Foundation
DI People: EarthX, Match Group, Bonton Farms, and More Make Leadership Moves
Pier 1 Imports Owner Invests in Local Retailer Tuesday Morning in $32M Deal
Hitachi Vantara Opens First North American Cloud and Engineering Center in Dallas
Meet the 43 Finalists for the 2022 Tech Titans Award
‘Fast N’ Loud’ Star Richard Rawlings On Selling His Collection and Opening Two New Venues
Comerica Bank Is Building a New Business and Innovation Hub at The Star in Frisco

More Things to Know

Fort Worth’s planned National Juneteenth Museum is designed by the New York office of Denmark-based Bjarke Ingels Group. [Rendering courtesy City of Fort Worth]

Fort Worth Pledges $15M to Advance the National Juneteenth Museum

Slated to be built in Fort Worth’s Historic Southside neighborhood, the planned $70 million National Juneteenth Museum aims to turn an annual holiday into a year-round global attraction. To advance the project, the Fort Worth City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pledge $15 million for the museum’s development.  Designed by the New York office of Denmark-based Bjarke Ingels Group—which co-designed the stunning new Google HQ in Northern California—the building will house the museum on its second level, with a business incubator, restaurant, 250-seat amphitheater, and storefronts at ground level.

“Literally and figuratively, it was designed to be a beacon of light in an area that has been dark for a very long time,” says Jarred Howard, principal of the project’s developer.

Read more in our story here.


Image: iStock

Player Analytics Startup Cerebro Sports Lands Pre-Seed Funding from Mark Cuban

⟫ After inking agreements with a number of collegiate and NBA teams, Dallas-based Cerebro Sports is looking to “break down barriers across the basketball industry” with funding from someone who knows a thing or two about the sport: local billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Using its technology, the company provides data and analytics on basketball players to help in the recruitment process, with the goal of making it more objective. Launched last year, Cerebro said it plans to use the pre-seed funding to help scale internal data operations, in addition to growing its institutional client base as it gears up for the release of its consumer offering. Eventually it aims to add more sports to its platform.

Photo: TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays Inks Its ‘Most Significant Development Agreement’ with Increased Asia Expansion

⟫ In what it calls the “most significant development agreement” in its history, Dallas-based TGI Fridays has entered a 10-year partnership agreement with Singapore franchisor Universal Success Enterprises to bring 75 new restaurants to South and Southeast Asia. Adding to the 385 franchised locations TGI Fridays has in more than 52 countries, the deal is expected to drive more than $500 million in revenue over the course of the agreement for the company. The announcement comes as TGI Fridays said it has seen its same-store sales grow on average by 23% globally.

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Kicks Off $120M Fundraising Effort

⟫ The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is kicking off its annual fundraising effort with the goal of raising $120 million over the next three years. It’s already got $3 million in backing via $1 million donations from Comerica, Pepsico Foods North America, and Trinity Industries, The Dallas Morning News reports. Money raised will help the organization fund regionally focused projects in areas like education, income, and health. According to the DMN, United Way raised $79.1 million last year.

Photo: Chad Hill/iStock

Site Selection Magazine Explores Fort Worth’s ‘HOT Business Climate’

⟫ Fort Worth has gone from being the country’s 15th largest city in 2017 to its 13th largest today. According to Site Selection Magazine, that growth is thanks in part to the city’s regional development, entrepreneurship, and innovation. On the entrepreneurship and innovation side, the magazine points toward early-stage companies like Revitalize Charging Solutions and supporters like startup incubator TechFW, along with established tech firms like Linear Labs, which are collectively helping drive new innovations, especially in the realm of mobility. The magazine also spotlights health care innovation being driven in large part by the UNT Health Science Center. In addition, it says that public-private partnerships in the city have helped add thousands of housing units and millions of square feet of commercial space, all of whicFh are making Fort Worth attractive to new residents and businesses.

Rendering: ulrich medical USA

German Medical Device Firm ulrich medical Relocates U.S. HQ to Plano

⟫ German spinal implant-focused medical device company ulrich medical is relocating is U.S. headquarters from Chesterfield, Missouri to Plano—a move expected to begin in Q1 of next year. While not disclosing names, the company said the move follows a sales agency agreement with “a premier global orthopedic leader,” driving the need for a larger facility. President and CEO Hans Stover calls the move in the company’s “best strategic interest,” with his company saying it chose Plano due to the region’s talent pool and “business-friendly environment.”

Thursday, September 15

Nancy Best Fountain at Klyde Warren Park. [Photo: Klyde Warren Park]

‘Choreographed’ Interactive Fountain Opens at Klyde Warren Park

⟫  By day, it’s a 5,000-square-foot splash pad with enough room for hundreds of kids. After sunset, it’s a light and music show with dancing waters lit in varied hues. It’s the newly opened Nancy Best Fountain at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas, funded by a gift from park board member Nancy Best and her husband Randy. Created by Fluidity Design Consultants, it features three stainless steel “trees,” 14 “rosebud” bubblers, and 106 tiny nozzles that can burst out giant “leaves” at the same time. Your move, Mother Nature. 

[Photo: jetcityimage/iStock]

Amazon Is Planning a New Data Center in DeSoto 

⟫  Here’s one more sign of the data center boom in North Texas: Amazon is planning to build a nearly 30,000-square-foot data center in DeSoto just south of Dallas, reports the Dallas Morning News, with the project slated to begin in early 2023 before completion in 2024. Amazon Data Services acquired the vacant 9-acre-plus site for the center near Hampton Road and I-20 late last year, the DMN says, adding that Dallas-based HKS Architects is drawing up the center’s design. 

[Photo: Dave and Buster’s]

Dave & Buster’s To Open 11 Locations Across the Middle East

⟫ Dallas-based restaurant and arcade entertainment powerhouse Dave & Buster’s has signed its first-ever multi-country international expansion deal with Saudi Arabia-based Abdul Mohsen Al Hokair Holding Group. The franchise partnership aims to open 11 Dave & Buster’s units, with the first ones located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, followed by later openings in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. For its Middle Eastern expansion, the company says it plans localized menus “with high regional resonance” along with a “differentiated and unique amusement strategy and packages.”

[Image: Roku]

Dallas Agency Is the First to Join Roku’s TV Streaming Ad Program for Small and Medium Businesses

⟫  Dallas-based Camelot Strategic Marketing & Media has signed on to be the first agency to join Roku’s certified partner program for its OneView TV streaming advertising platform. Camelot will use the data, tech, and tools from Roku’s platform to make it easier for small and medium businesses to place ads on ad-supported networks and apps within the growing streaming universe.  “Camelot prides itself on building fact-based, insights-driven programs for our clients, which is why we chose OneView to deliver the best TV ad experience,” CEO Sam Bloom said in a statement.

Wednesday, September 14

[Courtesy photo]

9-Year-Old Kidpreneur Tastes Sweet Success in Texas Pitch Competition

Skylar Lewis, who owns Skylar’s Sweet Snacks, squeezed out a big win in today’s Texas Junior Small Business Pitch Competition. Presented by Lemonade Day in partnership with the Governor’s Commission for Women, the ambitious young entrepreneur from Ellis County won $1,000 from the Beacon State Fund in the North Texas region pitch.

North Texas Taxi Mom Is Regional Winner in Governor’s Commission for Women Pitch

⟫ In related pitch news, Taxi Mom Founder Yolanda Stevenson won the Women-Owned Small Business Pitch Competition for her innovative business. The North Texan was awarded the regional grand prize of $7,000 by the Beacon Street Fund and the Governor’s Commission for Women. Stevenson founded the business as a solution to bus shortage issues in her part of town. Her “why” is simple, she says in a post on the company’s website: “I needed a service like this myself when I was working full-time, especially on those days when you’re stuck working late or in traffic. You know that feeling when you start to panic because you’re late picking your child up, and when you arrive, your child is sitting in the school office because all of the other kids have gone home.” The name Taxi Mom is meant to say it all: It “supports what we do and offers a ‘comfort feeling’ to our parents.” Her business currently serves 15 areas in DFW, Houston, Austin, and Waco.

Nacuity CEO Halden Conner (left) and Arctic Therapeutics CEO Ívar Hákonarson

Fort Worth’s Nacuity Partners to Fight Rare, Fatal Disease in Iceland

⟫ Fort Worth-based biopharma firm Nacuity Pharmaceuticals is looking to use one of its therapies to help fight a fatal disease most commonly found in Iceland. Through an exclusive licensing agreement and strategic partnership, Arctic Therapeutics International can develop and commercialize Nacuity’s NPI-001 therapy to fight a rare disease that causes paralysis and dementia in young adults. Nacuity chairman, co-founder, and CEO Halden Conner (above left, with Arctic CEO Ívar Hákonarson) says Nacuity is forwarding its “mission to develop therapies that stop oxidative tissue damage.” The clinical-stage company is a leader in treatments for oxidative stress, a driver of blinding eye diseases and other serious chronic conditions. In June, Nacuity landed a $16.5 million Series B funding round led by the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Catalyze Challenge Winners Get Career-Connected Learning Awards of Up to $500K

The Catalyze Challenge—a joint venture between American Student AssistanceArnold Ventures, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, and others aimed at funding great ideas in education— has unveiled the latest round of 25 grant recipients who could receive up to $500,000 in funds. The awardees were picked out of 550 total applicants for the $5 million challenge round. North Texas-related awardees include The SkillUp Coalition/LevelUp Dallas, which helps students pursue career paths based on their preferences via curated content and training programs on its online platform, and Stepmojo, a hybrid credential-bearing computer science pathway with a presence in North Texas.

Per Catalyze, The SkillUp Coalition/LevelUp Dallas supports students in grades 10-14 in pursuing a career path based on their preferences via an online platform. Students are given curated career recommendations and connected with vetted training programs to pursue the options.’

Stepmojo Education “supports students to take ‘steps’ to increase their ‘mojo'” (aka special talents). The program aims to “radically” expand a student’s access to high-quality, live online courses through its platform. North Texas-based Bret Gosselin works with course developers and aligns on the organization’s approach, he says. 

Tuesday, September 13

Dallas County Criminal Courthouse and Jail Complex [Photo: Edie Thomas/Shutterstock]

Dallas County Commissioners Eye Plans to Renovate or Relocate Jail, Courthouse

⟫ Dallas County commissioners are looking at plans to renovate or demolish the Dallas County criminal courthouse and jail located just across the river from downtown. If it goes with a teardown, the current jail and courthouse would be relocated, with a smaller, “smarter” jail focused largely on violent offenders. The issue is the rising costs of updating the jail facility to meet new standards, WFAA reports. If relocated, new space for economic development would open up in an area that has been underdeveloped for decades. Commissioners are currently in the process of naming members to a committee to make recommendations, which will likely take more than a year. So far, WFAA says Country Judge Clay Jenkins plans to tap Noé Hinojosa, Jr., chairman and CEO of Estrada Hinojosa, and commissioner J.J. Koch has asked former Irving Police Chief Jeff Spivey to be part of the committee.

Award-Winning Art Critic Jerry Saltz Is Coming to UNT Wednesday for a Lecture and Book Signing

Jerry Saltz

Award-winning art critic Jerry Saltz will be at the University of North Texas Wednesday (September 14) for a 7 p.m. lecture and book signing. Saltz, senior art critic for New York magazine and Vulturewon the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for criticism and a 2019 National Magazine Award. Known for his witty, provocative writing style, Saltz has been called “a critic of the people” by Architectural Digest for attracting a broader audience to fine art while celebrating works by long-overlooked artists. The event will be held at University Union Lyceum 326 and is presented by the Mary Jo & V. Lane Rawlings Fine Arts Series. Tickets are available here.

An aerial view of Granite Properties’ planned 26-story tower, 23Springs, in Dallas’ Uptown. [Rendering: Granite Properties]

Blackstone Firm Revantage Plans New Dallas Office for Team of 160

⟫ Chicago’s Revantage, the corporate service-providing arm of global investment giant Blackstone, is eyeing office space around downtown Dallas to house at least 160 employees. The Dallas City Council will vote soon on a $1 million incentive package that would require Revantage to take at least 50,000 square feet of space by the end of next April and offer full-time salaries of $120,000, per The Dallas Morning News. The firm already lists more than 30 open Dallas positions in a wide range of functions on its website. A new Dallas office would add to Revantage’s presence in the U.S., Europe, and Singapore. The DMN says potential Revantage sites include Uptown’s new Quad building, 23Springs (above), downtown’s East Quarter development, Victory Park, and The Epic in Deep Ellum.

Ericsson partners with NSF’s AERPAW on 5G drone research for smart agriculture. [Photo: Ericsson]

Ericsson and AERPAW Collaborate on 5G Drone Research for Smart Agriculture

⟫ Global telecom company Ericsson, which has its North American headquarters in Plano, is working with the National Science Foundation-funded Aerial Experimentation and Research Platform for Advanced Wireless and a handful of other industry partners to show off the 5G capabilities for using drones to support “smart agriculture.” In a demo, the orgs remotely flew a drone over a cattle field to collect information on grazing patterns. Ericsson’s Per Wahlen wants to show how network coverage can safely expand drone use beyond line-of-sight to help expand the tech’s use. In the ag space, drones can help with animal monitoring and tracking, along with supply delivery.

Monday, September 12

Trukera Medical has launched its ScoutPro portable osmometer testing system for cornea health. [Photo: Trukera]

Southlake’s Trukera Medical Launches ‘First and Only’ Portable Osmometer

⟫  Southlake-based Trukera Medical—formerly known as TearLab Corporation before its rebranding last week—has launched what it calls the “first and only” portable osmometer in the U.S. Used to measure patients’ corneal health, the handheld ScoutPro system enables eye care practices to do lab testing for hyperosmolarity quickly and efficiently. “Toxic hyperosmolarity damages sensitive corneal nerves and may cause refractive instability,” said Dr. Lisa Nijm, a corneal surgeon in Illinois and Trukera’s chief medical advisor for ophthalmology. “As cornea and cataract/refractive specialists, we’re cognizant of the importance of this to our surgical outcomes and the overall health of our patients’ eyes.”

Spacee launches HoverTouch Wall [Photo: Spacee]

Spacee launches HoverTouch Wall

⟫ Addison-based computer vision and AI solutions startup Spacee is launching new technology that enables businesses to turn a wall into an interactive experience. The HoverTouch Wall is a 100-inch “screen” that allows users to interact with digital content, manipulating it without the need to touch it. The company said it has applications from retail and manufacturing to communications and marketing. According to CEO Skip Howard, the technology “empowers businesses to better use their space, creating interactive displays on any spare wall, while providing that invaluable user data that is so readily available in the online world.”

Holt Lunsford and Principal REI are building a 1.76M SF industrial project in Forney. [Image: Holt Lunsford]

A 1.76M-SF Industrial Project is Going Up in Forney

⟫ In partnership with investment giant Principal Real Estate Investors, Dallas’ Holt Lunsford Commercial Investments is looking to bring a 127-acre business park to Forney. The Gateway Crossing Logistics Park will feature three buildings totaling more than 1.76 million square feet—the largest of which is more than 1 million square feet. The firms said the project will also feature built-to-suit offices and will target businesses in areas like e-commerce, manufacturing, and distribution. The expected delivery date is late 2023. 

Friday, September 9

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

Innovative Greenspace Coming to Frisco Is Named ‘Kaleidoscope Park,’ Gets Its Own Foundation
UT Southwestern Opens Its Largest Regional Medical Center at RedBird in Southern Dallas China’s NetDragon Has a New Robot CEO—and North Texas Ties
Legendary Dallas Innovator John Carmack Raises $20M for Artificial General Intelligence Startup Keen Technologies
Wealth Management Tech Startup VRGL Raises $15M to Help Firms Acquire Clients, Manage Proposals
Innovative Spaces: PGA of America Unveils Its New $33.5M Headquarters in Frisco
City of Fort Worth Appoints Chief of Strategy and Innovation
Meet the 43 Finalists for the 2022 Tech Titans Awards
Dallas-Based DataBank Sells 35% Stake for $1.5 Billion
The Last Word: American Airlines CEO Robert Isom on Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker’s Podcast


50-foot climbing wall at Summit Gym’s Grapevine 2.0 location. [Photo: Summit Gym]

Tall Wall: Summit Gym Opens New Outpost in Grapevine

⟫  Summit Gym is reaching new heights in Grapevine—literally. It’s opened a new 36,000-square-foot rock climbing, yoga, and fitness gym with what it calls “more wall space than any gym” in DFW. With 50-foot walls, over 12,000 square feet of rope climbing, and 6,000 square feet of bouldering, it’s Summit’s seventh facility across North Texas and Oklahoma. Summit CEO Jason McKenzie promises a “Texas-sized climbing experience” for a DFW climbing community he says has grown significantly over the past 20 years. If the photo above makes you dizzy, don’t worry—the gym also has yoga and fitness studios plus a full layout of cardio and weight equipment. 

Rendering: Norm Li

Dallas Water Commons Project Will Create a Wetlands Greenspace Attraction in The Cedars

⟫ The Dallas Water Commons project, slated to break ground in 2024, will transform 17 acres of wetlands in Dallas’ Cedars neighborhood into something both beautiful and purposeful: a public greenspace with hike and bike lanes that will cleanse and filter 650 million gallons of run-off stormwater each year. A big bonus: protecting the wetlands habitat and the species that live and breed there. “This is a game changer for Dallas,” says Vickie Meeks, a local artist and member of the project’s advisory board.

Read more.

[Illustration: uzenzen/istockphoto]

Report: Texas is the No. 1 Destination for Rich Young Professionals

⟫  According to a new study from SmartAsset, Texas was the most popular destination for wealthy millennials between 2019 and 2020. More than 15,000 millennials earning $100,000 or more a year moved to the Lone Star State, while only about 11,200 left. That led to a net inflow of around 3,800 “rich young professionals,” SmartAsset says—more than in any other state. Florida and Washington were the second- and third-ranked states at attracting these cash-happy young people. For the study, SmartAsset defined “rich young professionals” as being under age 35 with a $100K+ income. (Whether $100K a year truly makes one “rich” is open to argument, of course—and perhaps calls for another study.)

Fair Park Band Shell.[Photo: Fair Park]

Fair Park Seeks Tenants for Its Band Shell and the Magnolia Lounge and Margo Jones Theater 

⟫  Fair Park is looking for organizations that want to become tenants at two of its historic attractions. One is the Fair Park Band Shell (above), which sprawls across 7,175 square feet and has seating for 3,800. The other is the Magnolia Lounge and Margo Jones Theater, an Art Deco landmark built in 1936 that offers 6,100 square feet and a 100-seat theater. Fair Park says it will consider proposals for uses in the arts, civic, culture, educational, entertainment, recreational, retail, food and beverage, and other park-activating uses. For more info, contact Alyssa Arnold at Fair Park First. Responses are due by 2 p.m. October 19.

[Image: Rooftop Cinema Club]

Rooftop Cinema Club Coming to Downtown Fort Worth Hotel

⟫  Fort Worth’s Wheelhouse Innovations is slated to design and build out a Rooftop Cinema Club venue on the The Terrace of the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. The club promises to be the “ultimate open-air cinema experience” with a mission to transform nights at the movies into “cinematic events like no other.” with city skylines, sunsets, starlit evenings, food and drink, and iconic movies on a big screen. Wheelhouse says it will construct the box office, food concessions, a cocktail bar, and a storage building as part of the project.

Thursday, September 8

Photo: Flock Safety

Fort Worth Police Call License-Scanning Camera Tech a ‘Game Changer’

⟫  The Fort Worth Police Department has been using a Flock Safety security camera system to scan license plates on city streets—and Police Chief Neil Noakes told Fox 4 News “the technology has been a game changer.” His department uses the cameras in high-traffic areas throughout Fort Worth, scanning for license plates involved in offenses like felonies, stolen vehicles, and other major crimes. In one case last May, the tech was used to arrest a man who allegedly flew a drone carrying drugs, mobile phones, and MP3 players into Fort Worth’s federal medical prison.  Flock Safety’s Josh Thomas told Fox 4 his company works with over 2,500 cities across the U.S. and helps solve between “700 and 900 crimes every single day.”

GameStop file photo

GameStop Ramps Up Its NFT Focus, Partners with FTX US Crypto Exchange

⟫  Last May, Grapevine-based GameStop launched a digital asset wallet for cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Yesterday it doubled down on the strategy by announcing a new partnership with FTX US, a cryptocurrency exchange. “The partnership is intended to introduce more GameStop customers to FTX’s community and its marketplaces for digital asset,” GameStop said in a statement. “In addition to collaborating with FTX on new ecommerce and online marketing initiatives, GameStop will begin carrying FTX gift cards in select stores.” As part of the team-up, GameStop will be FTX’s “preferred retail partner” in the U.S.

