ICYMI: What’s New and Next in Dallas-Fort Worth Innovation

Dallas Innovates, Every Day: Here's your mix of business, culture, and technology in North Texas

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Dallas Innovates’ daily mix of business, culture, and technology in North Texas  

News travels fast, and we’re here to help you keep up.

Every weekday, Dallas Innovates brings you up to date on what you may have missed in the region’s top innovation news, from startup to enterprise, education to invention, and creative to social. 

To find the latest big-name partnerships, unique collaborations, and innovative initiatives, head to our Done Deals dashboard.

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Wednesday, Nov. 13

TECH BYTES

McLaren unveils $1.7 million supercar with no roof and a windshield made of air
The British car manufacturer, which recently announced its U.S. headquarters were moving to Coppell, is coming out with a new car called Elva that requires no windshield due to its Active Air Management System. According to CNN Business, “air is channeled through the car’s nose—or front end—and sent out in a high-velocity sheet, just ahead of the cockpit,” making it possible to drive without a windshield.  

EXPANSIONS

Country’s largest paint manufacturer opens Lewisville distribution center
Benjamin Moore Co. has opened a new 238,000-square-foot Lewisville distribution center that’s more than three times the size of the old one in Mesquite, according to the DBJ. 13 new jobs will be added to the facility.

RANKINGS

Forbes And JUST Capital Reveal 2020 JUST 100 Rankings, A List Of The Most Just Companies In America
Among the DFW companies that made the 2020 JUST 100 list are AT&T, Texas Instruments, and Kimberly-Clark. Publicly-traded U.S. businesses were selected based on issues such as worker pay and treatment, environmental impact, and community involvement.

Research Reveals Texas Is The #1 State To Launch a Startup
According to research conducted by Comparisun, Texas takes the top spot for states to launch a startup in based on business survival rates, business application growth, rate of new entrepreneurs, tax rates, education, labor costs, and the cost of living. Among Texas’ perks is its 50.7 percent business survival rate and 0 percent corporate tax rate. 

GIVING FOR GOOD

BCBSTX Awards $1.6M in Grants to Fight CKD and COPD
Richardson-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will be awarding more than $1.6 million through its Healthy Kids, Healthy Families grants to support the fight against Chronic Kidney Disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and raise awareness of the diseases, per D CEO. Twelve Texas organizations will be awarded the grants including the Texas Kidney Foundation, It’s Time Texas, and Baylor Health Care Foundation.

Tuesday, Nov. 12

EXPANSIONS

Baby (No Longer) on Board: Good Buy Gear Expands Services to Dallas
The secondhand store for baby and children’s gear does all of the heavy lifting—pickup, posting, delivery—unlike a traditional online marketplace.

TECH BYTES

North Texas Banks Consider Replacing ATMs With Video Tellers
Locally based lenders are looking into adopting a new automatic teller machine that allows customers to video chat with off-site bankers. “These interactive teller machines, or ITMs, allow banks to make tellers available after hours,” writes Jeff Bounds in D CEO. “They also provide a lower-cost way to expand geographically, compared to opening new branches.”

ARTS

John Cleese To Receive The Ernie Kovacs Award At Dallas Videofest 32
Cleese, who is best known for Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers, will be honored with The Ernie Kovacs Award on December 4, per NBC DFW. The Dallas Videofest and the Video Association of Dallas give out the award to recognize the career and talents of some of television’s greatest visionaries.


Friday, Nov. 8

Reunion Tower Takes Painting to New Heights
Local business Klarity and Khaos teaches step-by-step painting classes at the Reunion Tower, a building that is often considered an iconic part of Dallas’ history and skyline.

NEW TO DALLAS

General Assembly Launches Dallas Campus Alongside Dallas Regional Chamber and AT&T
The skills-based education company is on its way to Dallas through a regional expansion to provide individuals and organizations in the area with the digital skills necessary to succeed.

TECH BYTES

Dallas Housing Authority Is Using Artificial Intelligence to Reduce Wait Times, and Could Profit Off the Technology
The DHA “has deployed new software that tracks inspectors and optimizes their routes, reducing to days a process that once took weeks,” according to the Dallas Observer. So far, the intelligent routing tech has also helped the DHA use 20 percent less gas.

RANKINGS

Best Places for Women Entrepreneurs
The DFW area ranks 13th out of the 50 largest metro areas for women entrepreneurs, according to SmartAsset. The ranking was based on eight metrics including the number of women-owned businesses, the startup early survival rate, and the women-to-men pay ratio.

Thursday, Nov. 7

LIGHTING UP THE NIGHT

Pioneer Tower In Fort Worth Lit Up For First Time In Decades
For the first time since the early ’80s, Pioneer Tower illuminated Fort Worth thanks to a $4.7 million refurbishment, per CBS DFW. Building displays and light shows don’t just happen. We at Dallas Innovates know a little something about that—for our launch party in 2016, you might remember how we lit up the Dallas skyline purple to celebrate North Texas as a vibrant hub for innovation. Here’s how it all went down.

TECH BYTES

Tech firm Gartner expands Irving office
Gartner announced a 54,920-square-foot lease expansion at its Las Colinas office space at 6031 Connection Drive. “The Connecticut-based company announced plans in late 2017 to hire 800 workers and invest more than $12 million to expand its North Texas operations,” according to the DMN. 

TEAMING UP

defi SOLUTIONS and Zest AI Join Forces to Improve Credit Underwriting for Automotive Finance Providers
Westlake-based defi, a provider of lending software solutions, is partnering with Zest to make capabilities in machine learning credit scoring and advanced risk management better available to banks, credit unions, finance companies, and more.

EDUCATION

Nation’s top online BSN program is at UTA
College Rank chose the University of Texas at Arlington’s online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program as the best in the country this year, based on potential salary after graduation, individual program accreditation and overall affordability.

Wednesday, Nov. 6

AND THE WINNER IS…

LEGO fanatic awarded the job of a lifetime
Last weekend, finalists competed to become LEGOLAND Discovery Center DFW’s new Master Model Builder and Thaddeus Bennett ended up scoring his dream job. What will be one of his first projects?  Building the new Texas Rangers’ Stadium out of LEGO bricks, of course!

KERNEL LIVE! presented by United Way of Tarrant County
Three finalists will compete tomorrow for the chance to win a portion of $50,000 in seed funding to expand their programs and provide solutions for social challenges in Tarrant County. Improv will meet innovation as Four Day Weekend, an improv comedy group, will also take the stage.

ACQUISITION

Richardson’s RealPage is growing again with $580 million purchase
The provider of property management software solutions is continuing its growth by buying Boston-based Buildium, the DMN reports. RealPage plans to pay $580M cash in the deal, which it hopes to close before the end of the year.

RETAIL

Amazon opens a 4-star store in Frisco’s Stonebriar Centre, one of six in the U.S.
Today’s Amazon 4-star store opening in Frisco marks the first 4-star store in Texas and has more than 2,000 items up for grabs. The concept behind the store is based on all of its items being “rated four stars or above, is a top seller or is new and trending on Amazon.com,” writes the DMN’s Maria Halkias.

Radio Queen Kellie Rasberry launches online mother-daughter fashion collaboration
The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show co-host launched an e-commerce site called Emma Kelly and Me. According to the Dallas Observer, the Dallas-based DJ launched the fashion line with her daughter and husband to fill “the void for her fellow mamas, and for young girls like her daughter.”

Tuesday, Nov. 5

INVENTIONS

No more yelling at smart speakers: New TI Burr-Brown audio ADC enables far-field voice capture at four times the distance
Texas Instruments’ newest product is an audio analog-to-digital converter (ADC), which is said to capture clear audio up to four times farther away than competing devices. It can also increase recognition of soft-spoken commands in smart speakers, sound bars, TVs, and more.

SpotSee Launches ShockWatch RFID for Tracking Damage Through Supply Chain
This Dallas-based company’s newest device combines impact-damage monitoring with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tech. ShockWatch RFID was created to track damage through the supply chain and identify affected inventory, especially for the automotive, medical devices and equipment, and aerospace industries.

GROWTH

Divvy Homes Doubles its Footprint to Create More Homeowners in the U.S.
The real estate tech platform that aims to “create a world where every person can own their forever home” expanded into three markets this week: Dallas, St. Louis, and Tampa. Residents there can now use Divvy’s platform that helps turn renters into owners.

VARIDESK Expands Footprint In Washington D.C.
The DFW company that made sit-stand desks a workplace staple is making a commitment to D.C. VARIDESK plans to open a sales office, expand its presence, and hire corporate sales roles there.

EDUCATION

Istation for English and Spanish language arts adopted by Texas State Board of Education
Dallas EdTech company Istation has had its K-8 reading and K-5 Spanish literacy interactive instructional materials adopted by Texas’ Board of Education. This puts the materials on a fast track for procurement by Texas school districts with Istation expecting them to be in classrooms during the current school year.

Monday, Nov. 4

EDUCATION

Recent Dallas ISD graduate wins national entrepreneurship competition
When Jasmine Benton was only 11, she started her own houseware business called Precious Designs. Now, at only 18, Benton has received the 2019 Business Venture of the Year Award at the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, winning $7,500 and an investor along with it.

Richland College students graduate from AWS re/Start
Ten DCCCD students recently completed Amazon Web Services’ re/Start program, a full-time skills development and training program that prepares them for careers in the cloud and connects them with potential employers. Its next cohort is expected to begin in January 2020.

CREATIVE

Aurora Expanded offers a new program that seeks to embrace the cool creations of Dallas teenagers
Dallas’ biennial public art event Aurora will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year, but before that happens, it’s adding another event to the mix called Aurora3 Expanded. According to the DMN, Aurora will be showcasing 16 young artists through events from Nov. 8-9. 

‘A fertile time in Dallas’: Homegrown playwrights are thriving with works that matter here
Dallas’ playwrighting scene has grown over the years, writes Michael Mendoza, with workshops, residencies, and commissions helping to fund Dallas’ theatre industry.

TRANSPORTATION

Luxury Coach Service Vonlane to Launch First Out-of-State Route
Texas-based Vonlane will begin to travel outside of the Lone Star State starting Jan. 6, per D Magazine. The premium transportation company will be heading from Dallas to Oklahoma City with 21 weekly departures from each city.

Dallas Connector Project to provide transportation for homeless
Two vehicles recently began to transport people experiencing homelessness free of charge and provide them with access to services needed to secure healthcare, housing, and employment through CitySquare.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2019.

1. IF/THEN Summit Convenes Nationwide Female STEM Role Models in Dalla

2. Catalyst Sites: How These North Texas Locations Could Change the Trajectory of the Region

3. DI People: Boeing Global Services, Six Flags Entertainment, Michaels Make CEO Announcements

4. Dallas’ Take Command Health Partners With Oscar Health for a New Model of Insurance

5. Architecture Firm Page Extends 34K-SF Lease in Historic Downtown Dallas Building

6. Triumph Group’s Arlington and Red Oak Facilities to Engineer and Manufacture Air Taxis

7. Solutions Through Collaboration: Dallas Funders Tackle Workforce and Business Challenges with New Program

8. Silicon Valley Company Announces Dallas Technology Innovation Center

9. #TeamTrees Partners with Social Media Influencers to Plant 20M Trees

10. UTD and WEDallas Celebrate Female Entrepreneurship at the Second Annual Women’s Summit


Friday, Nov. 1

AND THE WINNER IS…

Paul Quinn College Students Participate in Interactive “Quinnite Build” to Ease Digital Divide in Neighborhoods Low on Tech Access
Capital One’s Plano campus hosted an all-day pitch competition for students from Paul Quinn College last Saturday. One team walked away with a grand prize of $5,000 due to their winning mobile application, Feelo, which was made to help support businesses in underserved communities.

