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

The City of Fort Worth is getting some smart signals, Paranoid Fan pivoted to help food banks in the pandemic, and TI is helping put more battery life into electronics with 3x faster charging.

Plus, you’ll find the week’s “Forces for Good” and five Dallas Innovators on our radar.

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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. 

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Wednesday, July 1

SMART SIGNALS

[Photo: Chad Hill/istockphoto]

The City of Fort Worth is installing more than 800 advanced traffic signal controllers, per Traffic Technology Today. The project “will move the region closer to its goal of creating a regionally coordinated traffic management network,” said Norway-based intelligent transportation company Q-Free. The new technology can communicate with its systems “deployed in DFW, including Dallas, Irving, and Coppell,” according to the report. “The ability to share data, manage signals, and even coordinate first responder emergency preemptions across jurisdictions will have a profound impact on traffic and safety,” said Q-Free’s EVP of Urban Solutions Tom Stiles. The purchase was finalized in late February, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The installation will be completed via remote technology.


PANDEMIC PIVOT 

[Photo: bohemama/Istockphoto]

Dallas-based sports app Paranoid Fan—a mapping and food delivery app that helped people going to live experiences—has reimagined its platform in the pandemic. In a pivot, the company rebranded. Now called Nepjun, the startup’s technology supports food banks and pantries. Founder Agustin Gonzalez, who has lived in Manhattan, told Fast Company magazine “it broke his heart to see the long food lines all over New York City amid the crisis.” His new platform digitizes the infrastructure of food banks to help them set menus, confirm packaging, and distribute orders safely and efficiently, according to the publication. 

WHAT ELSE?

• Texas Instruments has rolled out tech “that will pack more battery life into electronics,” writes Brian Womack in the DBJ. The company just released what it’s calling “the industry’s smallest buck-boost battery charger integrated circuits.” Available for both wired and wireless systems (plus solar options), the tech has “50 percent more power density and three times faster charging.” The use case is broad, from blood pressure monitors to smart speakers. 
• Plano-based Stack Sports, a sports tech brand, has a new video platform. The startup launched an integrated solution with STEVA and GamePlan to make the “pro tools used by over 30 professional teams accessible to high school and club teams.” Stack Sports, which has a tagline of “we help teams win with software,” launched in 2016. 


Tuesday, June 30

INCLUSIVITY

The Dallas Regional Chamber is creating a permanent diversity and inclusion council, which will be led by a “to-be-hired” senior vice president. The council will focus on diversity in leadership, education and workforce, community investment in underserved areas, and policing and criminal justice policies, per the DMN. The council will be made up of members of the DRC board and co-chaired by Axxess founder and CEO John Olajide and Ernst & Young managing partner in Dallas Michelle Vopni.

EDUCATION

Trace Busey appears in iStation’s new educational video series. [Image courtesy of iStation]

Dallas-based Istation has partnered with Tackle Tomorrow to address students’ learning regression due to the ‘COVID-19 slide.’ The ongoing pandemic is expected to widen the ‘summer slide’ of children’s learning loss over summer break, but Istation hopes to decrease COVID-19’s impact on students’ education through a new online reading series.

PEOPLE
Here are five Dallas innovators on our radar today.

Courtesy Photo

• Dallas-based artist Janis Hefley is featured for her latest series, “Under The Stars” in a hybrid virtual/in-person exhibition at Photographs Do Not Bend in the Design District. The PDNB gallery is presenting works from its most recent photography exhibition, “Women We Have Known.” Hefley hopes her series of night photography images (above) “will hopefully inspire people to go outside, look up, and appreciate the beauty of the night sky,” according to People Newspapers.

Mark Cuban will be honored with a new “Community Hero” award by D CEO for his “transformative leadership” as part of the magazine’s nonprofit and corporate citizenship program. Cuban has “led by example in support of workers, small business owners, healthcare workers and first responders, and more.” 

Real estate executive Bruce Duncan was named the new president and chief executive officer of Dallas-based data center developer and operator CyrusOne, replacing interim leader Tesh Durvasula, per the DMN. Founded in 2001, the company has a new HQ in Uptown. “Last year, the company’s revenue topped $981 million. But it ended the year with a $52 million loss and a ransomware attack,” writes Paul O’Donnell.

SMU grads Dillon Baxter and Maxime Blandin have launched “an enviro-friendly alternative to plastic straws,” reports Culturemap. The straws—made from a patent-pending blend that includes recycled agave plants leftover from the production of tequila—have the “same functionality as plastic, but are still biodegradable in landfills.”

YOUR TWO CENTS

The City of Dallas is exploring the possibility of allowing “accessory dwelling units” (a.k.a. granny flats, garage apartments, back houses, or mother-in-law quarters) in the city’s neighborhoods. These accessory dwelling units have helped expand affordability across other cities, says the Coalition for a New Dallas, “but they have yet to take off due to the current regulatory environment.” The Sustainable Development and Construction Department is soliciting input from residents: Here’s where you can provide it.


Monday, June 29

TOP RANKED

[Photo: UNTHSC]

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth was named “the most productive medical school for innovation impact” by George W. Bush Institute and Opus Faveo Innovation Development in a new report. HSC “ranked first among pure U.S. medical schools for innovation impact productivity,” UNT said. The report’s Innovation Impact Index measures productivity that turns research spending into overall innovation output. That’s something “not necessarily tied to the biggest or best-known schools,” Christian Blackwell, co-author and Managing Director of Opus Faveo Venture Development, said. HSC is proud of its innovative mindset. HSC President Dr. Michael Williams calls the recognition a testament to what HSC is cultivating and its investment in an entrepreneurial ecosystem that “moves new research discoveries from lab bench to bedside.”

TALENT POOL

Dallas’ Marcus Graham Project has launched a new platform called Locomotus to help connect companies and agencies with black marketing and media talent. The nonprofit, which has a name inspired by Eddie Murphy’s character in the 1992 film Boomerang, envisions “a world where top industry leaders are racially/culturally diverse” and embrace disruption, according to Forbes. Co-founder Larry Yarrell sees the strength of the group’s community as one of its biggest successes. In the flagship iCR8 Summer Bootcamp, “fellows are equipped with the tools to disrupt the industry alongside their peers.” 96 percent of MGP alumni receive job offers within six months of completing the program, according to Yarrell.

WHAT ELSE?
Food Network star Amanda Freitag will launch Rise and Thyme Restaurant—her first Texas concept—at AT&T’s $100 million Discovery District, writes Bianca Montes in D CEO.

Plano ranks as the fifth “best city to live” in America. A new study by Niche examined the city’s schools, housing, jobs and more. Richardson made the top 20 at No. 12.

It’s official: The AT&T 5G network is live in Dallas. The service rolled out in 28 markets today, bringing the total to 355. Find a coverage map here.


Friday, June 26

THIS WEEK
Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates  

1  Dallas’ BALANCED Gets $3.5M Seed Round for AI Gaming Tech

 Carpenter Park Expansion Will Make It the Largest in Downtown Dallas

 Black in Business: North Texas Entrepreneurs Give Advice, Share Perspective, and Open Dialogue

4  Fort Worth Startup Uses Tech to Monitor Law Enforcement Animal Health

5  ‘Rare Gov Tech Feat’: Plano’s Tyler Technologies Makes the S&P 500

6  Comerica Bank Commits $1M to Launch Black Capital Access Program

7  Uber Receives Three-Year Contract to Add to DART Microtransit Service

 How Effective is UV Light Technology in Killing COVID-19? 

 Frisco Workforce Knowledge Retention Platform Gets $5M Series A  

10  In the Face of Change, Black Entrepreneurs in North Texas Step Up

NORTH TEXAS RESPONDS
Forces for Good 

People and companies are stepping up to help and inspire local communities. Here are highlights from around the region:

PLUS 

Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center Announces the 2020 Winners of $2K in Artist Grants

The Nasher Artists Grants program provides financial aid to artists of North Texas to support their studio and curatorial practices. To better support artists through the COVID-19 pandemic, Nasher this year restructured the program by doubling the number of grants from five to 10, each valuing $2,000. (The artist pictured above is grantee Sarah Ayala).

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
News You Need to Know

Our partners at the Dallas Regional Chamber are keeping track of the news and stories that affect the business community across the Dallas region. Here’s what we’re reading from the DRC’s roundup:

WHAT ELSE?

The Dallas Fed’s Kaplan says health protocols and racial equity are the stimulus the economy needs, COVID-19 is decimating North Texas’ blood supply, federal funding has been extended for drive-thru coronavirus testing sites, the Dallas Convention Center won’t become a hospital “at this time,” and Microsoft will permanently close its retail stores, including two in North Texas. 

DON’T MISS OUT
22 Opportunities for Innovators

Browse our curated selection of contests, nominations, pitches, and grants. From entrepreneurs to corporates, creatives to inventors, educators to social innovators, here’s a roundup of goodies for you. Items with deadlines coming up include:

  • Rainforest XPRIZE’s $10M Competition (June 30)
  • Create the Future 2020 Design Contest (July 1)
  • CodeLaunch 8 (July 3)
  • AURORA’s Artist Relief Fund (July 12)
  • Deloitte’s 2020 Technology Fast 500 Awards (July 17)
  • Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies (July 24)
  • NASA’s Lunar Loo Challenge (August 17)

COMMUNITY TOOLBOX
Resources for Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Entrepreneurs

Local organizations such as the Dallas Regional Chamber, UNT Health Science Center, the UTD Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the City of Fort Worth, and the U.S. India Chamber of Commerce are distributing vital information to help people and businesses in the region. Here’s our online hub of groups and resources. Know of others? Let us know.

PLUS

TALENT CONNECTION

Visit Say Yes to Dallas for companies that are hiring. The site is continuously updated. 


Thursday, June 25

FOLLOW THE MONEY

The North Central Texas Council Of Governments (NCTCOG) was awarded a $10,776,382 federal grant to help transit providers operate through the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced. The funding was appropriated as part of the CARES act, per the Fort Worth Business Press. “The grant will support operating, administrative, and preventive maintenance costs to reach underserved areas in order to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 public health emergency,” the publication reports. 