Istation President and CEO Richard H. Collins signs memorandum of understanding with Poland’s Ministry of Education and Science [Photo: Istation]

Dallas-Based Istation Will Provide Free Math and Reading Instruction to Ukrainian Refugees in Poland

⟫  Dallas- based Istation—an education technology leader founded in 1998—has signed an agreement with Poland’s Ministry of Education and Science to provide its digital reading and math curriculum to students in Poland. The initiative specifically aims to assist Ukrainian refugee students, many of whom have fled to nearby Poland to escape the ongoing war with Russia. Students will receive Istation’s services and programs at no cost to the student. CEO Richard Collins says his company is honored to be selected “to support the needs of Ukrainian refugees, and we look forward to serving as a collaborative partner to Poland throughout this implementation.”

Wednesday, September 7

Illustration: uzenzen/iStock

Report: DFW Female Founders Have Raised Nearly $1.2B Since 2020

⟫  Dallas-Fort Worth is the No. 4 fastest-growing metro in the U.S. for female-founded startups since 2020, according to a new PitchBook report. These DFW startups have seen a 158% growth in capital raised since 2020 compared to funding raised from 2008 to 2019, hauling in a total of almost $1.2 billion since 2020, PitchBook’s data shows. Among the fastest-growing major metro areas in the category, only St. Louis, Phoenix, and Austin showed more growth than DFW. Average deal value for DFW female-founded startups has increased as well, shooting up  more than 89%—second only to St. Louis in the U.S. 

Photo: Jun/iStock

Southlake’s TearLab Rebrands as Trukera Medical, Plans Expansion in Corneal Health

⟫  TearLab Corporation—a Southlake-based developer and marketer of corneal health technologies—is rebranding under the new name Trukera Medical as it targets a broader set of “unmet needs across corneal health.” The company says its flagship testing device, the TearLab Osmolarity System, has been used over 24 million times worldwide. The first new product under the Trukera Medical brand will be announced and launched at the World Cornea Congress in Chicago September 28-29. “Our vision is to be the world’s leading and most trusted corneal health company for providers and patients,” Trukera Medical CEO Adam Szaronos said in a statement.

[Photo: S2 Capital]

Dallas Apartment Investor S2 Capital Raises $400M for First Fund

⟫ Blowing past its initial goal of $250 million, Dallas-based multifamily investor S2 Capital announced the final close of its first investment fund—titled S2 Multifamily Value-Add Fund I, LP—hitting a hard cap of $400 million. The firm said it was able to raise it all in eight months. S2 says it will use the money to continue its focus of investing in apartment properties across the Sun Belt region. With $6 billion under its management, S2 has acquired around 46,000 multifamily units with about $7.5 billion in transaction volume since its founding a decade ago.

A few of the podcast favorites

Seven North Texas Execs Shared Their Top Podcast Picks with D CEO. Have You Heard Them?

⟫  Looking for great podcasts that could inspire you to be more innovative? D CEO asked seven top North Texas execs to share their favorites. From Zirtue CEO Dennis Cail to Aardvark Communications owner Carolyn Alvey to Medical City Healthcare President Erol Akdamar and more, the seven leaders offered their picks. The must-hear podcasts include “What’s Next In,” hosted by Vicki Hyman; “The Voice of the Underdog,” hosted by Mike Sullivan and Michael Tuggle; “The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast”; and four other great listens. Get all seven tips and read why the execs like them in D CEO’s story here.


Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker is back with her Go Time podcast. Today she dropped a new episode featuring American Airlines CEO Robert Isom. Find out more about it in our Last Word today.

Tuesday, September 6

Bell V-280s in flight. [Photo: Bell]

Fort Worth’s Bell Designed This to Replace the Legendary Black Hawk; Will the Army OK It?

⟫  It took its first test flight back in 2017. Now the Bell V-280 Valor long-range assault aircraft may be only months away from a big green light. The Dallas Morning News reports that execs at Fort Worth-based Bell are “confident” the U.S. Army will choose their tilt-rotor warbird to replace the legendary Black Hawk helicopter. Their competition is a rival design from Boeing and Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky. The companies are also competing to manufacture the Army’s next attack recon helicopter. Bell told the DMN that if it lands either deal, “hundreds of additional jobs” could be coming to Fort Worth, Arlington, Amarillo, and beyond. “It’s going to be a manufacturing boost to the Fort Worth area, certainly, and advanced manufacturing too,” Carl Coffman, Bell’s VP for military sales and strategy, told the DMN.

Illustration: jemastock/iStock

Texans are Hard At Work, Study Finds

⟫ Texas residents have been clocking in the hours, big-time. For the second year in a row, the Lone Star State ranks No. 5 among the hardest-working states in the U.S., CultureMap Dallas reports, citing a study by WalletHub. Looking at metrics like average workweek hours, employment rates, and the amount of vacation time unused, only North Dakota, Alaska, Nebraska, and South Dakota came in above Texas. Lazing things up at the bottom of the list were Rhode Island and New Mexico.

CBRE Leads $125M Series E for Proptech Firm VTS

⟫ Dallas-based real estate giant CBRE has led a $125 million Series E funding round for New York proptech company VTS. As part of the deal, CBRE said it plans to roll out the VTS platform, which helps with leasing and asset management, to its teams in areas across the U.S. According to VTS, its platform helped users execute more than $31 billion in leases last year. The funding round, which was joined by BentallGreenOak, AmTrust, Brookfield Ventures, and Insight Venture Partners, comes as VTS also announced securing $150 million in debt financing from CIBC Innovation Banking.

New Aligned facility in Plano. [Photo: Aligned]

Aligned Data Centers Aims to Triple its Plano Footprint

⟫ Coming in front of Plano’s planning commission is a project that would see locally based Aligned Data Centers add more than 220,000 square feet to its existing Plano data center—more than tripling its current size. The move comes after the company grew its debt program to $1.75 billion to accommodate new growth, The Dallas Morning News reports. As part of that plan, the company said it was looking to increase its data center footprint in places like Chicago, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City.

Thursday, September 1

[Image: MoviePass]

MoviePass Picks Dallas, Two Other Cities for Its Beta Relaunch

⟫ After a rather wild and turbulent history that saw it shut down in 2019, subscription-based move ticket app MoviePass announced earlier this year that it was relaunching. It said the cities where its beta would launch would be determined by activity seen on its waitlist. Well, Dallas movie fans must have turned out. The company is targeting Dallas, Chicago, and Kansas City first, Insider reports. According to Endgadget, more than 775,000 people signed up to the waitlist in just five days after its announcement. Beginning September 5, residents in Dallas and the other cities who joined the waitlist will be able to sign up for subscription packages that include $10 for three movie passes per month, $20 for four passes, and $30 for five.

Karl Stabler, head of lending at GoFi

AI-Enabled Lending Platform GoFi Launches in Dallas

⟫ Arizona-based Bridgecrest, the third-party loan servicing provider for DriveTime and its affiliated companies, is launching its latest affiliate, GoFi, which it calls an “AI-enabled, digital-first lending platform.” Based in Dallas, the company says its loan origination technology helps banks, lenders, and other financial partners enable “auto-decisioned responses across the full credit spectrum.” Karl Stabler (above), former senior managing director of corporate development at DriveTime, is serving as GoFi’s head of lending.

ItalianCarFest 2022 will be held in Grapevine on September 10. [Photo: Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau]

ItalianCarFest 2022 Is Coming to Grapevine’s Nash Farm

⟫ The Italian Car Club of North Texas and the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau are bringing what they call the largest show of Italian vehicles in the Southwest to the city’s Nash Farm on September 10. In addition to modern and classic cars from brands like Lamborghini, MaseratiSiata, and Lancia, the ItalianCarFest 2022 will feature food and beverages from Chez Fabian and Main Street Bistro. The event, which will serve as a prelude to Grapevine’s annual wine-centric GrapeFest: A Texas Wine Experience, is free to the public.

Wednesday, August 31

UT Southwestern’s Clements University Hospital [Photo: UTSW]

Meet the Best Employers in North Texas, According to Forbes

⟫ It’s no secret that individuals and companies are moving to North Texas. While the reasons vary, it could be due to the density of having some of the best places to work for, according to Forbes. Based on interviews with 70,000 workers at companies with at least 500 employees, the publication has unveiled fourth annual list of America’s Best Employers by State, which is designed to show how different companies are viewed across state lines. This year, a quarter of the top 20 in Texas are based in DFW, with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ranking the highest at No. 7. While other businesses in the top 20 have operations in the area, like Capital One and H-E-B, others with their headquarters based in the region include UT Dallas (No. 16), Southwest Airlines (No. 17), Lewisville Independent School District (No. 18), and GM Financial (No. 19). Overall, 101 companies were selected in each state, including Washington, D.C.

Norman Bafunno [Photo: Jason Kindig/Toyota]

Toyota Adds Billions for Newest North American Facility to Support BEVs

Toyota will invest an additional $2.5 billion in Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina, adding capacity to support battery electric vehicle battery production, along with another 350 jobs. The investment is part of a future battery production commitment of up to $5.6 billion. Last year, Toyota Motor Corporation announced a global investment of about $70 billion to support electrification overall. The North Carolina facility is expected to begin production in 2025, producing batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and BEVs. It’s a “significant milestone for our company,” said Plano-based Norm Bafunno, senior vice president, Unit Manufacturing and Engineering at Toyota Motor North America. 

UT Arlington Science Professor Cory Forbes [Photo: UT Arlington]

UT Arlington Researcher Looks to Put NASA Climate Modeling Tools into High School Classrooms

⟫ A UT Arlington professor is looking to put NASA climate modeling tools into the hands of high school students in order to better educate them on climate change. With the aid of a $1.7 million National Science Foundation grant, UTA researcher Cory Forbes, a Fenton Wayne Robnett Endowed Professor of Science Education and director of the university’s STEM Education Research Collaboratorium and Resource Center, is training high school teachers across the country how to use the modeling system, so that students can use it to experiment and analyze data on the current and future impacts of climate change.

[Image: UTD]

UT Dallas Uses Tech to Explore ’20 Years in 20 Minutes’ at Richardson’s Eisemann 

⟫ An immersive projection experience by UT Dallas students explores the Eisemann Center’s impact on the arts landscape of North Texas and the city of Richardson. The signature art project celebrates the 20-year history of the Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts. “It’s an opportunity to use our technologies to tell stories,” said Andrew Scott, associate professor of arts and technology in the recently combined School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology. Tying together art, tech, and time, the project includes work by the school’s 3D Studio Lightsquad. The installation, which runs from September 9 to 30, is the second at the Eisemann for Lightsquad. The first was March 2020’s “MotherBoard,” which was also funded by the Eisemann Edge Endowment Fund. 

Methodist Richardson Medical Center [Video still: NOW Specialities/YouTube]

Methodist Richardson Medical Center Breaks Ground on $46M Expansion

⟫ Less than 10 years after opening its doors, the Methodist Richardson Medical Center broke ground this week on its “third major expansion.” The $46 million project focusing on the hospital’s emergency department includes adding 18 new patient suites, 25,000 square feet of new space for trauma patients, and 80,000 square feet of space for a new pharmacy and expanded laboratory services. The project is expected to wrap up in 2024.

Tuesday, August 30

Peanut Butter Paradise, a 2022 Big Tex Choice Award Winner. [Photo: State Fair of Texas]

Innovative Eats: The Big Tex Awards Winners 

⟫  Going to the State Fair of Texas this fall? Get ready for the sugar crash of all sugar crashes. The 2022 Big Texas Awards winners have been announced, and the Best Taste/Sweet winner is the Peanut Butter Paradise from Chris Easter and Nicole Sternes (above). It’s a deep-fried honey bun injected with caramel and topped with creamy peanut butter, then layered with peanut butter treats, Reese’s Pieces, Butterfinger crumbles, and topped with peanut butter cups, drizzled caramel, and  powdered sugar. Once you come down from that rush, you can try the Best Taste/Savory winning Fried Charcuterie Board, the Most Creative winner Cha-Cha Chata, and the other seven finalists. All 10 will be available all 24 days of the State Fair, which opens September 30 at Fair Park—along with a “full slate” of other new foods.

[Photo: UNTHSC]

UNT HSC Teams Up With MedStar To Tackle ‘Big-Picture Health Issues’

⟫ With the goal of creating a healthier North Texas, the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and ambulance services provider MedStar Mobile Healthcare are expanding their working relationship. The two organizations say they plan to “collaborate on big-picture health issues in the community.” As part of the move, MedStar will provide the UNTHSC with health and safety data for academic research, in addition to seeking out new grant and partnership opportunities. The UNTHSC will then help MedStar develop training and will consult on emerging health care issues. MedStar CEO Kenneth Simpson said the collaboration will “take EMS care delivery to a new, transformative direction” while meeting the “changing EMS needs of our community.”

Madison Nguyen

McKinney Student Lands $10K Scholarship in Hopes of Combatting Online Misinformation

⟫ For the second year, Massachusetts-based digital transformation business Navisite has announced the recipients of its Next Steminist scholarship program—which is aimed at closing the tech industry’s gender gap by helping women pursue careers in STEM-related fields. Taking home one of the three $10,000 scholarships is McKinney’s Madison Nguyen (above). With the scholarship, Nguyen said she plans to get her computer science degree from Duke University. She intends to use her degree to help tackle misinformation and disinformation on digital platforms. She said she hope to “lobby and create solutions to increase the political presence and socioeconomic status of not just my own Vietnamese community, but all minority groups affected by disinformation.” Another Texan, Houston’s Tatiana Vassiliev, was also awarded one of the scholarships.


Bank of America Aims to Help Remove Racial Barriers to Home Ownership

Bank of America aims to help 60,000 individuals and families purchase homes by 2025, while removing the historic racial barriers that have kept many from doing so. Part of the way it’s doing that is through a new program—the Community Affordable Loan Solution—that offers home loans to people in Black and Latino communities find home loans with zero down payment or closing costs. With credit factors like rent, utility, and phone payments taken into account, eligibility will be based on income and the location of the home, rather than credit score. The bank is kicking off the program in Dallas, Charlotte, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Miami, The Dallas Morning News reports. In addition, the bank is launching a grant program to help female and minority business owners buy commercial real estate in Dallas and many of the same cities in which it’s launching the Community Affordable Loan Solution.

Monday, August 29

[Photo: Vonlane]

Vonlane Expands Luxury Bus Service From Fort Worth to Austin and Houston

⟫ As it moves closer to returning to its pre-pandemic capacity, Dallas-based luxury bus service Vonlane is upping the number of departures from Fort Worth to other Texas destinations. The company will now be rolling out of Cowtown to Austin and Houston four times per day for both cities, with modified weekend schedules, Culture Map Dallas reports. With eyes on re-opening its out-of-state routes to Oklahoma City later this year, Vonlane operates in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.

LeaseDigs’ first listing in Dallas: 3911 North Hall Street, Uptown Dallas. [Image: LeaseDigs]

Real Estate Investment Firm Launches Rental Auction Platform in Dallas

⟫ The proptech division of New York-based real estate investment firm Chesterfield Faring, Ltd. is launching a new app aimed at connecting renters and landlords, beginning in the Dallas metro area. Through its platform, landlords can list their properties to be auctioned off to renters, who are able to tour the site before moving in. The platform, which is open to brokers, also helps streamline processes like credit approval, lease signing, and payments. The company currently lists seven units in the Dallas area, the majority of which are at the Alto Townhomes on Hall. Based on its website, the company will be launching the service in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York City as well.

Dallas Law Firm Highlighted for Gender Equality

⟫ Local law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) is leading the way in gender equality, according to Law360. In its 2022 Glass Ceiling Report, the industry publication ranked the firm second best in the U.S. among comparably sized competitors and No. 1 in its amount of female partners and attorneys. Overall, nearly 61% of the firm’s partners are female, as are 71% of its attorneys. BAL’s COO Leslie Rohrbacker partially attributes the firm’s ability to support its female staff to its policies surrounding unlimited vacation and a hybrid work environment.

R.A. Session II, president, CEO, and founder of Taysha Gene Therapies [Background image: Olena Yepifanova via iStock]

R.A. Session II, president, CEO, and founder of Taysha Gene Therapies [Background image: Olena Yepifanova via iStock]

Taysha Gene Therapies Seeks Accelerated Drug Approval

⟫ Dallas biotech Taysha Gene Therapies is looking for accelerated approval in the U.S. for its drug targeting giant axonal neuropathy, a fatal nervous system disorder. Already with orphan drug approval, if fast-tracked, the drug could be available as early as late 2023, per The Dallas Morning News. Initially targeting a number of rare diseases, the company—which went from launch in 2020 to making its $157 million public debut on the Nasdaq Global Select Market in five months—is now focused on targeting GAN and Rett Syndrome. The scaling back in focus, in addition to layoffs, came earlier this year as the company looked to extend its runway, which could run out by mid-2023 if the company is not able to land new financing or licensing agreements.

Gary Laben, CEO of Dynata [Photo: Dynata]

Dynata Named Most Innovative Supplier of Market Research Industry

⟫ Speaking of Dallas businesses leading the way in their industries, the 2022 Business & Innovation GRIT report by market research industry insights provider GreenBook has named local data and analytics firm Dynata as the most innovative supplier in the industry, as well as the No. 1 data and analytics provider and field service provider. Company CEO Gary Laben (above) said the announcement validates Dynata’s “continuous strategic transformation.” Dynata was chosen by GreenBook, based on thousands of interviews with market research leaders and clients globally.

Friday, August 26

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

  Legendary Dallas Innovator John Carmack Raises $20M for Artificial General Intelligence Startup Keen Technologies
  PGA of America Unveils Its New $33.5M Headquarters in Frisco
  Meet the Inaugural Board of Directors of the Dallas Economic Development Corporation
  DI People: Toyota, ERCOT, Bank of Texas, Comerica Bank, LERMA/, and More Make Leadership Moves
  In All-Dallas Deal, Parking Tech Platform ParkHub Bolsters Its Payments Solutions
  Runway Growth Capital Adds to Life Science Team With New Dallas Managing Director
  Lighting Up a Growing Bond: The Indian American Impact on Business in North Texas and Beyond
  See Inside McLaren Automotive’s New North American HQ
  Deposits, a Dallas Startup, Raises $5M for Its Plug-and-Play Financial Services Platform
  Dallas-Based Dave’s Gourmet Is Taking TikTok-Viral ‘Pink Sauce’ to Store Shelves Everywhere

More Things to Know

Ken Koff, CEO of RailPros. [Photo: RailPros]

RailPros Aims to Hire More Pros—200 This Year Alone

RailPros, the Irving-based rail industry construction and engineering firm, plans to grow and is hiring 200 employees by the end of the year. The company said it’s already reached half that goal, adding 100 to its more than 900-person team. The largest number of hires will be in RailPro’s safety services group, the Dallas Business Journal reports. Other hires will be in areas like finance, marketing, and construction management. The company’s CEO, Ken Koff (above), told the DBJ that the company has been able to grow through tough times due to the constant demand for infrastructure improvements in the U.S.. With the new hires, the company aims to expand internationally and grow its work with commuter rail systems.

Bret Starr, founder and CEO of The Starr Conspiracy. [Photo: Starr Conspiracy]

Fast Company Names The Starr Conspiracy a Best Workplace for Innovators 

⟫  Fort Worth- and San Francisco-based marketing agency The Starr Conspiracy has been named—with only 10 other small companies worldwide—to Fast Company’s 2022 Best Workplaces for Innovators list. The magazine cited Starr’s pandemic response of using a “reverse mullet” workplace model, (party in the front, business in the back). The model “gives employees full autonomy over selecting clients, permanent three-day weekends, daily two-hour blocks of quiet time, and meal reimbursement funds,” Fast Company writes. “Our goal is to create a decentralized autonomous organization that supports people so they are better able to focus and create a great experience for our customers,”says Bret Starr (above), the agency’s founder and CEO.