2020 Dallas CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards Finalists
The Dallas CIO Leadership Association announced its list of 2020 finalists including CIOs from Pizza Hut, Southwest, Tyler Technologies, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, among others. The winners will be revealed on Feb. 20, 2020, at The OMNI Dallas Hotel.

TRANSPORTATION

TxDOT previews plan to double the size of I-30 in downtown Dallas
The Texas Department of Transportation has shared its initial designs for a potential doubling the size of the portion of Interstate 30 that runs through downtown Dallas. CultureMap Dallas says the project would begin at Hotel Street by the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and go east to the I-345 interchange.

RETAIL

J.C. Penney: The new place to play games, workout & hangout?
Plano-based retailer J.C. Penney has remodeled its store at North East Mall in Hurst with a fitness studio, videogame lounge, and a cafe as part of testing out new concepts, Fox Business reports. It also will offer style classes, hair and makeup workshops, and cooking gadget demonstrations at the store.

Thursday, Oct. 31

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

This real estate company will check that house for ghosts before you buy it
In honor of spooky season, real estate platform Bungalo added a Paranormal Inspection Report tool to its process (in addition to the 160 other traditional items on the list). The haunted check applies to homes for sale in Dallas, Charlotte, and Tampa.

Get Your Spook On, Dallas, With These Halloween Events
Rainbow Vomit is taking its interactive art exhibit to the next level for Halloween with an immersive horror experience. And that’s just one of the many Halloween-themed events happening this weekend among costume parties, spooky film nights, and more.

PROJECTS

Stream Data Centers Commissions New Hyperscale Data Center in Garland, Texas
A new 138,132-square-foot hyperscale data center has been constructed in DFW, which is the second-largest data center market in the U.S. Stream Data Centers built the data center to “meet ongoing demand for colocation and connectivity solutions from enterprises and hyperscale cloud providers.”

RANKINGS

DFW is the 13th Best “Hospital City” in the Country
Healthtech company Medbelle ranked DFW 13th on its list for best overall healthcare in the U.S. and 74th in the world. In the report, Medbelle also ranked DFW 11th in infrastructure.

Wednesday, Oct. 30

TECH BYTES

High-Tech Census: Dallas Public Library Readies to Help Bridge Digital Divide
The 2020 U.S. Census is rapidly approaching and residents are mostly responding online, making it the nation’s first high-tech population count. With an estimated 40 percent of Dallasites lacking fixed internet service at home, the library is offering online access to the city’s residents.

Much Anticipated Fort Worth Smart Hotel Opens With High-Tech Flourishes and Historic Bonafides
Although “Fort Worth’s first-ever smart hotel” is set inside of a structure originally built in 1929, it’s about as modern as it gets with digital showers, touchscreen mirrors, LG 8K Wallpaper TVs, and even a podcast booth. The Sinclair is also “the world’s first battery-powered hotel,” according to Paper City, which guests can help power by riding the hotel’s stationary bikes hooked up to its power grid.

Tens of thousands watch Allen woman stream her brain surgery on Facebook while awake
A North Texas woman took live streaming to the next level by filming during her operation to “remove the misconceptions about brain surgery,” the DMN reports. Methodist Dallas Medical Center neurosurgeon Dr. Nimesh Patel narrated the stream and took questions live.

RETAIL

LOCAL Design Studios + Gallery Expanding Space for Six Women-Owned Businesses
The office and warehouse space at LOCAL in Fort Worth is “busting at the seams” due to the success of the wholesale female-founded businesses (each one is now a nationally known brand). The 32,000-square-foot addition will accommodate packing and shipping for orders across the country.

Tuesday, Oct. 29

STARTUPS

Plano, Arlington among best mid-sized cities for startups that are going untapped
The two growing North Texas cities have grabbed spots among the top 10 best untapped cities in the U.S. for young companies, according to a report by Fundera. Plano ranked second while Arlington landed at No. 7.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Collin College moves forward with Farmersville, Celina campuses
Collin College’s new Farmersville and Celina campuses are both expected to open in 2021. Each will sit on 75-acre plots, Community Impact said.

FOOD + BEV

Bottoms Up Cocktails Available Now at Omni Hotels & Resorts’ Texas Properties
Dallas beverage company Bottoms Up Cocktails has launched ready-to-drink cocktails in all 14 Omni Hotels & Resorts locations in Texas. Omni, also based in Dallas, will offer the drinks in its public spaces, like markets, lobby bars, spas, pool decks, etc.

Starbucks Is Rolling Out Delivery to a Market Near You
The coffee purveyor has expanded its Starbucks Delivers service—which brings you your drink through a partnership with Uber Eats—to most big cities in the country, including Dallas. The latest expansion brings the count to 16 U.S. markets.

IF YOU NEED TO GET AWAY

Tiny Cabins Offer a True Escape From Technology 90 Minutes From Dallas
Enjoy camping, but don’t like the cold, hard ground? You can experience the outdoors with all the comforts of a tiny cabin (including a queen bed) about an hour and a half from here. It’s called Getaway Piney Woods in LaRue.

Monday, Oct. 28

COWORKING

Common Desk is expanding to Houston
Dallas-headquartered Common Desk is expanding its brand south with its first location in Houston. Named Common Desk – EaDo for East Downtown Houston, the outpost will take up 25,000 square feet in the “art and soul” of the city. Founder and CEO Nick Clark said EaDo reminds him and his team of Deep Ellum, where Common Desk opened its first location in 2012.

EXPANSION

Southwest Airlines making major expansion to pilot training building in Dallas
The airline has begun working on an expansion of its three-story pilot training center, which is housed on its corporate campus near Dallas Love Field. the DMN reported. The 141,000-square-foot expansion is expected to be completed next fall, complete with eight additional flight simulators.

MOBILITY

OjO Electric Expands Rideshare Programs in Austin and Dallas
Light Electric Vehicle company OjO is increasing its Dallas and Austin fleet by adding 100-500 more of its electric rideshare scooters. In Dallas, OjO has partnered with Shift Transit for easy consumer access and scooter deployment. OjO differentiates itself from the myriad scooters popping up with its longer rides, adjustable cushioned seat, patented HyperGear hub motor, and green energy goal.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Oct. 20-26, 2019.

1. IF/THEN Summit Convenes Nationwide Female STEM Role Models in Dallas

2. Innovative Spaces: UNT Unveils Its Newly Renovated College of Visual Arts and Design

3. Monarch City Ready to Take Mixed-Use Development Into the Next Century

4. AIA Dallas Honors Eight Projects with 2019 Design Awards

5. Texas Women’s Foundation’s Orchid Giving Circle Awards $219K in Community Grants

6. U.K.’s ActiveOps Selects Dallas as its U.S. Base

7. STEM, STEAM, STREAM: “In Dallas, the Ingredients are Here.”

8. IF/THEN Summit to Highlight Female Innovators and Promote STEM Careers

9. DI People: ParkHub, OrderMyGear, and Naturally Slim Make Leadership Moves

10. Nominate Now: D CEO and Dallas Innovates ‘The Innovation Awards’


Friday, Oct. 25

TECH TALK

Governor Abbott Announces Expansion Of Microsoft Regional Hub In Irving
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft is boosting its operations in Irving as a “strategic regional hub.” The announcement came from a statement by Gov. Greg Abbott, which said Microsoft plans to create 575 new jobs and invest $31M+ in capital. A $4.87M Texas Enterprise Fund grant was extended to the company.

Verizon just switched on 5G wireless coverage in these Dallas neighborhoods
There will now be faster service available in Knox/Henderson, Uptown, the Medical District, and Deep Ellum as Verizon rolls out its 5G wireless service, according to the DMN. But, you have to be a Verizon customer with one of its seven 5G compatible phones.

SOCIAL GOOD

Local Impact Week Benefits Nonprofits
More than 80 Fidelity Investments technologists and business analysts partnered with nine DFW nonprofits to help solve their technology and operational challenges within only five hours. This consulting event was part of the company’s Impact Week happening globally with more than 90 nonprofits around the world and with service valued at nearly $600,000. Local technology projects ranged from advising on a knowledge management system implementation roadmap for The Commit Partnership to a donor database vendor selection framework for Girls Inc. Metropolitan Dallas. 

Thursday, Oct. 24

SUSTAINABLE SLICES

Pizza Hut is testing plant-based ‘Incogmeato’ sausage toppings and round boxes
Have you ever wondered why pizzerias put round pizzas into square boxes? Square boxes are cheaper to produce, according to The Verge. Now, Plano-headquartered Pizza Hut is testing out round pizza boxes in an effort to make the boxes more sustainable with less packaging. But for now, the new design is only available in Phoenix, Arizona.

THIS WEEKEND

Brittany Cobb Reflects on 10 Years of Flea Style
On the eve of Flea Style’s 10th anniversary show, founder and CEO Brittany Cobb reflects on her lifestyle brand’s success over the past ten years. The fashion entrepreneur is currently working on launching a second store location in Frisco, which will also include a restaurant. Along with Flea Style’s Deep Ellum storefront, the brand has a podcast and e-commerce shop.

NOW HIRING

Vetted Heroes + Virgin Hotels Dallas Veteran and Mil-Spouse Hiring Event
This Saturday, Vetted Heroes is partnering with Virgin Hotels Dallas to provide an early opportunity for veterans and their spouses to apply to become team members at Virgin Hotels’ first DFW location. 

Wednesday, Oct. 23

EMERGING MARKETS

Move Over Cambridge: Houston And Dallas Poised For Life Sciences CRE Growth
A 2019 CBRE report lists Dallas, along with Houston, among the country’s top emerging life sciences markets. Dallas ranked seventh on the report “thanks to quality local talent, access to top researchers, recent life sciences workforce growth, ample National Institutes of Health funding and the emergence of top-ranked medical schools and research facilities,” writes Bisnow.

LISTEN

Lantern Pharma: How Technology is Fighting Against Cancer on The Tech Talks Daily Podcast
Dallas biotech startup Lantern Pharma is working to leverage the power of big data with AI and machine learning to personalize cancer treatments. Tech Talks Daily host Neil C. Hughes invited Panna Sharma, CEO of Lantern Pharma, to talk about the critical role “technology has—and will continue to play—in the fight against cancer.”

AWARD WINNING

Astronaut Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Bernard Harris Jr.—the president and CEO of Dallas-based National Math and Science Initiative—was 13 years old when he watched the broadcast of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon, writes Erin Douglas. Harris went on to become the first African American astronaut to perform a spacewalk. On Saturday night he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, Oct. 22

CALLING ALL INNOVATORS

Nominate Now: D CEO and Dallas Innovates Present ‘The Innovation Awards’
Nominations have been extended to Thursday, Oct. 31 for The Innovation Awards 2020, honoring the disruptors and trailblazers driving a new vision for North Texas.

KUDOS

Dementia Phone Company teleCalm Rings $100K MassChallenge Prize
teleCalm, a phone service provider for those living with dementia, won the Diamond Award from MassChallenge Texas, the Austin-based accelerator program. $500,000 in equity-free cash prizes was given to five startups, with teleCalm as the only North Texas-based winner.

TECH BYTES

Fossil Smartwatches Can Now Make Calls With The iPhone
Fossil’s fifth generation smartwatches will be able to make phone calls via iPhones after the latest update, per Ubergizmo. Android users will also benefit from the Richardson company’s update, which is supposed to improve calls on Android devices.