WE RANK

A new report puts the Dallas ecosystem on the global map for entrepreneurship. Ranked at 31 worldwide, Dallas is new to the Global Startup Ecosystem list this year. Dallas, which tied with Miami, Salt Lake Provo, Munich, and Bern-Geneva, had its highest marks in market reach (scaleup/unicorns, local reach, IP commercialization) and knowledge (research and patents). The 2020 report, released by Startup Genome, a research and policy advisory organization for governments, and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, studies some 250 startup ecosystems. The global top 30 and 10 runner-up startup ecosystems are ranked on seven “Success Factors,” including performance and talent. The top five ecosystems in this year’s ranking are Silicon Valley, London, New York City, Beijing, and Boston. The GSER provides foundational global knowledge, Startup Genome’s J.F. Gauthier says. “This is the time for policymakers, community leaders, and foundations to double down on their support of local startups—the  No. 1 engine of job creation and economic growth.” Download the GSER 2020 here for more insights.

TUNE IN ON FACEBOOK LIVE

Paycheck Protection Program Q&A

Calling all small business owners and entrepreneurs: PPP applications close June 30. Entrepreneur Leah Frazier, founder of Think Three Media, will moderate a discussion with Vista Bank to discuss the PPP and what you need to know about the application process. Post your questions in the comments, and they will be answered live. (Friday, June 26, 9:30 a.m.)

Fridays Are For Founders

Christiana Yebra, CEO of Vouch, owner of Currency Strategies, and co-founder of Millennial Clubs, will join hosts Trey Bowles and Delanie Majors from The DEC Network. Yebra will talk about the future of events and networking and how that will impact our entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Texas. She says there are still strategic and intentional ways you can host events as well as connect with others and (safely) network in DFW. (Friday, June 26, 12:30 p.m.)

Wednesday, June 24

DATA HUB

Infomart

(PRNewsfoto/Equinix, Inc.)


The Infomart has a new $142 million addition, reports Finance Magnates. A four-story expansion to the multi-tenant data center campus houses a new International Business Exchange (IBX) data center and the just-launched 5G and Edge Proof of Concept Center (POCC), which is described as an edge “sandbox” environment. Owner Equinix, which has 210 data centers in 26 countries, says DFW is a major communications hub for the southern United States. The ecosystem “makes Equinix Dallas an ideal location for companies seeking to test and validate new 5G and edge innovations,” the industry publication reports. Equinix paid $800 million for the Infomart in 2019 in one of North Texas’ largest property sales ever.

Digital Realty and Vapor IO, which got $90 million in Series C funding in January, have launched a combined edge platform in three cities, including Dallas. Dubbed the “Kinetic Edge” network, it’s a distributed mesh of local sites with exchange points connected to private data centers, internet providers, and cloud networks, per Fierce Telecom. The partners say they’re blending data center and networking infrastructure, with use cases running the gamut from 4G/5G networks to AI and robotics to self-driving cars. The platform “supports all these different workload types from a hyperscaler to an enterprise, from AI to a small virtual machine you’re just trying to spin up,” said Digital Realty CTO Chris Sharp. It’s now live in Dallas, Atlanta, and Chicago. 17 other cities have been announced for future deployment. 

ACCESSIBLE MENTORING
The DEC has partnered with Qooper “to make mentoring effortless.” The Dallas Entrepreneur Center has a new online platform for its Fast Start Mentoring Program. Available online, Google Play, and the App Store, it’s designed to be flexible.

WHAT ELSE?
• Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas is facing a ‘massive’ COVID-19 outbreak in a series of television interviews today, per CBS DFW. Some new local restrictions may be needed to protect hospital space for new patients.
Addison’s “Kaboom Town” fireworks—the largest in Texas—will be moved to a “secure, out of town location,” streaming online for the first time in its 30 year history, according to WFAA.

Tuesday, June 23

FOLLOW THE MONEY

funding

[Image: Jokerpro/istockphoto]

Addison-based AVIO Consulting, a tech consulting firm that specializes in digital evolution in large enterprises, announced an investment from a venture arm of Salesforce. The firm received more than $1 million, according to the DBJ. The company has had rapid growth in the past six months, opening two new remote offices in Denver and Oklahoma City. The new funding will help the company expand its reach beyond the southern part of the U.S., the company said. Salesforce’s Consultant Trailblazer Fund provides next-gen cloud consulting companies and digital agencies with capital to build and scale their Salesforce services capabilities.

‘HELPFUL INNOVATION’
Bottle Rocket is at it again. The Addison-based mobile experience innovator is one of a handful of finalists in Google’s ‘Helpful Innovation’ challenge for Android developers. A new app, called Path Finder, helps partially sighted people track objects and movements in the environment. With real-time detection and AI prediction, the app alerts folks to obstacles via audible and haptic feedback, Bottle Rocket says. The project was the perfect opportunity to “flex our technical chops” while “also doing something good for the world,” Colin Shelton, the Path Finder team engineer, says. 

PARTNER POWER

Dallas-based Collective 54, a peer advisory network for owners of professional services firms, has joined forces with online business matchmaking platform Opportunity Network. Members can now connect to more than 30,000 CEOs and investors in more than 120 countries. Online business matchmaking is gaining ground on a global scale, Collective 54 says. The group’s members can find buyers, distributors, and providers for their products and services across industries, geographies, deal types, and sizes, said Linda Fisk (above), who was named CEO of Collective 54 in February. “Opportunity Network will allow our members to sell or acquire private companies, raise capital, and invest or execute any other strategic transaction efficiently and effectively.” Collective’s new partner has listed deals with an aggregated value of over $295 billion, according to a statement.


Amazon will donate contactless doorstep deliveries of shelf-stable groceries directly to vulnerable families and children through two North Texas Food Bank partners, Crossroads Community Service and Sharing Life. For both organizations, Amazon’s support is their first foray into formal, direct-to-client home deliveries. “Our community is facing food insecurity at a level that the food bank has never seen,” said Trisha Cunningham, President and CEO of NTFB, adding that the new innovative delivery program is helping meet critical needs. This latest donation of delivery services to the NTFB and its member distribution banks in Dallas follows a $100,000 Amazon donation to the nonprofit. 

Monday, June 22

THE REOPENING

[Photo: Avery Evans on Unsplash]


Consumer spending in Dallas-Fort Worth is steadily returning to pre-pandemic levels, according to new data published by a team of Harvard economists. “Consumer behavior is widely viewed as a key indicator for assessing the health of the economy,” writes the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Eric Griffin. The DRC explores how consumer behavior has varied widely among retail sectors in its latest edition of Economy in Brief. Download here.

A diversified economy could be the key to Texas’ recovery post-pandemic, an economist from MacroPolicy Perspectives told the Texas Standard. But, Julia Coronado said, the recovery can only happen if the state slows the spread of COVID-19. Coronado also notes challenges, including the “distributional impact.” People “losing the most jobs include lower-income, hourly workers [who tend] to lack health insurance.” Listen here.

WORK FROM WHEREVER
Dallas may have an ‘opportunity to brand itself’ as more companies warm to work from home forever, per the DBJ. “The changing approach could position Dallas as a stronger player nationally as more firms are willing to let their workers reside in lower-cost areas, such as North Texas,” writes Brian Womack. PLUS: Keep up with remote work announcements with this handy online tracker.  You can add your company to the list by filling out a form, too.

RANKINGS
Texas is on the cusp of having four of the 10 largest cities in the nation. Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio soon will be joined by Austin in that “elite club,” per Culturemap. A new projection “indicates that sometime next year, Austin will leapfrog San Jose to claim the No. 10 spot,” writes John Egan.

Friday, June 19

THIS WEEK
Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates  

1  Toyota Motor North America Announces Two Executive Moves

 AT&T Announces It Has Invested Around $3.7B to Keep Dallas Connected

 In the Face of Change, Black Entrepreneurs in North Texas Step Up. Here’s How You Can Too 

4  AIA Dallas’ Unbuilt Design Award Winners: Agent Architecture is Hacking Dallas Freeways

5  How Amazon Logistics Uses AI, Thermal Cams, Communications to Combat COVID-19

6  The Juneteenth Movement: Bottle Rocket Designates June 19 ‘A Company-Wide Day of Reflection, Learning, and Action’

7  Mazars USA Marks Entry Into Texas Market With New Dallas Office

 New Dallas PE Firm Bootstrap Ventures Makes $1M Investment in Behavior-Driven Ad Platform

 AECOM, AT&T, Toyota, and More Partner on Dallas’ Climate Action Plan

10  Capital Factory’s First Virtual ‘Women in Tech’ Summit Highlights Diversity & Inclusion

NORTH TEXAS RESPONDS
Forces for Good 

People and companies are stepping up to help and inspire local communities. Here are highlights from around the region:

  • Get Shift Done is going national. The Dallas-based nonprofit was created in mid-March to help laid-off hospitality workers earn hourly wages by working at food banks. By matching these workers to nonprofits, it’s also given a much-needed hand to more than 70 organizations at a time when many volunteers were staying home due to COVID-19. In just 90 days, GSD has served 18 million meals while providing 165,000 hours of paid work to displaced workers as hospitality unemployment hit around 35%. Now, Get Shift Done for North America has launched to get seed money for matching funds to other cities implementing hunger relief programs. National supporters are Capital One Bank, Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. Foundation, Access Healthcare, and Shiftsmart.
  • Paul Quinn College has opened a free COVID-19 testing site on the school’s campus, thanks to a partnership with the City of Dallas and Lyda Hill Philanthropies. It’s part of PQC’s “Safe For My City” campaign that also features a protective face mask and food giveaway.
  • Addison-based Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) says donations of $4 million toward COVID-19 relief is helping tribes who are distressed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Coronavirus risk is higher for Native Americans—especially on remote reservations where overcrowded housing makes social distancing less feasible,” the organization says. PWNA is recognizing charities, organizations, and individuals who have donated including Latter-day Saint Charities, Kliff Kingsbury (head coach of the Arizona Cardinals), Kate Farms, Verizon, Walmart Foundation, Lush Cosmetics, and more
  • The CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer surprised a West Mesquite High School teacher during a video conference call this week with a $50,000 prize package. AP Environmental Science and computer science teacher Lisa Bagley was named an Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year, one of 10 selected from among thousands of eligible teachers across the U.S. The contribution “could not have landed in more capable and ambitious hands,” Principal Karen Morris said.