One of the entrances to The Shops at Willow Bend. [Photo: CallisonRTKL]

Shops at Willow Bend Moves Retailer Inventory Online

⟫ Want to check out store shelves without the hassle of traffic and actually walking around a mall? Through a partnership with e-commerce startup Adeptmind, patrons of Plano’s Shops at Willow Bend can browse what 22 retailers there have on their shelves on the mall’s website. The online inventory is available via Adeptmind’s platform Shop Now! The move makes the Shops at Willow Bend the first mall in the region to implement the technology, The Dallas Morning News reports, noting that the mall’s owner—Dallas-based real estate investment firm Centennial—has been using the Shop Now! platform at some of its other properties since 2020. The mall is planning to add more shop inventories to the platform as the retailers integrate the tech.

LevelNext Madden National Championship

Plano’s LEARFIELD Teams up with Electronic Arts for National Collegiate Esports Competition

⟫ Plano-based collegiate athletics media and technology services provider LEARFIELD and video game giant Electronic Arts have put out a call to college students across 2,500 schools nationwide to register for their 2022 LevelNext Madden National Championship esports competition. Competing in Madden NFL 23, the tournament will kick off in September, with the finals—which will be broadcast live on social media with celebrity guest appearances—taking place on the week of October 20. Up for grabs is a cash prize pool of $150,000. Now in its third year, the LevelNext competition is aimed at bringing collegiate esports players together in order to officially represent their schools.

[Photo: Wagamama]

Wagamama Is Bringing Its ‘Kaizen’ Spirit to Uptown Dallas

⟫  U.K.-based Asian-fusion restaurant brand Wagamama is expanding its U.S. presence into Texas with a new Dallas location at The Link at Uptown, a new 25-story tower at 2601 Olive St. The 4,700-square-foot restaurant will draw inspiration from the flavors of Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, with shareable sides and craft cocktails as part of the mix—and a large, private outdoor patio to enjoy them on. “Our elevated pan-Asian concept and engaging, high-energy dining experience will be a perfect complement to The Link at Uptown’s array of sophisticated amenities,” says Richard Flaherty, co-CEO of Wagamama USA. Wagamama has more than 200 locations worldwide, including six already open in the U.S.

Thursday, August 25

[Image: Dyson]

U.K.-Based Dyson Opens Dallas Brick-and-Mortar Store

⟫The 3,000-square-foot store at the Shops at Park Lane is the sixth U.S. store for the company best known for its high-tech vacuum cleaners and hair dryers. But Dyson’s Dallas demo store is the first in the country to offer virtual and in-person assistance of on-site repairs, free checkups, and product cleaning. 

Smokey John’s BBQ Rub team with their H-E-B check. [Photo: H-E-B]

Dallas Entrepreneurs Take Home $10K at H-E-B Competition

⟫ As it announces new stores across North Texas, grocery chain H-E-B has unveiled the winners of its annual Quest for the Texas Best competition. Tying for the for the No. 3 spot of the competition that highlights food and beverage entrepreneurs across the Lone Star state was Dallas’ Brent and Juan Reaves, the brothers behind Smokey John’s BBQ Rub, landing them a $10,000 prize. They shared the third-place spot with Guthrie-based Chuck Wagon Chile Mix. Taking the top prize of $25,000 was McAllen-based I Love Chamoy Sauce. Last year, Dallas bakery Savor Pâtisserie took home the grand prize.

Omni Logistics’ new, three-building campus comprises 366,711 sq. ft. of warehouse and cross-dock space. [Photo: Omni Logistics]

Omni Logistics Opens New Facility in Euless

⟫ After opening its new corporate headquarters in Dallas in May, logistics solutions provider Omni Logistics has opened a more than 366,000 square-foot facility in Euless, adding to new space the company has opened in Phoenix, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. The Euless facility includes three buildings dedicated to things like cross-dock operations, warehouse operations and e-commerce fulfillment. The company said it chose the location due to its proximity to the urban cores of Dallas and Fort Worth, in addition to its proximity to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Love Field Airport.

Nickson, a Dallas Furniture Subscription Startup, Expands Outside Texas

⟫ Fueled by a $12 million Series A funding round led by Pendulum Opportunities that it landed last year, Dallas furniture subscription startup Nickson is expanding outside of the Lone Star state, opening operations in Oklahoma City and Norman, Okla. Launched in 2017 by Cameron Johnson, Nickson said the two cities’ growing populations were part of its decision to expand to the state.

Free Play Richardson

Free Play Arcade Expanding to Dallas

⟫ After planting locations in Richardson, Arlington, Fort Worth, and Denton, retro arcade and bar concept Free Play is coming to Dallas with a Trinity Groves location. The company said the new location will feature more than 150 arcade games, pinball machines, and skeeball, along with a bar and kitchen. Free Play first opened in North Texas in 2015. It said that finding real estate in Dallas was difficult, adding that “the pandemic sucked.”

Wednesday, August 24

Dak Prescott and CEO Peter Smith [Photo:]

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Inks Deal With

⟫  In three weeks, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott will throw his first pass of the 2022 NFL season. But he called a time out recently to sign a multi-year deal as brand ambassador for crypto trading platform Dak’s first commercial for the company puts a clever spin on how he calls plays in the Cowboys huddle, and you can see it here. In April, signed a multi-year partnership with the Dallas Cowboys as the team’s official digital asset sponsor.

Image: Daimler Trucks North America LLC

Waymo Partners With Daimler Trucks for Dallas-Houston Autonomous Runs

⟫  Germany-based Daimler Trucks is partnering with Waymo to deploy autonomous SAE L4 technology—which means a unique version of Daimler’s Freightliner Cascadia will soon be driving freight runs autonomously between Dallas and Houston, The Dallas Morning News reports. Last month, Dallas Innovates gave you a first look at Waymo’s new $10 million self-driving trucking hub in Lancaster, just south of Dallas. A subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., Waymo Via has been testing and driving self-driving trucks in the Dallas area since 2020. Its autonomous freight runs on I-45 have a backup safety driver behind the wheel and a software technician in the passenger seat.

[Image: Rogers Healy/LinkedIn]

Dallas Real Estate Entrepreneur Rogers Healy Launches a Podcast

⟫  Rogers Healy runs the largest independently owned real estate brokerage in North Texas, Rogers Healy Associates, with over 400 real estate agents and a projected $1 billion in 2021 revenue. Now he’s taking on another role—podcaster. The first episode of “Rogers That” drops today. In a LinkedIn post, Healy says his podcast will feature interviews and authentic success stories with a theme focused on how to “sell without selling out.” His first episode—an interview with Dallas investor and YouTuber Chris Camillo—can be heard here.

A pool deck from Softroc. [Photo: Softroc]

Waco’s Stellar Service Brands Is Relocating to Uptown Dallas

⟫ Dallas is getting another corporate headquarters relocation, but rather than rolling in from the coasts, it’s coming from 100 miles down I-35. Stellar Service Brands, a holding company for multiple residential and commercial service franchises, is planning to move its HQ from Waco to the Uptown area this fall. The company said it aims to move most of its employees to the new 60,000 square-foot space, which it said is designed to foster more collaboration through open workspaces. Stellar said the move puts it in closer proximity to international airports and access to a larger talent pool. Its portfolio brands include Restoration 1, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, The Driveway Company, and Softroc (whose poured-in-place rubber surfacing, as seen on the pool deck above, is “anti-microbial, slip-resistant, and UV and chemically stable”).

Tuesday, August 23

Adyton co-founders JJ Wilson, president, and James Boyd, CEO [Photos: Adyton]

Air National Guard Deploys Tech Developed by Dallas Startup Adyton

⟫ After launching its flagship Mustr app last October, the innovation unit of the Air National Guard is deploying the technology developed by Dallas-based mobile software startup Adyton to its wings in Nevada, New York, and Arkansas. The Mustr app helps the military—or other large organizations—manage distributed personnel from a desktop or mobile device via built-in communication tools and automated data collection. Jeff Prosek, Adyton’s head of growth, said the year-long pilot with the Air National Guard will eventually expand to units in other states. Adyton was founded in 2018 by President JJ Wilson and CEO James Boyd (above, left and right).

[Photo: Hanwha Group]

Korean Solar Panel Maker Eyes North Texas Manufacturing Sites

⟫ North Texas could soon be the home of a large new solar manufacturing plant. Korean solar panel maker Hanwha Solutions is eyeing two local sites, according to Fort Worth Report—one on the border of Tarrant and Parker counties, where Rivian once considered planting operations, another in southern Dallas County—for a 5.7 million square-foot facility that would produce panels, ingots, wafers, and cells. The company’s filing with the Texas Comptroller’s office says the plant would create at least 229 jobs. Hanwha is also considering sites in Georgia and South Carolina. It won’t decide where to put the new facility until the end of the year, but plans to break ground by Q2 of 2023.

Bonton Farms Aims to Create $5.5M Wellness Center in Southern Dallas

⟫ Dallas nonprofit Bonton Farms is looking to provide more than healthy food to the community it serves. The organization is planning to build a 10,000-square-foot wellness center, with eyes on a September 2023 opening. The $5.5 million project will see Bonton partner with organizations like Parkland Health, Momentous Institute, and Baylor Scott and White to provide services centered around healthy cooking and living, the Dallas Business Journal reports. The center will also include a “financial resource center,” offering things like small business lending and certification for women- and minority-owned businesses.

Part of the MidCentral Energy Partners team, from the company’s LinkedIn page.

Oil & Gas Services Firm Plans Fort Worth Manufacturing Facility

⟫ Oklahoma-based oilfield services and hardware company MidCentral Energy Partners is expanding its presence in North Texas with a new 50,000 square-foot manufacturing facility it says will support its manufacturing, remanufacturing, and site services businesses. The Fort Worth facility will also include a 40,000-square-foot storage space for its inventory. With plans for the facility to be fully operational by October, MidCentral says it plans to hire 30 people locally. MidCentral has other Texas locations in Midland and San Antonio, along with locations in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.

Monday, August 22

Complexity Gaming

The Star in Frisco [Photo courtesy City of Frisco]

Forbes: Dallas Cowboys Are First Team on Earth Worth $8 Billion

⟫ Forbes is out with its 25th Annual NFL Team Values list, and the Dallas Cowboys are No. 1 for the 14th straight year. But this year they’ve kicked it up a notch, becoming the first sports team on earth to be valued at $8 billion. Forbes says the Cowboys are also the first team to pull down $1 billion-plus in revenue, thanks partly to their long list of sponsorships, including a $200 million, 10-year deal with Molson Coors inked last fall. The ’Pokes made $220 million in 2021 stadium advertising and sponsorship earnings, Forbes says, more than twice as much as any other NFL team. With the 2022 NFL season kicking off in less than three weeks, let’s hope the good Cowboys news continues—right through Super Bowl LVII.

Photo: itk

YouTube Star Sisters Launch Dallas-Based Skincare Line

⟫ Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight have racked up over 1.5 billion views on their YouTube channel, with vlogs about everything from fashion to periods to Brooklyn’s seaside wedding proposal. Both Baylor graduates, they’re co-founders of M-Star Media, with CEO Brooklyn based in Dallas-Fort Worth and COO Bailey based in the Waco area. Today they launched itk, a skin care line available in 3,800 Walmart stores nationwide. They co-created the Dallas-based line in partnership with Maesa, a beauty incubator based in New York and L.A. 

[Image: SteadiSpoon]

SMU Students Win Multiple Grants for Their 3D-Printable ‘SteadiSpoons’ for Parkinson’s Patients

⟫ Raleigh Dewan saw his grandmother struggle with Parkinson’s disease, unable to eat without spilling her food at family dinners. So as a student entrepreneur at SMU, he did something about it. Working with fellow SMU student Mason Morland and Johns Hopkins student Emily Javedan, he co-launched SteadiSpoon, a medical-tech startup named after its core product, a 3D-printble self-stabilizing eating utensil that allows people with tremors to feed themselves “with ease and dignity.” The team won $7,000 in grants through SMU initiatives including the 2021 Big iDeas Pitch Competition, along with $7,500 from TCU’s Values and Ventures competition and $15,000 awarded by the Texas Business Hall of Fame to Dewan for winning the Lucy Billingsley Future Texas Business Legend Award.  On top of all that, the team was recently awarded a new grant for $20,000 from VentureWell.

One of the Top 10 entries in the 16th Charm Weddings Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest. [Photo of Donna Fincler’s design: Charm Weddings]

Frisco Designer is a Finalist in Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest 

⟫ Bridezillas must go batty when they hear about this Innovative way to make a wedding dress—by using only toilet paper, tape, glue, and needle and thread. Them’s the rules of the 16th Charm Weddings Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest. Toni Araujo of Frisco is one of 10 finalists who’ll be traveling to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for the September 15 finals and the $10,000 grand prize. (The photo above is a toilet paper design by Tennessee’s Donna Vincler.) With the average cost of a wedding dress now approaching $2,000, we say let’s roll.

Friday, August 19

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

  Lighting Up a Growing Bond: The Indian American Impact on Business in North Texas and Beyond
  188 North Texas Companies Made the 2022 Inc. 5000 List. Three of Them Cracked the Top 20
  Local Tech Founders Duke it Out at Digital Fight Club
  Innovative Spaces: See Inside McLaren Automotive’s New North American HQ
  Lendistry Expands to Texas With Dallas Office, $5M Funding From Texas Capital Bank
  Dallas-Based Colossal Is ‘De-Extincting’ the Tasmanian Tiger
  From Trout Jerky to Bike Safety to Cancer Fighters: 13 DFW Startups Selected for MassChallenge Accelerator
  Toy Story: Why a Former CyrusOne CEO Is Creating Homes for Grownups’ Playthings with RecNation
  UT Arlington, Texas A&M Partner to Advance Aerospace Manufacturing in Texas
  Toyota’s Trey Spyropoulos on the SWARM Connected Mobility Hackathon

More Things to Know

Image: Mouser Electronics

Mouser Electronics Breaks Ground on Robotics-Packed Expansion

Mouser Electronics—a global distributor of semiconductors and electronic components  based in Mansfield, just south of Arlington—has broken ground on a new HQ and distribution center expansion. Featuring automation technology and robotics, the new space will add about 416,000 square feet to Mouser’s 78-acre site, bringing its distribution center total to nearly 1.5 million square feet. Pete Shopp, SVP of business operations for the Berkshire Hathaway-owned company, said the move will help prepare it “for the future while ensuring the highest levels of customer service.”

Image: alphaspirit/iStock

Job Growth Continues in Texas in July 

⟫ Texas added 72,800 jobs in July—marking the ninth consecutive month of record-setting employment. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, July also marked the lowest unemployment rate since the pandemic began. The organizations most recent numbers put the statewide unemployment rate at 4%. In Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, unemployment was even lower at 3.8%. Across the state, the industries with the biggest gains in new jobs were mining and logging, followed by education and health services.  

Bratislava, Slovakia [Photo:]

Plano Sobriety App Plans ‘Tech Innovation Hub’ in Europe

Sober Peer, a Plano-based company using AI to help people with addictions, is expanding to Europe. The health care platform focused on recovery management announced plans to open a European Tech Innovation Hub in Bratislava, Slovakia. At the new hub, the company says it will “integrate deep learning computer models with AIoT edge-connected devices” for global distribution. Sober Peer’s founder and CEO Ed DeShields said the goal is to make “healthcare data more understandable and interoperable.” (With views like the one above, we understand why they chose Bratislava.)

Photo: City of Fort Worth

Teqball Tables Come to Forth Worth

⟫ If you cross soccer with table tennis, you’ll get something that looks like teqball. And now Fort Worth has  a couple of places where you can play it. At Trinity Park and Marine Park, the city has set up teqball tables for public use. The sport involves passing a soccer ball back and forth over a tabletop net, using any part of your body except your hands. The tables come from Teqball USA, which plans to donate hundreds of tables to communities across the country.

Milo is listed as available for adoption through A Voice for All Paws.

Pause for a Coffee, Leave With Some Paws

⟫ Like cats and coffee? Get ready for Cat Café. The new venture from the nonprofit A Voice for All Paws is slated to open later this year in East Dallas near Garland Road and Easton, next door to a new boarding facility to be run by the agency. “Our team, along with volunteers, will run the cat café and adoption center,” AVAP President Caroline Stovall said in a statement. “We’ll run it like a business with a coffee shop where people can work. We see the coffee shop as a means of funding our non-for-profit organization, too.” The two adjacent buildings, which were purchased through a donation by Stovall and her husband, are currently being renovated. Milo, above, is one of the cats currently listed for adoption through A Voice for All Paws.

Thursday, August 18

Image: Minnow Technologies, Inc.

‘Intelligent’ Food Delivery Lockers Coming to Westdale Apartment Properties

⟫ Dallas’ Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management is looking to make food delivery easier for apartment dwellers. The company announced it’s deploying the Pickup Pod food lockers at five of its multifamily properties in Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Designed by Seattle-based Minnow for short-term food storage, the contactless lockers feature “insulated cubbies, “anti-microbial surfaces, and the ability to track and monitor deliveries.

Mohsen Shahandashti [Photo: UTA]

UT Arlington Researcher Explores Earthquake Tech Commercialization

⟫ A UT Arlington researcher is exploring potential commercialization options for technology that could help make cities more resilient in the face of earthquakes. With the help of $50,000 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps, associate professor of civil engineering Moshen Shahandashti is looking to bring to market an algorithm that can model an earthquake’s effect on water pipeline infrastructure, detecting places where vulnerabilities could leave residents without water and first responders without the ability to combat fires in an earthquakes’ aftermath. Jay Rosenberger and Victoria Chen—both professors at UT Arlington’s Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering Department—are co-principal investigators on the project, which was previously funded by the NSF in 2019.

UT Southwestern Gets $2M Grant to Recruit Researcher and Open New Lab

⟫ The UT Southwestern Medical Center has landed a $2 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute to bring new intellectual talent to North Texas. The institution will use the funding to relocate current Rockefeller University researcher Dr. Siqi Liu to the region, where Liu will set up a new lab at UTSW and hire a team of three to five to study the mechanisms that cause skin cancer, The Dallas Morning News reports. The funding is part of $90 million in awards CPRI approved this week for public and private institutions.

Digital Pharmacy Unicorn Takes Bigger Digs in Plano

Alto Pharmacy is expanding in International Business Park is a 300-acre master-planned office park in Plano. [Image: Billingsley Company]

International Business Park is a 300-acre master-planned office park in Plano. [Image: Billingsley Company]

⟫ Alto Pharmacy, which brought its pharmacy doorstep delivery to North Texas in 2020, is growing its Plano presence with an expansion to over 40,000 square feet in International Business Park. The seven-year-old telehealth pharmacy startup employs about 1,000 people overall with offices in San Francisco, Denver, and Plano. Considered a “digital health unicorn” with a valuation above $1 billion, it’s racked up $550 million in VC funding, reports FierceHealthcare. The founders, two software engineers who had worked at Facebook, learned the business in a “trial by fire”: The duo bought an independent “mom-and-pop” pharmacy in San Francisco to better understand the “nuances of the industry.”

Part of At Home’s private label modern farmhouse line. [Photo: Business Wire]

Plano Retailer Launches ‘Modern Farmhouse’ Line

⟫ Plano-based home goods retailer At Home is launching a new private label modern farmhouse line of indoor and outdoor décor. From cutting boards to furniture, the company says the line of products—called Honeybloom—will have items for every room of the home and be available at its more than 250 retail locations. Chad Stauffer, At Home’s president and chief merchandising and product officer, said the line “celebrates life lived together,” and is one of a number of private labels the company plans to launch.

Wednesday, August 17

MacKenzie Scott [Photo: Elena Seibertvia]

Junior Achievement of Dallas Lands $1.2M Gift from Billionaire Philanthropist

⟫ Junior Achievement of Dallas, a nonprofit aimed at developing workforce readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy in students, has received a $1.2 million gift from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The gift is the chapter’s largest donation to date and part of Scott’s nearly $40 million gift to the national organization. Locally, that money will go toward expanding virtual programming, staff, and new initiatives, local CEO and President Jan Murfield told The Dallas Morning News. With this most recent gift, Scott has donated more than $10 million to North Texas organizations this year, the DMN notes.

[Image: RedBird]

Dallas College Bringing Workforce Training to Shops at RedBird

⟫ After landing an $8.8 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help train workers for the region’s growing biotech and life sciences sectors, Dallas College is again growing its workforce development offerings through a new training center at The Shops at Redbird in southern Dallas (above). At the 22,000 square-foot center, where Dallas College has partnered with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas, the college plans to offer career training services in areas like heavy equipment operation, avionics maintenance technicians, and logistics and mechatronics. In addition to resources like a staff of certified instructors and workforce placement specialists, the center will include classroom space, workstations, and computer labs. Dallas College will join other educational institutions at The Shops at Redbird, which is undergoing a $200 million redevelopment, including UT Southwestern Medical Center and Jarvis Christian College.

