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

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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, technology, and impact news. From startup to enterprise, education to invention, and creative to social innovation, we curate what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth.

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Tuesday, Jan. 26


Method Architecture is the architect of record for PROTO Park, an urban-industrial redevelopment that’s close to Uptown Dallas, Downtown Dallas, and Dallas Love Field. [Image: M2G]

⓵ NEW DEAL: Fort Worth-based M2G Ventures and Pennybacker Capital announced their second recent deal in DFW, after their purchase of Tuesday Morning’s entire industrial portfolio. The firms have partnered on an urban industrial redevelopment called PROTO Park, so named as a “prototype of innovation” that will be a home for logistics, consumer distribution, and e-commerce tenants.  Expected to complete in fall 2021, the nine-acre site adjacent to Dallas’ Design District is a location “where users truly want to be,” M2G’s Ventures Jessica Miller Essl says.


⓶ EMPLOYEE’S CHOICE: Online job search company Glassdoor recently recognized the global 2021 best places to work in its 13th annual employee choice awards. You’ll find Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (No. 21), Ryan LLC (No. 37), and Texas Instruments (No. 38) in the best 100 workplaces with 1,000 or more employees. In the company’s ranking of small and medium companies, Pariveda made the Top 5. As opposed to other awards, the rankings are based on the input of employees who voluntarily provide anonymous feedback via a review in the past year.


⓷ SOCIAL PRESENCE, REMOTELY: Preciate has garnered a $4.6M seed round to scale its virtual social and peer recognition tech. The startup’s flagship product— Preciate Social—a virtual socializing platform for businesses and teams—officially launched in September with nearly 10,000 users from 1,700 companies including AAA, SSI, and National Science Foundation/Emory.



Top 10 most valuable US brands

Top 10 most valuable US brands [Image: Brand Finance]

London-based Brand Finance, which has its U.S. base in Dallas, has released the findings of its annual look at the world’s 500 most valuable U.S. brands in the consultancy’s 2021 reportApple reclaimed the title of the world’s most valuable brand for the first time since 2016, overtaking Amazon and Google. Dallas-based AT&T is No. 9.

Monday, Jan. 25


[Image: ChakisAtelier/istockphoto]

⓵ CHANGING TIDE: In Trend Micro’s newly released ‘Turning the Tide,’ the Dallas-based cloud security firm found that 41 percent of IT leaders predict AI will take over their role by 2030. Overall, the report looks at cybersecurity predictions for 2021 and how the pandemic has shaped that. But as ZDNet pointed out, the report also showed that many humans expect tech to eventually replace them. The research—compiled from interviews with 500 IT directors, CIOs, and CTOs—showed that 9 percent of people think AI won’t replace their job, and 32 percent predict tech will eventually automate all cybersecurity with little need for human intervention.

⓶ FOLLOW THE MONEY: Dallas-based Post Acute Analytics, which offers healthcare providers and payors solutions that impact the quality of cost and care, has closed on an undisclosed Series B. The funding round was co-led by Concord Health Partners through its AHA Innovation Development Fund and Dorilton Capital. PAA plans to continue developing its proprietary AI platform that improves patient outcomes by enabling real-time decisions and reduced costs.

⓷ MENTORS MATTER: The Dallas Entrepreneur Center’s Fast Start Mentoring program is seeing major success from its members only about a year after founding. Erica Molett, the CEO of a workforce, community, and economic development consulting firm, recently launched her new idea thanks to the help of her mentor in the program, Peter Bartnik. After connecting through the program, Molett used Bartnik’s help to pivot and launch Kandake Tech, an edtech company that aims to change the world, one kid at a time, no matter where they’re from. Up next is the release of Kandake’s education and entertainment platform for teens, which you can read about in the DMN.