Have a shout out? Tell us here


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
News You Need to Know

Our partners at the Dallas Regional Chamber are keeping track of the news and stories that affect the business community across the Dallas region. Here’s what we’re reading from the DRC’s roundup:


WHAT ELSE? 
Dallas-based Comerica Bank today announced a $1 million commitment to launch the Black Capital Access Program with the National Business League. The new pilot program was developed to help Black small businesses. BCAP will initially launch in five markets—Texas, Arizona, California, Florida, and Michigan—and be available in all 50 states in 2021.

COMMUNITY TOOLBOX
Resources for Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Entrepreneurs

Local organizations such as the Dallas Regional Chamber, UNT Health Science Center, the UTD Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the City of Fort Worth, and the U.S. India Chamber of Commerce are distributing vital information to help people and businesses in the region. Here’s our online hub of groups and resources. Know of others? Let us know.

PLUS

TALENT CONNECTION
Visit Say Yes to Dallas for companies who are hiring. The site is continuously updated. 

Thursday, June 18

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Curtis Hite, Improving CEO [Photo: PRNewsfoto/Improving Holdings]

Growth Track: Plano Tech Firm Improving Acquires Austin Software Development Company iTexico. The deal, which could deliver annualized revenue of more than $115 million, is part of Improving’s innovative business model that focuses on merging technology service companies that share values. Improving acquired Frisco’s Code Authority last fall. 

Delta-v Capital, a VC firm with offices in Dallas and Boulder, Colorado, has raised “slightly less than $14 million over the past few months in a new round,” reports the Boulder Daily Camera. “The fund’s name, Delta-v TW LLC, suggests that the funds are earmarked for TeamWorks Inc., a North Carolina-based software developer for athletic team scheduling and collaboration,” the publication wrote. 

TRANSPORTATION
Wheels’ shared last-mile electric vehicles—which are something like a cross between a scooter and an e-bike—will relaunch in Dallas with its “socially-distanced transportation.” The startup will roll out with a new “Ride Safe” mission that includes two big hardware changes: The bikes will have the “first-ever self-sanitizing handlebars and brake levers” so riders only touch clean surfaces and baskets will be added so people can use the bikes, rather than a car, to shop.

‘Hop-on’ jet service JSX will take its first flight out of its new private terminal at Dallas Love Field on Friday, according to CultureMap Dallas. The jet company—described as “affordable”—was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative of 2020.” JSX is focused on offering “micro-travel designed packages and experiences.” The inaugural flight is Vegas-bound.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit is on track to have COVID-19 plexiglass shields installed on all buses by the end of the month. The respiratory droplet shields were designed by DART engineering to protect operators and passengers and support social distancing.

DFW Airport is taking steps like ‘no other airport’ to position for rebound, per Evan Hoopfer in the DBJ. Foot traffic has declined and concessionaires are suffering. To avoid vacancies throughout the airport, it’s “forgoing $75 million in concessionaire rent in a bet its strategy will pay off when people start flying again en masse.”

ONE MORE THING

Tesla in Texas: A 2,100-acre plot of land in Travis County could be the home of the Cybertruck Gigafactory, reports Teslarati. “Tesla has an option to purchase the land, but has not exercised,” Elon Musk tweeted this afternoon.

Wednesday, June 17

VIRTUAL DRUM ROLL

[Photo: Skyler Fike]

Fort Worth-based NeuroRehabVR won Capital Factory’s 2020 Women in Tech virtual pitch competition. Veena Somareddy, who co-launched the physical and cognitive therapy startup in 2017 with Bruce Conti, said the company provides a turnkey solution for clinics and their patients with its virtual reality technology. Somareddy wants to help people who have had strokes or traumatic brain injuries overcome their limitations with engaging and motivating VR/AR therapy. Now, the company is looking at telehealth and other home health expansions, the entrepreneur said. Somareddy was featured in Dallas Innovates’ “26 Innovators to Watch” in 2019.

WHAT ELSE?

funding

[Illustration by bestdesigns via iStock]

KKR, former Dean Foods CEO won the auction for Dallas-based Borden Dairy five months after its bankruptcy filing, reports the DMN.
Plano-based Main Event got an $80 million investment for company growth. The company is looking to the future with the capital infusion and new social-distancing strategies, per D CEO.
“Fort Worth is looking to its cowboy roots to wrangle in more jobs,” writes Luke Ranker in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Ariat International, a Western apparel maker, plans to move into the AllianceTexas corridor and add 75 corporate jobs. The city may provide incentives worth nearly $2 million.

Tuesday, June 16

DEALS
It’s Official: The City of Fort Worth has approved a public/private partnership with next-gen motor maker Linear Labs. The deal comes with nearly $70M in incentives to stimulate tech growth in Texas. The partnership aims to further Fort Worth as “the next tech innovation hub” with an advanced manufacturing and research headquarters that can support thousands of new jobs over the next decade. Linear Labs’ facility will use “Dark Factory” methodology—also known as lights-out manufacturing—to allow for robotic automation with human oversight.

Fort Worth’s WL Plastics could complete the purchase of a former river sediment dewatering site in Fort Edward, New York by August, according to the Albany Business Review. The pipe maker for the oil, gas, and water markets was honored by the Plastic Pipe Institute last month for its municipal and industrial work, notes industry publication Water Technology. The company, which was founded in 2000, has seven state of-the-art manufacturing locations in the U.S.

TRANSFORMATION
Along with fresh veggies, Dallas’ Farmers Market will soon offer coworking. Shared-office company Industrious is headed to the downtown district “with a large operation in early 2021,” reports the DMN. The 23,000 square-foot space will be the coworking firm’s third Dallas-area location. 

MARKET MOVES
Mazars USA makes an entry into the Texas market with a new Dallas office. The accounting, tax, and consulting firm’s new 4,000-square-foot office in the Uptown Dallas area will be the company’s first Texas location.

ONE MORE THING
Mark Cuban says now is ‘the absolute best time’ to start a business, despite the pandemic. Mark Cuban answers questions about America’s reopening and pandemic life on “Coronavirus House Calls.”

Monday, June 15

THE REOPENING
The U.S. economy will start to rebound in the second half of 2020, Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan said today. And taking precautions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus could spur a quicker economic recovery, according to Reuters in the NYT. “If people wear masks widely, if we have extensive testing and contact tracing, if businesses and us as individuals follow good procedure, we’re going to grow faster,” Kaplan said during a virtual discussion organized by New York University.

NEW HQ 
The “world’s largest” medical transport company, Global Medical Response, will consolidate its DFW teams in a new headquarters location in Lewisville. The company has taken two full floors—some 60,000 square feet—at Offices at The Realm. The company has about 38,000 employees in the U.S. who serve medical care primarily in emergency and patient relocation services, fire services, and disaster response. The new location will be one of two HQ locations and will include a 24/7 disaster relief call center. Employees relocating to The Realm are coming from GMR’s offices in Lewisville and Farmers Branch, and a number of GMR’s Denton employees will also office at The Realm, according to Bright Realty.

IMPACT INNOVATION
Bonton Farms has big plans for a 12-acre site in Lake Highlands. The Bonton crew talks about the possibility for a second location—and the impact of the coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter movement on the farm’s neighborhood—in a Q&A with D’s Kathy Wise. Bonton Founder Daron Babcock works with his wife, Theda (above), “who turned down a job with Tory Burch to become the farm’s full-time CFO and COO.”

STARTING A TREND 
Juneteenth has become a holiday for J.C. Penney, Quicken Loans, Spotify, Bottle Rocket, per the DMN. “Companies are designating this Friday a paid day off. Americans celebrate Juneteenth to remember the end of slavery after the Civil War.”

Plus: The Juneteenth Movement: Bottle Rocket Designates June 19 ‘A Company-wide Day of Reflection, Learning and Action’

The Addison-based digital experience consultancy has also created a starter pack with resources and activities to help other companies join the movement.

Friday, June 12

THIS WEEK
Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates  

1  Fort Worth’s CR Minerals Announces Colorado Expansion

 A New Sabre: Southlake Tech Travel Giant Realigns Business, Implements Remote Work Program, and Cuts Staff

 How Frito-Lay’s Ciara Dilley Champions a Future for Female Founders 

4  Plans for Dallas’ Newest Entertainment District Pushed to 2023

5  Fort Worth Could Be the Future of Energy 2.0 With a New Partnership

6  AIA Dallas’ Unbuilt Design Awards: Gensler Reimagines Frisco Public Library

7  Fort Worth Tech Startup Launches With ‘the World’s First Disposal Freezer

 AECOM, AT&T, Toyota, & More Partner on Dallas’ First Climate Action Plan

 Feed the Front Line, Soulgood Partner with DISD to Feed Southern Dallas

10  Dallas’ 900lbs Partners With Amazon on a Gamified Tutorial for Remote Working, Teaching, and Engaging

PLUS  

Today on Dallas Innovates, you’ll find a new series called Black in Business. We spoke with six Dallas-Fort Worth-based Black entrepreneurs on what conversations we should be having in regards to diversity, resources that can amplify founders of color, and more.

You’ll also find tips from workplace innovator Jo Staffelbach Heinz on how to avoid a “radical” return to office life in the new normal.

NORTH TEXAS RESPONDS
Forces for Good 

Illustration: 2kawaiiiness via iStock

Our partners at the Dallas Regional Chamber are keeping track of the news and stories that affect the business community across the Dallas region. Here’s what we’re reading from the DRC’s roundup:

WHAT ELSE? 