Why Gold’s Gym is betting on wearable technology
Irving-based Gold’s Gym has designed a version of its coaching app that’s compatible with Fitbit smartwatches. The app called Gold’s Amp is part of the fitness company’s efforts “to add digital experiences for customers,” according to the DBJ.

Why you don’t have to worry about waiters at Rachael Ray’s new Dallas ‘restaurant’
TV show host and chef Rachael Ray is planning to launch 13 “virtual restaurants” nationwide with one opening on Nov. 1 in Dallas, according to the DMN. Ray is partnering with Uber Eats to launch the restaurants, available exclusively through the food delivery service.

Monday, Oct. 21

TECH BYTES

Abacus Group will Move its Dallas Office to Frisco in November
The global IT provider will have 75% more space in its new 6,891 square foot office in a Class-A building at 2401 Internet Blvd. in HALL Park, according to a news release. The additional square footage will allow for “continued anticipated growth of its Dallas team.” Headquartered in New York City, Abacus Group opened its first satellite office in Dallas in 2013 as a dedicated space for its growing remote support team and centralized location for employee training programs. Dallas is key in the company’s workforce that’s spread across the U.S. and U.K.: Each new team member starts an Abacus career with a training week in Dallas to learn the firm’s systems.

Tech-focused health insurance startup Oscar looks to make splash in Dallas return
It withdrew from the market at the end of 2016, after two other insurers dropped out of the individual marketplace, the DMN reports. “It also indicates the startup is serious about competing in Texas, which has the highest uninsured rate in the country.”

LISTEN

Lantern Pharma: How Technology is Fighting Against Cancer on The Tech Talks Daily Podcast
“Our company is really unique in the sense that we have just as many data scientists and AI people and IT folks as we do biologists and cancer genomic folks—it’s just really split right down the middle, Panna Sharma, CEO of Dallas biotech startup Lantern Pharma says. “We believe this is a new way of doing drug research and discoveries, really leveraging the power of big data.” Lantern Pharma is working to leverage that data with ai and machine learning to personalize cancer treatments.
 
Tech Talks Daily host Neil C. Hughes invited Sharma to talk about the critical role “technology has—and will continue to play—in the fight against cancer.”
 
And, you can learn more about how Lantern’s new collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) could help predict drug effectiveness on tumors on Dallas Innovates.

READ

Dr Sarah E. Hill: ‘We Have a Blind Spot About How the Pill Influences Women’s Brains’
A new book by the TCU social psychologist “tackles the tricky subject of how oral contraceptives may affect women’s minds,” writes The Guardian. Hill, a professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth argues “we need to talk about how oral contraceptives are affecting women’s thinking, emotions, and behaviour.”  Her book, How the Pill Changes Everything: Your Brain on Birth Control, is about “the science behind a delicate subject.”
 
“We need the imagination of the best researchers on this issue,” Hill said in The Guardian. “The pill works so well and is so easy, we’ve become complacent. And in the meantime, we need more and better research to understand what we’ve got.”

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Oct. 13-19, 2019.

1. Klyde Warren Park Expansion Renderings Show its Westward Growth

2. Atos Launches Google Cloud Artificial Intelligence Lab in Irving

3. JPMorgan Chase Neighborhoods Program Invests $6M in TREC Community Fund

4. STEM, STEAM, STREAM: ‘The World Doesn’t Work Without Technology Anymore, Nothing Does.’

5. IF/THEN Summit to Highlight Female Innovators and Promote STEM Careers

6. Dallas-Based FinTech Zirtue Raises $1M in Seed Round

7. Dallas Bound: Nonprofit JUST Makes Investments to Female Entrepreneurs Based on Trust

8. Coppell Cybersecurity Firm Awarded $200K for Department of Homeland Security IoT Test

9. Galaxy Unmanned Systems Chosen for Research Contract with the Army

10. Popular Video Game Leads to a $1.5M NSF Grant for SMU


Friday, Oct. 18

CRYPTO CONVO

SEC Director David Peavler: More crypto-fraud, less oil and gas schemes
“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fort Worth Regional Office is witnessing some changes. Cryptocurrency fraud is all the rage, oil and gas offering fraud is so yesterday,” writes Texas Lawbook’s Mark Curriden.

RIDESHARE

Deep Ellum keeps pickup zones for Uber and Lyft for another year
Dallas’ “economic and cultural hub” is extending its pilot program for another year, CultureMap reports, which means rideshare services must pick up/drop off in designated zones. The Deep Ellum Foundation collaborated with Uber, Lyft, Alto, and the city for the program—the first-of-its-kind for the region.

& YEAH, WE’RE STILL GROWING

2019’s Fastest-Growing Cities in America
North Texas was well represented this year on WalletHub’s annual ranking of cities with rapid economic growth. In the Top 50 are Frisco (No. 5), McKinney (No. 13), Richardson (No. 38), Denton (No. 42), and Fort Worth (No. 50).

Thursday, Oct. 17

TECH MOVES

The Great [Tech] Migration
Since January 2010, 58 out of 89 Bay area-headquartered tech and life science companies have taken more than 30 million square feet of office space elsewhere in the country. About 1M square feet of that was in Dallas-Fort Worth, according to Cushman & Wakefield research. Sixteen of these companies have set up shop in the region—including Google, Facebook, Juul, Lyft, Oracle, Palo Alto, Salesforce, Tesla and, most recently, Uber.

San Francisco tech firm takes down big Plano office block
San Francisco business IT and data services firm Splunk is expanding its presence in Plano, taking an 84,000-square-foot expanded lease in the Legacy business park on Dallas North Tollway. It’s one of the largest recent office leases in the Legacy district.

ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS

Meet the 2019 Dallas 100, the fastest-growing small private companies in DFW
The Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at SMU’s Cox School of Business unveiled its list of DFW’s 100 fastest-growing small private companies. Among this year’s honorees are Alkami, BuzzBallz, PMG, and Sendero, which all had to have sales of at least $500K in fiscal year 2016 to qualify, per the DBJ.

SIDE HUSTLES

Innovative App Helps Kids Appreciate Their Lawyer Moms
Jodie Slater Hastings, Dallas lawyer and co-founder of The Slate, launched an interactive storybook called My Mommy is a Lawyer. The app is “part fable and part game,” writes The Texas Lawbook, which helps kids understand and appreciate what their lawyer moms do when they go to work.

Wednesday, Oct. 16

REAL ESTATE

In Dallas, a high-rise built for homesharing hints at hospitality’s future
San Fransisco startup Sonder is planning a 270-unit high-rise in the Arts District—its largest property yet. Think of it like a hotel-Airbnb hybrid: 1899 McKinney will bridge the gap between “five-star hotels and renting a home.”

FUTURE FORWARD

Take a look at Toyota’s 2nd generation hydrogen-powered vehicle
Environmentally sustainable vehicles are on the rise, and Toyota is on board. Its latest is a hydrogen fuel-cell electric car (its second generation) called Mirai, which you can purchase late next year, the DBJ reports.

FOOD + BEV

Dallas Debut of WFC Kicks Off “Food Week”
The largest culinary competition and food fest in the world kicks off in Dallas today. Expect chefs competing for a huge prize, activities for foodies, an Innovation Station, a Dallas Food Truck Smash Up, and so much more.

Tuesday, Oct. 15

DIVERSE WORKFORCE

Dallas makes the grade as No. 9 best U.S. city for diversity in STEM
Out of 35 tech hubs in the U.S., Dallas made the top ten based on racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in STEM employment, according to CultureMap Dallas. Dallas’ STEM workforce is 18 percent black, 20 percent Asian, and 15 percent Latino or Hispanic, but it’s still lacking in gender diversity with women making up only 24 percent of the workforce.

TESTING IT OUT

Uber to roll out experiment in Dallas that tests new pricing for scooter rides
Uber’s latest DFW news comes on the heels of its Dallas town hall meeting last week. Now, the company is planning to experiment with a surge pricing model for its Jump scooters, per the Dallas Business Journal. The price to ride its scooters will be based on historical demand starting next week in Dallas and Tampa, Florida.

LOCAL ART

Drew Merritt Wants His Virgin Hotel Mural to Bring You Happiness
A new mural now graces Market Center Boulevard on the side of the Virgin Hotel, featuring a woman in a diving helmet and a rocking horse. The woman is Dallas’ own Lesli Marshall, the owner of Articulation Art, according to the Dallas Observer.

CALL CUBAN

Mark Cuban gave out his phone number saying anyone can text him. There’s a catch
You may not have to go on Shark Tank to talk with Mark Cuban—now he’s one phone call away. If you think that’s too good to be true, you’re right. First you’ll have to sign up for a service called Community and then, you’re free to leave a message for Cuban, writes the Dallas Morning News. But, if you’re really lucky, maybe he’ll respond.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Oct. 6-12, 2019.

1. STEM, STEAM, STREAM: North Texas Experts Discuss Why Education Matters to Business

2. Deep Ellum Among Top 20 ‘Cool Streets’ in North America, New Report Says

3. Poo-Pourri Just Put a Very On-Brand Poo Installation in Klyde Warren Park

4. The Future of Uber’s Self-Driving Vehicles in Dallas

5. Reimagine Communities Summit: How Human-Centered Design and Digitalization Drive Innovation

6. To the Moon: NASA Awards North Texas Firm $2M for ‘Tipping Point’ Technology

7. D CEO and Dallas Innovates Launch ‘The Innovation Awards’

8. Inspire Frisco is Bringing Together 12 Texas Universities Through Tech Event

9. ‘It’s Not Complicated, It’s Tutoring’: Dallas Startup Takes a Holistic Approach to Education

10. YTexas Summit: Talking Bills, Business, and the ‘Texas Miracle’


Friday, Oct. 11

DEALS

IAC announces its plan to spin off Match Group
IAC, which owns 80% of Match Group, has submitted the spin-off proposal to members of Match’s board of directors, CNBC reports.

Highlander Partners Successfully Exits its Investment in Popular Ink
Dallas-based private equity firm Highlander Partners has exited its investment in Popular Ink, the McKinney-based flexible packaging company, by selling it to PPC Flexible Packagings. Highlander Partners acquired Popular Ink in 2015.

TRANSPORTATION

Hyperloop could come to North Texas sooner than expected
Virgin’s Hyperloop One wants to develop a certification site for the futuristic transportation tech that someday could zoom passengers and cargo from Dallas-Fort Worth to Laredo at speeds of 670 miles per hour. Some North Texas officials believe the site should be here though, according to WFAA.

STARTUP

Startup aiming to raise $10M is bringing order to cops working off-duty jobs
Irving tech company RollKall, which has a platform to connect police officers with coordinators, security firms, and businesses looking to hire them for off-duty work, is seeing its efforts pay off. The company raised $1.5 million last year in a seed round, and is now seeking to raise $5-10M soon and wrap up fundraising during the first quarter of next year, the DBJ reports.

Thursday, Oct. 10

TEEING UP

Topgolf seeks to hire banks for IPO
Dallas-based Topgolf International is in talks with investment banks about hiring underwriters for an initial public offering, Reuters reports. “Topgolf has invited investment banks to pitch for roles on the IPO, which is planned for next year, one of the sources said.”

STARTUP STYLE

My Style: Melbourne O’Banion
The Bestow CEO looks up to Bond, per D CEO. “Effortless, classic, ready for any occasion, and always looks the part.”