Report: Irving has the ‘Hottest’ Zip Code in Texas

⟫ Looking at two aspects on its platform—the number of unique views on a property listing and the number of days a listing remains active— has named the top 50 “hottest zip codes” in the U.S. Surprisingly, Texas has only two cities on the list. One of the Lone Star state codes to make the cut was Irving’s 75060 zip code. With an average of 2.5 unique views and an average 18 days on the market, the local zip code ranked No. 44 overall, putting it above the only other Texas city on the list: El Paso, which squeaked in at No. 50. The list’s top 10 hottest zips are in New York State, New Hampshire, Ohio, Maine, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Massachusetts.

IfThenSheCan: The Exhibit. [IF/THEN Initiative]

Statues of Female STEM Leaders Return to Dallas

⟫ After making its debut at NorthPark Center last year, then making its way to the National Mall and Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., #IfThenSheCan: The Exhibit is coming back to Dallas this fall. Starting in September, a portion of the sculpture exhibit, which features life-sized statues of women making waves in various STEM fields, will be on display at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. In early October, a portion of the exhibit will be on display at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The exhibit of 125 3D-printed statues is part of The IF/THEN Initiative, a campaign by Dallas-based nonprofit Lyda Hill Philanthropies aimed at opening the eyes of young girls across the country to potential career paths. Each statue comes with a QR code that links to their personal biographies.

IfThenSheCan: The Exhibit. [IF/THEN Initiative]

“Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle.” [Photo: Lighthouse Immersive]

Immersed in the Holiday Spirit

Lighthouse Immersive, the production company behind immersive, Instagram-worthy art exhibits featuring the works of names like Vincent Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo, is bringing some holiday cheer to Dallas later this year. After making its premiere in Toronto last year, “Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle” is coming to Lighthouse Dallas starting November 19. Featuring special effects, large projectors from Storywall Entertainment, and “life-sized nutcrackers,” the exhibit will abbreviate the classic tale into a 30-minute immersive experience. Dallas is one of a handful of cities that will simultaneously host the exhibit, Culturemap Dallas reports.

Tuesday, August 16

[Photo courtesy of RecNation/Recreational Realty]

Dallas-based Recreational Realty Rebrands as RecNation, Expands Into Arizona

⟫ After going from storing data as the president and CEO of Dallas data center firm CyrusOne to storing outdoor “toys” as the founder of specialized storage company Recreational RealtyGary Wojtaszek is rebranding the new Centerbridge Partners-backed company as RecNation. With the new name, the startup, which aims to “institutionalize” the RV and marine storage business, is expanding beyond its current locations in Texas and Florida to its first Arizona property, in Phoenix. From there, RecNation says it plans to acquire additional locations in cities like Las Vegas, Denver, and Salt Lake City—places in close proximity to state and national parks. RecNation says it currently owns 31 locations and plans to close on an additional nine in the next couple of months, bringing its total leasable space to 4.1 million square feet. Austin-based CMO Consulting Group developed the rebrand strategy, Wojtaszek told Dallas Innovates.

[Photo: Stephen M. Keller/Southwest Airlines]

Southwest Is Launching a ‘Business Assistant’ Platform

⟫ Southwest Airlines is releasing a new tool to focus on a key growth area:: business travel. The Dallas-based carrier has launched the Southwest Business Assistant,  a “one-stop shop” aimed at corporate businesses and travel management companies to help manage their business travel through things like unique dashboards, reports, automated processing of contractual benefits, and streamlined customer service requests. After the platform goes live later this month, Southwest will look to add features like travel fund management, increased sustainability reporting, and increased automation. The move comes as Southwest reported that its managed business revenues were down 19% in June 2022, compared to its level at the same time period in 2019. That’s up from the 31% it was down in April, compared to 2019 levels.

The Trinity Towers are located in the Dallas Medical District at 2777 N. Stemmons Fwy. [Image: CBRE]

Nanoscope Therapeutics Moves Its HQ to Dallas Medical District

⟫ Nanoscope Therapeutics has moved its corporate headquarters from Bedford to Trinity Towers in Dallas’ Medical District, the company announced today. The biotech and gene therapy startup is focused on developing sight-restoring optogenetic therapies for “the millions of patients blinded by retinal degenerative diseases” that have no cure. Last year, a study found their approach restored “meaningful vision” in patients blinded by advanced retinitis pigmentosa. In June, co-founder and CEO Sulagna Bhattacharya was named one of the 11 winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 Central Plains Award

Photo: Chad Hill/iStock

Free Wi-Fi Access To Be Offered in Five Under-Connected Fort Worth Neighborhoods

⟫ Around 60,000 residents in Fort Worth lack home access to Wi-Fi. Now a new public-private partnership is looking to change that. Through an initiative between the city of Fort WorthCisco, and digital services company Presidio, community Wi-Fi infrastructure will be set up in five of the city’s most under-connected neighborhoods—Ash Crescent, Como, Northside, Rosemont, and Stop Six—reaching an estimated 40,000 residents. The project is expected to be completed this fall, with the goal, according to Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, of “bridging a steep digital divide” in the city. 

[Image: coffeekai/iStock]

Report: Dallas’ Tri Global Ranks in Top 10 in Renewable Energy in the U.S.

⟫ A local firm has been recognized as one of America’s biggest producers of sustainable energy resources. According to the American Clean Power Association, which looked at data from Q2 of this year, Dallas-based renewable energy firm Tri Global Energy ranked No. 10 among companies nationwide in renewable energy development. When it comes to onshore wind development, the firm ranks No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 1 in Texas, the ACPA says. With wind, solar, and battery projects across Texas, the East Coast, and the Midwest, Tri Global CEO John Billingsley said the rankings show that “clean power is here to stay.”

Monday, August 15

From left: Surface Protection Industries’ Robert C. Davidson Jr., retired Army Major General Tammy S. Smith, and CEO,, Aspen Institute’s Domenika Lynch. [Photos: TMNA]

Toyota adds Diversity Advisory Board members

⟫  Toyota Motor North America appointed three new members to its North American Diversity Advisory Board. Robert C. Davidson Jr., CEO of Surface Protection Industries; Domenika Lynch, executive director of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program; and retired Army Major General Tammy S. Smith joined the advisory board on August 1. Toyota’s DAB and its members have helped the company achieve a No. 4 rank among DiversityInc’s Top Companies for Diversity, says Sandra Phillips Rogers, senior vice president, corporate resources and chief diversity officer, TMNA. “Toyota’s core philosophy of Respect for People is part of our DNA,” she said. Created in 2022, the DAB plays a key role in fostering a more diverse and inclusive company culture. 

Take the assessment to get the report. [Photo: WEF]

Is your business future-ready?

⟫  Last year, top challenges for small- and medium-sized enterprises included talent acquisition and retention; survival and expansion; funding and access to capital; a non-supportive policy environment; and the difficulty of maintaining a strong culture and clear company purpose and value. The World Economic Forum wants to know if that’s still true in 2022. Businesses can participate in the SME Readiness Survey to be included in this year’s white paper— and get a full future-readiness profile for their company. The assessment—built on methodology developed by the WEF with the University of Cambridge and the National University of Singapore and Entrepreneurs’ Organization—takes about 20 minutes to complete. 

[Image: UNT]

What Makes a Good Story? The Mayborn Gets Back to Basics With a Focus on the Craft  

⟫  Storytellers, reporters, photographers, and narrative nonfiction writers can engage with some of the nation’s best authors, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, agents, and storytellers in Dallas on October 28-29. The renowned Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, hosted by the University of North Texas Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism, will be in person this year in downtown Dallas and online. Writers can enter contests for cash and recognition. For more information and a speaker lineup, go here.

Dallas Startup Week Was Awesome. Here’s a Rewind

⟫  Last week, the five-day event at SMU brought together innovators and change-makers in North Texas. The DEC’s flagship event, Dallas Startup Week sponsored by Capital One, may be officially over, but you can relive the experience or explore what you may have missed on Vimeo. You’ll find recaps of each day and many of the keynote sessions. Enjoy, and start planning for #DSW23. 

Friday, August 12

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

  Dallas Philanthropist Lyda Hill Is One of Five Winners of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy
  Your Definitive Guide to Dallas Startup Week’s 100+ Events
  Dallas College Lands ‘Historic’ $8.8M Grant to Train Workers as North Texas’ Life Sciences Sector Soars
  Lendistry Expands to Texas With Dallas Office, $5M Funding From Texas Capital Bank
  DI People: Dallas Cowboys, Hilti, Neiman Marcus Group, MoneyGram, and More Make Moves
  Dallas’ Access Healthcare Doubles Head Count to 25,000 in 15 Months, Plans to Hire 18,000+ in 2022
  Toshiba’s Retail Division Plans New Innovation and Incubation Hub in
Frisco’s Hall Park
  NPower Texas Expands Free Tech Fundamentals Program to Dallas-Fort Worth. But Hurry, Fall Deadline is August 15
  Rise of Rugby: Dallas Jackals Name New President With NHL, MLB Experience to Join Recent GM Hire
  Check Out the Emerging Tech Trends This Dell Technologies Leader Is Tracking

More Things to Know

Trophy holders: Bob Pragada, left, is president and COO of Jacobs and is serving as DRC Chair; Dale Petrosky, right, is president and CEO of the Dallas Regional Chamber. [Photo: DRC]

Dallas Regional Chamber Named National Chamber of the Year

⟫  The Dallas Regional Chamber has been named Chamber of the Year by the National Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. The DRC won in the association’s largest category, lauded for its success in recruiting business relocations to North Texas. The association also noted the DRC’s Take Care of Business campaign, an awareness effort which encouraged hundreds of thousands of North Texans over age 16 to get COVID-19 vaccines so the region could get back to work. “The bar has been high here, and we choose people who can jump over that bar,” DRC President and CEO Dale Petroskey told the Dallas Morning News, adding that the strength of his staff is the biggest of many reasons the DRC won the award. Petroskey is seen above at right, holding the trophy with Bob Pragada, president and CEO of Jacobs, who’s serving as DRC chair.

Better Balance Foods booth at the Frisco RoughRiders’ Riders Field. [Photo: Better Balance]

Plant-Based Snacks Coming to Frisco RoughRiders’ Ballpark

⟫ After launching last month, plant-based food brand Better Balance is bringing its vegan snacks to Riders Field—home of the Frisco RoughRidersin its U.S. debut. The Dallas-headquartered company plans to sell things like BBQ sliders and Guajillo tacos from a food cart near section 118 of the stadium. Created by food giant Sigma, Better Balance also has operations in Mexico and Spain.

The Boulevard Collective will help SMU student athletes get paid for appearances and other endeavors. [Image: Shutterstock]

Pony Up: NIL Organization Aims to Help Pay SMU Athletes

⟫ An SMU alumni group has formed a name, image, and likeness organization called the Boulevard Collective. Formed by Hunt Realty Investments CEO Chris Kleinert and Silver Hill Energy Partners president and CEO Kyle Miller, Boulevard will act as an agent to help student athletes get paid for appearances, networking, and other “meaningful activities,” WFAA reports. Unaffiliated with the university itself, the collective has already signed the entire roster of SMU’s men’s football and basketball teams, with plans to extend contracts to other SMU teams as well. The move comes after the NCAA changed its rules about paying student athletes last year. It’s worth noting that paying college athletes is what landed SMU the NCAA “death penalty” in the late 1980s, which saw the school go two seasons without a football team.

The Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Mavericks Foundation launched a new tech center at the Dallas Leadership Foundation’s Ring of Hope Boxing Club. [Photo: Dallas Mavericks]

Dallas Mavericks Donate Tech Center to Dallas Leadership Foundation’s Ring of Hope Boxing Club

⟫ It’s not uncommon to see students practicing their jabs at the Ring of Hope Boxing Club in Dallas. And now they’ll be using tech there too, to do things like work on projects and apply for college. Through grant funding, the Dallas Mavericks and the team’s charitable foundation have opened their newest technology lab at Ring of Hope. Equipped with laptops, projectors, and school supplies, the lab will serve as a space for education and mentorship for Ring of Hope’s members. Ring of Hope was formed in 2010 to help underserved students in Southern Dallas via a partnership between The Bolos Foundation and The Dallas Leadership Foundation.

Thursday, August 11

[Photo: Wallbox]

With Arlington Plant Launching This Fall, Wallbox Acquires EV Charging Installation Firm

⟫  Wallbox, the Barcelona, Spain-based EV charger manufacturer, plans to being production this fall at its new Arlington manufacturing facility. But hey, someone’s gotta install all those chargers when they pour out of the plant—so Wallbox just called in backup. It’s acquired Coil, Inc., an EV charging installation service with a nationwide presence in the U.S. “This acquisition allows us to further enhance our service offerings to our customers in residential and commercial settings, while also expanding into the rapidly growing DC fast-charging installation market,” said Douglas Alfaro, Wallbox’s North America GM.

FedEx same day city courier in Ford e-transit electric delivery vehicle delivers package to customer’s home. [Photo: Business Wire]

FedEx Office Is Piloting Electric Vans in Frisco and Allen

⟫  Plano-based FedEx Office has made its first foray into all-electric, no-emissions delivery. It’s begun piloting 10 Ford E-Transit all-electric vans across its FedEx SameDay City network as part of the goal to transition its entire pickup and delivery fleet to zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles by 2040. The e-vans are delivering packages to homes in Frisco and Allen, as well as in cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Michigan, and Illinois.

Rendering of Flite Golf’s Atomic Range in Las Vegas. [Image: Business Wire]

Dallas-Based Flite Golf Breaks Ground on Flagship Las Vegas Experience

⟫  Dallas-based Flite Golf & Entertainment hopes that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—with “modernized golf” as a big part of the memory. Flite broke ground this week on Atomic Range, a flagship golf entertainment venue on the Las Vegas Strip. The 99,000-square-foot, four-story facility will have 103 separate hitting bays, six bars, 10 putting bays, an Astrocade multi-use area, plus meeting space for those all-business Vegas conventioneers. “Flite’s Atomic Range will give guests an experience that redefines the golf entertainment industry and sets a new standard for active entertainment destinations,” says John Vollbrecht, Flite’s founder and CEO.

Wednesday, August 10

[Image: Siemens Digital Industries Software]

Plano-Based Siemens Division Selected for Defense Department’s RAMP Program

⟫  Plano-based Siemens Digital Industries Software has been selected to participate in the Defense Department’s Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes Phase II initiative. RAMP’s goal is to develop secure design and prototyping capabilities to demonstrate how the DoD can securely leverage state-of-the-art microelectronics technologies without depending on a closed-security architecture fabrication process or facility. Siemens will be working with Microsoft on the project. It has been Microsoft’s longtime lead partner for enabling electronic design automation in the cloud, 

Vistra partners with Nuvve to electrify school bus fleets. [Photo: Nuvve]

Dallas Energy Firm Helps School Districts Electrify Their Bus Fleets

⟫ As the school year comes close to kicking into gear, Irving-based energy company Vistra is teaming up with California intelligent energy platform Nuvve to help school districts across the country switch to electric buses. Through the partnership, the two publicly traded companies will help districts access grant funding from federal and state agencies to replace older bus fleets with electrified ones. They’ll do that using Nuvve’s technology, which allows energy from electric batteries to be transferred back to the grid, opening up additional revenue streams. So far, Vistra and Nuvve say they’ve helped school districts apply for more than $4.5 million in grant funding.

Membership-Based Medical Care Comes to Dallas

⟫ In the process of finalizing its $3.9 billion acquisition deal by Amazon, membership-based healthcare clinic company One Medical is expanding into North Texas. The San Francisco-based company has already opened one location in Dallas, with plans to open one in Addison later this month and an additional Dallas office by the end of the year, the Dallas Morning News reports. For a $199 yearly membership fee, One Medical customers get virtual care services 24/7, plus other benefits. With plans to collaborate locally with Baylor Scott & White Health for specialty care services, the new locations will add to the more than 125 other locations One Medical operates across 17 markets. When One Medical’s deal with Amazon was announced late last month One Medical CEO Amir Dan Rubin said the move provides the “opportunity to transform healthcare and improve outcomes by combining One Medical’s human-centered and technology-powered model and exceptional team with Amazon’s customer obsession, history of invention, and willingness to invest in the long-term.”

North Texas Food Bank’s Perot Family campus. [Photo: North Texas Food Bank]

DFW Organizations Land $1.1M from UnitedHealthcare

⟫ Through its Empowering Health program, health insurance giant UnitedHealthcare is awarding $11 million in grants to organizations across the country. And more than $1.1 million of that is coming to North Texas. Four local community-based organizations—the Grant Haliburton Foundation, the North Texas Food Bank, Texas Health Resources Foundation, and the Resource Center of Dallas—received awards ranging from $250,000 to $300,000 each from UnitedHealthcare. The funding is aimed at helping those experiencing food insecurity, social isolation, and behavioral health issues by promoting wellness and health literacy efforts. Don Langer, CEO at UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas, said the grants will help “produce better health outcomes and make the health system work better for everyone.” 

Tuesday, August 9

Denton ranked at No. 36 as one of the nation's top 50 boomtowns in a 2021 SmartAsset study.

Denton Square. [Image: Courtesy Denton Economic Development Partnership]

Three North Texas Cities Make List of Best Places to Live in the U.S.

⟫  What do McKinneyPlano, and Denton (above)  have in common? All three made Livability’s Best Places to Live in The U.S. list for 2022 among mid-sized cities. McKinney (No. 18) was noted for its “Texas-size charm and opportunity,” along with its flourishing tech and aviation industries. Plano (No. 29) was lauded for its “affordable homes, top-notch schools, and super safe neighborhood,” plus its collection of Fortune 1000 companies. Denton (No. 83) won plaudits for its “top of the triangle” location with “the perks of a more laid-back lifestyle” and “youthful, college-town vibe.” They were the only Texas cities to make the Livability list. (Madison, Wisconsin, topped it at No, 1.)

The Haven Gaming Experience at Invited’s Stonebriar Country Club. [Photo: Stonebriar Country Club/Facebook]

Esports Invade Country Club in Frisco (Hey, Golf Can Wait)

⟫  Country clubs. They’re not just for yelling “Fore!” anymore. At least not at Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco. One of hundreds of clubs owned by Dallas-based Invited (formerly ClubCorp)—which has a mission of inviting more tech-based entertainment into its portfolio— Stonebriar has partnered with Haven Gaming to launch an “esports experience” at the club. “Gaming has become the dominant form of entertainment for many, especially for younger members,” said Invited CEO David Pillsbury. Members from age 8 to 18 “can play, learn, and compete with fellow gamers in their own private hangout,” Invited says, with state-of-the-art gaming equipment and dozens of the most popular games provided.

The Taste Project and the city of Arlington are partnering to bring the nonprofit’s pay-what-you-can community restaurant concept to the heart of downtown Arlington. [Rendering: Coevál Space Design and Concepts]

Pay-What-You-Can Restaurant Coming to Arlington

⟫  The Taste Project—a nonprofit that aims to help feed, educate, and serve Tarrant County’s food insecure residents—plans to open its second “pay-what-you-can” Taste Community Restaurant on Cooper Street in downtown Arlington. Its first Taste eatery opened in Fort Worth in 2017. Like the Fort Worth location, the future Arlington spot will have no listed menu prices for its “healthy, high-quality meals, which are made from local seasonal ingredients.” Instead, diners will be asked to “pay what they can afford, pay what they would typically pay, or pay what they would typically pay plus a little extra to help a neighbor in need.” On August 2, the Arlington City Council approved a 10-year lease agreement for Taste, with two five-year options to renew.

CLX Ventures breaks ground on 1.2M-SF industrial park in Denton. [Rendering: CLX Ventures]

New 1.2M-SF Industrial Park Gets Groundbreaking in Denton

⟫  Dallas-based development and PE firm CLX Ventures and Principal Real Estate Investors have broken ground on a 1.2 million-square-foot Class-A industrial park in Denton. The three-building project will be sited on around 73 acres on the northwest corner of I-35W and Hwy 288. Completion is slated for August 2023. The property will be leased by Holt Lunsford Commercial. “The supply is limited currently in Denton with just about all industrial land sites now tied up,” said Matt Carthey, partner and managing principal for Hold Lunsford’s Fort Worth office, adding that the new park, ICC-35, “will lead the next wave of industrial developments.”