[Illustration: iSerg/istockphoto]

Plano-based Reata’s stock soared 28 percent after “scoring $350 million investment from Blackstone,” according to the DMN. “The drug development company expects to double its workforce in 2020 and again in 2021,” the News reports.

Lantern Pharma cancer

Panna Sharma [Image: DI composite, Photos courtesy of Lantern]

Another healthcare market mover, Lantern Pharma, has priced its upsized IPO at $15—the low end of the range, per Renaissance Capital. The biotech has raised $26 million by offering 1.8 million shares and plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol LTRN. The company redevelops abandoned drugs for non-small cell lung cancer. The convergence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and genomic data marks “the next frontier for a highly productive period in drug development, especially in cancer therapeutics,” Panna Sharma, Lantern Pharma’s CEO (above), said in Dallas Innovates last fall.

DON’T MISS OUT
27 Opportunities for Innovators

Browse our curated selection of contests, nominations, pitches, and grants. From entrepreneurs to corporates, creatives to inventors, educators to social innovators, here’s a roundup of goodies for you. Items with deadlines coming up this month include:

  • Aggie 100 (June 17)
  • The DEC’s Small Business Fund (June 19)
  • RB Golf Club & Resort Charity Golf Tournaments (June 22)
  • 2020 PRO Awards (June 25)
  • Rainforest XPRIZE’s $10M Competition (June 30)

COMMUNITY TOOLBOX
A Roundup of Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Local organizations such as the Dallas Regional Chamber, UNT Health Science Center, the UTD Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the City of Fort Worth, and the U.S. India Chamber of Commerce are distributing vital information to help people and businesses in the region. Here’s our online hub of groups and resources. Know of others? Let us know.

PLUS

TALENT CONNECTION
Visit Say Yes to Dallas for companies who are hiring. The site is continuously updated. A sampling:

  • Costco is hiring positions in merchandising, foodservice and bakery, pharmacy, stocking, transportation, and more
  • VA North Texas Health Care System is hiring physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical support staff
  • Wayfair is hiring warehouse associates, equipment operators, and seasonal operators (veteran preference) at its Flower Mound and Lancaster locations
  • Donato Technologies is hiring analysts, engineers, and .Net and Java developers.

WHO SAID WHAT

Lynn McBee

“Keeping our rivers clean and free from trash will protect our oceans. If we want future generations to enjoy one of our most valuable natural resources, we must all do our part!”

— Lynn McBee
Chairman of the Board, EarthX

Dallas-based EarthX teamed up with National Geographic for World Ocean Week. Its three-day virtual conference—EarthxOcean: Protecting the Life Support Systems of the Ocean—featured more than 30 experts and innovators. 

Although the event ended yesterday, you can still explore it here.

It’s a virtual treasure trove for your socially distanced time: You’ll find high seas initiatives, coral reef restoration, ocean plastic solutions, sustainable fisheries, and amazing creatures. In other words, inspiration.

Who else had “The Last Word” this week?
You’ll find more of “who said what” in our compilation of quotes from North Texas innovators that inspire, inform, motivate, or simply make us laugh.


Thursday, June 11

TEXAS EXPANSION
A Chicago-based real estate private equity lender Renovo Financial is opening its first Lone Star location in Frisco, according to D CEO. The company has its sights on all MSAs, said John Shipley, who will head up a statewide team of more than 40 employees. The DFW office will be the firm’s main Texas location, reports Kelsey Vanderschoot.

AGRITECH

[Photo: Ekkasit919/istockphoto]

Fort Worth’s Harvest Returns has hit a milestone, topping more than $5 million in agriculture investments, the company announced. The sector is a rapidly evolving space, CEO Chris Rawley said, “driven by technology, fragmented consumer preferences, and most recently, disrupted food supply chains.” Rawley said the company is focusing on verticals that may “offer the most growth potential for our investors, including indoor agriculture and grass-fed livestock.” The company’s fintech marketplace was created in 2016 by two military vets to bring investors together with ag producers. 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Twenty-four new, affordable homes are to be built in The Bottom neighborhood in Southern Dallas, writes Bill Hethcock in the DBJ. The city council gave the project a green light on Wednesday, authorizing the sale of lots for $1,000 apiece to the Golden SEEDS Foundation and its developer affiliates. “We’ll be jumping right at it,” said Libbie Terrell Lee, the foundation’s executive director.

THE REOPENING
An initial group of Goldman Sachs employees will start returning to U.S. offices, including Dallas, from June 22, says the New York Times.
A Toyota exec is “unsure if all employees will return to its Plano campus in the new work-from-home era,” writes the DBJ. The company’s headquarters “is going to ramp up slowly, slowly, slowly to make sure that we have these protocols working well and that they’re followed,” said Chris Reynolds, chief administrative officer, Manufacturing & Corporate Resources for Toyota Motor North America in a webinar with Automotive News in May. Toyota has about 5,000 employees in North Texas.

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


Wednesday, June 10

WORLD-CHANGING IDEAS


A Dallas-based pilot program called RIGHT (Rapid Integrated Group Healthcare Team) sends a social worker on 911 calls about mental health. The program is soon to expand in the city, according to Fast Company. Initially launched in 2018, it has a “better way of helping people who call 911 for mental health emergencies than simply putting them in jail or dropping them off” at the emergency room. “Mental healthcare is a medical need, not a law enforcement issue,” said B.J. Wagner, senior director of smart justice at Dallas’s Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, which created the program.

EVENTS
Today is the last day to register for a seminar on the past, present, and future of Interstate 345 with a focus on racial equity and inclusive urban planning. It’s hosted by the Coalition for a New Dallas. (Thursday, 5:30 p.m.)

PLUS: Take a look at a recent AIA Unbuilt Design award winner that imagines Dallas as “the only city with a freeway loop converted into a park.” 

Check out Agent Architecture’s “Dallas Hacked” entry. 

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


Tuesday, June 9

PILOT PROGRAM

You can now ask the city to shut down your street. A new ‘slow streets’ pilot has been launched to create more public space during the ongoing pandemic, according to D Magazine. The Better Block Foundation, Coalition for a New Dallas, BikeDFW, Amanda Popken Development, and the City of Dallas have partnered to help people get outside in their neighborhoods, but also practice safe social distancing. Head here to get information and apply. 

FOUNDER FRIDAYS
Virtual startup forum, “Fridays Are For Founders,” is going live on Facebook starting this week, says host Trey Bowles. Join the co-founder and chairman of The DEC Network as he talks with Cameron Gawley, co-founder and CEO of digital strategy agency BuzzShift. (Friday, 10:30 a.m.)

Can’t wait for Friday?
Catch last week’s FAFF episode with Carl Dorvil, serial entrepreneur and founder of Dog for Dog. Dorvil shares how he’s overcome adversity, both personally and in business. Watch the full video here.

WHAT ELSE?

Dallas County now ranks as a top-five COVID-19 hot spot, according to Will Maddox in D CEO. That’s according to data from Johns Hopkins University that shows the county has the fifth most new cases in the country.
• Texas has triggered an additional 13-week unemployment insurance benefit extension.

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


Monday, June 8

WATCH

Today is World Oceans Day, and Dallas-based EarthX has partnered with Nat Geo to celebrate all week long (June 9-11). A virtual conference, live-streamed on EarthxTV, is star-studded with innovators who will explore the important role that oceans play in our daily lives—and highlight the power of science and storytelling to protect it through the impact of communities. Register here to watch EarthxOcean.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

$2M Research Grant
Bedford-based Nanoscope Technologies has received a $2 million grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The company, a TechFW client, will work on advancing its gene therapy treatment with the multi-year Small Business Innovation Research Award. The team’s research mainly focuses on advancing its therapeutic gene and delivery platform for treating degenerative eye diseases.

Industrial Strength
Dallas-based Sealy & Company closed $108 million of industrial assets in three separate transactions last week. EVP of Capital Markets Michael Sealy says the company is “pleased to capture compelling deals in enduring distribution hubs.” The off-market transaction adds 34 warehouses in Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Memphis to its portfolio. The company also has a corporate office in Shreveport. 

Environmental Expansion
CECO Environmental recently acquired UK-based Environmental Integrated Solutions for about $12.2 million. CECO, which has a regional office in Dallas, provides innovative technology in air quality and fluid handling to provide safe, clean solutions in niche markets around the world. The acquisition, which adds approximately $16 million in revenue, is expected to be a catalyst for accelerated growth into European industrial markets, the company said. 

RANKED

Hispanic

Photo: CreativaImages/iStockPhoto

• Tops in tech: Dallas-Fort Worth held its rank at No. 3 in the U.S. for technology job postings in May, according to a new report by CompTIA. 
• Millennial market: Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington is one of three Texas metros named by the National Association of Realtors as “one of the best markets for millennials who are home shopping during the pandemic,” writes Candy’s Dirt.
• Take flight: DFW became the world’s busiest airport during COVID-19 downturn, per the DMN. Flights and passengers were down substantially at DFW in May, “but not as much as other major airports.”
• Talent launchpad: A report by LinkedIn puts Dallas at No. 15 on a list of the places in the U.S. that are “best suited for new college graduates who are diving into the job market,” per Culturemap.
• Cheers, y’all: Texas is one of the nation’s virtual party hot spots with folks from the Lone Star state averaging four online parties a week during the lockdown, according to a new study by lifestyle website Improb.com.


Friday, June 5

THIS WEEK
Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates  

1  You’re Working From Home. AT&T Wants to Help Your Internet Handle It With a New Enterprise-Level Solution

 DI People: Comerica, Bank of Texas, Kimberly-Clark, More Make Moves

 Fort Worth Could Be the Future of Energy 2.0 With a New Partnership

4  How Cariloop Plans to Ramp Up Hiring After its $6M Series A

5  Revive Dallas Small Business Relief Fund to Provide $5M 

6  Look Inside the Plans: Winners of AIA Dallas’ 2020 Unbuilt Design Awards

7  Capital Factory Launches $100K Human Performance Challenge

 Polte’s New IoT Wearable Keeps Coworkers 6 Feet Apart

 Bank of America Pledges $1B to Fight Economic and Racial Inequality

10  Uber Receives Three-Year Contract with DART for Microtransit Service

PLUS  

Trending today, you’ll find Sabre’s travel tech transformation in preparation for a post-coronavirus industry and updated plans for Dallas’ newest entertainment district. Plus, MyndVR has an at-home “virtual reminiscence” therapy solution for seniors in isolation. 