ARCHITECTURAL WONDER

Mysteries of The Meyerson: 10 Things You Need to Know About the Dallas Symphony Center
The I.M. Pei home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra turned 30 this year, says the Observer. Here are some secrets you may not know. Beyond the engineering feat that it is (and the fact that there’s not a bad seat in the house), HM Queen Elizabeth II has been there, and they have the pictures to prove it.

Wednesday, Oct. 9

BIG MONEY

Investors pump $300 million this year into emerging Dallas-Fort Worth companies 
“A dozen companies attracted investments of $10 million or more,” per the DMN. Industries from cancer research and food to financial and health care technology were represented, according to data from Crunchbase. Plano-based fintech Alkami tops the list.

RAMPING UP

Here’s what the innovation team at DFW Airport is working on
“The innovation department now has seven employees with plans to hire two more, and is starting to make headway on its projects,” reports the DBJ. “The team is currently working on a project that would bring the technology to the check-in and bag drop process.” It most recently brought biometric screening to the airport.

DFW Airport’s new chief innovation officer, Paul Puopolo, is propelling DFW’s future by welcoming new strategies to make the airport better. Read more about Puopolo and a first-of-its-kind robotic system, which can handle almost 450 bags an hour, on Dallas Innovates.

ON THE MOVE

T. Boone Pickens’ power table heads to Oklahoma state capitol 
The late T. Boone Pickens’ massive 24-by-5-foot, four-pedestal conference table—at which he was said to have made and lost billions of dollars—was dismantled Tuesday and sent on its way to its new home in Oklahoma’s state capitol—along with the 22 brown leather armchairs that sat around it, reports the DMN.

Tuesday, Oct. 8

DONE DEALS

New Uber tower in Dallas’ Deep Ellum moves ahead with $135.5 million in permits [DMN]
Developers have filed building permits for the 25-story Deep Ellum area high-rise soon to become the home of Uber employees. The 470,000-square-foot office building, a project of Westdale Properties and developer KDC, is valued at $135.5M in the permits.

SMART CITY

Preliminary smart city study results show investment pays off, if the digital innovation is managed properly [Mass Transit]
Early results of 2019 Smart City Research Initiative, Building a Hyperconnected City, conducted by ESI ThoughtLab, shows that most of the 100 metro centers it looked at globally—including Dallas—experience positive economic, financial, and social impacts from their investments.

HEALTH COMPANIES

Take Command Health launches industry-first ICHRA platform
Dallas-based Take Command Health announced that its Individual Coverage HRA administration platform is open. The launch comes as businesses prepare for new Health Reimbursement Accounts to become effective in January and open enrollment.

Axxess Endows Largest-Ever Computer Science Scholarship Program At The University Of Texas At Dallas
Axxess, a Dallas-based home healthcare tech company, has gifted the UTD $500K to create the Axxess Scholars Program, the largest gift ever received by UTD to start an engineering school scholarship program.

Monday, Oct. 7

HEALTH TECH

Bringing BrainHealth’s Vision to Reality 
The Center for BrainHealth of the University of Texas at Dallas has hired Dallas tech design and development firm Dialexa to bring to life its vision for an online, personalized brain health experience. Wireframe designs were finished earlier this year, while Phase One will be done by year’s end, and Phase Two will launch publicly in 2020.

SUPER COMMUTERS

Long commute: Why so many people choose to live in Fort Worth but work in Dallas [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
Fort Worth is far from a bedroom community, but every day roughly 16 percent of Tarrant County workers commute to Dallas. A variety of reasons have drawn people to live in Fort Worth while working eastward—schools, cheaper housing, entertainment, shopping, and even food.

SOCIAL GOOD

Dallas-based equine therapy organization breaks ground on new facility, plans growth  [Dallas Business Journal]
Work has begun on the new Equest covered arena in the Texas Horse Park along the Trinity River. Equest is in a quiet phase of its capital campaign seeking an additional $1.6 million to the already supplemental $1.4 million raised.

New Hydroponic Garden is Sprouting at the State Fair of Texas for South Dallas’ Food Desert [Dallas Observer]
Hidden behind the State Fair of Texas’ ferris wheel and carnival games, you’ll find Big Texas Urban Farms, a hydroponic garden hoping to instill urban agricultural practices and help alleviate the food desert of South Dallas. 

STUDY SAYS

Millennials Are Moving More Frequently Than Previous Generations
A new study shows that young adults are moving more often than previous generations. Young adults who have lived in their current homes less than two years is almost 12 percentage points higher than in 1960. In DFW, it’s 10.7 percentage points higher—52.2 percent in 2017 vs. 41.5 percent in 1960.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2019.

1. Big Four Mobile Carriers to Unveil ‘ZenKey’ Tech to Rid Us of Passwords

2. DFW Cities Dominate List of ‘Surprising’ Cities Where You Can Make a Lot of Money

3. $1M Challenge Grant Kicks Off Campaign for I-35E Deck Park in Southern Dallas

4. Applications Open for Impact Ventures’ Minority-Focused Technology Accelerator

5. Corgan and TMGcore Team Up to Downsize Data Centers

6. STEM, STEAM, STREAM: North Texas Experts Discuss Why Education Matters to Business

7. DI People: Toyota, MoneyGram, Lennox International, Gardenuity Make Executive Moves

8. Red Bull Soapbox Race DFW: Three’s a Charm for a ‘Mosquito on a Mission’

9. Bright Realty Honors ‘Bum’ Bright With a New Arthurian Outdoor Mural at The Realm

10. PGA’s Relocation to Frisco Wins Top Award from Texas Business Network


Friday, Oct. 5

DONE DEALS

Fort Worth defense company receives $23M order for night vision technology [Fort Worth Business Press]
Elbit Systems of America, a Fort Worth-based defense company, has been awarded a $23 million order to supply systems and spare parts for the US Marine Corps’ Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles program. Last month, Elbit acquired the Night Vision business from Harris Corp. in a $350M deal.

FUTURE FORWARD

Why Virgin Hyperloop One is still betting that you want to commute in a high-speed tube [Fast Company]
The Virgin Hyperloop One roadshow, which came to Arlington in August, promotes the high-speed transportation system that someday could connect Dallas-Fort Worth with other major cities in the state through a pod system running at hundreds of miles per hour. Fast Company caught up with Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Jay Walter for an update.

MOST POPULAR

Google releases list of Dallas’ Most-Loved Small Business
Google’s list of the 30 most-loved SMBs in Dallas-Fort Worth is seen through the lens of Google Search and Maps. It consists mostly of women- and veteran-led businesses, and includes McShan Florist, Chocolate Secrets, Go Squeaky Clean, Riscky’s BAR-B-Q, and Kenny’s Wood Fired Grill.

TRANSPORTATION

J.D. Power’s 2019 North American Airport Satisfaction Survey
J.D. Power ranked Dallas Fort Worth International Airport fifth in the mega category and Dallas Love Field second in the large airport category. A mega airport has 33M+ passengers a year, while large airports have 4.5-9.9M.

Thursday, Oct. 4

NORTH TEXANS IN THE NEWS

34 Top Texas Leaders Join Texas 2036 Board Of Directors
Texas 2036, a non-partisan nonprofit born from the vision of Dallas-based Tom Luce, aims to find data-driven solutions for some of the state’s biggest long-term challenges. Nine North Texans will join Luce as new board members: 

  • Aline Bass Callahan, MBA and MS Candidate, Northwestern University in Dallas
  • Shannon Fletcher, Chief of Staff, Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in Fort Worth
  • Hunter Hunt, CEO, Hunt Consolidated Energy LLC in Dallas
  • Ron Kirk, Senior of Counsel, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Dallas
  • Cynthia Marshall, CEO, Dallas Mavericks in Dallas
  • Kyle Miller, Founder and Managing Partner, Silver Hill Energy Holdings LLC in Dallas
  • Jeanne Phillips, Senior Vice President, Hunt Consolidated Inc. in Dallas
  • Matt Rose, Owner, Cross Tie Capital in Fort Worth
  • Nicole Small, CEO, LH Capital, Inc. in Dallas

 

Forbes’ richest Americans list for 2019 includes 18 from Dallas-Fort Worth [DMN]
On Forbes list of 400 richest Americans, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is catching up to Dallas’ incumbent richest man, banker Andy Beal, and Margot Perot, widow of H. Ross Perot, has joined the list.

ARTS

Near Southside to study creative business incubator idea [Fort Worth Business Press]
Fort Worth’s Near Southside—already the target for an Innovation District—wants to create a place where artists can live and work. To achieve that, Near Southside Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone board members unanimously approved a resolution to start establishing a creative business incubator.

TRANSPORTATION

Fort Worth-based Bell unveils latest aircraft — a helicopter with wings [DBJ]
The helicopter maker unveiled its new Bell 360 Invictus rotorcraft, its entry for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program. Among its most notable unique technologies are wings.

FOOD + DRINK

Chefs Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole to open restaurant in East Dallas [CultureMap]
Two of Austin’s top chefs are bringing their superstar collaboration to Old East Dallas with an expected opening in late summer 2020. It’ll be the second location for the Asian Smokehouse and Bar.

Wednesday, Oct. 3

TRANSPORTATION

Hitch is First to Bring City-to-City Ridesharing to Dallas
Hitch, the Austin-based rideshare company that provides on-demand, long-distance rides between cities, has added service between Dallas and Austin. Dallas becomes the third Texas city that Hitch serves.

DFW Airport considers bringing autonomous vehicles to parking lots [DBJ]
The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport board will vote tomorrow on a $300,000, six-month pilot program that would use autonomous vehicles in the south parking lot to take people to the lot’s main bus terminal.

RETAIL

Fossil might be the only company with the vision to challenge Apple in the smartwatch market [PhoneArena.com]
“I think [Richardson-based] Fossil is the underdog to watch out for,” writes Adrian Diaconescu. Why? Perhaps because a company with “more than one brand” is “more than one threat.”

“Fossil is actually a pretty large ‘group,’ releasing wearable devices under a lot of well-known and well-liked brands in addition to its own name,” Diaconescu notes. “We’re talking brands like Michael Kors, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Skagen, Misfit, and even Puma to name but a few.”

BEST-IN-CLASS

The 2019 List of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” [Entrepreneur Magazine]
Dallas-Fort Worth was well-represented on Entrepreneur’s fifth annual Entrepreneur 360 ranking, which ranks companies that are “mastering the art and science of growing a business.” Here’s who made the list:

  • No. 33 – UWorld (Dallas)
  • No. 92 – Tek Leaders Inc. (Plano)
  • No. 144 – Cariloop (Dallas)
  • No. 152 – Nexrage Studios (Plano)
  • No. 171 – 5 (Irving)
  • No. 182 – Tricolor (Dallas)
  • No. 231 – Ironside Human Resources (Dallas)
  • No. 242 – JP and Associates REALTORS (Frisco)
  • No. 252 – Enseo (Richardson)
  • No. 253 – Pioneer Technologies Inc. (Irving)
  • No. 255 – AVIO Consulting (Addison)
  • No. 274 – JW Logistics (Frisco)
  • No. 293 – Elite Payroll and Staffing Services (Haltom City)
  • No. 299 – Smart City Locating (Dallas)
  • No. 358 – Enchill Property Management Consulting (Dallas)

Tuesday, Oct. 1

RANKINGS

Cities With the Best Career Opportunities [Volusion]
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington has been ranked as the third best among large metros in a new study from Volusion, an Austin-based “all-in-one” tool for people to run their businesses.