Friday, Jan. 22

  Meet the Future 50: Dallas-Fort Worth Innovators and Disruptors You Need to Know in 2021

  Dallas’ First Test Bed for Smart‑City Transit Tech Receives Funding Through $4M Federal Grant

  Mayor Eric Johnson Names the 15 Members of His Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  M2G Ventures and Austin-Based Pennybacker Buy Tuesday Morning’s Entire Industrial Portfolio

  Gig Wage Raises $2.5M Follow-On to Its Recent $7.5M Series A Round

  Dallas Jewelry Brand Grows $100 Investment to $1M+ Revenue—In About a Year 

  Eye on the Future: Planned Developments Keep DFW On the Forefront of Industry and Livability

  DI People: GameStop, Vari, MediaKind and More Make Moves

  Southern Dallas County’s IPTMA Appoints an Executive Director

  Pitchbook Forecasts 8 Venture Capital Trends for 2021


⓵ STREAMING TECH: A new “Beacon” videoconferencing platform allows seamless, instant transfers of live video calls from one device to another. Years in the making, Dallas-based Mass Luminosity has a new patent for its technology that allows media transfers between devices. CEO Angel Munoz says “for the first time, a person participating in a videoconference, will be able to seamlessly transfer it from a desktop computer to a smartphone or tablet PC with the touch of a button.”

⓶ FOLLOW THE MONEY: New Age Capital raised $50 million, per an SEC filing. The Dallas-based seed-stage VC firm, which specializes in tech startups, was founded in 2016 by Black and Latino entrepreneurs. Ivan Alo and LaDante McMillon were recognized in 2020 in Forbes 30 under 30 for their work. “We believe in creating and supporting a world where people of all races, ethnicities, cultures, lifestyles, and environments are exposed to new ideas, democratized information, and boundless opportunities through the use of technology,” McMillon said in Forbes.

⓷ OENOPHILIA: “Dallas has been a polestar of entrepreneurial spirit in nearly every industry you can name, including winemaking, writes the DMN. The publication highlights three Texas vintners who were born in Dallas or got here as fast as they could: Stressed Vines, Calais, and even Pedernales Cellars all got a start in North Texas.


MoneyGram International’s W. Alexander Holmes [Image via D CEO]

Winners Revealed: D CEO and Dallas Innovates Innovation Awards 2021
Last night, D CEO and Dallas Innovates celebrated the individuals and companies shaping the future of DFW. Together, we recognized our 13 Innovation Awards winners across individual and industry categories at our second annual awards event.

People and organizations of all kinds are stepping up to help and inspire local communities. Here are highlights from around the region:

Smoothie King

[Photo: Courtesy Smoothe King]

Dallas-headquartered Smoothie King is partnering with the North Texas Food Bank on a fundraiser at all of its retail locations throughout the metro. Until Jan. 31, guests can donate $1 or $5 to support the food bank, with the hope to raise enough funds to feed the hungry into 2021. Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim (pictured above) is on the food banks board, and kicked off the partnership with a $50K donation. The effort also aims to raise awareness around hunger and food insecurity—one in six local people are food insecure.

⟫ In an effort to assist the Dallas homeless population, local convenience store retail giant 7-Eleven has donated 600 bakery items and more than 800 single-serve snack items to the newly established St. Jude Center. Established by Catholic Charities Dallas, the housing center is dedicated to helping those who have been affected by COVID-19. 7-Eleven also donated $5K to ease the food insecurity that Dallas’ homeless community is currently facing.

Nexstar Media Group and national hunger relief organization Feeding America have announced a multi-year partnership to tackle hunger and food insecurity. Over three years, the Irving-based media group will be donating $2 million in television air-time and financial support. The Nexstar Charitable Foundation will also be donating $50,000 annually through 2023 to support Feeding America.

Thursday, Jan. 21


⓵ OUTSIDE THE BOX: To create affordable housing in Dallas, one architecture firm is using a unique building medium: shipping containers. Merriman Anderson Architects is working with CitySquare Housing to create the Lomax Container Housing Project, per the Dallas Morning News. Each container is expected to be 300-square-feet with 19 one-bedroom units total. There is another container project in the works expected to open in 2022.