NORTH TEXAS RESPONDS
Forces for Good 

Illustration: VectorMine via iStock

People and companies are stepping up to help and inspire local communities. Here are highlights from around the region:

Have a shout out? Tell us here

EDITORS’ PICKS
Not-to-Miss Virtual Events

There are plenty of things to do with your socially distanced time. Here are a few from our curated selection:

  • SVP Dallas: How Can Solidarity Respond?
  • EarthxOcean Virtual Conference (It’s World Ocean Week)
  • USICOC: PPP Loan Forgiveness
  • Health Wildcatters: Healthcare Innovation Breakfast Series
  • SBA Women Federal Contracting Certifications Webinar
  • Women Veteran-Owned Business Pitch Competition

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
News You Need to Know

Illustration: 2kawaiiiness via iStock

Our partners at the Dallas Regional Chamber are keeping track of the news and stories that affect the business community across the Dallas region. Here’s what we’re reading from DRC roundup:

Head here for more on the DRC’s news page.

DON’T MISS OUT
27 Opportunities for Innovators

Browse our curated selection of contests, nominations, pitches, and grants. From entrepreneurs to corporates, creatives to inventors, educators to social innovators, here’s a roundup of goodies for you. Items with deadlines coming up this month include:

  • ULI Center for Leadership (June 8)
  • 2020 PRO Awards (June 11)
  • Leadership Dallas, AHA COVID-19 Data Challenge, Women Veteran-Owned Business Pitch Competition, AEM Hall of Fame (June 12)
  • Ozarka Brand Natural Spring Water Scholarship and the Star of Texas Awards (June 15)
  • Aggie 100 (June 17)
  • Rainforest XPRIZE’s $10M Competition (June 30)

 

COMMUNITY TOOLBOX
A Roundup of Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Local organizations such as the Dallas Regional Chamber, UNT Health Science Center, the UTD Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the City of Fort Worth, and the U.S. India Chamber of Commerce are distributing vital information to help businesses in the region. Here’s a roundup of resources to help people and businesses. Know of others? Let us know.

PLUS

WHO SAID WHAT
“It feels good to help people, and
that’s what keeps me optimistic.”

So said Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in an appearance on Yahoo Finance, per the Advocate. 

The entrepreneur, who continues to make the media rounds, shared his perspective on the pandemic and its impact last week: “There’s no way to sugarcoat it,” he said. “The only way to solve those problems is to really focus on trying to solve them or [to] come up with solutions … Even if I can just impact on the margins and make it better for just a few people. And that’s why I’m optimistic because I want to keep that grind going. I want to keep that eye on trying to help.”

Watch the video, which aired May 27, here.

Who else had “The Last Word” this week?
You’ll find more of
“who said what” in our compilation of quotes from North Texas innovators that inspire, inform, motivate, or simply make us laugh.


Thursday, June 4


Kookie Haven can ship you their ready-to-bake batter. [PHOTO: HOYOUNG LEE/DMAGAZINE]
Here’s where you can support black-owned food and drink businesses in Dallas. From vegan pop-ups to soul food to smoky-good barbecue, acting with your dollars matters, writes Rosin Saez in D Magazine. “That one purchase directly impacts a local business, and the great thing is you can keep doing that one small thing over and over again.” The list will be updated with shopping, beauty, fitness, home and weddings, and arts and entertainment throughout the week. (Have an addition to the list? You’ll find contact emails in the story.)

ON THE GROW

projekt202’s David Lancashire

Digital transformation leader projekt202 plans to hire about 100 in next year and will more than double its local space. The Dallas-based company, a subsidiary of AmDocs, is relocating its Addison headquarters to North Dallas, reports the DBJ. It’s also expanding its U.S. footprint, projekt202 CEO and co-founder David Lancashire (above) today announced in a release. It has acquired Big Nerd Ranch, a digital product development and training firm headquartered in Atlanta.

SAFE MOVES

[DI Composite. Images: Opendoor, Istockphoto]

Residential real estate startup Opendoor has launched three contact-free ways for people to sell and buy homes in Dallas Fort-Worth. The new virtual options to buy, sell, and move are: Sell Direct (instantly to Opendoor), Home Reserve (move into your new home while listing on Opendoor), and Safer Touring (virtual or self-tours of homes). DFW joins markets in Phoenix and Raleigh-Durham and options are now available in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Tucson, too, with additional cities coming soon. Greg Hiltz (above) was named senior general manager of Opendoor Dallas in February, a position that essentially makes him CEO of the local market. 

WHAT ELSE

bloodbuy


• North Texas hospitals, hit by revenue losses, are lobbying for a Medicaid program expansion. The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC) is in talks with Lone Star lawmakers about a potential expansion of insurance for low-income Texans, per Community Impact Newspaper.
• Call to action: Steve Love, CEO of the DFWHC, says hospitals are experiencing blood shortages since blood drives have been difficult due to social distancing practices and the closure of businesses. He asks folks to consider making a donor appointment with Carter Bloodcare directly. “600 patients in hospitals here, every day need, transfusions. To meet their needs, they need blood donors now,” the organization says. (Spread the word.)
Methodist Charlton is building a $71 million ER in Southern Dallas. “The investment, which adds new technology, more beds, and more trauma rooms, continues a 92-year commitment to southwest Dallas County,” per NBC DFW.


Wednesday, June 3

[Photo via D Magazine]

TINDER FOR “X”
A former Haynes and Boone IP lawyer has created a “Tinder app for law students, sorta.” But, “instead of a hot date, you hopefully end up with a job,” says D Magazine. Anjie Vichayanonda, a first-gen Asian-American, gave up her law practice to help practicing attorneys partner with prospective and current law students with her new app, Leg Up Legal.

SURGE STUDY
As restrictions lift, Dallas-Fort Worth is still staying home, per a new study from UNTHSC. “North Texans haven’t surged into the public since the lockdown ended,” writes Will Maddox in D CEO. As government restrictions end and businesses start to reopen, “analysis shows that North Texans are not rushing out into the public, decreasing the chances for another surge of COVID-19 cases.”

RETAIL VANTAGE POINT
Allen Questrom sizes up two local big bankruptcies: Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney. “The former CEO of both chains still lives in Dallas and follows them closely,” writes the DMN.

PLUS: UNT debuts a new virtual panel series tomorrow. Leading Through COVID-19: Resilience and Innovation in Retail and Hospitality will explore how resilience and innovation are the keys to recovery. An expert panel will discuss how the industry has survived other major catastrophes. (1:30 – 4 p.m., June 4)

WHO’S HIRING
The Hire Dallas! virtual job fair hosted by Dallas May Eric Johnson continues on Thursday. The fair aims to help residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic, per CBS DFW.
• Caliber Home Loans, a full-service mortgage company with a large presence across North Texas, needs to hire 150 people for a wide range of full-time positions that come with benefits, the station also reports.


Tuesday, June 2

Buff City Soap will move its headquarters to “chase billion-dollar dreams in North Texas.” 
A soap company is leaving Memphis with “lofty goals.” With a C-suite “dream team” stacked with notable execs, the company aims to open 1,000 stores in the next five years, per D CEO. The goal? To grow the startup, founded in 2013, from a multimillion-dollar enterprise into a billion-dollar company. 

Another giant e-commerce shipping hub is in the works east of Dallas.
The 1 million-SF industrial project in Forney is planned by Seefried Industrial Properties, the DMN reports. The Atlanta-based developer is also building a nearby 200,000-SF distribution center for Amazon in the Gateway Development. Per a filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, the estimated $80 million “Project Forney” will start in July with completion in 2021. 


Monday, June 1

PPP LOANS

[IMAGE: OURFAIRSHARE VIDEO]
We could see a surge of minority-owned businesses get PPP
The SBA wants more minority-owned businesses to apply for the remaining $100 billion in its Paycheck Protection Program, reports bizjournals.com. Ashley D. Bell, a regional SBA administrator for the southern U.S., says it’s working “with microbusinesses in under-served communities and people who need help getting through the program.” One way for qualifying small business owners to apply is ourfairshare.com (above), a funding platform created with rapper and music producer Sean “Diddy” Combs, which aims to increase access to capital for minority-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19.

LEGAL AID
SMU’s law school has launched an emergency helpline
Starting today, a new Dedman School of Law project will offer North Texans a way to get free legal assistance on matters connected to the COVID-19 crisis, including housing, immigration, and consumer protection, according to CBSDFW. 

THE REOPENING
Amid tumult of pandemic, DFW’s resolve remains
Local small business owners discuss how they are getting back to business, responsibly. “Their answers are raw and poignant, mostly because their concerns aren’t for themselves, but for their employees,” writes Jeff Schnick in the Dallas Business Journal.

PLUS: To say times are tough is an understatement. That’s why, according to Inc, your positivity right now might offend others. Because “everyone is struggling right now—and some more acutely than others,” the conventional wisdom of optimism could be “downright harmful.” Now, true listening, advises the publication, is more important than ever.

WHAT ELSE?
• Dallas police chief Renee Hall issued a 7 p.m. curfew ‘for the next several days’ amid the protests. Watch the announcement via the DMN on YouTube.
• Fort Worth has joined other cities with an 8 p.m. curfew, per the Fort Worth Business Journal.

To read more, head here.