NEW DEALS

Topgolf Partners With National Veterans Memorial and Museum to Host Veteran Hiring Events Across the Country
Topgolf Entertainment Group has partnered with the National Veterans Memorial and Museum to host hiring events for veterans at Topgolf venues across the country. Proceeds will be donated to the museum.

TECH BYTES

“Could Dallas be finding its innovation niche?” According to Kevin Stevens, a partner at Intelis Capital, “Only time will tell, but becoming the hub of a $620B market might be the biggest opportunity Dallas has had since the telecom boom of the 80s and 90s.” He makes a good case in his blog post, citing Uber’s new office coming to Deep Ellum and Uber Elevate, Toyota’s Plano headquarters and Toyota Connected, DENSO’s new R&D facility in Plano, and Vinli’s recent funding boost.

Donnie Nelson, general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, will speak at a “first-of-its-kind” conference on artificial intelligence (AI) in sports in Dubai in October. Organized by the Dubai Sports Council, it aims to “bring top decision-makers from the world of sport and leading minds from the world of AI to showcase the benefits of a union between the two.”

Information technology officials in Texas are busy implementing a new law enacted in June. Nearly all state and local government employees must complete annual cybersecurity training. Contractors will have to compete the training if they are working for the state of Texas, too.

Monday, Sept. 30

GIVING FOR GOOD

Amazon Pop-Up STEM Camp at Children’s Medical Center Dallas—and a $30K Donation
An Amazon pop-up camp at the Children’s Medical Center gave kids a chance to get excited about STEM and learn how creative thinking is critical to its operations. Through the experience, Amazon says it wants to encourage every child affected by cancer to continue imagining themselves as future innovators and engage them with the community and resources possible to do so. Amazon visited Children’s Medical Center Dallas on Friday to host an afternoon of engaging educational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities for patients and their families. The event culminated with a $30,000 donation to Children’s to support the fight against childhood cancer, according to the company.

Over the course of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (September), Amazon says it will donate more than $4.25 million to hospitals, research organizations, and advocacy non-profits nationwide.

FUNDING

Boxcart raises $245K in pre-seed funding round [Crunchbase]
Boxcart, a Dallas-based e-commerce and delivery startup that is operating in stealth, has raised $245,000 in pre-seed funding. The startup is developing competitive retail technologies that focus on fast and convenient delivery of products to consumers.

EXPANSIONS

Seattle company is cruising into Dallas with ‘country club for gearheads’ [DMN]
The Shop, a Seattle-based “country club for gearheads,” is coming to Dallas! Members get access to garages to work on their vehicles, a bar and restaurant, and lounge areas to socialize. It’s going into a 55,000-square-foot space off Carpenter Freeway near Love Field and opening in the spring.

RANKINGS THE REGION

Frisco (No. 1), McKinney (No. 2), Plano (No. 3), and Grand Prairie (No. 7) rank as the best cities in the U.S. to live if you want to make the most money, says a new study by GoBankingRates. Texas dominated the list overall with six cities, including the four Dallas-Fort Worth cities in the top ten. Frisco boasts the highest median household income ($120,701) and the biggest difference between city and state incomes ( a whopping $63,650).

Dallas ranks No. 25 in the country as a vegetarian- and vegan-friendly city, according to a new survey by WalletHub. In Texas, that’s ahead of San Antonio (No. 71), but behind Austin (No. 5) and Houston (No. 19). But, when ranked for “vegetarian lifestyle,” which takes into account things like the availability of vegan and vegetarian festivals, Dallas moves up a few notches to No. 16, compared to Austin (No. 34), Houston (No. 37), and San Antonio (No. 84).  The No. 1 city, overall? Portland, Oregon.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Sept. 22-28, 2019.

1. Liberty Mutual and City of Plano Contribute $1M Each for New Accessible Playground

2. Corgan and TMGcore Team Up to Downsize Data Centers

3. Cornbread Hustle’s New Software Program Helps Addicts Work Toward a Sober Second Chance

4. AT&T Backs ScholarShot’s Education Initiative with $100K Contribution

5. RevTech’s 12th Semi-Annual Event Talks Emerging Retail and the Tech Behind It

6. Poo~Pourri and Hotels.com Put New Couples at Ease in a Cheeky Co-Branded Campaign

7. Ericsson Picks Lewisville for $134M Smart Factory of the Future to Accelerate 5G

8. Follow the Money: Latticework Capital Raises $120M, Renibus Therapeutics Gets $3.37M, HMS Buys VitreosHealth

9. Fort Worth-Based PMG Expands its Uptown Office, Tripling the Dallas Team

10. Report: Perryman on (Traffic) Congestion


Friday, Sept. 27

DONE DEALS

Live-Video Security Provider Stealth Monitoring Gets ‘Significant’ Equity Investment
Headquartered in Addison and Toronto, Stealth Monitoring also provides analytics and detection offerings aimed at deterring crime.

Fort Worth company sees $350M acquisition as ‘game changer’ [DBJ]
This month, Elbit Systems of America, the U.S. division of a global defense contractor, acquired a night vision business from L3Harris for $350M, which will add 500 employees to the company. The new unit will be called Elbit Systems of America – Night Vision.

STARTUP

Shoott is Coming to Dallas
New York City-based startup Shoott.com is bringing its photography-on-demand services to North Texas starting today. With a “pay by the pic” system, Shoott employs local photographers to offer quality shots at DFW locations.

COWORKING

If WeWork’s model doesn’t work, some office owners are in trouble [DMN]
WeWork, the New York City-based coworking startup, has incurred billions in losses while signing leases for 11 million square feet of office space nationwide—close to 600,000 square feet of it in DFW. Landlords could face a dilemma to fill space if the company reduces its footprint or ends up in default.

Coworking Space to Partner with Red Bull for Dallas Event
The Riveter, a coworking space with a location in Dallas, is partnering with Red Bull on a two-day workshop to help students prepare their applications for the chance to attend Red Bull Basement University’s Global Workshop in Canada. The DFW event is open to Dallas entrepreneurs on Oct. 2-3.

DALLAS GIVES

North Texas’ Largest Diaper Bank Hosts Baby Shower During National Diaper Need Awareness Week
Dallas-based Hope Supply Co. is hosting a series of events, including a baby shower, through Sept. 29, in honor of National Diaper Need Awareness Week. Along with diapers, the largest diaper bank in North Texas is also accepting baby wipes, new clothes, and monetary donations that will go to families experiencing financial hardship. 

Live to Give Launches Bottled Water, 50 Percent of Net Profits to be Donated to Military and First Responders
Dallas-based Live to Give’s bottled water products do more than just keep you hydrated—half of the company’s net profits from its bottled water business will now go to charitable organizations that support military members, first responders, and their family members. 

Thursday, Sept. 26

NORTH TEXAS (BRAIN)POWER

Two North Texas Students Reach Final Round of Breakthrough Junior Challenge
Out of more than 11,000 registrants, two of the 16 finalists for the Breakthrough Junior Challenge are 15-year-old North Texas students. On the line is a $400,000 prize package, including a $250,000 college scholarship for the winner. Who will win? We’ll find out Nov. 3—but we’re rooting for our locals.

STARTUP

Phynd’s “central source of truth” for healthcare providers is now available on the Epic App Orchard
Health systems struggle to keep provider directories accurate and up-to-date. Dallas-based Phynd has a software-as-a-service solution that’s now available in Epic’s App Orchard, a marketplace for apps.

Black Woman-Owned Tech Firm Launches Football Training App  [Dallas Weekly]
The Quarterback Equalizer is a gaming app “designed to teach football players their position in a fun and cognitive way.” The app, developed by Kathy Tomlinson’s Dallas-based company, Equalizer Games, lets players transfer what they learn to the field.

RETAIL

Brian Bolke Pulls Off a Highland Park Village Surprise, Quietly Opening The Conservatory [Paper City]
Dallas retail entrepreneur Brian Bolke has opened The Conservatory at Highland Park Village just six months after opening his new retail concept, The Conservatory, inside New York’s mega-development Hudson Yards.

Wednesday, Sept. 25

EDUCATION

Amazon, DCCCD roll out statewide cloud computing degree programs [DBJ]
Dallas County Community College District and Amazon Web Services are partnering on a new program that will offer associate degrees in cloud computing at community colleges and technical schools across Texas.

The Power of a Principal: How Dallas’s ACE Program Pairs Effective Teachers With ‘High Growth’ School Leaders to Help Students Progress [The 74]
The 74 says principals are second to teachers when it comes to the impact they have on students. The principal at Dallas’ Martin Luther King Jr. Learning Center epitomizes how they can lead a campus to excellence.

EXPANSIONS

Flex Technology Group Opens 4 New Facilities After Period of Significant Internal Growth
Flex Technology Group of Phoenix has opened four new offices across the country to support its growing portfolio of office technology companies, one of which is in North Texas.

STARTUP

KoiReader is finalist for PIER71 Smart Port Challenge
Dallas startup KoiReader Technologies is headed to Singapore for the PIER71 Accelerate Boot Camp as a Smart Port Challenge finalist. KoiReader says its tech is “the world’s most-advanced intelligent document automation system aimed at logistics.”

RETAIL

Self-Made Fitness Entrepreneur Opens Up New Studio at Preston Center [Paper City]
Class Studios is opening its second hybrid studio in Dallas at Preston Center, where it plans to offer more classes than its first location in West Village. Among its the new studio offerings is a rhythm-based class, a running-based class, and an “incubator for instructors,” according to Founder Jasmine Zutter.

Tuesday, Sept. 24

DOLLARS FOR GOOD

Bank of America announces $1.2M in grants to DFW nonprofits
Grants to 54 nonprofits in Dallas-Fort Worth from Bank of America will advance economic mobility for individuals and families, focusing on workforce development and education. The grants are part of nearly $4 million Bank of America investments in North Texas nonprofits annually.

Children’s Medical Center Foundation Gets $300,000 Hyundai Scholar Hope Grant for Pediatric Cancer Research
The $300,000 Hyundai Scholar Hope grant to Children’s Medical Center Foundation will help continue its long-standing fight against pediatric cancer. With this latest grant, Children’s Medical Foundation has received $1.8M in total grants since 2011 from Hyundai Hope On Wheels (HHOW).

The HHOW campaign theme for 2019 is “Every Handprint Tells A Story.” During the event, patients battling cancer in Dallas participated in a “Handprint Ceremony.” Young patients being treated at CMCD dipped their hands in paint and placed their handprints on a white 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe. The “Hope Vehicle” and its colorful handprints represent the patient’s individual and collective journeys and their hopes and dreams, HHOW says. One of the largest non-profit funders of pediatric cancer research in the country, HHOW has awarded more $160M towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure, it says.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

HEALTHCARE

Texas Health Fort Worth Selected for Research to Improve Maternal Mortality
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is one of 10 U.S. hospitals participating in a program to improve the lives of newborns and their mothers and reduce maternal mortality with Premier Perinatal Collaborative. The hospitals will use evidence-based treatment to fight maternal mortality and share their results to better educate providers and care teams and improve outcomes. 

TRANSPORTATION

Study: America’s Most Connected Airports [Travelpulse]
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is now the No. 3 most-connected airport in the U.S., just behind Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta. Love Field also made the list at No. 25.

Monday, Sept. 23

Public Spaces: Scenes From PARK(ing) Day 2019
Get a visual walkthrough of Downtown Dallas to get a glimpse of what went down at this year’s annual PARK(ing) Day.

