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Each weekday, Dallas Innovates brings you up to date on what you may have missed in the region’s innovation, technology, and impact news. From startup to enterprise, education to invention, and creative to social innovation, here’s our daily mix of what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth.
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Tuesday, August 16
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 Realty, Gary 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.
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.
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.
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 Worth, Cisco, 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
⟫ 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
⓵ Dallas Philanthropist Lyda Hill Is One of Five Winners of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy
⓶ Your Definitive Guide to Dallas Startup Week’s 100+ Events
⓷ Dallas College Lands ‘Historic’ $8.8M Grant to Train Workers as North Texas’ Life Sciences Sector Soars
⓸ Lendistry Expands to Texas With Dallas Office, $5M Funding From Texas Capital Bank
⓹ DI People: Dallas Cowboys, Hilti, Neiman Marcus Group, MoneyGram, and More Make Moves
⓺ Dallas’ Access Healthcare Doubles Head Count to 25,000 in 15 Months, Plans to Hire 18,000+ in 2022
⓻ Toshiba’s Retail Division Plans New Innovation and Incubation Hub in
Frisco’s Hall Park
⓼ NPower Texas Expands Free Tech Fundamentals Program to Dallas-Fort Worth. But Hurry, Fall Deadline is August 15
⓽ Rise of Rugby: Dallas Jackals Name New President With NHL, MLB Experience to Join Recent GM Hire
⓾ Check Out the Emerging Tech Trends This Dell Technologies Leader Is Tracking
More Things to Know
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.
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 RoughRiders—in 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.
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.
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
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 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.
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
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,
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.”
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
Three North Texas Cities Make List of Best Places to Live in the U.S.
⟫ What do McKinney, Plano, 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.)
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.
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.
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
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 Medical; Ruby Bhayani of the remote healthcare startup Carewaves LLC; Sonya Webb of the restaurant tool company Meathead & Potatoes; Mindy Hansen of the neural patterning device company Sola Gratia; and Niameh Freeman of the electronic shoe insole startup Red Puppy;
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.
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
⓵ After Merging with North Texas’ Funimation, Anime Streaming Platform Crunchyroll Names New Dallas Exec
⓶ Junior League of Dallas Appoints New Board, Kicks Off Its ‘Next 100 Years’
⓷ Frisco’s Dude Perfect on a Ticket to Space Thursday
⓸ HGTV Drops Two Couples Into Dallas, Asks Them to Flip Homes ‘to a Million’
⓹ Fueling the Biotech Boom: Dallas College Lands ‘Historic’ $8.8M Grant to Train Workers as North Texas’ Life Sciences Sector Soars
⓺ Dallas’ Access Healthcare Doubles Head Count to 25,000 in 15 Months, Plans to Hire 18,000+ in 2022
⓻ Bidding Wars Begone: Opendoor Exclusives Launches in DFW With ‘First‑Come, First‑Serve’ Home Shopping
⓼ Canadian Chocolate Maker Brings Tech, 120 Jobs to New Rockwall Production Facility
⓽ DI People: Kimberly-Clark, Sabre, Charles Schwab, and More Make Leadership Moves
⓾ Activate Games Is Bringing Its Live‑Action Indoor Experience to Plano This Fall
More Things to Know
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 Space.com. “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.”
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.
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
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.
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%.
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
‘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 Coleman; Avisare founder and CEO Sky Kelley; Booktoken.io 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 Ventures; Upsie 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 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 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.”
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
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.
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.”
‘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 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
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.
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 Table, 100% 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, 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
⓵ After Merging with North Texas’ Funimation, Anime Streaming Platform Crunchyroll Names New Dallas Exec
⓶ Innovative Spaces: Turning Offices into Luxe Multifamily Residences in Dallas’ Iconic 50‑Story Santander Tower
⓷ Aviation ‘Time Machine’ Takes Wing in Southern Dallas
⓸ XFL Selects Arlington, Choctaw Stadium as its Football Operations Hub
⓹ Bank of Montreal Taps North Texas for its Newest Tech Hub
⓺ Dallas Startup TestFit Lands $20M for AI-Powered Building Configurator Technology
⓻ Dallas-Based Nada Closes $8.1M Seed Round to Make Real Estate Investments More Accessible to All
⓼ Cash Flow Is King. This Dallas Fintech Tackles Challenges for Businesses, 1099 Workers in the Ever-Changing Gig Economy
⓽ Digital Fight Club Is Coming Back IRL to the Granada for Dallas Startup Week
⓾ SoCal Pharma Company Buys Mid-Cities Building to Relocate HQ, Operations to North Texas
More Things to Know
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.