⓶ GOING PUBLIC: Dallas-based Signify Health is planning a $100 million initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, reports the same publication. Based on documents filed by Signify with the SEC, it plans to list its stock under the ticker SGFY. The home health company generated $550 million in revenue in 12 months, ending on Sept. 30, 2020.

⓷ STUDY SAYS: A recent report from Self Financial found that North Texas comes in at the No. 9 spot with its percentage of minority-owned startups. The 5,190 minority-owned startups in the area employ 25,714 people and bring in almost $3.4 billion annually, per CultureMap Dallas. 


Meet the Finalists: Execs From Alto, Alpine Advanced Materials, and eCarra
The three Innovation in Transportation honorees provide insights on creating a culture of innovation, taking risks, and the clean energy revolution. Winners of The Innovation Awards 2021, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event tonight at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20. To register, click here.

Wednesday, Jan. 20


Nick Clark, founder and CEO of Common Desk [Photo: Courtesy Lindsey Miller Photo]

⓵ WORKING AT A DISTANCE: Dallas-based coworking company and workday wellness provider Common Desk is teaming up with Plano commercial real estate company Granite Properties to give office tenants more flexibility in response to the work-from-home movement. The two have launched G.O. Pass, a subscription-based service that gives Granite tenants access to private offices and communal workspaces at any of the eight Common Desk locations in North Texas, the DBJ reported. With the Pass, a company’s employees (even those who work remotely) are able to explore workspaces that promote collaboration and culture, which Granite is calling a “hub-and-spoke” workplace model. This isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together, though: Common Desk moved its headquarters to Granite Properties’ Factory Six03 in Dallas’ West End in 2019.

⓶ MAKING MOVES: DASAN Zhone Solutions, a global provider of ultra-broadband and 5G platforms that last year moved its headquarters from Oakland to Plano has acquired Canada-based optical networking solution provider Optelian. The move will allow DZS to expand its 5G reach, the DMN reported, by increasing its networking capabilities for top tier service providers and mobile technology product line. The DZS CEO said the acquisition will distinguish the company from “traditional edge access mobile and broadband suppliers”—and accelerate its path with Tier 1 service providers in North America.

⓷ NATIONWIDE MEMORIAL: On Jan. 19, buildings across Dallas-Fort Worth lit up in honor of the American lives that have been lost to COVID-19. Other tributes have been created such as a six-foot garland of roses at Turtle Creek Park and a yellow heart memorial at the Museum of Archives in Irving, which features portraits of those who have lost their lives to the virus.


Meet the Finalists: Talent and Diversity Leaders From NPower Texas, Kanarys, and Work Shield
The three Innovation in Talent and Diversity honorees weigh in on creative partnerships, a new tool that tracks toxicity in the workplace, and startup leadership strategies. Winners of The Innovation Awards 2021, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21. Tickets are $20. To register, click here.

Alex Edwards and Lauren Hawkins contributed to this report.

Tuesday, Jan. 19


Tyler Technology efile

[Image: NiroDesign/istockphoto]

⓵ RECORD-BREAKING: Plano-based Tyler Technologies recently announced a historic deal it has made with the Texas Office of Court Administration, which has been valued at $98 million over five years. The deal marks the firm’s largest in its history and extends a 2012 deal the company had with the state to provide its electronic filing solution to all Texas counties. The latest agreement prolongs the use of Tyler Technologies’ solution through 2027.

⓶ EXPANSION: London-based apprenticeship startup Multiverse, which just raised $44 million in a Series B round, is planning an expansion in the U.S. that includes a regional hub in Dallas. The startup founded by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s son has a strong social mission, reports Crunchbase. “It’s clear that talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not, according to Multiverse’s U.S. general manager Sophie Ruddock,” per the publication. New York will be the U.S. headquarters. Hub cities, along with Dallas, are Chicago and Atlanta.