F&B

Let’s Start Something: The Greater Dallas Food & Beverage CPG Community
A new food and beverage/consumer products group is starting in Dallas-Fort Worth. The goal? To form a community of people and brands for collective impact in the sector.

ACQUISITIONS

HMS Holdings acquires Plano-based VitreosHealth for $36.5M
Irving-based HMS Holdings Corp. has acquired VitreosHealth, a privately held company based in Plano that offers predictive and prescriptive health insights for population risk models, in a cash deal valued at roughly $36.5 million.

SemGroup to be Acquired by Energy Transfer in $5B Transaction
Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners has agreed to acquired Tulsa-based SemGroup Corp. in a unit and cash transaction valued at roughly $5.1 billion. The deal should close late this year or early in 2020.

FUNDING

Cresco leads $25M round for Future State Brands
Dallas-based private equity investor Cresco Capital led a $25 million funding round for Future State Brands, a Los Angeles-based cannabis-focused consumer goods and marketing company.

Hemisphere Ventures in on Axiom’s $16M seed round
McKinney-based Hemisphere Ventures participated in a $16 million seed round by Houston-based Axiom Space, a commercial provider of human spaceflight services that has access to the International Space Space Station today and Axiom Station in 2024.

North Texas Investor part of Sling Health’s seed round 
KRM Interests President Kevin Moore of North Texas is one of 12 investors in a $2.56 million seed round by San Francisco-based Sling Health.

Knox Capital invests in a360inc
Carrollton-based a360inc has received a strategic investment from Knox Capital, a Chicago-based middle-market investment firm. It will allow a360inc, a legal and financial services tech business, to expand and pursue acquisitions in the technology and services industry. No financial information on the deal were disclosed.

Arygin raises $45K in equity crowdfunding
Dallas-based Arygin Corp., a new media streaming platform, raised $45,100 in equity crowdfunding, bringing its two-round total to roughly $95,000.

Integrity Marketing raises jumbo $945M unitranche loan
Dallas-based Integrity Marketing, which sells life and health insurance products to the senior market, has raised a $945 million jumbo loan from the private debt market. Credit investors Owl Rock Capital Partners, Crescent Capital, and Antares Capital provided the unitranche loan, a type of hybrid loan that combines senior debt and subordinated debt into one amount.


The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Sept. 15-21, 2019.

1. (Everyone’s Favorite) Science Guy Bill Nye and Futurist Entrepreneur Ben Lamm on Space, Tech, and Opportunity

2. Sherwin-Williams is Searching for a New Global HQ and R&D Location. Dallas-Fort Worth Might be a Contender

3. JLL Report: Fort Worth’s Near Southside Primed to Become Innovative Economic Force

4. How a First-Year Venture Conference Opened Investors’ Eyes About DFW’s High-Growth Companies

5. A Look at the Industries Dallas-Fort Worth May Dominate Down the Road

6. Hypergiant’s Algae-Based Carbon Capture Solution Could Be ‘400 Times More Effective Than Trees’

7. Inside Dallas-based Pairr, the ‘Dating App for Brands’ That Directly Connects Consumers With Companies

8. Japanese Mobility Supplier DENSO Opens $1.3M R&D Center in Plano

9. Tech Disruptors Are Already Delivering Changes to the Supply Chain, C&W Report Says

10. Tech Wildcatters’ Fall 2019 Cohort Kicks Off with Seven New Startups

Friday, Sept. 20

ESPORTS

Varsity esports now at UTA
UTA’s varsity esports program is kicking off this fall with a new coach and team of 15 players. In the inaugural season, the team will compete in Overwatch, League of Legends, and Rocket League. The first major event is this weekend at Esports Stadium Arlington, and will be hosted by UTA.

PHILANTHROPY

Some Stats From A(nother) Record-Setting North Texas Giving Day [D Magazine]
“The biggest winners? The North Texas Food Bank raised $805,999. Children’s Medical Center Foundation brought in $700,968.” More than 150,000 donations came in over 24 hours, and D’s Matt Goodman breaks down the stats.

FINDING FUNDS

Pressed Roots seeks $1M in funding for permanent location [DBJ]
Dallas-based hairstyling company Pressed Roots is seeking to raise $1 million in debt or option funding as it works to open its first permanent location in Trinity Groves during the holiday season. So far, it’s raised $100,000.

EVENTS

Downtown Dallas Pop-up event emphasizes scooter safety
Lyft Scooters is teaming up with Downtown Dallas Inc. and Bike DFW to host a pop-up event this Sunday aimed at improving e-scooter safety. Called “Scoot Smart,” the event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pegasus Park.

Miami art gallery opens second location in Dallas
Markowicz Fine Art Gallery is hosting its grand opening Saturday in the Dallas Design District. The 4,300-square-foot showroom features 175 to 200 works from internationally known artists and photographers.

Thursday, Sept. 19

STARTUP COMPETITION

MassChallenge Texas Names Top 14 Finalist Startups From Austin-Based Accelerator
Four North Texas startups are among the 14 finalists going after up to $500,000 in equity-free cash prizes in the third MassChallenge Texas accelerator in Austin. The North Texas startups are: MμZ Motion and SolGro of Fort Worth, Phylomics Diagnostics of Coppell, and teleCalm of Allen. The winners will be announced Oct. 17.

‘GET UP AND GIVE’

North Texas Giving Day Powers On With More Than $27.5 Million Raised And Less Than 7 Hours To Go
As of 5 p.m., more than $27.5 million has been raised for over 2,900 nonprofits so far—and the day’s not over yet. Communities Foundation of Texas’ online giving event lasts until midnight tonight.

TASTY TIDBITS

The James Beard Awards Redraws Its Map [New York Times]
Texas, California, and New York will become their own regions for the prestigious competition in 2020. These changes are based on data that show new competition and better restaurants in some areas, most notably Texas.

Let’s All Take a Moment to Be Proud of Dallas Food [Dallas Observer]
Last week, Bon Appétit named Dallas the 2019 Restaurant City of the Year. “Dallas, it’s time to take a victory lap,” writes Brian Reinhart. America is catching up to what (some of us) already knew: Dallas food can be “fun, sophisticated, and cool,” he adds. “We mustn’t let them down.”

ONE-STOP SHOP

Richardson coffeehouse adds restaurant with barber shop on the way [CultureMap Dallas]
A coffeehouse and coworking space in Richardson is adding a full-service restaurant and barber shop. Communion Cooperative will become Communion Restaurant and Bar in partnership with the Dallas restaurant Victor Hugo’s.

Wednesday, Sept. 18

COWORKING CONTINUES

Houston coworking concept enters North Texas market [DBJ]
The WorkLodge is preparing to open its first two locations in North Texas, opening Oct. 10 in the Dallas Design District and early November in Fort Worth. We told you about The WorkLodge last year when it announced it was gearing up for a national expansion.

Venture X Is Developing A 20K SF Facility In Fairview Town Center [Bisnow]
National shared workspace concept Venture X has nine locations in DFW open or under development and 13 in Texas—and it’s about to add one more. Fairview Town Center will house its first coworking space in early 2020.

New coworking office coming at Dallas’ Victory Park [DMN]
Hatchways Workspace, a new coworking space in Victory Park, plans to open Sept. 30. The space will join a new Hatchways Café and is part of a venture by Dallas entrepreneur Tristan Simon’s Rebees Group. It will have travel-inspired “work seats,” carrel-style workstations with monitors, collaborative “eat-meet-work booths,” and a variety of meeting spaces.

TRANSPORTATION

The first test site for Uber’s flying taxis is in Frisco [WFAA]
Flying cars are one step closer to reality in North Texas with Uber announcing its first test site in Frisco. A helipad that’s larger than most has been built at Frisco Station, which may become the site of Uber’s next verti-port.

DALLAS BORN + BRED

Influencer pioneer RewardStyle is selling Dallas to senior level engineers [DMN]
Dallas-based RewardStyle, whose platform empowers influencers to provide for themselves and their families through entrepreneurship, has openings for 24 engineers and it has a team showing off Dallas’ attributes to potential recruits. With expanded space at Oak Lawn’s Centrum building, the company has room for total of 90 more engineers, president and co-founder Amber Venz Box said.

Tuesday, Sept. 17

UP IN SPACE

Dallas-Based Jacobs Develops Wireless Portable HD Camera System for NASA
NASA astronauts recently used the camera system for the first time on a spacewalk of its orbiting International Space Station (ISS). The ISS serves as a testbed for technology, and Jacobs is embedded at NASA as its largest solutions provider, according to a statement. Jacobs also helps the agency capture remotely-sensed imagery from the ISS, including some directed at aiding in disaster response.

TRANSPORTATION

Uber begins mapping public roads in Dallas for its self-driving systems [VB]
As a precursor to someday deploying driverless cars here, ride-sharing giant Uber plans to begin mapping public streets in Dallas in November. The goal is developing high-def maps and capturing scenarios Uber can re-create in simulation and on test tracks. Uber recently announced it tapped Dallas for its second-largest hub outside of San Francisco.

The high-speed train planning a Houston-Dallas route now has a builder on board the project [InnovationMap]
There are still some obstacles to get past for the Texas high-speed rail line planned between Dallas and Houston, but finding a builder is no longer one of them. Dallas-based Texas Central, a project developer, announced it has signed a contract with the Italian construction company Salini Impregilo, and its American subsidiary, Lane Construction.

ON-SCREEN

Dallas-Based Film A Ship of Human Skin Garners Awards and Accolades [Dallas Observer]
The “no-budget” film from local poet and filmmaker Richard Bailey, with a Dallas-based cast and crew, is racking up the awards. It’s a moody, abstract film laced with the supernatural, and built on the chemistry between its lead actresses.

Monday, Sept. 16

BOSS LADIES

The 100 Women Building America’s Most Innovative and Ambitious Businesses [Inc.]
Two local entrepreneurs are representing DFW on Inc.’s second annual Female Founders 100 list: Suzy Batiz of Poo-Pourri and Courtney Caldwell of ShearShare. The women chosen are said to have “transformed every major industry in America.” And, you can go here to read ShearShare’s tips on how Courtney and her co-founder, Dr. Tye, raised over a million in funding.

GRAND OPENINGS

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum opens its doors Sept. 18 [DMN]
The renamed Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum will open its doors to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Its new 55,000-square-foot building has new technologies and is five times larger than its previous location. Testimony Theater, designed by David Korins (who also designed the set for the musical Hamilton), combines recordings, voice activation, and holographic imagery to create an interactive, 3D experience between visitors and Holocaust survivors. 

INNOVATORS

Robokind Founder Richard Margolin Is a Master of Origami [D Magazine]
As founder and CTO educational robot maker Robokind, Richard Margolin has plenty of high-tech experience. But, a high school wrestling injury led him to discover a passion for origami, or the art of folding paper into objects.


The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Sept. 8-14, 2019.

1. JLL Report: Fort Worth’s Near Southside Primed to Become Innovative Economic Force

2. An Event is Coming to Dallas Where Volunteers Build Websites for 48 Nonprofits in 48 Hours

3. Venture Dallas: Inaugural Tech Summit Will Highlight North Texas as an Investment Catalyst

4. A Look at the Industries Dallas-Fort Worth May Dominate Down the Road

5. Linear Labs Launches a New Electric Motor Aimed at Micromobility

6. Venture Dallas Kicks Off With One-on-One Meetings at Capital Factory

7. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Partners with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to Improve Community Health

8. ICYMI: What’s New and Next in Dallas-Fort Worth Innovation

9. DI People: AT&T Business, Smoothie King, and Hilti North America Make Leadership Announcements

10. Innov8te Smart Cities Incubator Names Heyn Managing Director

Friday, Sept. 13

CREATIVE SPACES

Dallas Public Library opens three makerspaces [City of Dallas]
Starting Saturday, the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas will open three new makerspaces known collectively as Creative Spaces. They will allow the public access to unique equipment and technology for use in storytelling, fiber arts, and digital preservation. You’ll need a library card and complete an orientation to use them.