Monday, August 8

Illustration: Sudowoodo/iStock

7 Woman-Owned Startups Selected for TechFW Programs 

⟫  Seven woman-owned startups have been selected to take part in TechFW programs funded by Texas Woman’s University’s Center for Women Entrepreneurs.  “We’re excited to continue this incredible female founders award program with Texas Woman’s University for a second year,” Hayden Blackburn, TechFW’s executive director, told Fort Worth Inc. “During the past year, as many as 48% of our clients have been women-led, and this partnership has expanded the opportunities for women that are building the future.”  The TWU center awarded the startups up to $2,000 each to be part of TechFW’s ThinkLab accelerator or SmartStart business incubator.  The startup founders include Stellah Onyancha of the fintech Jabss Inc.; Melissa Tammen of the incontinence company 4-Mankind; Kim Pallister of the hospital bed device startup Revision MedicalRuby Bhayani of the remote healthcare startup Carewaves LLC; Sonya Webb of the restaurant tool company Meathead & PotatoesMindy Hansen of the neural patterning device company Sola Gratia; and Niameh Freeman of the electronic shoe insole startup Red Puppy

Signify Health CEO Kyle Armbrester. [Image: video screenshot]

CVS Sets Sights on Dallas-Based Signify Health

⟫  CVS Health Corp. wants to expand into home health services—and it’s targeting Dallas-based Signify Health to help achieve it. According to the Wall Street Journal, CVS plans to submit a bid to acquire the home healthcare provider. The WSJ says Signify is exploring its options, including a possible sale. Last December, Signify Health CEO Kyle Armbrester (above) said his company was in a “watershed moment to activate the home as a health hub at scale.” The company went public in February 2021 with an initial market cap of over $7 billion.

Dallas-Based Compass Datacenters Expands Into Europe

⟫  Dallas-based Compass Datacenters has made its first move into Europe—and it’s going Italian. Working with London-based global real estate firm Hines, the company has acquired land in the metro area of Milan, where it plans to build one of the largest data center campuses in Italy. The planned 2.3-million-square-foot site aims to support 48MW+ of IT load, with groundbreaking slated for 2023. “Building our first European campus in Milan is a major step in Compass’ global expansion strategy,” said AJ Byers, the company’s president and chief development officer.  

Dr. Macario Hernandez, chief of staff of UNT Dallas. [Photo: UNT Dallas]

UNT Dallas Names Its First-Ever Chief of Staff

⟫ The University of North Texas at Dallas has named Dr. Macario Hernandez as its first chief of staff. Hernandez was selected as the top candidate for the position after a nationwide search. He began the newly created cabinet position on July 27 and has joined the UNT Dallas leadership team, reporting directly to UNT President Bob Mong. In the new role, Hernandez will serve as a key strategist representing Mong in critical support roles, UNT says, while focusing on local, political, school district, and legislative initiatives. He’ll also be involved in university decision-making, administrative operations, and the highest-priority work of the university. “Being well-informed about the pressing challenges our communities of color face due to their historical lack of social mobility, specifically in the Southern Dallas area, gives me insight into past and current issues,” Hernandez said, adding that a key goal is “to provide students a high-quality education that will enhance their social economic mobility.”

Friday, August 5

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

  After Merging with North Texas’ Funimation, Anime Streaming Platform Crunchyroll Names New Dallas Exec
  Junior League of Dallas Appoints New Board, Kicks Off Its ‘Next 100 Years’
  Frisco’s Dude Perfect on a Ticket to Space Thursday
  HGTV Drops Two Couples Into Dallas, Asks Them to Flip Homes ‘to a Million’
  Fueling the Biotech Boom: Dallas College Lands ‘Historic’ $8.8M Grant to Train Workers as North Texas’ Life Sciences Sector Soars
  Dallas’ Access Healthcare Doubles Head Count to 25,000 in 15 Months, Plans to Hire 18,000+ in 2022
  Bidding Wars Begone: Opendoor Exclusives Launches in DFW With ‘First‑Come, First‑Serve’ Home Shopping
  Canadian Chocolate Maker Brings Tech, 120 Jobs to New Rockwall Production Facility
  DI People: Kimberly-Clark, Sabre, Charles Schwab, and More Make Leadership Moves
  Activate Games Is Bringing Its Live‑Action Indoor Experience to Plano This Fall

More Things to Know

Crew of Blue Origin’s August 4, 2022, space flight including Coby Cotton of Frisco’s Dude Perfect, second from left on bottom row. [Photo: Blue Origin/Twitter]

Dude Perfect’s Coby Cotton on His Blue Origin Space Flight

⟫  Coby Cotton, a member of the Frisco-based sports and comedy group Dude Perfect, blasted off yesterday for a short ride on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket system, spending several minutes weightless in sub-orbital space. After landing safely in the West Texas desert, he admitted he’d planned to play mini ping pong and shoot a mini hoop basketball shot while weightless—but all that stuff stayed in his pockets. “I mean, all I wanted to do was look out and just float around,” he told “And I wouldn’t trade it. It was unbelievable.” He called the experience “the most fun 12 minutes of my life,” adding that “to just be there seeing, like, Earth in that way just made me feel so small in a really cool way.” 

[Image: metamorworks/istockphoto]

NPower Texas Expands Free Tech Training Program to Dallas-Fort Worth

  NPower Texas—the state arm of a national nonprofit offering free tech training to 18- to 26-year-olds and veterans—has expanded its flagship Tech Fundamentals program to DFW, helping young, underserved people skill up for in-demand tech jobs that are forecasted to grow in 2022. Now it’s extended the application deadline for its next training cohort to August 15. The free, 16-week virtual training program was created for young adults from underserved and marginalized communities in Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as military veterans and their spouses. The program teaches students the basics of programming and IT and offers opportunities to earn various certifications. In March, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $15 million to NPower, its largest donation ever.

Read more here.

Wells Fargo Latest to Bring Financial Workers to DFW

⟫ This week’s announcement that Wells Fargo is setting up operations in a $200 million, 800,000 square-foot space in Irving—a move the city is offering more than $30 million in economic incentives to make happen—marks the latest in a string of large financial firms planting physical footprints in the region. Earlier this year, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association announced plans to occupy more than 500,000 square feet of office space in Frisco. That announcement was followed by Goldman Sachs’ decision to house 5,000 workers in Dallas—a project the city is providing $18 million in incentives for. All told, the 2.1 million square feet of new office space announced this year will soon house more than 10,000 local financial workers, with local economic incentives totaling more than $236 million, the Dallas Morning News reports, adding that the three projects will cost more than $750 million.

Thursday, August 4

Czinger 21C hypercar will be sold exclusively in Texas by Plano-based Boardwalk Auto Group. [Photo: Czinger Vehicles]

Plano’s Boardwalk To Be Exclusive ‘Hypercar’ Dealer

⟫ For a cool $2 million to $2.5 million, Texans will be able to purchase an AI-designed “hypercar.” Plano’s Boardwalk Auto Group has inked a deal to become the exclusive dealer of California-based Czinger’s vehicles in the Lone Star state, according to The Dallas Morning News. Reaching a top speed of around 253 mph,  the company’s two-seat vehicles were designed to minimize drag and have set a handful of lap records at various tracks. They’ll begin shipping to customers in Q4 next year. Czinger already has a local buyer lined up, the DMN reports.

Photo: metamorworks/iStock

DFW Is a U.S. Leader in Job Growth

⟫ Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the leading metro areas in the country when it comes to job growth. Overall, the region added nearly 294,000 jobs, an increase of 7.7%, over the past year ending in June, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In terms of raw growth, that puts the region behind only the New York and Los Angeles metros. Much of that growth came from the eastern part of the metro including Dallas, Plano, and Irving. Between May and June, the region added 18,200 jobs, with unemployment 0.3% below the state average of 4.1%.

Illustration: Emilija Randjelovic/iStock

More Equitable Internet Access

⟫ In an effort to make the internet more accessible to all, the city of Dallas has announced that certain residents may be eligible for a $30 subsidy on their internet bills via the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program. Residents that meet the requirements, like receiving certain federal assistance programs, could also be eligible to receive a $100 one-time discount on the purchase of a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Mayor Eric Johnson said the move is “vital for the future” of making Dallas a more “equitable and vibrant 21st century city.”

Wednesday, August 3

Jason McCann, Vari CEO and co-founder, will be the keynote speaker at next week’s Future of Venture Forum during Dallas Startup Week.

‘Future of Venture Forum’ at Dallas Startup Week

⟫  What’s new and next with venture funding? Find out during Dallas Startup Week at the Future of Venture Forum on Wednesday, August 10, at the Crum Auditorium of SMU’s Cox School of Business. A CEO-packed lineup will share insights and knowledge on unique problems facing investors and startups in today’s economic climate. Vari Co-Founder and CEO Jason McCann (above) will be the keynote speaker. The 5 p.m. Entrepreneur Discussion will feature Zirtue CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Call; Alto CEO Will ColemanAvisare founder and CEO Sky CEO Josh Stone; and moderator Cheri Garcia, founder of Cornbread Hustle. The 5:45 Investor Discussion will feature Jim Adler, Founding Managing Director + Board Member at Toyota VenturesUpsie Founder and Executive Chairman Clarence Bethea; and Promise Phelon, Founder and Managing Partner of Growth Warrior Capital. A networking event follows at 7:30 p.m. (Note: The event is exclusively for accredited investors and entrepreneurs raising seed, series A, and beyond. For more info and to register, go here.)

Dallas ISD has acquired The Crossings II building at 5501 LBJ Freeway, reports the Dallas Morning News. [Photo from Robin Steel website]

Dallas ISD Acquires Tower on LBJ Freeway

⟫  The Dallas ISD has acquired the 12-story Crossings II building on LBJ Freeway near The Galleria, reports the Dallas Morning News. The building is also close to the former Valley View Mall, an area being transformed into a planned Dallas International District. Funded by a public-private partnership, the district is slated to be a sprawling home for international businesses of all sizes, as well as a testing ground for innovation with a civic smart zone and automated people mover.

Tyler Technologies’ Silas Deane III accepts the Leadership and Innovation Award from the NACRJ. [Photo/logo: Business Wire]

Tyler Technologies Manager Wins Leadership and Innovation Award

Silas Deane III, manager of Community Readiness for Plano-based Tyler Technologies, has received the Leadership and Innovation Award from the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice. The 8th annual NACRJ Conference was held in Chicago last month for an audience of nearly 2,000 attendees. Silas manages Tyler’s Community Readiness solution, which bridges the gap between jails and the community by connecting the incarcerated with community organizations. The organizations assist them in gaining an education and finding a job, and a place to live once they’re released. “Reducing recidivism is more than a goal, it’s a need as the U.S. continues to lead the world in repeat offenders,” Deane said. “This impacts the individual, their families, communities, and local economies.”

Illustration: Sudowoodo/iStock

Dallas is a Top 10 City for ‘Fixer-Uppers’

⟫  A new StorageCafe report ranks the Top 10 cities in the U.S. for buying “fixer-upper” homes that need a lot of work, but fit the buying power of budget-minded buyers. Dallas came in at No. 7 and is the first Texas city to make the list. “With median home prices skyrocketing in Dallas—currently at $585K—a fixer-upper can seem the best solution to climbing the homeownership ladder,” the report says. “The difference between a regular home listing and a fixer-upper amounts to $260K. That’s a 44% discount when you go for a home with a little more charm but in need of repairs.”

Tuesday, August 2

Illustration: Mingirov/iStock

Texas Joins Anti-Robocall Task Force

⟫  Around 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day, according to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center. Now Texas aims to do something about it, by joining 49 other states in the nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. The task force will investigate and take legal action against telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the U.S. In the meantime, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton advises you to be wary of callers who ask you to pay by gift card, wire, or crypto: For example, “the IRS does not accept iTunes gift cards.” Also, look out for prerecorded calls from impostors posing as government agencies; hang up when you’re suspicious; file a consumer complaint here; and get on the national Do Not Call Registry here.

Trinity Metro ZIPZONE van. [Photo: City of Fort Worth]

NCTOG Gets $270K to Study ‘Innovative Transit Solutions’ for Fort Worth Neighborhood

⟫ The North Central Texas Council of Governments has been awarded a $270,000 Federal Transit Administration “to identify innovative, affordable transit solutions to improve access to basic needs and create strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in a part of Fort Worth identified as an area of persistent poverty.” The ZIP Code involved, 76104, is the home of the Fort Worth Medical District, but a study by UT Southwestern Medical Center says it has the lowest life expectancy in the state. The 2021 Areas of Persistent Poverty Program grant could lead to the development of transit solutions to connect the community to healthy food, health care, affordable housing, and employment, while improving air quality, the NCTOG says. “We can use the data from this study to proactively prevent creating new disparities for the future,” said Christina Brooks, Fort Worth’s chief equity officer and director of its Department of Diversity & Inclusion. “Ultimately, every resident, regardless of your ZIP code, should have access to quality, affordable transportation that supports a thriving quality of life in our community.”

[Photo: Immersive Gamebox]

‘Squid Game’ Experience Coming to Immersive Gamebox in Grandscape

⟫  If you’re a fan of the Netflix series “The Squid Game” and would like to play it (without getting killed), you’ll have your chance starting in September. That’s when Immersive Gamebox at Grandscape in The Colony (formerly known as Electric Gamebox) launches its Netflix-approved, 60-minute “Squid Game” experience. The multiplayer game will feature all six challenges from the show, including Red Light, Green Light; Dalgona; and the Squid Game itself. But don’t worry, if you lose a challenge, you’ll only lose a “virtual life.” The game will be played in the chain’s “Gameboxes” (as seen above), using motion sensing tech and touch screens. 

Chef Tim Love’s new FW restaurant Caterina’s will ban phones, require jackets for men. [Photo: ChefTimLove/Instagram]

Chef Tim Love’s New Fort Worth Restaurant Bans Cell Phones—and Requires Jackets

⟫  In an era when people take foodie photos of every entree, one restaurant in Fort Worth’s Mule Alley isn’t having it. Caterina’s, the new outpost from celeb Chef Tim Love, is banning cell phone use in its dining room. Guests at the upscale Italian eatery are given a bag to place their phones in on their way to their table. “The cell phone thing will no doubt be a hurdle, but I think people will thank me on the way out,” Love told Fort Worth Magazine. Love, who previously launched Gemelle, Atico, and Paloma Suerte in Fort Worth, named Caterina’s after his sister Kathleen, who died during the pandemic, FW reports. And if you’re still mulling over the idea of a phone-less dinner, Love has one other rule for his intimate Italian dining experience: Men must wear jackets.

Monday, August 1

The Las Colinas Urban Center at Lake Carolyn in Irving. [Image: Visit Irving Texas]

Wells Fargo Plans $200M Campus in Las Colinas for 4,000 Workers

⟫  San Francisco-based Wells Fargo plans to build a lakeside $200 million regional office campus in Irving’s Las Colinas Uban Center. The 22-acre center will be built on the north shore of Las Colinas’ Lake Carolyn (above). On Thursday, the Irving City Council will vote on more than $30 million in incentives to land the development, which could see 4,000 workers occupying 800,000 square feet of new office space by December 2026, according to the Dallas Morning News. 

Flex Driver leaving PacSun with Amazon Same-Day Delivery. [Photo: Amazon]

Amazon Begins Same-Day Delivery Direct from Dallas Retail Stores

⟫  Amazon has begun offering its Prime members same-day delivery direct from a number of Dallas retail stores. Customers can now shop items from PacSun, GNC, SuperDry, and Diesel and get their purchases delivered the same day. The service is free for U.S. Prime members who spend $25 or more on qualifying items and $2.99 for members who spend below $25. In the coming months, Sur La Table100% Pure, and other retailers will join the program too. The service is being offered in more than 10 other U.S. cities, but Dallas is the only Texas city to get it so far. “We’re excited to see this new model come to life and look forward to adding more brands, stores, and locations to the program,” says Sarah Mathew, director of Amazon Delivery Experience.

Aurora Innovation and Schneider National partner to autonomously haul freight between Dallas and Houston. Photo: Aurora Innovation, Inc.

Aurora, Schneider to Haul Freight Autonomously Between Dallas and Houston

⟫  Pittsburgh-based Aurora Innovation has begun a new pilot partnership with Schneider National to haul freight autonomously with the Aurora Driver between Dallas and Houston. “Understanding more about an autonomous future is the logical next step to build a network that continues to deliver the best service for our customers,” said Rob Reich, EVP and chief administrative officer at Schneider. Based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Schneider provides transportation, intermodal, and logistics services with $5.6 billion in annual revenue. It’s the fourth commercial pilot for Aurora, which has partnered with other freight companies on test runs from Dallas, along with testing self-driving hybrid-electric Sienna S-AM minivans on Dallas-Fort Worth streets and highways.

Friday, July 29

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

  After Merging with North Texas’ Funimation, Anime Streaming Platform Crunchyroll Names New Dallas Exec
  Innovative Spaces: Turning Offices into Luxe Multifamily Residences in Dallas’ Iconic 50‑Story Santander Tower
  Aviation ‘Time Machine’ Takes Wing in Southern Dallas
  XFL Selects Arlington, Choctaw Stadium as its Football Operations Hub
  Bank of Montreal Taps North Texas for its Newest Tech Hub
  Dallas Startup TestFit Lands $20M for AI-Powered Building Configurator Technology
  Dallas-Based Nada Closes $8.1M Seed Round to Make Real Estate Investments More Accessible to All
  Cash Flow Is King. This Dallas Fintech Tackles Challenges for Businesses, 1099 Workers in the Ever-Changing Gig Economy
  Digital Fight Club Is Coming Back IRL to the Granada for Dallas Startup Week
  SoCal Pharma Company Buys Mid-Cities Building to Relocate HQ, Operations to North Texas

More Things to Know

Union Pacific modernized locomotive in Wabtec’s Fort Worth, Texas, plant. [Photo: Union Pacific]

Wabtec’s Historic $1B+ Deal to Modernize 600 Locomotives

⟫  Wabtec’s one million-square-foot plant in Fort Worth is about to get a lot busier. In an agreement worth over $1 billion—the largest locomotive modernization deal in history—the Pittsburgh-based company will modernize 600 locomotives for Union Pacific. (One modernized UP locomotive is seen above in Abtec’s Fort Worth plant.) “Modernizations are a game changer for our customers, offering the ability to realize significantly more value out of existing locomotive assets,” said Rafael Santana, Wabtec,’s president and CEO. Wabtec will install “state-of-the-art” technology to increased tractive effort, fuel efficiency, reliability, and adhesion—providing around 350 tons of carbon reduction per locomotive per year. Also, 70,000 tons of steel will be reused and recycled across the project. That’s the equivalent of more than 51,000 passenger cars.

The LERMA/ agency is located in The Luminary building in downtown Dallas’ West End Innovation District. [Photo: LERMA/]

LERMA/ Wins Ad Age Small Agency of the Year Award

⟫  Dallas-based ad agency LERMA/ has won a Gold Small Agency of the Year award at the 14th Annual Ad Age Small Agency Awards in the category of agencies with 11 to 75 employees. “Multicultural marketing used to be an afterthought, but our country has changed, and we have evolved with it,” Pedro Lerma, LERMA/’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “As an independent certified minority-owned agency, it’s exciting to be recognized for all the work we have accomplished, and we are eager to dream even bigger.” Just last month, we wrote about Pedro Lerma and RO2 Media’s Rodrigo Vallejo launching a separate demand-side platformYouNite Media, out of LERMA/’s downtown Dallas offices (above).

University of Texas at Arlington professors Qilian Liang (left) and Chenyun Pan [Photos: UTA]

UTA Researcher Lands Grant to Help Make AI Tech Faster, More Energy Efficient 

⟫ Using deep-learning hardware accelerators to generate AI models, UT Arlington professor of electrical engineering Qilian Liang (above left) has landed a $600,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to AI technology faster and more energy efficient. The funding will help researchers “simplify the architecture used to design hardware to increase computational speed,” in addition to exploring how algorithms can make AI implementation cheaper. Liang notes that findings from the research could have applications in areas like robotics and autonomous driving. UTA assistant professor of electrical engineering Chenyun Pan (above right) is co-principal investigator on the project.

Image: Chinnapong/iStock

Schwab Launches Its First Cryptocurrency-Related ETF

⟫  Westlake-based Schwab Asset Management, an arm of the Charles Schwab Corporation, has launched its first-ever crypto-related ETF. The Schwab Crypto Thematic ETF (NYSE Arca: STCE) will track SAM’s new proprietary index, the Schwab Crypto Thematic Index, offering global exposure to companies that may benefit from the development or utilization of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. “For investors who are interested in cryptocurrency exposures, there’s a whole ecosystem to consider as more companies seek to derive revenue from crypto directly and indirectly,” said David Botset, managing director, head of equity product management and innovation at Schwab Asset Management.