Friday, May 29

TOP TEN THIS WEEK
Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates  

1  WorkSuites Opens 20th Coworking Location With Focus on Private Offices

 Future of Work: Bottle Rocket Announces ‘Work from Wherever’

 Inc. Names 14 North Texas Companies to the Best Workplaces 2020 List

4  Dallas Startup Aims to be the ‘Online Dating’ of Residential Real Estate

5  North Texas Smart City Consortium Launches with 21 Founding Members

6  Petzey Launches Virtual Network of On-Demand Pet Healthcare

7  Amazon’s Hiring 1,500 at a New Site in Dallas’ Oak Cliff

 How Arabella Advisors Plans to Amp Dallas as an Impact Investment Hub

 JPMorgan Chase Gives $670K to Dallas Nonprofits That Support Female Entrepreneurs, Financial Health, and Skills Training

10  DI People: Hillwood, Front Burner Restaurants, Veritex Bank Make Executive Moves

 

COVID-19 RESPONSE
Forces for Good 

People and companies are stepping up to help and inspire local communities during the pandemic. Here are highlights from around the region:

Plus, here are a few of the many who pitched in for PPE:

Have a shout out? Tell us here

 

EDITOR’S PICKS
Not-to-Miss Virtual Events

There are plenty of things to do with your socially distanced time. Here are a few from our curated selection:

  • NASA and SpaceX Mission Launch
  • Virtual Pegasus Film Festival 
  • Taste Addison Virtual Festival
  • Nasher Sculpture Center Window Exhibitions
  • Impact Ventures: Spring 2020 Virtual Startup Showcase
  • SVP Dallas: How can Entrepreneurship lift up your organization? 
  • Economic Outlook & Impact of Technology on the Investment Landscape

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
News You Need to Know

Our partners at the Dallas Regional Chamber are keeping track of the news and stories that affect the business community across the Dallas region. Here’s what we’re reading from DRC roundup:

Head here for more on the DRC’s COVID-19 news page.

 

DON’T MISS OUT
20 Opportunities for Innovators

Browse our curated selection of contests, nominations, pitches, and grants. From entrepreneurs to corporates, creatives to inventors, educators to social innovators, here’s a roundup of goodies for you. New items and those with deadlines looming include:

  • Leadership Dallas
  • State Farm Ventures Pitches
  • Women Veteran-Owned Business Pitch Competition
  • Stacy’s Rise Project for Female Founders
  • Request for SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposals Addressing COVID-19
  • AHA COVID-19 Data Challenge

 

COMMUNITY TOOLBOX
A Roundup of Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Stepping up to help businesses, local organizations such as the Dallas Regional Chamber, UNT Health Science Center, the UTD Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the City of Fort Worth, and the U.S. India Chamber of Commerce are distributing vital information.

PLUS

 


Thursday, May 28

GAME CHANGERS

[Image: Courtesy Allied BioScience]

A Dallas-based biotech firm has a “breakthrough product” that kills COVID-19 on surfaces for up to 90 days.
Allied Bioscience’s “coating solution is a game-changer for spaces that can’t be cleaned frequently,” writes Will Maddox in D CEO. The product was lab tested by Dr. Charles Gerba, who notes, “You don’t realize how many surfaces people are touching.” Earlier this year, Dallas Innovates told you about Allied’s patented antimicrobial coatings and a recent capital infusion to meet “a surging demand” from newly formed VC firm Lydia Partners. 

BEYOND BLOCKCHAIN

[Image via Hedera]

Global electronics giant LG has joined the Hedera Governing Council. The council—launched last year by Dallas-based distributed ledger technology startup Hedera—aims to speed innovation and adoption of the decentralized governance model for a public ledger. LG joins other big brands, such as Google, Deutsche Telekom, and DLA Piper, as part of the strategic planning group that ultimately will be comprised of up to 39 global organizations from an array of industries and geographies. 

TOP OF THE CHARTS
DFW cities and Texas rank high in a few recent reports:
Plano was No. 1 for tech job-post growth among U.S. cities in April, according to Dice.com. Dallas was No. 7. 
Insurance firm FM Global has released its 2020 Resilience Index. The report ranks nations and parts of countries by the resilience of their business environments. The U.S. east zone, which includes Texas, along with the East Coast, and the South, ranks No.10 this year. (That’s up one notch from its 2019 rank at No. 11.) While pandemic risk is not explicitly measured, the insurance firm says, resilience is a “platform for businesses trying to rebound from the impact of the coronavirus.”
SmartAsset “uncovered the states with the largest rainy day funds.” Texas ranks No. 5 with 70.4 days of general fund expenditures in 2019. And, the report noted, “Texas is able to withdraw money from the fund under two conditions: economic volatility and budget gap.”
And, “Frisco is a boomtown, a headline on KERA declares. A new analysis from the Census Bureau shows it’s the fastest-growing big city in the U.S. Frisco grew faster than any other over the last decade, with a growth rate of 71%.

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


Wednesday, May 27

JUST LAUNCHED
COVID workplace reboot: A Plano-based workforce analytics startup wants to help businesses manage their WFH employees with business intelligence and machine learning. Sapience Analytics’ new Vue data dashboard can provide insights around work activity while protecting a worker’s privacy.

Dallas’ Topgolf has a new virtual reality game. Pro Putt by Topgolf, available on Oculus Quest, lets people hit the virtual links with its “sensation of realistic golf courses.” The tech entertainment company partnered with Austin-based Golf Scope on the digital game.

VIRTUAL EVENTS
Click for information and registration.

Home Depot
Workforce Solutions North Central Texas Virtual Career Fair | 5/28
Explore jobs in healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, finance, insurance, and more.

D CEO Virtual Breakfast: Reopening North Texas | 5/28
A virtual panel of experts in healthcare, business, and government affairs discuss the challenges and opportunities surrounding restarting the Texas economy.

Feeding the Amazon Flywheel | 5/28
This Greater Dallas Food and Beverage CPG Community webinar will discuss strategies to protect your brand, build new channels, and propel your success on Amazon.

Master LinkedIn with Leah Frazier | 5/28
The 2X Emmy Award-Winner wants to help you expand your network and optimize your LinkedIn. 

For more events, head here.


Tuesday, May 26

FOLLOW THE MONEY
Dallas-based Cariloop plans to double staff with $6 million investment. Founded in 2012, the health tech company, which expects the use of its caregivers’ app to quadruple, will increase its staff to 60 in the next two years with its latest round of funding. The company’s backing now totals $8.2 million, reports Ashton Nichols. “Cariloop grew from an idea Walsh and co-founder Steven Theesfeld, the company’s chief integrity officer, came up with in college,” writes Nichols in the DMN. Both men had caregiving roles for family members.

Two Dallas-Fort Worth companies have IPOs this week: one biotech, one caffeinated. The companies are Dallas-based Lantern Pharma, a biotech that redevelops abandoned drugs for non-small cell lung cancer and Plano-based NuZee, which packages and sells single-serving coffee products.

GROWTH TRENDS
Hunt Southwest president discusses trends that will drive DFW industrial growth. Those include on-shoring, accelerated e-commerce, and the end of last-minute delivery, writes Ryan Salchert in the DBJ. Those trends could provide a tailwind to the top-performing North Texas industrial market in commercial real estate, according to Hunt Southwest President Preston Herold. The company, which has been focused mainly on industrial and cold storage, is owned by the Lamar Hunt family.

SETTING RECORDS
Nokia lab clocks “world-record 5G speeds” in Dallas test. The company said it was “a significant milestone in the development of 5G services in the U.S.” at a time when connectivity and capacity are crucial. Tests were run on Nokia’s Over-the-Air (OTA) network in the company’s R&D lab at its North American headquarters in Dallas. 

REMOTE WORKFORCE
Facebook’s hub plan for Dallas will take shape over the next several weeks, per the DMN. The tech giant says Dallas, Denver, and Atlanta are “diverse talent pools of potential hires who don’t necessarily want to work on a coast.” Hiring will begin around Silicon Valley on July 1, followed by Dallas and the two other “hub cities.” 


Thursday, May 21

STARTS

[Image: Lone River video screenshot]

A Dallas startup is taking on White Claw with a new hard seltzer called Lone River Ranch Water. Lone River Beverage Company, founded by SMU grad Katie Beal Brown, says it has canned “the taste of rugged far West Texas.” Unlike other skinny can seltzers, the 80-calorie agave and lime drink “comes in the size of a regular beer can so it fits into a koozie,” writes Teresa Gubbins in CultureMap Dallas, adding “This is important, people.”

Dallas retail veteran Brain Bolke has a new ‘tree house’ boutique in Highland Park Village that “brings the safer feeling outdoors in.” One of the original founders of Forty Five Ten, Bolke’s new “sustainable luxury” venture is a collection of unique brands. “More than 40 collections are new and exclusive in the Dallas area,” per PaperCity.

…AND EXPANSIONS

{Photo: duckycards/istockphoto}

Colorado-based Ball Corp.—best known for its glass jars—will be taking a build-to-suit warehouse in south Fort Worth in 2021. At 678,000 square feet, it’s the largest the manufacturing firm has ever taken, reports the DBJ. 

Chicago-based Renovo Financial, a real estate private equity lender, has opened an office in Dallas in a Texas expansion, according to Connect Media. The company has hired Jon Shipley as managing director for his “Texas expertise.”

The American Athletic Conference will “quit the East Coast for Dallas” when it relocates this summer to The Summit at Las Colinas in Irving. The collegiate athletic organization, formerly known as the Big East Conference, has been in Rhode Island since 1979, Connect Media also reports.

WHAT ELSE?
New York, Dallas, and Chicago top the list of U.S. cities with the most cumulative revenue from Fortune 500 companies. While NYC towers above other cities at $1.775 trillion, Dallas ranks No. 2 at $996.2 billion, according to Fortune.
• A panel of SMU economists say North Texas and the Lone Star state overall is positioned to rebound after COVID-19 crash, writes Bill Hethcock in the DBJ.
• Also in the publication, one-third of C-suite executives expect operations to stabilize as soon as third quarter, a report from West Monroe Partners shows, reports Rebecca Ayers. But some 26 percent of execs don’t see that stabilization happening until 2021 or beyond.