RANKINGS

Dallas-Fort Worth area well represented in rankings of most dynamic cities [DBJ]
Looking for dynamic places? North Texas is the place. Grand Prairie and Fort Worth are among the top 10 most-dynamic cities in the nation, according to a new report from real estate portal Point2Homes. Dallas, McKinney, and Frisco also rank highly on the report that measured what makes some cities more powerful magnets for talent, innovation, and continued growth.

INNOVATORS

Hilti CEO Avi Kahn Is Building His Legend [D CEO]
When you hear about someone working their way from the bottom up, think of Hilti’s Avi Kahn. The 42-year-old executive started at the company in 2004 in an entry-level sales job. Now, he’s CEO of North American operations. Co-workers say he’s, “kind of a legend.” D CEO profiles the energetic leader.

FASHION

Reese Witherspoon’s new Draper James boutique pops open in Dallas-Fort Worth [CultureMap]
Actress Reese Witherspoon’s brand Draper James is opening its first-ever standalone store—and its in DFW. The pop-up boutique at Southlake Town Square will officially be open from this Sunday to September 2020.

Thursday, Sept. 12

RELOCATION

Supercar Manufacturer McLaren Moving Corporate Headquarters to Coppell [CBSDFW]
McLaren, the British maker of high-speed supercars that sometimes cost over $1M, is moving its North American headquarters from New York to a high-tech facility in Coppell. The move is expected to be completed in October.

INNOVATORS

America’s Most Innovative Leaders [Forbes]
Forbes released its power ranking of the 100 “most creative and successful business minds of today,” and two North Texans made the list: TI’s Richard Templeton (#49) and D.R. Horton’s David Auld (#92).

DEVELOPMENTS

One of D-FW’s busiest hotel companies is building a Grapevine office project [DMN]
NewcrestImage is developing a four-story, 80,000-square-foot office building in Grapevine to serve as its new headquarters. NewcrestImage will take about 20,000 square feet in the building, and the rest will be leased.

FOOD + DRINK

Dallas Named Restaurant City of the Year by Bon Appétit [D Magazine]
We all know there are a lot of great restaurants in Dallas, but now the rest of the world will know, too, after the city was recognized by Bon Appetit as Restaurant City of the Year. “From the rich bowls of boat noodles to the crazy charcuterie boards to the spicy strawberry sotol, one thing is clear: Texas’ oft-skipped food destination is no longer skippable,” Bon Appetit’s team said.

Wednesday, Sept. 11

REIMAGINING RETAIL

‘A new type of department store’: Neighborhood Goods snags $11 million in funding, plots more locations [CNBC]
Neighborhood Goods has raised an additional $11 million in Series A funding, led by Global Founders Capital with participation from a group of long-term investors (like Serena Williams!). The next-gen retailer also announced that Austin is joining New York and Plano as its third location.

TV TREATMENT

So Many People Are Moving to Dallas That HGTV is Making a Show About It [Candy’s Dirt]
New residents are something we write about a lot. But now HGTV is catching on with a casting call for a reality show on people moving here in a hurry and the real estate agents who are helping them buy homes.

GROWTH

Ryder Opens New State-of-the-Art Maintenance Facility Near Fort Worth; Amid Rapid Market Growth [Yahoo Finance]
Rental-truck provider Ryder Systems Inc. has opened a maintenance facility in Saginaw, a Fort Worth suburb. It’s aimed at servicing growing customer fleets and better serving the area’s growing warehouse and storage industries.

Plano company expanding local data center facility amid surging demand [DBJ]
Plano-based Aligned Energy plans to expand its existing 19-acre campus by adding 8 megawatts of capacity to the 10 already there. The boost should support a 375,000-square-foot, 60-megawatt facility at full build-out.

FOOD + DRINK

Turn Partners With Whole Foods Market Stores In DFW To Combat Consumer Food Waste [Turn]
Dallas social enterprise Turn is working to change every day urban behaviors that help the environment by partnering with three local Whole Foods stores in a pilot program. The program launches Thursday.

Tuesday, Sept. 10

Venture Dallas summit kicks off with meetings for tech firms, investors [Dallas Innovates]
The Venture Dallas summit kicked off today with one-on-one meetings between North Texas’ tech companies and investors. On Wednesday, attendees can choose from up to 10 different speakers or panels, including Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and former Dallas Cowboy-turned-entrepreneur Emmitt Smith.

LAUNCHES

Ryan Bailey Led a $2B Hospital Fund. Now, He Wants Investors [Institutional Investor]
A new fundraising firm for emerging private equity managers headquartered in Dallas and New York has been launched by Ryan Bailey, former head of Children’s Health endowment, in partnership with three longtime associates. The firm is called Pacenote Capital and, according to its founders, it responds to a need they heard from institutional allocators for new relationships with high-quality investment teams in private equity “who aren’t broadly know in the institutional marketplace yet.”

ON THE GROW

Varidesk Inks Deal for New VariSpace Southlake, as First Building in Las Colinas Hits 90 Percent Leased [Varidesk]
Varidesk’s new workspace venture VariSpace announced two milestones. First VariSpace Las Colinas, a 305,000-square-foot campus is 90 percent leased while under construction. An unidentified Fortune 20 company leased 200,000 square feet in the building, essentially the remainder of available space. And, VariSpace has acquired a second location, formerly The Vista at Solana in Southlake. The Vista, a 380,000-square-foot Class A office building, was redeveloped recently. Varidesk said it plans to reimagine the building for multi-tenant use and furnish it with its own flexible office furniture.

Master Plan Communications Opens Fort Worth Office to Support Expanding Business
Public relations firm Master Plan Communications has opened its third DFW office in Fort Worth to serve clients in the technology sector, as well as for material handling and the supply chain, according to a statement. The new office located in Fort Worth’s Clearfork development is expected to support both current and new clients. Through this location, MPC hopes to build strategic PR programs for companies wanting to heighten their brand awareness. Some of MPC’s current clients operating in Texas include Hannibal Industries, Igloo Coolers, Modern Huntsman, and TP&L.

BESPOKE BOOTS

Beloved Texas Bootmaker Unveils New Luxury Collaboration at Fashion Week [PaperCity]
Dallas-based artisanal boot line Miron Crosby made its runway debut at New York Fashion Week last Sunday. Miron Crosby teamed up with luxury ready-to-wear designer Prabal Gurung for a spring 2020 collection, which is “a modern-day homage to the romanticism of the American West,” writes Lisa Collins Shaddock in PaperCity. The line has been featured in Elle, Town & Country, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. All of Miron Crosby’s boots are handcrafted in South Texas, but they can be found locally at a storefront in Highland Park Village.

RESTAURANT VISIONARIES

RestCon 2019 brings together restaurant brands, industry visionaries 
RestCon 2019, which gathers hundreds of restaurant brands with industry visionaries to share insights on the future of big data and emerging technologies’ influence on customer experience and brand growth, is on tap Tuesday through Thursday at Renaissance Dallas Addison Hotel. Keynote speaker is Martin Lindstrom, on Time Magazine’s “World’s 100 Most Influential People” list and author of seven New York Times bestsellers.

BREW MASTERS

DFW Brewery Locations Turn Neighborhoods Around [Globe St.]
Dallas leads a four-pack of Texas cities when it comes to craft brewery locations. Dallas has more breweries than Austin, Houston, or San Antonio, according to a new study by JLL using data from the Brewers Association (see chart). That’s good for economic development: “Due to the density in the urban core, breweries tend to open in edgy, emerging submarkets. They set up shop between quasi-industrial properties and areas with food, beverage and entertainment, where the buildings are cheap enough for small business owners to afford and accommodate the unique equipment. It also allows for a creative buildout and ability to customize the tap room,” Milton Black, JLL associate told Globe St. “Having a successful brewery in these neighborhoods spurs more investment in the surrounding properties.”

Monday, Sept. 9

MONEY MOVES

Ford Financial Fund Amasses over $1B for third fund [PE Hub]
Dallas-based Ford Financial Fund, a private equity fund focused on investments in community banks, has closed Ford Financial Fund III with more than $1 billion in commitments. It’s Ford Financial’s biggest fund to date and includes many of its current partners along with a group of first-time investors, the fund said. The Fund III closing comes as California-based Mechanics Bank, which is majority owned by Ford Financial, announced it had acquired the Netherlands-based Rabobank N.A. PE Hub said no financial details of the transaction were not release.

Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban sells controlling state in cable networks AXS TV and HDNet [DMN]
Mark Cuban has sold the majority ownership in his cable TV networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies to Anthem Sports & Entertainment, the owner of Impact Wrestling, according to The Dallas Morning News. Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire investor, will keep a smaller ownership stake in the company, the Morning News said. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

EDUCATION EXPANSION

UNT Frisco master plan projects ‘unusually short’ timeline, potential Fields development collaboration [Community Impact Newspaper]
The University of North Texas Frisco already has welcomed 1,600 students, and has plans underway for a full UNT Frisco campus to be built with a 25- to 30-year timeline. College developments typically take 50 years for a full buildout, according to Community Impact Newspaper, making UNT Frisco’s timeline “‘unusually short.‘” Possible collaborations are also in the works between the university and local developments, including a future park and the Fields development, which will house the Professional Golfers’ Association of America’s headquarters.

(MORE) CH-CH-CH-CHANGES AT AT&T

Elliott invests $3.2B in AT&T, seeks changes [Fort-Worth Star Telegram]
AT&T, which is headquartered in Dallas, is receiving an investment of $3.2 billion from Elliott Management. The investment equates to a roughly one percent stake in the company, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The activist hedge fund manager is also requesting changes in AT&T, such as “selling assets and paying down debt.” AT&T expects to review the proposals, but “many of the actions proposed are things the company is already doing.”

CONNECTED COMMERCE

Meet the tech startups driving change in retail [NRF]
The National Retail Federation and Dallas-based RevTech are heading to Plano on Sept. 19 to co-host Tech Trends in Retail 2019 at the Neighborhood Goods flagship store. The event will bring together retail executives and investors who will see an exclusive showcase of startups and technologies that are “pushing the boundaries in retail,” said James Rhee, executive chairman and CEO of Ashley Stewart, and chair of the NRF’s new Innovation Advisory Council.

MOBILITY MATTERS

Scooter riders sign away their right to sue the rental companies in court [DMN]
Ride at your own risk. That’s apparently the case with electric scooters in Dallas, where riders are discovering that they have little recourse against the rental companies for any accident-related damages and injuries, The Dallas Morning News reported. The companies have protected themselves via what the Morning News called novella-length payment agreements—more than 250 cellphone screens—that users must accept to ride. The agreements make riders settle all disputes through confidential binding arbitration, effectively giving up their right to sue in court.


The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Sept. 2-7, 2019.