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 platform, YouNite Media, out of LERMA/’s downtown Dallas offices (above).
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.
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.
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).
Report: DFW’s Average New Home Price Surpasses $500K for First Time
⟫ According to a new report from Dallas-based HomesUSA.com, 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
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.
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.
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 renovation. Brasfield & 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.
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..
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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
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.”
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.
⟫ 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.
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
⓵ Developers Look South: Onu Ventures Plans New 12‑Acre Project in Southern Dallas
⓶ Innovative Spaces: The Crescent’s $12 Million Makeover in Uptown Dallas
⓷ Allen-Based MD7 Promotes Three VPs to Power Growth With EV Charging Stations, 5G Mobile Networks
⓸ Gov. Abbott Taps Two Local Leaders to Help Bring New Businesses, Jobs to Texas
⓹ Horned Frog Investment Network Aims to Boost Deal Flow in Fort Worth and Beyond
⓺ Dallas College Is Awarded a $5M Apprenticeship Building America Grant
⓻ Canoo CEO Tony Aquila on the EV Maker’s Electric Delivery Vehicles Coming to DFW Walmart Locations
⓼ After Merging with North Texas’ Funimation, Anime Streaming Platform Crunchyroll Names New Dallas Exec
⓽ AllOY Emerges from Stealth to Bring EV, Autonomous Technology to Boating
⓾ New Age Capital Raises $25M for Debut Fund to Invest in ‘Historically Underfunded Founders’
More Things to Know
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.
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.
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
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 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.”
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
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 Center. Texas Rangers majority owner Ray Davis, Loews Hotels & Co. President Alex Tisch, and Arlington Mayor Jim Ross are seen above signing the top -out beam.
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.
‘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.
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.
Hotels.com 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 Hotels.com. 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
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.
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.
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.
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 Institute, CalArts 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
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.
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.
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.
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
⓵ Gov. Abbott Taps Two Local Leaders to Help Bring New Businesses, Jobs to Texas
⓶ DART, UT Arlington, PepsiCo, Nanoscope, Magellan Health, and More Make Leadership Moves
⓷ Horned Frog Investment Network Aims to Boost Deal Flow in Fort Worth and Beyond
⓸ Report: Dallas is No. 1 in Small Business Employment and Earnings Growth Among U.S. Metros
⓹ The Dallas Foundation To Award Nearly $1.5M in Field of Interest Grants
⓺ Dallas-Fort Worth Makes List of Top 20 Life Science Metros
⓻ Report: Dallas Among the Best Places in the U.S. for ‘Wellness Workcations’
⓼ Delta Electronics Taps Plano for Its New R&D and Manufacturing Center
⓽ First Look: Waymo’s New Self‑Driving Trucking Hub Opens in Lancaster
⓾ U.K. Report: Dallas Is One of the World’s 10 Most Resilient Cities
More Things to Know
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 ‘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.”
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.
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 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.
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 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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 ‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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
⓵ First Look: Waymo’s New Self‑Driving Trucking Hub Opens in Lancaster
⓶ Rideshare Startup Alto To Open New ‘Community-Centric’ HQ in Dallas Design District
⓷ U.K. Report: Dallas Is One of the World’s 10 Most Resilient Cities
⓸ Delta Electronics Taps Plano for Its New R&D and Manufacturing Center
⓹ Sherman Picked for New $5B Silicon Wafer Plant, Bringing 1,500 New Jobs to North Texas
⓺ Frisco Student Loan Startup Meritize Gets New Funding, Aims to Change the Way Access is Provided
⓻ See Inside: Solar Energy-Focused Firm Opens New U.S. HQ and Innovation Center in Richardson
⓼ At BIO International Convention, Companies Eye Relocation to DFW
⓽ Dallas-Based Enhabit Spins Out of Encompass Health, Begins Trading on NYSE
⓾ Dallas-Founded Biopharma Firm Raises $120M to Expand its Pipeline
MORE THINGS TO KNOW
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.”
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.
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, 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
UT Dallas Prof Leads Research Group Training a Robotic Task Force
⟫ 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
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.”
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.
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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