⓷ COMING TOGETHER: Fort Worth-based Simpli.fi, a pioneer in geolocation-based advertising, has made its first major acquisition of The Advantage Software Company, a provider of enterprise-level software designed for ad agencies and marketing companies. The deal combines the companies’ features and services for the advertising industry to offer customers improved workflow across all media types. Per a statement, the combined company will serve more than 1,000 agencies and media buying organizations.


Meet the Finalists: Leaders From Texas Security Bank, MoneyGram, Zirtue, Payrix, and ImpactXPartners
Here are the five Innovation in Finance honorees, who are sharing their insights on the startup culture in Dallas-Fort Worth, taking risks, and how pursuing one’s strengths leads to success. Winners of The Innovation Awards 2021, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21. Tickets are $20. To register, click here.

Lauren Hawkins contributed to this report.

Friday, Jan. 15

  Dallas’ First Test Bed for Smart‑City Transit Tech Receives Funding Through $4M Federal Grant

  Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue 

  Meet the Future 50: Dallas-Fort Worth Innovators and Disruptors You Need to Know in 2021

  Pitchbook Forecasts 8 Venture Capital Trends for 2021

  Lyda Hill Philanthropies Chooses Finalists for $10M Lone Star Prize 

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

  Dallas’ Parkland Hospital Teams Up With DevSecOps Innovator on Medical Technology Training During COVID-19

  Mayor Eric Johnson Names the 15 Members of His Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  Experience ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ in AR at AT&T Discovery District

  Every Last Word: The Critical Answer to ‘Are There Quality Ag Deals Out There’ Is a Resounding ‘Yes’


[Rendering: GFF]

⓵ BIOTECH HUB: UT Southwestern is expanding to the 23-acre Pegasus Park campus near the Dallas Medical District. The 180,000-square-foot lease—one of the largest signed in the region in the last year—is a big win for the redevelopment that was announced last summer. UT Southwestern‘s Office for Technology Development, which commercializes the medical center’s academic research and discoveries, will take six floors in the campus’ 18-story tower, per the Dallas Morning News.

⓶ PARK PLACE: A private donation of land to the Trinity Park Conservancy has completed the boundaries of the Harold Simmons Park. The land will be used for the East Overlook, which is expected to break ground as early as mid-2022. The urban park has now acquired more than 4 acres for the project that could cover more than 200 acres of land when completed, according to Ar t& Seek. The conservancy plans to use the open space for performances and festivals.

⓷ HEALTH PASSPORT: American says it’s the first U.S. airline to introduce a health passport for international travel to the United States from all destinations. Passengers can use the VeriFLY app, a mobile health passport, to confirm testing and other travel requirements starting on Jan. 23.


Meet the Finalists: Real Estate Execs From Dottid, HomematchX, RefineRE, and Roomored
These honorees in the Innovation in Real Estate category share their thoughts on DFW’s startup community, humanizing commercial real estate, and turning failures into wins. Leading up to the second annual Innovation Awards event next week, we’re sharing excerpts from Q&As with the 51 finalists—one category at a time. Winners of The Innovation Awards 2021, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21. Tickets are $20. To register, click here

People and organizations of all kinds are stepping up to help and inspire local communities. Here are highlights from around the region:

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is partnering with OnCore Golf through their “Everyone Eats” golf ball collaboration to donate $3,000 to the North Texas Food Bank. Elliott will also be donating an additional $10,000 to the hunger-relief organization, which is a nonprofit close to his heart, according to a statement. The food bank and its partners provided over 95 million meals to a 13-county service area in 2020.

⟫ Frisco local Connor Dawson, who is turning 12 years old today, is raising money in lieu of birthday gifts for the third year in a row for Operation Smile. The volunteer-based nonprofit offers cleft surgery and other cleft-related treatments to patients. In 2019, Dawson raised $520 and, in 2020, he raised $1,700 to fund children with cleft conditions receiving new smiles. So far, Dawson has raised $5,370 this year.