1. UNT Opens $12.6M Cutting-Edge Biomedical Engineering Building

2. Venture Dallas: Inaugural Tech Summit Will Highlight North Texas as an Investment Catalyst

3. McKinney’s Playful Studios Adds to its Gaming War Chest with a $23M Round

4. Q+A: How a McKinney Gaming Studio Takes a ‘Playful’ Approach to Funding

5. ‘Our Best Product Yet’: Hypergiant Has Futuristic Helmet in the Works

6. Seed Accelerator Health Wildcatters Adds 8 Startups to New Cohort

7. Match is Marrying Humans and Algorithms to Take You Beyond the First Date

8. Digital Fight Club: Here’s Who Left the Ring a Champion

9. Survey Says: For Employers, It Pays to be Flexible and Adaptable

10. DI People: AT&T, ResMan, FieldAware, Javelin Agency Announce Leadership Moves

Friday, Sept. 6

COMPANY MOVES

AT&T Business names Chow as its first female CEO [ABC News]
AT&T Business’ Anne Chow has been named its first female chief executive officer. Dallas-based Chow has been with AT&T Business for almost 30 years and was one of the first Asian American officers at the company. Now, she’ll be the highest-ranking Asian American in the company. She has previously held various leadership positions in engineering, direct and indirect sales, sales operations, marketing, and more, according to ABC News.

CORPORATE TECH

7-Eleven empowers workforce with Microsoft technology [The Record]
Irving-based 7-Eleven, Inc. is providing its field employees with Microsoft Surface devices complete with Microsoft 365 and Power BI to better connect them with the convenience store giant’s headquarters. The company expects to provide better corporate insights to franchisees concerning how their stores are performing, purchasing trends, and other data to help their businesses grow.

PODCAST HIGHLIGHTS

The 5 Most Interesting Things John Carmack Told Joe Rogan [Upload]
North Texas computer programmer, video game developer, and engineer John Carmack has a notable spot in the region’s tech lore. He co-founded id Software and was the lead programmer of video games including Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Rage, and a line of sequels. Carmack recently joined comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan to talk about a variety of topics such as artificial general intelligence and Mark Zuckerberg. Upload’s Ian Hamilton compiled five interesting takeaways from the podcast.

Thursday, Sept. 5

NEW TECH

Cowboys fans will be able to play with 5G-enabled ‘immersive’ experiences at AT&T Stadium this season [DMN]
Fans attending the Cowboys’ game this Sunday will help test a 5G network inside AT&T Stadium. The experience will be replete with AR experiences that place fans beside their favorite players, a mobile game, interactive touchdown dances, and player and game stats overlaid on the field.

R&D

Lockheed Martin lands hypersonic weapons contract; some work coming to Texas [DBJ]
The U.S. Army has awarded an estimated $347 million hypersonic weapons contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. Some of the work happening on the hypersonic missiles—long-range weapons that can reach speeds of Mach 5 or faster—will take place here in North Texas.

EMERGING INDUSTRIES

The North Texan Who Got in on Marijuana at the Right Time [D CEO]
Dallas private equity investor Matt Hawkins made a loan in 2014 to warehouse owners in Colorado where marijuana had just been legalized. The owners wanted to house marijuana growers, and their willingness to pay high rates showed Hawkins that it was a profitable business. Now with Dallas-based Cresco Capital Partners, a PE firm that deals exclusively with cannabis-related businesses, Hawkins told D CEO he realized the loan “could be one of those generational moments where I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get in on the ground floor.”

TRANSIT

DART’s Mockingbird Station stop in Dallas vill be renamed for SMU [CultureMap]
DART’s has approved greenlit an effort to rename the Mockingbird Station stop as SMU/Mockingbird Station in line with a naming rights agreement with Southern Methodist University. DART says the name change will help riders more easily find the campus while bolstering the station as a gateway to campus.

Wednesday, Sept. 4

MONEY MOVES

Why Jerry Jones rang the opening bell at the NYSE this morning [DMN]
The bell at the New York Stock Exchange tolled for Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the whopping energy acquisition he pulled off this summer. Jones got to ring the bell at the exchange, noting the $2.2 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of Dallas-based Covey Park Energy by Jones’ Frisco-based Comstock Resources Inc. that closed in July. The deal will merge the companies’ staffs—a savings of roughly $25 million in general expenses. Jones became a majority stakeholder in Comstock in May 2018 and has a 75 percent ownership interest.

Bioengineered Glove Offers New Kind Of Healing For Hand Wounds [KERA]
Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have designed a bioengineered “healing glove” that could speed up and improve healing for people dealing with hand injuries. When it comes to healing hands, the glove is a game-changer, KERA said.
 
The Dallas PBS station has an audio interview with Muthu Wijesundara, who leads the Biomedical Technologies Division at UTA, about how the glove could be a boon in treating hand injuries that often are difficult to heal. They’re both delicate and complex, after all. We reported on the gloves’ importance earlier this year.
 
“It’s huge, because if you look at CDC data, about 11% of ER visits are related to hand injuries, and the majority of them involve complex wounds,” Wijesundara said in the KERA interview.

Five Timely Questions With Hemp Lyfe CEO/Co-Founder, Richie Jaynes [Forbes]
Dallas-based Jaynes has helped create patented products in the nutrition space for most of his career. Now, he believes CBD is the missing piece in the health and wellness puzzle—launching a new CBD company today that brings “proprietary new technology” to a growing, trendy industry.

Tuesday, Sept. 3

COWORKING

Hana’s Dallas Location is First of Many [GlobeSt.]
The first location of CBRE’s Hana LLC has opened in Dallas. Called Hana PwC Tower at Park District, the location offers flexible office leasing for large and mid-tier enterprises and startups. The space spans two and half floors and more than 67,000 square feet at PwC Tower near Klyde Warren Park. More Hana locations are planned across the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Shared office firm heads to Allen for new coworking location [DMN]
Further north from downtown Dallas, coworking firm WorkSuites has taken a spot in Allen for a new shared office location. WorkSuites, previously known as Meridian Business Centers, leased nearly 20,000 square feet at Allen Place for its 20th location.

‘UBER FOR KIDS’

Kid-focused ride-sharing companies are entering the fast lane [TheHustle]
Tech companies dubbed “Ubers for kids” are coming to North Texas.

Zūm, a rideshare service that works with school districts, is coming to Dallas as part of an expansion into eight new markets. The California-based startup says its technology helps schools reduce overhead by utilizing smaller, eco-friendlier and more efficient vehicles, while streamlining route planning and providing real-time tracking of rides. The company raised $44 million in February ahead of its expansion, The Hustle reported. Zūm currently works with over 250 school districts and 4,000 schools.

A second service, Los Angeles-based HopSkipDrive, will be available in Dallas in the coming weeks, the Houston Chronicle reported. The company offers a ride-hailing platform to pick up your children when you can’t. A click of the app dispatches vetted drivers to pick up kids 6 and older. HopSkipDrive already is available in 10 markets across the nation.

EYE ON THE SKY

Bell’s New, Self-Flying Cargo Drone Hauls a Heavy Load [Wired]
It’s big. It’s powerful. And, this drone can fly by itself. Fort Worth-based helicopter company Bell recently began autonomous flights of its APT 70 autonomous cargo carrier. It’s really a large drone designed to carry great-big loads.

Wired reported that the APT 70 stands at almost 6 feet tall, is 9 feet wide, weighs 300 pounds, and can carry an additional 70 pounds of cargo. Developed for NASA’s drone integration program, it’s mostly aimed at demonstrating commercial drone missions in public airspace and autonomous behavior when out of the operator’s line of sight.

SOCIAL STARTUP

Dallas duo leaves corporate life behind to launch mission-minded T-shirt line [CultureMap]
Leon Jacobson and Matthew Ladin said “so long” to their corporate jobs and launched GuudWEAR, a socially inspired apparel company that donates a part of what it sells to nonprofits that target homelessness. The launch follows a successful KickStarter campaign.

“Seeing the rise in homelessness here in Dallas was deeply unsettling,” Jacobson told CultureMap. “We wanted to make a difference in fighting this growing epidemic. We couldn’t stand idly by.”

The startup donates 7 percent of proceeds from all the T-shirts it sells to a nonprofit. The inaugural nonprofit is Austin Street Center, which has aided the homeless in Dallas for more than 36 years.


The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Aug. 23-30, 2019.

1. Uber Taps Dallas for Major Hub at The Epic in Deep Ellum, Bringing 3,000 Jobs

2. Meet the Innovators: Xiaolin Lu, R&D Manager of Texas Instruments

3. Midlothian ISD Invests in Entrepreneurial Students’ Futures

4. Survey Says: For Employers, It Pays to be Flexible and Adaptable

5. ‘There’s No More Mall, Y’all’: How Two DFW Developers Are Reimagining Aging Retail Centers

6. Digital Fight Club: Here’s Who Left the Ring a Champion

7. Education: TI Grants $7M for STEM, AT&T Foundation Donates to UTD, TSU Opens $40M Building in Fort Worth

8. Arlington: Swinging for the Fences

9. Who Won What at the 2019 Tech Titans Awards

10. Testing Ground: Why North Texas is a Growing Hub for Self‑Driving Trucks

Friday, Aug. 30

BUSINESS BYTES

Robotic food fulfillment center heading to Southern Dallas  [Fox 4]
If all goes as planned there will be food-fulfilling robots roaming a massive facility in Southern Dallas after Dallas City Council got on board this week with an incentive package aimed at bringing a 350,000-square-foot, robot-equipped Kroger online fulfillment center to Southeast Oak Cliff—perhaps opening as soon as 2023.

To get the incentives, Kroger must create at least 410 jobs that include Dallas residents, with a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

“This is a game-changer. People in my part of the community, you got Wilmer Hutchins High School, J Irving. You got UNT, Paul Quinn and no grocery store,” Councilman Tennell Atkins, who represents the area, said of the proposal on Fox4news.com.

And, The Dallas Morning News said the facility will fulfill fresh food orders placed online for delivery, and will help mitigate what is considered a food desert in the southern part of the city.

Ranking: Fort Worth is 2nd Friendliest City for Small Businesses [DBJ]
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, where’s the second-friendliest U.S. city for small businesses? Thumbtack says it’s Fort Worth, the mirror replied.

The San Francisco-based Thumbtack, which pairs professionals with jobs, graded Fort Worth with an “A+” ranking in its Small Business Friendliness Survey, the Dallas Business Journal reports. That put Fort Worth in the runner-up spot behind Austin on its list of 44 U.S. cities.

Fort Worth received a “B-” grade or better in six of the eight categories asked in the survey of 5,000 small business owners. Fort Worth lagged in two areas, the DBJ says—for “ease of hiring,” where the it got a “C-,” and “training and networking programs,” where a “D+” was issued. Dallas ranked 27th with a B-.

AND, JUST BECAUSE IT’S LABOR DAY

Need Sandcastle Inspiration for the Beach? We’ve Got It  [PaperCity]
Labor Day weekend is here and some us may be headed to the beach. Paper City offers up some great sandcastle suggestions from the American Institute of Architects Houston based on the recent Sandcastle Competition at Galveston’s East Beach. 

The sandcastles were inspired by everything from Game of Thrones to AstroWorld. Hit the beach, have some fun. You can see the elaborate creations here.

State Law to Allow Craft Brewers to Sell To-Go Beer Beginning Sunday  [D Magazine]
Dallas-Fort Worth has some of the best craft beer breweries around, and as of Sunday, Sept. 1, they’ll be able to offer you to-go beers. Our buddies at D Magazine have put together a list of where you can celebrate this change in state law.

Whether you like an ale, an IPA, a Pilsner, or some other type of beer, the list has something for you. Let’s raise a cold one to the Legislature.

Quincy Preston, Alex Edwards, and Lance Murray contributed to this report.

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