Wednesday, May 20

SAFE SCHOOL SOLUTIONS

From left, University of Texas at Dallas and SMU. [Photos: UTD, Andrew Smith; SMU, courtesy]

From left, University of Texas at Dallas and SMU. [Photos: UTD, Andrew Smith; SMU, courtesy]

In partnership with UTD and SMU, RevTech Ventures has awarded five grants to “fuel student solutions to get back on campus.
The $5,000 challenge grants to UT Dallas and SMU students proposed solutions for virus suppression on university and college campuses. “The solutions will create a low-risk campus environment that could exist after state- and local-executive orders have expired,” retail venture firm RevTech said in a Medium post. Both universities plan to incorporate the ideas on their campuses. Recipients of the SAFE Schools grants include:
    UTD teams
    • Shop Ticketing System
    • Campus Oven
    • SaniScanner
    SMU teams
    • Armed Forces Against COVID-19
    • Mustang Mobile
For a breakdown of the projects and their impact, go here.

WHAT ELSE?
• It took years for e-filing to roll out. But Zoom’s already taken off in Texas courts. “We’re much further ahead than most other states,” said David Slayton, administrative director of the Texas Office of Court Administration, in Texas Lawyer.
Texas, California, and New York governors support the return of professional sports, per The Washington Post. In the Lone Star State, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that pro sports can resume May 31 without spectators.


Tuesday, May 19

DONE DEALS

fort worth botanical garden collaborative partnership with BRIT

[Photo: Lora Benz/istockphoto]

Beauty and brains: Research institute BRIT to manage the Fort Worth Botanic Garden
The combined expertise of the partners will create one of the leading public gardens in America, says Botanic Garden Director Bob Byers.

MoneyGram partners with Korean fintech, E9Pay
The Dallas-based leader in cross-border digitally enabled P2P payments and money transfers announced a partnership with E9Pay, one of the largest money transfer and payment companies in Korea. 

Integrity Marketing Group acquires Equis Financial for growth
The Dallas-based independent distributor of life and health insurance products today announced it has acquired Asheville-based Equis Financial. Integrity, as a platform, grew “by almost 30 percent organically last month alone,” said Bryan Adams, co-founder and CEO of Integrity. Adding “the exceptional leaders” at Equis will accelerate their combined growth.

Monday, May 18

[Image: MEI]

APPLY NOW
Startups can apply to the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute Showcase competition to be held in Frisco in July.
MEI is building a national portfolio of minority-owned companies. In each of its markets—Texas, Indiana, and Florida—it offers a pitch competition featuring Jaylon Smith and educational summits. The MEI capital fund, which collaborates with partners like the University of Notre Dame and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, champions minority entrepreneurs to help close the economic and educational gap, as well as inspire hope. “Today in America, African American startups access less than 2% of venture capital,” MEI notes. Smith founded MEI while finishing his first season with the Dallas Cowboys.

WHAT ELSE?

Texas daycare facilities can reopen and bars can open at limited capacity Friday, says Gov. Greg Abbott. Per WFAA, Phase 2 includes restaurants expanding to 50% occupancy and bars opening at 25%.
• Uber makes layoffs and closes offices, but doesn’t anticipate changes to Dallas strategy, reports Brian Womack.
• J.C. Penney plans to create a REIT with some of its properties as part of bankruptcy, writes Rebecca Ayers.


Friday, May 15

THIS WEEK
Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates  

1  Amazon’s Hiring 1,500 at a New Site in Oak Cliff, the First to Open in Texas During the Pandemic

 Southwest Airlines Finds Ways to Support Customers and Communities in the Pandemic

 Dallas CBD Startup Founder Is Working on the Frontlines of the Pandemic

4  With a $3M Grant, UTD Team Begins Work on a Deep-Sea Wind Turbine

5  Fort Worth-based eRx Network is Bought Back by Change Healthcare for $219M After McKesson Split

6  Great Places to Work: Fortune Names the 80 ‘Best Workplaces in Texas’

7  A New DFW Company is Making Equipment to Decontaminate N95 Masks With UV Light

 (Alcon) Family Tree: How One Company Seeded a Life Science Legacy

 Space Innovation: Hypergiant’s AI-Driven Remote Satellite Operations (aka H.I.V.E.) Keeps Eyes on the Sky

10  Dallas’ Paul Quinn, JPMorgan Chase Join More Than 20 Black Leaders in a Virtual Celebration for Grads

[Image: United Nation’s COVID-19 Response PSA]

FORCES FOR GOOD

People and companies are stepping up to help and inspire local communities during the pandemic. Here are highlights from around the region:

         ($50,000)    
         Genesis Women’s Shelter
         North Texas Food Bank
         YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas

         ($75,000)
         United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

         ($100,000)
         Cafe Momentum
         Family Gateway
         Parkland Hospital Foundation
         Visiting Nurse Assoc. of Texas
         Vogel Alcove

         ($150,000)
         Dallas Education Foundation


NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Our partners at the Dallas Regional Chamber are keeping track of the news and stories that affect the business community across the Dallas region. Here’s what we’re reading from DRC roundup:


Plus: Top counselors to Texas Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick shared their perspectives on plans to reopen the state’s economy in a virtual forum on Tuesday. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the thought, work, and considerations that go into the decision-making.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INNOVATORS

Browse our curated selection of contests, nominations, pitches, and grants. From entrepreneurs to corporates, creatives to inventors, educators to social innovators, here’s a roundup of goodies for you. New items and those with deadlines looming include:

  • State Farm Ventures Pitches
  • Request for SBIR/STTR Phase I Proposals Addressing COVID-19
  • Stacy’s Rise Project for Female Founders
  • Health Wildcatters’ Fall 2020 Accelerator Program 
  • Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards (Deadline today, May 15)
  • Fast Company’s Innovation by Design (Deadline today, May 15)

 

[Illustration: KrulUA/iStock]

COMMUNITY TOOLBOX

Stepping up to help businesses, local organizations such as the Dallas Regional Chamber, UNT Health Science Center, the UTD Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the City of Fort Worth, and the U.S. India Chamber of Commerce are distributing vital information. Find community resources here.

PLUS:

Thursday, May 14

CAPITAL CONTENDER

funding acquired

[Image: koratmember/istockphoto]

In the ‘Mighty Middle’ of the U.S., Dallas takes No. 4. for seed funding in previous decade. 
“In the central part of the U.S., Dallas-Fort Worth took the No. 4 spot among other metros based on investments between 2010 and 2019, according to a study by Crunchbase and Dundee Capital titled ‘America’s Mighty Middle,'” writes Brian Womack in the DBJ. Seeding funding in the region was $700 million. In terms of total investment, the Dallas area was No. 5 with $6.5 billion invested.

A BIG VOTE FOR SCIENCE

[Illustration: Usagi-D/istockphoto]

Physicians from across the region have united to form the North Texas Medical Society Coalition.
The group wants to “promote scientifically-based information in the face of disunity between public officials and the barrage of conflicting information about the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes Will Maddox in D CEO. “It’s an unprecedented initiative” that is now one of the largest COVID-19 alliances in the southern U.S.

GREEN BUILDING

[Photo: KDC]

Pioneer Natural Resources’ new 1.1 million-square-foot HQ has been awarded LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 
About 90 percent of the occupied areas have natural views, according to project developer KDC. Pioneer, which relocated last year to Verizon’s high tech, 5G-enabled Hidden Ridge development in Irving, also retained the original mesquite forests on the site of what is known as the old Carpenter Ranch. Other sustainable measures include onsite rainfall and surface runoff water filtration to improve stormwater quality.

Wednesday, May 13

[Illustration: iStock]

CULTURE PIVOT

Are Pat Green and the Texas Rangers innovating the drive-in future of the concert industry?
Live music was one of the first casualties of coronavirus, but a “Concerts in Your Car” series could give the Ranger’s new Globe Life Field a time to shine while Major League Baseball is on hold, per Texas Monthly.

PLUS: The new Globe Life Field in Arlington’s entertainment district received $810 million for a phase two expansion in December. The expansion is part of a combined $4B city of Arlington’s plan.

COMING SOON

“Coworking for personal trainers” is coming to the Dallas Design District, writes Christine Perez in D CEO. A recent SMU grad plans to open the Self-Made Training Facility, which will have 24-hour access, in July.
A Memphis retail startup with high expectations is moving its headquarters to Dallas, reports the Memphis Business Journal. Founded in 2013, Buff City Soap is reported to have “a goal of $1 billion in revenue by 2025,” writes Susan Ellis in the MBJ. “That’s a lot of soap.” CEO Justin Delaney says the reason for the move is simple: logistics. Brick and mortar locations are still a focus for the brand: “The most important thing is the experience in the store,” Delaney notes.

Tuesday, May 12

OPEN SOURCE

Dallas-based Hedera Hashgraph rasies $100 million to further develop public distributed dedger Network and Dapp Ecosystem.

[Image: Courtesy Hedera Hashgraph]


Dallas distributed ledger platform Hedera Hashgraph has added the first academic institution to its governing council.
University College London joins existing members that include Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, Google, IBM, and Swisscom Blockchain, among others, reports Cointelegraph. Hedera’s governing council brings international organizations together from diverse industries: “Each member of the council runs a node on the Hedera Hashgraph public network and is responsible for approving updates to the Hedera platform codebase.” 

BREAKTHROUGHS


Texas startup Icon wants to disrupt the trillion-dollar construction Industry with its 3-D-printed homes.
“3-D-printed buildings could strip out as much as half the cost of building a home, Icon predicts,” according to Inc. The startup’s giant printers “can spit out the walls of an entire small house in just 24 hours.” But, it’s a big idea—and not without hard work and challenges, writes Tom Foster. He details the “journey of faith” of the tiny company that quickly raised $9 million in seed capital from VCs and companies such as Arlington-based homebuilder D.R.Horton in 2018.

PLUS: The company recently completed six 400-square-foot homes in Austin that will help individuals coming out of chronic homelessness, Builder reports.

THE REOPENING

[Photo: Courtesy SpotSee]

Dallas-based SpotSee provides businesses with self-applied forehead thermometers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
SpotSee, a provider of high tech supply chain solutions, wants to help essential businesses and other companies stay fever and virus free as they plan to reopen in the coming weeks. The IoT systems company makes temperature indicators that have been used to monitor test specimens in the SARS and H1N1 virus outbreaks. It also monitors shock, vibration, temperature, and other environmental conditions through its various brands. Founded in 1976, SpotSee has a global network of sales and tech partners in some 62 countries. The company was acquired by Harbor Group last year.