⟫ Dallas-based TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation has donated $1.1 million to 10 research hospitals nationwide. Hospitals receiving the grants include Dallas’ UT Southwestern Medical Center, Fort Worth’s Cook Children’s Hospital, and Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital. The grants were given to support pediatric research in 2021 and is the largest research grant amount TeamConnor has awarded to date.

Thursday, Jan. 14


Mark Cuban

⓵ “RADICAL” PLANS: A pharmaceutical company—backed by Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark” Mark Cuban—relocated from Colorado to Deep Ellum last year and now plans to build a factory around 20,000 square feet in the area by 2022, per the Dallas Business Journal. Although the company was originally called Osh’s Affordable Pharmaceuticals, it rebranded to Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. last year.

⓶ EXPANSION: After launching its first Market by Macy’s concept store in Southlake last year, Macy’s is opening its second rendition in Fort Worth on Jan. 15. Macy’s recently announced it is closing 45 stores, but the retailer says it’s found “a scalable business model” in Market by Macy’s, reports the Dallas Morning News. The 20,000-square-foot boutique store will be located near the Trinity River in the WestBend development.

⓷ ON THE MOVE: Although the ongoing pandemic has resulted in a large amount of people working from home, some decided to change where exactly their home was in 2020. According to a recent LendingTree study, over 85% of people who moved last year decided to stay in the same state, with Texas having the highest percentage of in-state movers. Per Fast Company, the Lone Star State’s relatively low home prices and no state income tax played a part in Texans staying in-state and others relocating here.


Meet the Finalists: Tech Execs From Match Group, Solaris Technologies, K2View, and CrateBind
Contenders in the Innovation in Technology category share their thoughts on taking risks, grit, and “finding a better way.” Here are the four Innovation in Technology honorees. Winners of The Innovation Awards 2021, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21. Tickets are $20. To register, click here. 

Wednesday, Jan. 13


funding acquired

[Image: koratmember/istockphoto]

 ⓵ CAPITAL: Dallas-Fort Worth had a “huge year with venture investments,” attracting $370 million in venture backing in the fourth quarter of 2020 according to CB Insights in conjunction with the Q4 2020 MoneyTree Report. While that’s down from the third quarter ($470 million), the period is four times the size year over year, per the Dallas Business Journal. The number of deals at 20 topped both the third quarter (16) and the year-ago period.

⓶ GROWTH: Dallas’ o9 Solutions, an AI platform that serves businesses through integrated planning and operations management, is planning its global expansion after closing 2020 with explosive growth. Last year, o9 more than doubled both its annual recurring revenue and workforce—and it joined the list of North Texas startups that have achieved unicorn status. COVID-19 was a major factor that fueled the success, with the pandemic showing the need for “real-time, integrated planning,” CEO Chakri Gottemukkala said. As reported by the DMN, o9 is now valued at more than $1B.

⓷ ACQUISITION: Dallas-based Black Box Intelligence, which provides data and analysis for the hospitality industry, has been acquired by Los Angeles-based Diversis Capital Partners, a tech-focused PE firm. Black Box Founders Wallace Blair and Joni Thomas Doolin will stay on as investors, strategic advisors, and board members, according to the DBJ. From here, Black Box (formerly known as TDn2K) plans to use the growth capital and operational expertise to expand into new segments of the broader food-service industry.