Photos: Hall Technologies

Coppell’s Hall Technologies Adds Line of Speakers for Meetings, Classrooms

Hall Technologies, a Coppell-based AV company specializing in end-to-end solutions, has a released a new line of in-ceiling and surface mount speakers designed for meeting and education environments. “If you’re a tech manager or AV integrator, we’ve made it simple to equip a classroom or corporate meeting room with cameras, speakers, and a multitude of other products needed for great collaboration and connectivity,” said Ken Eagle, VP of technology at Hall. The new line includes a fire-rated 40-watt in-ceiling speaker with 1″ titanium dome tweeter and 6.5″ graphite cone driver (above left) and a surface-mount 40-watt loudspeaker (above right).

Illustration: Dmitrii_Guzhanin/iStock

Report: DFW’s Average New Home Price Surpasses $500K for First Time

⟫  According to a new report from Dallas-based, the average new home price in Dallas-Fort Worth set a record last month, breaking the half million-dollar mark for the first time at $501,327 in June versus $486,172 in May. Despite that, CEO Ben Caballero expects home starts to continue at a brisk pace in the region. “Due to its business-friendly environment, no personal income tax, and geographic location, I expect Texas to continue leading the nation in home starts,” he said in a statement. “The continuing migration from large population centers in the north, northeast, and West Coast markets will cause those areas to experience a disproportionate share of the coming housing slowdown”

Thursday, July 28

Rendering of a planned common area atrium at Neiman Marcus Group’s future Dallas Hub at Cityplace. [Image: Gensler]

Neiman Marcus Offers Peek at Its New Cityplace Offices and Its ‘Hub Philosophy’

⟫  Dallas-based Neiman Marcus Group is moving its corporate HQ from its downtown store to three floors of Cityplace Tower, the 42-story Uptown building at North Central Expressway and Haskell. It’s released renderings of what its employees can look forward to (including the common area atrium above and the swank space seen below). The “Dallas Hub” will be part of the company’s new working philosophy, NMG/Way of Working. NMG/WOW will be built around hubs—ones as small as an employee’s home office and as big as NMG’s stores, distribution centers, and two other new corporate hubs in New York City and Bangalore, India. “The pandemic gave us the perfect opportunity to fast-track the revolutionary way our internal corporate teams are working and look for opportunities to innovate,” said CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck said in a statement.

Interior rendering of Neiman Marcus Group Dallas Hub at Cityplace [Rendering: Neiman Marcus Group/Gensler]

Some of the 1,000-plus robots at Kroger’s new Delivery Fulfillment Center in Southern Dallas. [Photo: The Kroger Co./PR Newswire]

Kroger’s New Dallas Delivery Fulfillment Center Has Over 1,000 Robots

Kroger has opened its newest 350,000 square-foot, $55 million e-commerce fulfillment center in Southern Dallas, serving customers in a 90-mile radius. In addition to creating 500 new jobs, the facility will also employ some high-tech. Building on a collaboration with Ocado Group, Kroger’s facility will host more than 1,000 robots on automated systems moving about a 3D grid to fulfill about 18,000 orders per day. Through a “spoke model” with other fulfilment centers, the DFW location’s reach extends north to Oklahoma City and south to the Austin and San Antonio areas.

The Gild [Rendering: Gensler]

Firm Snags 10th Floor at The Gild as It Renovates the Dallas Landmark

The Gild—Dallas’ twin gold landmark office towers at North Central Expressway and Northwest Highway—just filled a floor of its north tower amid a multimillion-dollar renovationBrasfield & Gorrie, one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, will expand its Dallas location at The Gild (formerly Campbell Centre) by taking over the whole 10th floor. The Birmingham, Alabama-based firm is serving as general contractor on the renovations, with Gensler serving as architect. The 20-story towers are getting hospitality-style upgrades including multiple tenant work lounges (one is rendered below), an updated lobby, cafe and coffee bar, and a conference center. Stream Realty Partners leases the buildings and represented owner Fenway Capital Advisors in the transaction.

Rendering of contemporary tenant lounge at The Gild. [Image: Gensler]

H-E-B store in New Braunfels. The company’s stores are getting closer and closer to Dallas and Fort Worth. [Photo: H.E.B.]

H-E-B Plans Several New DFW Stores

⟫ After announcing its foray into North Texas last March with planned locations in Frisco and Plano, Texas supermarket giant H-E-B is looking to beef up its presence in the region. While the company—which has amassed a cult-like following in the Lone Star state—has operated stores on the outskirts of DFW for some time, it’s been announcing new locations and buying up land for future ones since last year. To help keep track, WFAA has put together a handy list of stores that have officially opened and cities where H-E-B may soon be arriving. Stores coming soon include the initially announced locations, plus others in McKinney, Prosper, Rockwall, Forney, and Melissa. H-E-B has also been snapping up land in other cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, Mansfield, DeSoto, Murphy, and Denton..

Lynné Bowman Cravens’ origami sculptures will be installed in early August in Fort Worth. [Rendering Fort Worth Public Art]

Origami Art Is Coming to Fort Worth’s Riverfront 

⟫ Commuters going in and out of downtown Fort Worth via Forest Park Boulevard will soon see a new addition along the roadside: the work of artist Lynné Bowman Cravens. Five sculptures scattered across a field will portray the process it takes to fold paper into an origami scissor-tailed flycatcher—a bird whose habitats span from Oklahoma to Mexico. Called “Beauty In Becoming,” the eight-foot, five-piece art installation is slated for installation in early August.

Wednesday, July 27


Local Researchers Aim to Reduce Racial Disparities in Healthcare

⟫ Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health have found a way to help remove racial inequities in kidney disease diagnosis and treatment. A standard way to diagnose kidney disease is by using a mathematical formula that includes variables for serum creatinine, gender, age—and race. Experts mistakenly believed that Black people have higher muscle mass and/or creatinine metabolism than white people. But the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology now recommend a formula that doesn’t include the race modifier. After studying nearly 57,000 patients using the old and new formulas, the UTSW and Parkland teams found 14% to 28% of Black patients were reclassified into a more severe chronic kidney disease stage. “By removing race as a variable, patients are now objectively classified, which opens access for additional testing and more investigation into their condition,” said Dr. Ibrahim Hashim, PhD, who led the project. “This can only lead to better care for patients with chronic kidney disease.” Researchers at Korean institutions are looking into whether removing the same variable in tests will find similar disparities in Asian populations.

Video still: Vimaan

This Drone Does Warehouse Inventories

⟫  Allen-based PFS, an e-commerce order fulfillment provider, is using “autonomous flying warehouse drones” to track premium brand inventory in its Memphis warehouse and fulfillment campus. The Vimaan StorTRACK AIR drones can scan inventory from the ground to the ceiling, capturing up to 1,500 locations per hour and delivering “highly accurate inventory status details” to the PFS Warehouse Management System, the company says. PFS adds that using the drones will improve the accuracy and traceability of its client product inventory.

Retail and Restaurant Display Firm Moves HQ to Dallas

Diesel Displays + Interiors is moving into a new headquarters that will increase its footprint by more than 50%. But it isn’t moving too far. The maker of interiors and displays for restaurant and retail clients including the Texas Rangers, Samsung, and Starbucks is moving from its current offices in Carrollton to a new 130,000-square-foot campus in Dallas later this year. In addition to offices for its 150 employees, Diesel’s new digs will house a design studio, fabrication center, and showroom, the Dallas Morning News reports.

BrandNewNoise’s audio recorder with Moog synthesizer. [Photo: BrandNewNoise]

Dallas’ BrandNewNoise Makes ‘Anti-Technology Technology’ Music Gadgets

Richard Upchurch, a guitarist and former touring musician, has given up the road to make a wide range of “experimental instruments” at his Dallas-based company, BrandNewNoise. His musical gadgets include his audio recorder with the Moog synthesizer above, along with mini pianos, xylophones, and harmonicas—all of which can record themselves. “I call it anti-technology technology,” Upchurch told the Dallas Morning News. His first gadget was a simple wood box with a button to record a sound and a knob that speeds the audio up or slows it down. He gave that to his four-year-old nephew, but now his musical gadgets like the $72.25 Loopy Lou have sold to pop artists including country star Brad Paisley, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, the DMN reports.

Tuesday, July 26

Plano-based Original ChopShop plans to expand with six new locations, including one in Atlanta, after spinning off Bellagreen concept. [Photo: Original ChopShop/Instagram]

Plano-Based Original ChopShop Spins off Bellagreen, Expands Into Atlanta

⟫  Plano-based Original ChopShop sold off its eight Bellagreen fast casual restaurants last week to Richardson-based Ampex Brands, owner of Au Bon Pain and franchiser of more than 400 fast food restaurants and 7-Eleven stores. “We want to have the team singularly focused on one brand,” Original ChopShop CEO Jason Morgan told Nation’s Restaurant News. ChopShop aims to grow from 17 to 23 restaurants by March 2023, including an expansion into Atlanta in Q4 of this year. “We’ve got top-notch technology in place,” Morgan added, noting that more than 35% of sales are made through a loyalty program run through Paytronix. Morgan was previously CFO of Zoës Kitchen.

Photo: Orthofix Medical Inc.

Irving’s Orthofix Has Its Spine Grafting Tech Implanted in First Patient

⟫ Working with New Jersey’s MTF Biologics, Irving-based medical device company Orthofix Medical, which trades on the Nasdaq, announced the first patient implant of its spine grafting technology. At a procedure at Fort Worth’s Baylor Scott and White Surgical Hospital, a patient was implanted with Orthofix’s device—called the Virtuos Lyograft—which acts as a tissue graft to help with bone healing. The company says that since the technology can be delivered at room temperature, it helps cut down on shipping and storage issues.

Anne Burnett Marion

TCU Names Its Medical School for the Late Anne Burnett Marion After $50M in Gifts

Texas Christian University is one step closer to reaching the $1 billion goal for its fundraising campaign with a new $25 million gift from The Burnett Foundation to support the university’s School of Medicine. With the donation, the university plans to name the school after Anne Burnett Marion, the late Fort Worth philanthropist behind the foundation. A previous $25 million donation from the foundation helped establish an endowment for students, faculty, and programming at the medical school. The announcement comes as TCU is expanding its footprint in Fort Worth’s medical district.

Photo: iBrave/iStock

Fort Worth Public Library Expands Free Job Skills Courses 

⟫ Fort Worth residents can build their job skills at the library this summer. The Fort Worth Public Library is hosting free, self-paced courses on things like internet navigation, emails, social media, and computer software. According to NBC DFW, online classes for Spanish-language residents will also be offered, beginning in August. Courses will be offered both online and at numerous library locations across Fort Worth. with librarians ready to offer assistance in how to use different operating systems.

Atwell Hotels suite with Zoom-ready gallery wall. [Photo: IHG Hotels & Resorts]

‘Zoom-Ready’ Hotel Suites Coming to Euless and Fort Worth

⟫  Business travelers often videoconference from hotel rooms with a half-made bed and nightstand in their laptop’s camera view. That opens a niche now filled by Atwell Suites hotels—which offer “Zoom-ready suites” offering a sofa and “gallery wall” view behind the work station (above). IHG Hotels & Resorts’ fourth Atwell Suites location is coming to S.H. 183 and Bear Creek in Euless, reports CultureMap Dallas, following outposts in metro Miami and Denver and an upcoming one in Austin. A second, $5.5 million DFW location is planned for late 2023 in Fort Worth.

Monday, July 25

Photo: Takkion TP&L Holdings LLC

Local Renewable Energy Logistics Firm Expands Into Canada

⟫ Building on a multi-year plan of growing organically and through acquisitions, Dallas-based Takkion, a multimodal logistics and operations and maintenance (O&M) services provider for the renewable energy industry, is expanding into Canada. Via its subsidiary Takkion Airway Services Canada, the firm says it plans to begin providing operational support services in Alberta and Ontario, eventually aiming to expand all its services to the country. Takkion, a portfolio company of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, acquired San Angelo, Texas-based Airway Services last year—a move that president and CEO Jim Orr said positioned the company as the “market-leading ISP in the renewable energy industry.”

Photo: PNC Bank

PNC Bank’s Mobile Units Hit the Streets of DFW

PNC Bank is hitting the road in North Texas to bring financial services to residents who lack access. With the goal of bringing financial empowerment and education to the community, the Pittsburgh-based bank is rolling its mobile banking units into DFW. At the mobile units, residents will be able to access an ATM, replace debit cards, open accounts, and apply for loans. The units will be hitting up community centers including Jubilee Park and Community Center, CitySquare, and Foundation Communities, among others. According to The Dallas Morning News, the mobile units will be available to everyone.

California Pharma Company to Relocate HQ to North Texas

⟫ North Texas has a new California transplant. Liquid dietary supplement manufacturer Anything Liquid Manufacturing has acquired a more than 18,000 square-foot space in the Fort Worth suburb of Richland Hills that it plans to turn into its new headquarters. The company has brought on LGE Design Build to retrofit the building. The company aims to relocate its HQ and pharmaceutical operations in the next two months.

Read more.

Illustration: yodiyim/iStock

Vizient Offers AI-Powered Cardiac Care

⟫ Local health care services firm Vizient is aiming to improve cardiac care with artificial intelligence. Though a new partnership with Wisconsin healthcare analytics software company Mpirik, Irving-based Vizient will offer AI-powered technology to providers. As part of the deal, Vizient members will have access to automated identification of at-risk patients, automated follow-up alerts on patient outcomes, and real-time reporting. According to Bryan Grossman, Vizient’s senior VP of strategic supplier performance and category management, the move will “improve patient monitoring and reduce undertreatment that may come from disparities tied to gender or race.”

Friday, July 22

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

  Developers Look South: Onu Ventures Plans New 12‑Acre Project in Southern Dallas
  Innovative Spaces: The Crescent’s $12 Million Makeover in Uptown Dallas
  Allen-Based MD7 Promotes Three VPs to Power Growth With EV Charging Stations, 5G Mobile Networks
  Gov. Abbott Taps Two Local Leaders to Help Bring New Businesses, Jobs to Texas
  Horned Frog Investment Network Aims to Boost Deal Flow in Fort Worth and Beyond
  Dallas College Is Awarded a $5M Apprenticeship Building America Grant
  Canoo CEO Tony Aquila on the EV Maker’s Electric Delivery Vehicles Coming to DFW Walmart Locations
  After Merging with North Texas’ Funimation, Anime Streaming Platform Crunchyroll Names New Dallas Exec
  AllOY Emerges from Stealth to Bring EV, Autonomous Technology to Boating
  New Age Capital Raises $25M for Debut Fund to Invest in ‘Historically Underfunded Founders’

More Things to Know

Rendering of mass timber building in Frisco’s Southstone Yards mixed-use development. [Image: Duda|Paine Architects]

Sustainable ‘Mass Timber’ Office Building to Rise in Frisco

⟫  Constructing a 7-story office building out of wood may sound like going back in time. But “mass timber” commercial construction is actually a cutting-edge practice, as shown by Walmart in Arkansas and these nine other projects ranging from a hotel in Austin to a wood tower in Toronto. Now Dallas-based Crow Holdings is planning one of the largest mass timber buildings in the U.S. to anchor the 45-acre Offices at Southstone Yards development in Frisco, reports Dallas Business Journal. The building (rendered above) is designed by Duda Paine Architects in partnership with Gensler. A low-carbon alternative to concrete and steel, mass timber uses multiple soft wood panels nailed or glued together to form strong, Lego-like slabs. So far, the tallest mass timber building on earth is in Norway at 18 stories and 280 feet high. But an astonishing 80-story wood tower has been proposed in Chicago.  

Illustration: Southwest Airlines

Southwest May Expand to DFW Airport in 2025, Among Other New Options

⟫ Southwest Airlines may expand locally beyond its home base of Dallas Love Field in 2025. That’s when a provision of the Wright Amendment, which was meant to protect business at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, expires, allowing the airline to expand beyond Love Field in Dallas-Fort Worth. Expanding to DFW Airport is one option, and perhaps the most likely. Another option may be expanding to a second regional airport like McKinney National, or getting the city of Dallas to expand Love Field. As the Dallas Morning News notes, Southwest has long taken issue with the 20 gates Love Field is currently capped at, and could use the option to leverage stakeholders to make new arrangements with it and with American Airlines, which counts DFW Airport as its hub.

Rendering of Fort Worth City Hall’s planned city council chamber wing. [Image: City of Fort Worth]

Fort Worth Aims to Upgrade Future City Hall Site

⟫ After purchasing the 20-story high-rise that formerly housed Pier 1 Imports’ headquarters for $69.5 million in late 2020, the city of Fort Worth is looking to make some upgrades to its new, consolidated City Hall. According to Fort Worth Magazine, upgrades on the 11.9-acre site include workspaces for public services and the community, upgraded technology, and other infrastructure improvements. Work is set to begin next fall with a move-in date slated for Q1 2024. The building is meant to consolidate city operations that were previously spread across 13 buildings in the city.

D CEO Announces the Winners of the Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards 2022

Dallas-Fort Worth has a powerful and active nonprofit community that’s bolstered by corporate support. Last night the winners of D CEO’s fifth annual Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards were unveiled at The Factory in Deep Ellum. Winners for the Organizations of the Year include Ally’s Wish (small), TACA (mid), My Possibilities (large), and Dallas Symphony Association (mega). The Prison Entrepreneurship Program won the Capital One Impact Initiative Award, and M2G Ventures and UT Southwestern Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care was the Corporate Partner of the Year. Innovation winners included The Callier Center for Communication Disorders and The Educator Collective. See the full list of winners and finalists in each category on D CEO.


Thursday, July 21

Photo: Amazon

Amazon’s Rivian EVs Begin Deliveries in Dallas

⟫ After testing in Fort Worth last year, Amazon’s electric vehicle fleet by mobility company Rivian are hitting the streets today in Dallas and several other U.S. cities. The custom-made vehicles include tech features like automated emergency breaking and navigation assistance. Amazon says it plans to roll out 100,000 electric vehicles across 100 U.S. cities by 2030. Previously, the e-commerce giant said it chose North Texas as a test bed for the fleet due to the region’s customer base, urban makeup, and temperatures—the latter helping the company see if the vehicles could stand up to the heat.

DFW Airport is offering Pluie UV-C light sanitization diaper changing tables. [Photo: Pluie]

DFW Airport Installs UV-C Light Self-Cleaning Changing Tables

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is the first airport to install self-cleaning diaper changing table technology from Chicago startup Pluie, CW 33 reports. According to Pluie, the changing tables self-close when not in use and are sanitized by UV-C light. Launched in 2020, Pluie’s technology can also be found at the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington.

Advanced Plastic Recycling Plant Coming to Dallas

⟫  Materials science giant Dow is teaming up with Atlanta-based advanced recycling company Nexus Circular to build a new facility in Dallas. The companies say it will convert 26,000 metric tons of previously non-recycled plastic into raw material annually. Plastic diverted from landfills to Nexis’ plant will be delivered to Dow to be turned into plastic material for use in areas like food, hygiene, and fitness. The move is part of an effort by Dow to recycle and reuse 1 million metric tons of plastic by 2030. Manav Lahoti, Dow’s global sustainability director for hydrocarbons, said the new Dallas facility “marks an important step in meeting unmet market demand for circular plastics in Texas and other markets.”

Photo: University of Texas at Arlington

Report: UT Arlington has the Best Nursing Program in the Region

⟫ After reviewing nearly 3,000 institutions across the country, Nursing Schools Almanac has named UT Arlington’s nursing program as the best in the DFW region. Across the Southwest, the program ranked No. 5 and nationally it placed in the top 50. The rankings were determined based on things like student success on license exams and program breadth. According to the university’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation, more than 600 students graduate from the program annually.

Wednesday, July 20

Texas Rangers majority owner Ray Davis, Loews Hotels & Co. President Alex Tisch, and Arlington Mayor Jim Ross sign top -out beam for the new $550M Loews Arlington Hotel and new Arlington Convention Center. [Photo: Loews Hotels & Co.]

Topping Out a New Centerpiece for Arlington

⟫ A topping-out ceremony was held today for the new $550 million Loews Arlington Hotel and Arlington Convention CenterTexas Rangers majority owner Ray Davis, Loews Hotels & Co. President Alex Tisch, and Arlington Mayor Jim Ross are seen above signing the top -out beam. 

