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.

Each 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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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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