Meet the Finalists: Leaders From Children’s Health, Dallas Baptist University, Qentelli, and Istation

Leading up to the second annual Innovation Awards event next week, we’re sharing excerpts from Q&As with the 51 finalists—one category at a time. Here are the four honorees for  CIO/CTO of the Year. Winners of The Innovation Awards 2021, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21. Tickets are $20. To register, click here

Tuesday, Jan. 12



Image: Zapp2Photo via iStock

⓵ BLOCKCHAIN BIZ: Austin-based trade association the Texas Blockchain Council is using Dallas-based distributed ledger platform Hedera Hashgraph to provide better records verification for the Texas Secretary of State. Hedera teamed up with Hyland, a content services provider, to create a proof of concept that leverages blockchain technology for the purpose of securing and verifying government-issued records. It’s the first proof of concept spearheaded by the newly formed Texas Blockchain Council.

⓶ HOME GROWN: Frisco-based professional soccer club FC Dallas has launched a new program that’s dedicated to supporting Black- and minority-owned businesses. Called the Hometown Partner Program, the initiative will give five businesses that fit the criteria a $100K FC Dallas/North Texas SC customized sponsorship package. Local businesses interested in becoming a 2021 Homegrown Partner can apply until Jan. 29.

⓷ VACCINE DISTRIBUTION: Fort Worth healthcare technology company eTrueNorth is playing its part in helping retail pharmacies get COVID-19 vaccines distributed across the country. Using its technology platform, which also enabled COVID-19 testing, eTrueNorth is providing the infrastructure needed for retail pharmacies to overcome vaccine-related obstacles. Its platform allows pharmacies of all sizes to: screen individuals, schedule appointments, complete consents, issue vouchers, send vaccine follow-up appointment reminders, and send info to the CDC Immunization Data Clearinghouse.


Meet the Finalists: Leaders From Illuma Labs, Critical Start, Hacware, and UTD
Leading up to the second annual Innovation Awards event next week, we’re sharing excerpts from Q&As with the 51 finalists—one category at a time. Here are the four honorees for Innovation in Cybersecurity. Winners of The Innovation Awards 2021, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21. For tickets, click here.

To read more and get our week’s Top 10, head here.

Monday, Jan. 11


[Photo: Courtesy Kodiak]

⓵ AWARD-WINNING: Self-driving truck company Kodiak Robotics has been recognized as a CES Innovation Award Honoree at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show. The company is based in Mountain View, California, but has its main base for freight testing, operations, and delivery in DFW. Per the Dallas Morning News, the award comes after Kodiak completed two 400-mile roundtrip commercial shipments in the last month that depended solely on the truck’s autonomous driving system.

⓶ PITCH COMPETITION: Cloud security provider Trend Micro announced that the Japanese company with U.S. headquarters in Irving is expanding its annual tech startup pitch competition, the Forward Thinker Award. The competition has typically been held during the Consumer Electronics Show and was open to CES attendees only, but it will be open globally for the first time ever this year. The winner of the Forward Thinker Award will receive $20,000 and the runner-up will win $10,000. Applications for this competition can be found here.

⓷ RANKINGS: The Dallas area came in the third spot for IT job postings for the month of December, according to the CompTIA Tech Jobs Report. The Dallas area had around 9,300 IT job postings for the month. Overall, Texas ranked second only to California for tech job postings in December. “With projections of employer demand for tech talent remaining strong in the year ahead, we hope tech can continue to serve as a catalyst for business and career opportunity,” Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, said in a statement.


Meet the Finalists: Leaders From Dallas Regional Chamber, McKinney Economic Development Corp., and Health Wildcatters
Leading up to the second annual Innovation Awards event next week, we’re sharing excerpts from Q&As with the 51 finalists—one category at a time. Here are the four honorees for the Innovation Advocate of the Year. Winners of The Innovation Awards 2021, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21. For tickets, click here

Friday, Jan. 8

Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates 

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  Future of Office for Financial Services: A Unique Window of Opportunity

  Developments Keep DFW On the Forefront of Industry and Livability

  Pitchbook Forecasts 8 Venture Capital Trends for 2021

  A New Way to Predict Medical Conditions—by a Person’s Walk 

  McKesson Begins Distributing Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine

  Hyosung America Moves Into Irving HQ as Parent Co. Plans Korean IPO

  11 Years in the Making: Dallas-Based Shavelogic Launches S5 Razor

  Meet Night Media: The Dallas Digital Talent Agency Behind Some of the World’s Biggest YouTube Stars


texas technology jobs chart

[Image via Goodwin Advisors]

⓵ HIDDEN TECH JOBS: Technology is everywhere, but to get a true picture of its impact and potential in a region, it takes a look behind the scenes, according to analysts Walter Bialas and Evan Stone. The focus is almost always on counting the number of jobs, “which makes sense on the surface,” they write, “but the challenge is identifying exactly what ‘tech’ really means”—and most definitions are too narrow. A more inclusive definition that includes STEM employment and a close look at what they call “foundation industries” shows important tech growthHere’s their take on tech job growth in DFW and several Texas markets.

⓶ EXPANSION: Dallas-based rideshare and delivery company Alto has completed its first expansion outside of Texas to Los Angeles. The news follows Alto’s first move outside of DFW to Houston in September 2020. The employee-based, on-demand rideshare service will now be providing pre-scheduled and on-demand rides in LA, which includes curbside pickup at LAX. In addition to its growth moves, Alto pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver essential goods and ready-to-cook items from local businesses.

⓷ SHOUT OUT: Fort Worth entrepreneur Jonathan Morris’ Hotel Dryce project has been named to Fodor’s Travel list of ’14 Hotels We Can’t Wait to Visit in 2021,’ per the Fort Worth Business Press. The hotel is best known for being a former dry ice factory that was given a makeover by Morris, a local Barber Shop owner and the star of the Magnolia Network’s Self Employed. Morris was also one of our Future 50 standout North Texans in this year’s Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue. You can read the digital edition here.

⟫ HITTING A MILESTONE: January marks National Mentoring Month, and Dallas’ DEC Network is celebrating fittingly. The DEC recently hit a major milestone for its free and virtual Fast Start Mentoring Program, making 200 matches between mentors and mentees since launching on mentoring platform Qooper. The program spun out from the pandemic to connect entrepreneurs and small business owners to experts that could offer advice, counsel, and guidance to keep places open. Mentors interested in getting involved can apply by downloading the Qooper app and using the invite code 55b5c6.


Meet the Finalists: Leaders From Balanced Media, PeopleFun, ABIA, Asset Panda, and Phynd Technologies

Winners of The Innovation Awards, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates, will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21.

Thursday, Jan. 7


Dallas Innovates Magazine 2021⓵ THE RESILIENCE ISSUE: Our double issue—Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue— features 50 standout North Texans innovating for the future, 12 female funders shaking up startup funding in the region, and much more. Read more in the digital edition.

⓶ ROAD TO RECOVERY: New data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that North Texas was down 96,100 jobs compared to the same month a year ago, per the DMN. Among the industries hardest hit in the pandemic were leisure and hospitality and food services. But, that number is up slightly from the 89,800 jobs the region reported in October. Plus, North Texas shows a 2.5 percent decline, compared to the country’s 6 percent yearly job loss for November.

⓷ VIRUS TESTING: GeneIQ, a Dallas-based molecular diagnostics laboratory, is launching a new drive-thru testing site at its lab on Standridge Drive. There, the company will be offering its newly developed combination PCR test, COVID PLUS, for COVID-19, Flu A, Flu B, and the common cold. The 4-in-1 test is available for symptomatic individuals via a non-invasive nasal swab, and has a turnaround time of 24 hours. You can read about how GeneIQ pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic here.


MEET THE FINALISTS: Leaders From Eosera, Dallas Cowboys, Axxess, and Capital One are among the finalists for Corporate Innovator of the Year, a category of The Innovation Awards, presented by D CEO and Dallas Innovates. The four honorees can be found here alongside excerpts from each of their interview Q&As. Winners of the second annual Innovation Awards will be revealed at an exclusive virtual event on Jan. 21.

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