Loews Arlington Hotel and Convention Center with Soy Cowboy restaurant. [Rendering: Loews Hotels & Co.]

Slated to open in 2024, the hotel and convention center (rendered above) will be part of phase two of the city’s Entertainment District development, featuring the addition of a second hotel with 888 rooms, 266,000 square feet of meeting space, and a new 150,000-square-foot Arlington Convention Center. The hotel’s signature restaurant, Soy Cowboy, was also announced at the event.


CyrusOne’s Carrollton facility. [Photo: CyrusOne]

‘Waterless’ Electricity: CyrusOne Wins Award for Conservation Project in Carrollton 

⟫  Dallas-based CyrusOne, a leading global data center developer and operator, has won the Environment+Energy Leader Project of the Year award for its efforts to conserve water at its flagship Carrollton facility (above). The winning project reduced the total water impact of the data center—which, as anyone in DFW surely knows this week, is in a high water-stress region. “Using new methods to estimate and reduce water embodied in electricity, CyrusOne reduced onsite water use, switched to ‘waterless’ electricity, and collaborated to restore water to local waterways,” the company said. The project reduced total water impact by 75% in an industry known for intensive water use.

[Photo: RGB CustomPC]

RGB CustomPC Partners to Help Veterans Through Gaming

⟫  Plano-based RGB CustomPC is partnering with the Veterans Gaming & Mental Health Mission to enhance VGMH’s support of veterans’ mental health and well-being through gaming. The collaboration combines access to video gaming technology and hardware with VGMH’s efforts to address the veteran mental health and suicide crisis through gaming, camaraderie, and healing. “VGMH has pledged to help veterans through their VGMH Lifeline program, which has a goal of supplying one gaming PC per month to a veteran or first responder in need,” said Holly Millay, co-founder and CEO of RGB CustomPC. “We’re happy to support the VGMH mission by providing PCs for their cause.” Last fall, RGB CustomPC was accepted into the CompTIA Apprenticeships for Tech program aimed at businesses seeking to diversify their tech teams.

Vagabond Hotel in Miami, Florida. [Photo:] Might Pay You to Tour America’s Retro Beach Motels

⟫  It could hit 108 degrees today, so we thought you could use the photo above. That’s the poolside bar at the Vagabond Hotel in Miami, and it’s part of a tempting offer from Dallas-based It’s looking for a “Retro Beach Motelier” and their guest to spend the rest of the summer time-hopping through retro beach motels across the U.S. The chosen travelers will get a $10,000 stipend; a classic Polaroid camera and film; and a $5,000 “salary” for the gig. They’ll also get some high-SPF zinc, striped umbrellas, vintage shades, a cooler for beachside cold ones, and a solar-powered AM/FM radio. You can apply for the gig here by August 5. (Like we just did.)

Tuesday, July 19

Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research Building at The Star in Frisco. [Image: Perkins+Will]

Dallas Startup Week Kickoff Party at The Star

⟫  “From the Ground Up,” the official kickoff party to Dallas Startup Week, will be held at The Star complex in Frisco Sunday, August 7, from 3 to 6 p.m. The event will be located on the sixth floor of the Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research Building (above) at 3800 Gaylord Parkway. Hosted by the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, the party will feature bites and drinks, local founders who’ll demo the region’s newest tech, and “a sneak peek of the future of Frisco innovation.” For more info and to register, go here.

Schumacher EV Series Level 2 Charger. [Photos: Schumacher Electric Corp.]

Fort Worth’s Schumacher Releases Level 2 EV Charger

⟫  Fort Worth-based Schumacher Electric Corporation has released its new EV Series Level 2 Charger (above). The electric vehicle charger operates on 240 volts and is available in hardwired or plug-and-go options. Schumacher CEO Mickey Leech says it was “developed with the user in mind” and “provides superior power with top-of-the-line design.” Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, it can add 60 miles of range per hour and delivers up to 50 amps. ““With the EV market poised for explosive growth, we want to showcase the best in electric vehicle charging with a variety of feature-rich products,” the 75-year-old company’s chief strategist, Shantel Bill, added.

[Illustration: Jolygon/iStock]

Heart of the Matter: Organ Donation Consortium Launched

⟫ Five American organ procurement organizations—including Dallas-based Southwest Transplant Alliance—have formed the Organ Donation Consortium, the STA announced today. Together, the five member organizations say they plan to focus on reforming the industry at a federal level. The consortium says will focus on open integration of all stakeholders in the organ donation process, with the goal of reducing inefficiencies and costs. Other members of the consortium include Donor Network West, Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, Mid-America Transplant Services, and OurLegacy.  

Bruce Wood Dance’s “Slip Zone,” choreographed by Joy Bollinger. [Photo: Sharen Bradford]

Dallas’ Bruce Wood Dance Appoints New Associate Executive Director

⟫  Dallas contemporary dance company Bruce Wood Dance has appointed Elizabeth Van Vleck as its new associate executive director. She brings a lifetime of experience as a performer, choreographer, teaching artist, and other roles at New York City Ballet, National Dance InstituteCalArts and Dallas’ own TITAS DANCE/UNBOUND, among other companies. “Elizabeth’s passion for dance, vast experience, and strong reputation in the dance world makes her the perfect person to help take Bruce Wood Dance to the next level and inspire new audiences around the globe,” said Gayle Halperin, the company’s executive director.

Monday, July 18


Todd Mobraten, founder and CEO of OrangeGrid. [Photo: OrangeGrid]

OrangeGrid Graduates from MortgageTech Accelerator

⟫ Flower Mound-based business process workflow fintech OrangeGrid has graduated from Flagstar Bank’s third annual MortgageTech Accelerator program, which provides mentorship in areas like technology integration, pricing strategies, and product roadmaps. One of four graduates in the three-month program, OrangeGrid founder and CEO Todd Mobraten (above) said the program helped his startup grow its product functionality and has led to it exploring strategic parentship opportunities with the Michigan-based bank. Earlier this year, his 35-person company relocated its headquarters from California to North Texas, drawn by the density of mortgage servicing companies in the area, the local talent pool, and the region’s central location in the country.

Photo: Royal Goats Club

Baldwin Brother Helps Local Group Promote Web3 Space

⟫ Dallas’ RGC Labs, a web3-focused think tank created by the Royal Goats Club NFT project, has added actor and director Daniel Baldwin as a partner to promote web3 and blockchain technologies. While NFT sales hit a 12-month low in June amid a collapse of the cryptocurrency space, Royal Goats is planning to mint its own NFT collection at the end of the month. Ultimately, the company says it’s looking to build a marketplace for NFTs called the Royal Chest.

Laboratory technician inside the new HealthTrackRx of Georgia facility. [Photo: HealthTrackRx]

Denton Firm Helps CDC Track Monkeypox Cases

HealthTrackRx is using molecular diagnostics to track the spread of monkeypox in the U.S. The Denton-based PCR testing lab has developed a human test for the virus and is working in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on an epidemiological study to determine how widespread it is across the country. According to the CDC’s website, there are 1,479 confirmed cases in the U.S. to date, with 76 of those in Texas. Throughout the study, the company will collect samples from patients with diagnostic codes that show they have skin issues that could be monkeypox. The data it collects won’t be reported to patients or providers, it says.

Photo: Envision Dallas

Envision Dallas Lands its Largest Donation Ever to Fuel Expansion

Envision Dallas is expanding its operations and has received new funding to help with the effort. The nonprofit, which offers employment opportunities and resources for the blind and visually impaired, has kicked off a $15 million fundraising campaign with a $6 million donation from the LC Industries Foundation—the largest gift in Envision’s history. The money will help Envision Dallas, formerly the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind, relocate and double the size of its local offices to a new 210,000 square-foot space in Farmers Branch that’s expected to create up to 200 new jobs over the next three years. Currently, the company employs close to 150 people, according to Managing Director David Stupay. The new facilities will include a workforce training center, a rehabilitation center, and a 100-person call center.

Friday, July 15

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

  Gov. Abbott Taps Two Local Leaders to Help Bring New Businesses, Jobs to Texas
  DART, UT Arlington, PepsiCo, Nanoscope, Magellan Health, and More Make Leadership Moves
  Horned Frog Investment Network Aims to Boost Deal Flow in Fort Worth and Beyond
  Report: Dallas is No. 1 in Small Business Employment and Earnings Growth Among U.S. Metros
  The Dallas Foundation To Award Nearly $1.5M in Field of Interest Grants
  Dallas-Fort Worth Makes List of Top 20 Life Science Metros
  Report: Dallas Among the Best Places in the U.S. for ‘Wellness Workcations
  Delta Electronics Taps Plano for Its New R&D and Manufacturing Center
  First Look: Waymo’s New Self‑Driving Trucking Hub Opens in Lancaster
  U.K. Report: Dallas Is One of the World’s 10 Most Resilient Cities

More Things to Know

Image: Comparably

16 North Texas Companies Win 2022 Comparably Leadership Awards

⟫ Comparably, a leading workplace culture and brand reputation platform, has released its 2022 Leadership Awards—and 16 North Texas companies are on the winners’ lists. The four award categories include Best Leadership Team; Best Companies for Career Growth; Best CEOs for Women; and Best CEOs for Diversity. The awards were compiled solely from 15 million anonymous employee ratings across 70,000 U.S. companies. To see the 16 winning North Texas companies, read our story here.

Photo: ipopba/iStock

TCU School of Medicine’s Clinical Trials Consortium

⟫  TCU School of Medicine is already planning to expand its campus in Fort Worth’s Medical District with a new, 100,000-square-foot medical education building. Now it’s building its reputation as a research center, too, by planning to become the epicenter for a clinical trials research consortium in the city, according to Fort Worth Report. The school’s dean, Dr. Stuart Flynn, told FWR the consortium will encourage biotech and pharmaceutical companies to perform clinical trials in the city. The U.S. FDA approved a similar TCU-affiliated group’s research for clinical trials last fall. “Now we’re just going to put it on steroids,” Flynn told FWR.

Exterior of Arlington Municipal Airport. [Photo: City of Arlington]

Arlington Airport Lands $540K from Infrastructure Package

⟫  Arlington Municipal Airport is getting $540,000 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding package the city of Arlington announced yesterday. It’s part of $1 billion in grants to 85 airports across the country, to improve terminals of all sizes. The goal of the grants is to expand capacity, increase energy efficiency, promote competition, and provide greater accessibility for individuals with disabilities. “This project will replace aging HVAC infrastructure with more reliable, energy efficient units that will provide comfort and accessibility to our airport users and businesses, while reducing service disruptions,” Airport Manager Trent Ballard said. The airport is on track to log over 120,000 aircraft operations this fiscal year, generating about $236 million in economic impact and over 900 jobs related to airport activity, the city says.

Dallas City Hall. [Photo: City of Dallas]

The City of Dallas Will Hold Banks Accountable for Minority Lending

⟫ The Dallas City Council recently approved a new responsible banking ordinance that will hold banks accountable for making loans in the city’s minority neighborhoods, reports WFAA, making Dallas the first city in Texas to make such an effort. The ordinance provides that the city will “use socially responsible banking performance as a factor in determining” who the city banks with. When it comes to Dallas, that banking can add up. For instance, the city deposits over $250 million in tax funds at Bank of America, WFAA notes. “We’re going to have to continue this work because redlining has been around for a long time and it’s going to keep moving forward unless we take a step as a city to change the way we do business, holistically,” Council Member Carolyn Arnold said, according to WFAA.

Thursday, July 14

North Texas Female Founders Will Pitch for a Chance to Win $100K

⟫ Two local female entrepreneurs will pitch in the TiE2022 TiE Dallas Women’s Pitch Competition. The North Texas-based finalists, BreadEx Founder Uma Iyer (above left) and Language Learning Market Founder Allison Monroe (above right), each have a chance to ultimately win $100,000 in cash. Five companies will compete at an event on Saturday, July 16. Three of them will go on to receive mentorship and join the global accelerator. The first-place company will compete in the TiE Women’s Global Pitch Competition at the TiE Global Summit in December in Hyderabad, India.

Transwestern Development Co. began construction of Cowtown Crossing, a 1.02 million-square-foot speculative industrial project in north Fort Worth, in January. The three-building logistics center is located at Highway 287 and Interstate 35W. [Image: Transwestern]

DFW is No. 1 in the U.S. for Building Industrial Space

⟫ Dallas-Fort Worth is the No. 1 metro in the country for industrial space construction, according to a report from Community Property Executive. As of late June, the DFW region had 60.6 million square feet of industrial space under construction, representing slightly more than 7% of the more than 840 million square feet currently on the local market, the report says. To put it another way, the amount of space under construction is equivalent to more than 20 AT&T Stadiums.

[Image: Kubota]

Help a Community, Potentially Win a Tractor

Kubota Tractor Company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Grapevine, has awarded Rancho Brazos Community Centers, a resource center for families in need located outside of Granbury, $100,000 from its Hometown Proud campaign. The initiative funds local revitalization projects across the U.S.. Now as one of four finalists, Rancho Brazos is in the running for an additional $100,000. The winner will be determined by community votes, and if you decide to cast a vote, you’ll be put in the running to potentially win a tractor yourself. The funding comes as Rancho Brazos is looking to expand its footprint in the area.

Photo-illustration: TechFW

Bedford Biotech Wins Breakthrough Technologies Award

⟫ Bedford-based biotech Nanoscope Therapeutics, which focuses on degenerative retinal diseases, was honored by industry peers with the Breakthrough Technologies Award, highlighting tech innovations in the space, at the Ophthalmology Innovation Source Retina Innovation Summit in New York this week. The company focuses on using light-activated proteins delivered via laser to treat retinal diseases. Its platform targeting retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt disease has received orphan drug designation status from the FDA and is currently in Phase 2b trials.

N-12 pipe from Advanced Drainage Systems has diameters up to 5 feet wide. [Photo: Advanced Drainage Systems]

DHL Supply Chain Creating Dozens of Jobs in Denton

DHL Supply Chain has been tapped by Ohio’s Advanced Drainage Systems to build and operate a new 112,000-square-foot distribution facility in Denton. In an effort to deliver Advanced’s products across the region, the facility is expected to create 33 new jobs. The move is part of a growing relationship between the two companies. Advanced Drainage Systems manufactures products like the N-12 pipe seen above, which comes in diameters up to five feet wide.

Wednesday, July 13

Rendering of a Kitchen United MIX in a Kroger store. [Image: Kroger]

Ghost Kitchen Opening in Dallas Kroger

⟫  A new ghost kitchen from California-based Kitchen United MIX opens Thursday inside the Kroger at 5665 E. Mockingbird Lane in Dallas. Kitchen United has already opened its takeout-only virtual food courts at other Kroger locations, including one in Houston, and it operates standalone locations in Frisco and Plano. At the Dallas Kroger, Kitchen United will be selling made-fresh-to-order menu items from Dog Haus, Monkey King Noodle Company, Fuku Fried Chicken, Curry Up Now, Bad-Ass Breakfast Burritos, The Impossible Shop, and Capriotti’s Sandwiches.  Founded in 2017, Kitchen United has raised $75 million in funding, with Alphabet’s Google Ventures as one of its biggest investors.

[Source image: Black Salmon/Shutterstock]

Inaugural EmpowHERment Pitch Competition

⟫ Fort Worth biotech founder Elyse Stoltz Dickerson (above) got her start by winning a pitch competition. Now the co-founder and CEO of EOSERA is “paying it forward.” A new annual pitch competition will give other smart and innovative founders from female-led, Texas-based companies that same opportunity. The inaugural EmpowHERment pitch competition—hosted by EOSERA, along with partners Simmons Bank, Satori Capital, Fort Worth Report, Tech Fort Worth, and UNT Health Science Center—will be held during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November. “We’re in search of a female-led Texas based innovative company with the chops to make millions,” said Dickerson in a video announcement. “The prize is $10,000.” Read more.

RŌMR Products [Photo: Alliance Consumer Group]

RŌMR ‘Wellness Shots” Launch Out of Fort Worth

⟫  Fort Worth’s Alliance Consumer Group has launched a new lifestyle beverage brand called RŌMR. The three-ounce “wellness shots” are designed to boost bodily and mental functions, focusing on Energy, Immunity, Digest, Focus, Hydrate, and Sleep. “We like to think of our wellness shots functioning as a Sherpa for consumers,” says Kurt Baxter, VP of marketing for ACG Brands. Like Sherpas, the ROMR shots don’t climb the mountain for you, he says, “but they do provide you with the knowledge, instruction, and encouragement to get you to the summit.”

Irving’s Hyosung Partners on Cryptocurrency ATMs

⟫ Irving-based Hyosung America, the North American division of Korean ATM manufacturer HyosungTNS, is launching its own app store and partnering with Bitcoin point-of-sale provider DigitalMint to add to its lineup. With the partnership, cryptocurrency transactions will be possible on Hyosung’s more than 175,000 ATMs across the globe. Hyosung America CMO Brad Nolan describes it as a way to have “any Hyosung cash dispenser can instantly transform into a full function device and tap into a whole new universe of transactions including bill pay, check cashing, cash deposits, POS purchase and of course cryptocurrency purchase.”

[Image: FUSE]

Caddo Office Reimagined Acquires Fuse Outpost in Prosper

⟫  Dallas-based Caddo Office Reimagined has acquired the 40,000-square-foot FUSE Workspace location (above) on Preston Road in Prosper, according to the Dallas Business Journal, and will rebrand it under the Caddo name. It’s Caddo’s seventh fully operational building as Caddo Holdings continues to expand its portfolio of flexible office rentals and coworking spaces across North Texas. Other Caddo locations are in Lakewood, North Plano, Flower Mound, Allen, McKinney, and Frisco. An eighth Caddo location in South Plano is under construction now, DBJ reports. 

[Photo: nevarpp/istockphoto]

Metro Dallas Has 34,376 Homes Worth $1M+

⟫  The Dallas metro area has 34,376 homes valued at over $1 million, according to a new Lending Tree study. Out of 1,561,136 total owner-occupied housing units, that’s a rate of 2.2%, placing Dallas at No. 20 in the U.S. San Jose, California is No. 1 on the list with a staggering 52.89% of homes valued at $1M+, followed by San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York City. In Texas, only Austin and Houston outprice Dallas. Austin ranks No. 12 with 3.51% of homes over $1M, and Houston is No. 17 with 2.4% of homes over $1M.

Tuesday, July 12

Walmart plans to purchase 4,500 Canoo electric vehicles. [Photo: Walmart]

Walmart Orders 4,500 Canoo EVs, Advance Models Coming Soon to DFW

⟫  Walmart has ordered 4,500 all-electric Lifestyle Delivery Vehicles from Canoo, with the first pre-production test models to roll in Dallas-Fort Worth “in the coming weeks.” Both companies are based in Bentonville, Arkansas, and this might be a lifeline for Canoo. The EV maker stated in its Q1 earnings report that it was low on cash and said “there is substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” according to The Verge.  As part of the agreement announced today, Walmart signed an option to buy up to 10,000 units of Canoo’s LDV, as part of its goal to achieve zero-emissions by 2040. In January, Walmart announced it was reserving 5,000 last-mile electric vans from GM’s BrightDrop subsidiary.


[Image: istockphoto]

Colossal Has Partnered to Sequence the Asian Elephant Genome 

⟫  Dallas-based Colossal Biosciences—which is working to “de-extinct” the woolly mammoth via a mammoth-elephant hybrid—and the Vertebrate Genomes Project have become the first to successfully sequence the entire Asian elephant genome “from chromosome to chromosome.”

Colossal Biosciences has sequenced the Asian Elephant genome. [Image: Colossal]

Colossal says mammalian genetic code “hasn’t been fully sequenced at this degree since the Human Genome Project was completed in the early 2000s. “This is one of the highest-quality reference genomes ever produced,” said Sara Ord, Colossal’s director of species restoration, in a statement. “Advances made in this accomplishment will fuel a promising future for the rapid advancement of species restoration and extinction prevention worldwide through genetic rescue.”


Illustration: Anhelina Lisna/iStock

SYNAPS Dx Pilots Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Tech in DFW

SYNAPS Dx, a Maryland-based Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic firm, is kicking off its national commercialization efforts in North Texas. The company announced that physicians in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will be the first to offer its minimally invasive diagnostic test to patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The test works by assessing synaptic connection formation and other factors to identify the disease. To help with the effort, the Semler Scientific-backed firm has brought on Michael Gorton, CEO of Dallas-based digital health solutions company Recuro Health, as the newest member of its advisory board.

[Image: Siemens]

Getting Mixed Signals? Siemens Wants to Help

⟫ Next-gen applications—automotive, imaging, IoT, 5G, computing and storage applications—are driving demand for greater analog and mixed-signal content in systems on chip, aka SoCs. Mixed-signal circuits are increasingly ubiquitous, Plano-based Siemens Digital Industries Software says. It adds that its new state-of-the-art Symphony Pro simulation platform could boost productivity up to 10x with its verification for systems on chip. Stephane Vivien, senior CAD manager, Imaging Division, at STMicroelectronics, had early access to the Symphony Pro capabilities. “Mixed-Signal functional verification is increasingly vital for our sophisticated designs targeted for the imaging and automotive industries,” she said in a statement, adding that her company saw “significant productivity gains thanks to the platform’s advanced debugging capabilities and support for multi-layer sandwich configurations.”

Ben E. Keith’s Dallas beverage distribution facility [Photo: Enchanted Rock, LLC]

Hot Day, Cold Beer: Ben E. Keith Orders Natural Gas Microgrid for Dallas Facility

⟫ Today’s forecast high in Dallas is 104. Tomorrow? 104. ERCOT has issued a call for voluntary energy conservation, and many worry about brownouts as the summer sears on. So what do you do if you’ve got a whole distribution center full of beer? Fort Worth-based Ben E. Keith Beverages—the city’s largest private company—is calling in backup. It’s hired Houston-based Enchanted Rock to install a “natural gas-powered dual-purpose resiliency microgrid” at its Dallas beverage distribution facility (above). “We want to be prepared for any future outage that may occur at this location, and protect ourselves against potential business shut-downs due to utility loss,” said Jon Thompson, Ben E. Keith’s  VP of operations, in a statement.

[Photos: Shawarma Press, Smoothie King]

DFW Chains Win Franchise Innovation Awards

⟫  Irving-based Mediterranean cuisine chain Shawarma Press and Coppell-based Smoothie King have both won national 2022 Franchise Innovation Awards from Franchise Update Media, based in San Jose, California. Both local chains won under the category of Operations & Technology—Shawarma Press for Most Innovative Supply Chain Improvements and Smoothie King for having the Most Innovative Operations Team. See the full winners list here.

A Matter Communications team at work, in a video still from the company’s website. [Image: Matter Communications]

Integrated PR Firm Opens Dallas Office

Matter Communications, a Boston-based integrated public relations agency, has opened a Dallas office, aiming to grow alongside the region’s tech and health care ecosystem. Already representing local clients including Catalyst Health Group, symplr, and Gainwell Technologies, the firm said it chose Dallas due to the density of companies in those industries as well as its diverse workforce. Matter says it has hired six people for its local team, with plans to add more than a dozen. According to the company’s website, it has seven offices across the U.S., the majority of which are located in the Northeast.  

Monday, July 11

LG’s CLOi GuideBots are being tested in a demo at DFW Airport. [Image: LG]

LG ‘GuideBots’ Are Working at DFW Airport

  If you fly out of Terminal D at DFW AIrport this month, that person helping you may not be a person at all—it might be a 5-foot-tall LG GuideBot named CLOi. The robots are guiding passengers to things of interest near Gates 1 through 4. Using a microphone and speech recognition software, the robots can communicate with luggage-laden fliers, displaying flight details and offering suggestions on where to snag nearby food and drinks. They navigate the terminal’s busy aisles autonomously thanks to their 3D camera and 18 sensors, including lidar, time of flight (ToF), an inertial measurement unit, and other hardware. “DFW Airport wants to help make the customer’s time in the airport less stressful,” Ken Buchanan, the airport’s EVP of revenue management and customer experience, told Passenger Terminal Today. “The LG CLOi GuideBot is an opportunity to provide another level of service to our customers through an innovative technology.” The demo will run through July 25.

The city of Coppell is in early-stage talks with Orlando, Florida-based Beep to potentially bring self-driving shuttles to the city in the future. [Photo: Beep]

Self-Driving Shuttles Coming to Coppell?

  The city of Coppell’s Smart City Board is in early-stage talks with Orlando, Florida-based Beep about its fully autonomous shuttles (above). Beep shuttles have had pilot operations in cities in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona as well as at Yellowstone National Park. The shuttles capture 3D high-resolution maps of each route to act as “virtual rails” for safe navigation. High-tech scanners and sensors surround each shuttle, acting as “virtual eyes” that can respond to inputs from the surrounding area. The shuttles can transport 10 passengers at speeds of up to 35 MPH. Jerod Anderson, Coppell’s enterprise solutions director, told the Coppell Gazette that “there’s nothing really on anyone’s radar from a staff prospective to do this” yet, but the board wanted to review the technology. It met with Beep representatives about the shuttles on Thursday. 

Shimadzu MobileDaRt Evolution MX8 Version V mobile Xray machine. [Photo: Shimadzu]

X-Ray Devices That Can Roll Right Into Your Room

 Shimadzu Medical Systems USA—whose direct operations are headquartered out of Dallas and the greater Chicago area—has announced the release of a new mobile X-ray system, MobileDaRt Evolution MX8 Version V type (above). The MX8 provides diagnostic imaging and can roll easily into patient rooms, operating rooms, emergency areas, and wherever else it’s needed to perform X-ray examinations. Shimadzu’s mobile X-ray systems are equipped with GLIDE Technologies, a proprietary motorized assist that enables smooth, nimble operation with tight turns. The company says that since 2020, the need for mobile X-ray systems has expanded globally in order to diagnose pneumonia resulting from COVID-19 infections. Shimadzu has sold more than 7,000 digital mobile X-ray systems to date worldwide.

Daniel Drabinski, agency managing director of business and estate planning at Bluecrest Financial Alliances. [Photo: Bluecrest]

Dallasite Named Finalist for 2022 Invest In Others Award

 Daniel Drabinski (above), agency managing director of business & estate planning at Dallas’ Bluecrest Financial Alliances, was named a finalist today in the 2022 Invest in Others Awards. The awards, presented by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation, recognize financial advisors across the U.S. who lend their time and talents to support nonprofits. Drabinski was honored for his work with the Moody Family YMCA on Preston Road, where he’s currently the board chair after being a volunteer since 2005. During the pandemic, he led the board to raise $620,000 to support distance learning initiatives for local students and to supply food distribution programs across the greater Dallas area. The foundation is granting $25,000 to the Moody Family YMCA for its future efforts, and will award another $50,000 to the Y if Drabinski wins at the awards event, to be held September 29 in Boston. “This is an organization I have been passionate about for many years, and I’ve been fortunate to be part of a phenomenal team helping to support our community,” Drabinski told Dallas Innovates.

Anna Swann chef/owner of Filipino pop-up restaurant Ulam Dallas. [Photo: Ulam Dallas]

Dallas Filipino Pop-Up Restaurant Named ‘Best in Texas’ by Food & Wine

 Ulam Dallas, a Filipino pop-up restaurant from chef Anna Swann (above), has been named “The Best Place to Eat Filipino Food in Texas” by Food & Wine Magazine. The mobile eatery is celebrated in an article that finds the best Filipino food in all 50 states. Ulam pops up at Dallas-area bakeries and breweries and features Swan’s favorite dish, “Tipsy Pancit,” which takes three days to make. First, Swann cures egg yolks in patis. “She grates this over dehydrated chicken adobo floss, wilted kale, carrot ribbons, fresh pea shoots, atchara pickles, scallions and two kinds of noodles,” writes Food & Wine. “Her pancit is a symbolic tour de force.” The magazine calls Swann part of a “new wave of entrepreneurial Filipinas using food to claim their identities and assert their ambition, talent, and business prowess.” The chef, who moved from the San Francisco area to Texas in 2006, told the Dallas Morning News she’s “still in disbelief” at the honor. Her next pop-up event is July 23 at Sandwich Hag’s Anniversary Night Market.

Friday, July 8

The Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates This Week

  First Look: Waymo’s New Self‑Driving Trucking Hub Opens in Lancaster
  Rideshare Startup Alto To Open New ‘Community-Centric’ HQ in Dallas Design District
  U.K. Report: Dallas Is One of the World’s 10 Most Resilient Cities
  Delta Electronics Taps Plano for Its New R&D and Manufacturing Center
  Sherman Picked for New $5B Silicon Wafer Plant, Bringing 1,500 New Jobs to North Texas
  Frisco Student Loan Startup Meritize Gets New Funding, Aims to Change the Way Access is Provided
  See Inside: Solar Energy-Focused Firm Opens New U.S. HQ and Innovation Center in Richardson
  At BIO International Convention, Companies Eye Relocation to DFW
  Dallas-Based Enhabit Spins Out of Encompass Health, Begins Trading on NYSE
  Dallas-Founded Biopharma Firm Raises $120M to Expand its Pipeline


Photo illustration sources: ClaudioVentrella/iStock, Michael Samples

DFW Makes List of Top 20 Life Sciences Metros  

  Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 16 among U.S. metros for having “the most favorable combination of factors for a successful life sciences ecosystem,” according to a study by CommercialCafe. To select the best homes for life science companies, the study assessed regional talent pool; accessibility of commercial real estate markets; availability of dedicated property or office space that might be redeveloped to accommodate this industry; and the state of development toward expanding life sciences capacity. DFW ranked No. 7 in science and engineering educational attainment; No. 10 in average vacancy rate; and No. 15 in the most-affordable average asking rate for office space. Boston came in No. 1 on the list and Houston ranked No. 10. DFW’s “unique mixed bag of regional advantages has attracted brands like BioLabs, which chose Dallas for its ninth location,” the study says. “It’s the life sciences coworking space provider’s first startup incubator location in the heartland.”

Members of the AgileThought team. [Photo: AgileThought]

Irving’s AgileThought and ExperienceIT Deploy ‘Integrated Delivery Squads’

  Irving next-gen tech firm AgileThought is partnering with Minnesota-based ExperienceIT to help companies “dramatically” accelerate innovative, growth-driving digital solutions. How? Through joint Integrated Delivery Squads, the companies say.  They’ll offer pre-configured solutions that bring together each firm’s strengths and resources. It’s a “unique opportunity to help leading enterprises deliver digital solutions faster, and our combined experience reduces risk during the journey,” AgileThought CEO Manuel Senderos said in a statement.

Jacobs is working on a test in Detroit with Electreon technology that can turn roads into inductive chargers for electric vehicles. [Image: Electreon]

End of Range Anxiety? Roads That Charge Your EV as You Drive

  Electric vehicle owners often sweat it on the road, worried they’ll run out of juice before they get where they’re going. But what if their EV could be recharged by the road itself? Dallas-based engineering giant Jacobs is running a $1.9 million test on a 1-mile stretch of Detroit roadway that does just that—by using inductive charging, which millions already use to wirelessly charge phones, electric toothbrushes, and more. Jacobs is partnering with inductive charging company Electreon and Detroit-based clean energy solutions firm NextEnergy on the project. The solution is already at work today in places like Tel Aviv, Israel. “We’re not testing whether or not the technology works,Ron Williams, Jacobs’ SVP of building and infrastructure for the Americas, told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s just about how we apply it here in the U.S.”

Arnold Gachman, president of GamTex Industries

Arnold Gachman, Fort Worth Executive of the Year

Arnold Gachman (above), president and owner of Fort Worth recycling company Gamtex Industries, will be honored as the 2022 Fort Worth Business Executive of the Year at the 52nd Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame event on Nov. 1 at the Fort Worth Club. The honor was announced by Texas Wesleyan University, the Fort Worth Business Press, and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. “In addition to being a successful business owner, Arnie gives back to the community by serving on numerous boards,” Texas Wesleyan President Fredrick Slabach told the FWBP. “He’s the past national president of ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries), the trade association for recycling of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, glass, paper, and plastic, as well as past chair of the board of Baylor Scott and White All Saints Hospital—to name a few. Most recently Arnie received the Royal Purple Award from Texas Christian University for outstanding alumni and community service.” For more on the November event including ticket info, you can go here.

“Yeezy Walks” by artist Victor Enam is part of AURORA’s Art Quest for Summer 2022. [Image: AURORA]

Sculpture Scavenger Hunt: AURORA’s Art Quest Begins Saturday

 We told you last month that AURORA’s Art Quest was coming—and it now it’s here. Starting Saturday morning at Jubilee Park in Southeast Dallas, the Dallas public arts organization will offer a month-long, public art discovery and workshop program with a playful “game element.” AURORA has commissioned five 3D-printed sculptures (including Victor Enam’s “Yeezy Walks” above) that will be hidden in “secret locations” in five Dallas neighborhoods. Clues for finding a hidden artwork will be revealed on the morning of each Art Quest. The first finder wins it and can collect it on the spot. Also this summer, AURORA will offer educational workshops on technology’s influence on culture, led by artist Nitashia Johnson July 23 and July 27 at Urban Art Center. For more info on how to get clues through August 6 or book the workshops, you can go here

Illustration: metamorworks/iStock

Dallas No. 3 Among Metros for Tech Job Postings in June

Across the country, technology companies added 20,300 net new workers in June, marking the 19th consecutive month of growth, according to nonprofit CompTIA’s latest Tech Jobs Report. Among metros, Dallas ranks among the top three for new job postings, though the number of new jobs added month-over-month has declined. According to the report, metro Dallas had nearly 28,000 tech job postings in June, putting it behind only the Washington, D.C. and New York City areas. While the number of open positions in Dallas remains larger than in most other metros, the number of jobs posted in June was down by more than 5,400 compared to May—the second largest drop of any metro area besides Los Angeles, the report notes. The trends the Dallas area saw mirror the state-level data, with Texas ranking No. 2 in job postings and No. 2 in posting declines from May to June. Read more in our story here

Thursday, July 7

VOS Systems’ CoRe Connected Resources 5G-enabled platform. [Image: VOS Systems]

Multi-Story Protection with 5G-Enabled Wearable Sensors

VOS Systems, an IoT-based worker location data solutions company with offices in Dallas and Florida, is teaming up with Nevada GPS tech firm NextNav to bring vertical location capabilities to its offering. Through NextNav’s capabilities, clients using VOS’ platform will be able to have location data of workers on multi-story sites that lack wifi or internet access, using 5G-enabled wearable sensors. With a focus on industries like construction, the goal is to provide more detailed information to first responders during an emergency or injury.

Rendering of DFW Airport’s planned zero carbon electric central utility plant [Image: DFW Airport]

DFW Airport Gets $35M for Zero-Carbon Power Plant

  Aiming to achieve “net zero carbon” by 2030, DFW Airport plans to construct a Zero Carbon Electric Central Utility Plant (rendered above). The airport will also replace its aging steam piping distribution system with a “highly efficient hot water piping system.” Out of the project’s $158 million cost, $35 million has been awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides $15 billion for airport-related projects across the U.S. The airport is requesting a total of $105 million from the federal government for the project, which it says could create 1,400 jobs and lead to an 85.8% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions per year. Construction is slated to begin as soon as November.

Elyse Stoltz Dickerson, CEO and Co-Founder of EOSERA Inc. ranked NO. 25 on the Inc. 500 Regional Texas list.

Elyse Stoltz Dickerson, CEO and co-founder of Fort Worth-based Eosera.

Fort Worth’s Eosera Gets Its Ear Care Products in 28,000 Stores

  Fort Worth-based ear care company Eosera has added Walgreens, Walmart, Albertsons, and Kroger to the list of nationwide retailers selling its products. Products like its Ear Pain MD and Wax Blaster MD are now on the shelves of 28,000 U.S. stores, including an established presence at CVS, Rite Aid, Amazon, and numerous food stores. All that growth has happened in just five years, including projected 232% YOY growth for 2022 over 2021. “Our ultimate goal is to heighten the conversation around ear health, shed light on some of the most common ailments that can occur, and allow people to avoid doctors’ visits through preventive care,” said Eosera Co-Founder and CEO Elyse Stoltz Dickerson (above) in a statement. 

Harry Higgs, X-Golf America Brand Ambassador [Photo: X-Golf America]

Dallas’ ‘Dad Bod Hype Man’ Named X-Golf Ambassador

  Dallas resident and PGA Tour pro Harry Higgs has been nicknamed “Big Beautiful” and “Big Rig” by fellow tour players. He’s beloved by many fans for his relatable “dad bod hype man” physique. Today X-Golf, the indoor golf simulator entertainment concept, gave him another monicker: Brand Ambassador. Higgs will sport the X-Golf logo on his collar and in a multi-platform campaign. Meanwhile, he’ll pursue even greater feats than his 4th-place tie at the 2021 PGA Championship and his 14th-place tie at the 2022 Masters. His most famous feat of all? Taking his shirt off after birdying Hole 16 at TPC Scottsdale at the 2022 Waste Management Phoenix Open. The dad bod action created a frenzy at the raucous “loudest hole in golf.”

Aerial robots developed by UT Dallas researchers carry cameras, sensors, and other tech to gather data in hazardous or hard-to-access environments. [Photos: UT Dallas/Lakitha Wijeratne]

UT Dallas Prof Leads Research Group Training a Robotic Task Force

Dr. David Lary, professor of physics in the UT Dallas School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

UT Dallas is teaching environmental cleanup robots to deal with disasters such as hurricanes, oil spills, and the like. The UTD robots use machine learning to traverse environments that people might find hazardous or difficult to approach, the Dallas Morning News reports. UT Dallas physics professor David Lary leads MINTS-AI, or Multi-Scale Integrated Interactive Intelligent Sensing for Actionable Insights. The group is training a multisensor “fleet of robots” as a safer task force that can collect data about the environment all on its own. Last year, the group tested its robotic team’s autonomous learning in the air and on the water. “An autonomous team like this could do a survey and rapidly sample what’s in the air and the water so that people could be kept out of harm’s way. In another context, the robots could provide a general survey of ecosystems, or they could look at situations such as harmful algal blooms in lakes,” Lary said at the time. Together they can collect thousands of data records in just a few minutes.

Wednesday, July 6

[Video still: Eyoto]

Optical Tech Firm Plants U.S. HQ in Lewisville

U.K.-based optical technology firm Eyoto has picked Lewisville for the site of its U.S. headquarters. With plans to open the location in October, the company said it chose the region due to its proximity to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and a talent pool tied to other companies in the optical space. The company’s CEO, Paul Clapton, plans to relocate locally. Eyoto said its new U.S. HQ will serve as a hub for the U.S. distribution of its Atlas ophthalmic lens mapping and quality platform. Initially, the company will be focused on R&D hires and bringing its local headcount to between 25 and 50, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Last year the spinout from Aston University’s School of Optometry raised £2.5 million from Midlands Engine Investment, Mercia Asset Management, and the Future Fund.

UT System Invests $16.5M in Data-Driven Mental Health Resources

  The University of Texas System Board of Regents is allocating $16.5 million over the next five years on data-driven mental health resources for all 13 UT academic and health institutions, including those in North Texas. In 2011, UT system became the first higher ed system in the nation to approve student mental health, student safety, and alcohol education resources at all its campuses. “Student safety and wellness remain a most critical priority for UT institutions, and the Board of Regents’ newest investment will support, educate and treat students at all UT academic and health institutions throughout their journey toward a degree,” Chancellor James Milliken said in a statement. “Our campuses are grateful for the timing of these new resources that will allow them to expand and enhance the student services determined to be most effective over the past 11 years and during the pandemic.” 

[Image: Cardo Systems]

Plano’s Cardo Systems Opens Audio Innovation Lab in Germany

Plano-based Cardo Systems, a maker of communications and connectivity devices for the powersports industry, has opened a new R&D facility in Germany to help it develop the “future generation” of acoustics, speech processing and sound solutions. According to Cardo, the 600-square-meter facility includes an anechoic chamber, prototyping lab, noise vibration harshness automotive lab, and office space, all geared toward supporting future product development. The company said its new facility is staffed with engineers with experience at large firms like Samsung and Nokia.

[Image: Distinctively Debs]

T.D. Jakes Foundation Awards $110K in Scholarships 

  The T.D. Jakes Foundation, in partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, has awarded $110,000 in scholarships to 11 graduates of its Distinctively Debs program. The college-bound seniors will become IWIN Scholars, named for the foundation’s International Women of Influence Network, a group of executives and C-Suite leaders from across the U.S. and around the world. “With these scholarships, we’re not only investing in these 11 remarkable young women; we are helping to shape future leaders,” T.D. Jakes Foundation President and CEO Hattie Hill said in a statement. “These young women represent the best of America, and we’re delighted to support them as they continue to pursue their career goals,” added the program’s founder, Serita Jakes

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