WHAT ELSE?

[Courtesy: Capital Factory]

Capital Factory is helping companies find success through defense innovation opportunities. It’s launched the SBIR Accelerator to maximize DoD grant funding and plans to bring defense innovation programming to Dallas, replicating its success in Austin. “Thirty-one community members received funding through government and defense innovation programs worth more than $63 million,” per Capital Factory.
• On Wednesday, Health Wildcatters’ Health Innovation Pitch Competition will allow viewers to hear pitches from 12 cutting edge healthcare companies. “Prizes in excess of $20,000 will be awarded,” reports D CEOs Will Maddox.
• You can also sign up for free online classes to learn a hobby or new job skill. Wednesday is “Learn from Home Day,” an initiative started by Codeacademy and other online platforms, per WFAA.

Monday, May 11

TECH RISING

[Image: Michael Samples]

Dallas climbs to No. 3 spot in tech jobs postings even as the numbers decline, new report says
“The Dallas area fared better in tech than some cities in April,” reports DBJ’s Brian Womack. Still, that came with “significant losses amid historic pressure on the sector.” North Texas lost some 4,400 postings—down by about a fourth from March. Dallas leaped over Los Angeles for No. 3, while Washington, D.C. (No. 1) and New York (No. 2) led the sector ranking. Texas showed gains for remote/WFH postings, ranking No. 2.

PLUS: Cyberstates Report: Dallas-Fort Worth Lands in Top 10 for Net Tech Employment

WHAT ELSE?

[Image: Courtesy Allied BioScience]

Dallas biotech Allied BioScience has hired former Dallas Cowboy Daryl Johnston, according to D CEO. “Moose” Johnston will help expand the company’s reach into the sports industry. Last month, Allied BioScience received capital from Lydia Partners to scale its operations and meet a surging demand.

FedEx will open a large distribution hub in Southern Dallas by November, reports CBS 11. The 750,000 SF center in the I-20 corridor is part of a nationwide network expansion and will employ a mix of full and part-time employees. 

Today is the last day to apply for the city of Dallas’ Small Business Continuity Fund. “The Small Business Continuity Fund offers up to $10,000 in grants or $50,000 in loans for Dallas small businesses and is accepting applications until 11:59 p.m. tonight,” says the Dallas Entrepreneur Center. More information can be found here.

[Photo: via Clay Jenkins on Twitter]

THE LAST WORD

“Dallas is the fastest-growing metro area in the US. We are also #1 in job creation.”

Clay Jenkins
Dallas County Judge
…in a reply to Elon Musk’s announcement that Tesla will move to Texas or Nevada, via Twitter.

Did I mention I own a Tesla and know an awesome spot for you in South Dallas?” @JudgeClayJ added.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a tweet Saturday that Tesla’s headquarters “will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately.” The tweet came after restrictions forced the car maker’s California factories to stay closed, reports NBC DFW.

“Frankly, this is the final straw,” @elonmusk tweeted.

“Dallas officials responded to Musk’s tweets over the weekend, saying that Dallas would be the perfect spot for the car manufacturer’s headquarters,” per NBC DFW. And Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, like Jenkins, suggested Southern Dallas as a “wonderful location.”

WATCH THIS


THE NEW NORMAL

‘It’s Time to Be the Real Us.

DHD Films is no stranger to working remotely. “Physical distancing hasn’t slowed us down,” the Dallas-based video production agency says. The team put together a fun look behind its own #WFH scene, and they’re betting you can relate. “The conference room is any room,” the video declares, and “we live in a world where pajamas can get more done in an hour than business casual ever could.”

PLUS: May we suggest a nomination for your cute “coworker”? D Magazine Cutest Pets 2020 is now live and ready for submissions. 


Friday, May 8

THIS WEEK
Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates  

1  BAL Law Firm Introduces Ellie, a First-of-its-Kind Immigration Chatbot

 DI People: Meritize, OYO, Texas Capital Bank, and More Make Moves

 Forces for Good: Toyota, Mary Kay, BOK Financial, and More

4  Substance Abuse Treatment is Essential Now. How Enterhealth Adjusted

5  Study: Dallas Biotech’s Antimicrobial Coating Linked with HAI Reduction

6  TI-Founded High-Tech High Heels Texas STEM Group Adds New Directors

7  Dallas CBD Startup Founder Is Working on the Frontlines of the Pandemic

 UTD PhD Students Had the Largest Number of Dissertations This Semester—And Defended Them Online

 Goldman Sachs: The Evolving Virtual Workplace in the Age of COVID-19 

10  Dallas Proptech Boosts its Scale and Tech by Acquiring CRE Leader

PLUS: Trending today, you’ll find “newly ordained” Hotels.com brand mascot Captain Obvious ready to hitch real-world couples with virtual vows. That’s alongside another Expedia-owned, Dallas-based brand, Travelocity, that wants to make Zooms more interesting with its new downloadable Roaming Gnome backgrounds. If that’s your thing, you can also boost your next video meeting (for a good cause) with a ‘Zoom bomb’ from one of nonprofit Equest’s horses.

Find April’s top stories here.

NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Our partners at the Dallas Regional Chamber are keeping track of the news and stories that affect the business community across the Dallas region. Here’s what we’re reading from the COVID-19 news roundup:

 

DI PEOPLE

In this weekly roundup of leadership moves in the region, you’ll find news from C-Hear, Ware Malcomb, WelCel, VertexOne, and more, including:

  • Jason Hurst is appointed the new VP of Bell’s Innovation division, replacing Scott Drennan, who went to Hyundai
  • Lyn Fitzgerald, an industry veteran, will join McKesson’s market-leading oncology data business
  • Take Command Health, a benefits market disruptor, is bringing Kyle Estep onto the team as its business development director

 

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Dallas-Fort Worth people and companies are stepping up to help local communities during the pandemic. Here are highlights from around the region:

 

EDITORS’ PICKS

There are plenty of things to do with your socially distanced time. Here are a few from our curated selection:

  • EarthxFilm Presents Spaceship Earth with Live Q&As
  • WEDallas Mompreneur Virtual Happy Hour
  • Tech Titans: Emerging Growth Forum
  • Virtual IoT Breakfast: Monty Miller, Orchatect 
  • USICOC Discussion: Venture Capital in a Turbulent Environment
  • SVP Dallas Workshop: How Can Organizations Maximize Brand Voice?

 

Thursday, May 7

PREPARING FOR RE-ENTRY

[Photo: via D CEO]

 

Experts share key strategies for getting back to work
A successful re-opening of office and commercial space is all about preparation, safety, and sense of place. “The pre-coronavirus workplace was designed for creative collisions; it’s now getting a makeover for the social distancing era. And people are confused,” writes Bianca Montes in D CEO. Here are tips from experts in commercial real estate—and questions you should ask.

]Photo: AgrilifeToday/Washington State Department of Agriculture]

HUNTING HORNETS

Texas A&M AgriLife mobilizes task force to head off possible emergence of “murder hornet” in Texas
Up to 2 inches long, the world’s largest hornet has arrived in the United States. At the request of Gov. Greg Abbott, experts are creating a strategy to safeguard people, honey, and crop production. Although not spotted in Texas, the aggressive pest that’s native to Asia poses a threat to public health and agriculture. Texas A&M AgriLife, which has a Dallas center, is planning several avenues of action:

• science-based educational materials for citizens and beekeepers
• detection efforts for border and port-of-entry points
• mitigation efforts to protect Texas honey bee populations

In conjunction, a Department of Homeland Security Center is examining specialized detection, “such as possibly using scent-trained dogs to find these hornets hidden in cargo or luggage.”  This is our window to keep the hornet from establishing, said entomologist Chris Looney in the NY Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”

PLUS: Here are 3 Ways to Help Conservation Heroes Keeping Our World in Balance

[Photo: istockphoto]

WHAT ELSE?

Talent Pool: Eco Roof And Solar is looking to hire dozens of people, per CBS Dallas.

The SEC has loosened rules to help small businesses sell stakes to raise funds during Covid-19 crisis, reports Cromwell Schubarth in the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

A Dallas Fed economist decrypts market uncertainty in the DBJ. “A ‘very sharp contraction’ is expected during the second quarter, but Laila Assanie, senior business economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said North Texas may be in a slightly better position to recover from the downturn brought on in the state by the double black swan events of COVID-19 and oil’s collapse,” writes Rebecca Ayers.

Wednesday, May 6

DI PEOPLE
Here are 3 Dallas innovators to know today:

Kyle Estep [Photo: Margarita Corporan]

Kyle Estep, business development director of Take Command Health
Estep, who formerly led the growth of tech-enabled health insurance company Oscar Health, has joined benefit market disruptor Take Command Health. Estep will focus on developing partnerships and speeding the adoption of the company’s model, CEO Jack Hooper said. The Dallas-based startup was founded in 2014 and is a winner of the UPenn Wharton Business School innovation award.

Lyn Fitzgerald, newly appointed vice president of sales for McKesson Data, Evidence, and Insights
Fitzgerald, an industry veteran with 13 years at National Comprehensive Cancer Network, will join McKesson’s market-leading oncology data business, the company announced.  She’s a proven leader, it says, as she played “a pivotal role in a strategic partnership between McKesson, The US Oncology Network, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.”

[Photo: via UTSW]

Dr. Priyanka Gaur, 2020 recipient of the Ho Din Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Southwestern Medical Foundation
Dr. Gaur is being “recognized for her academic achievements and work with at-risk populations,” writes Will Maddox in D CEO.  The UT Southwestern Class of 2020 graduate received the award from Southwestern Medical Foundation in a virtual ceremony held on Saturday, May 2. Gaur was presented the award by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist, Dr. Richard Hoffman, also a UT Southwestern Alum. The Ho Din award is given to a student who embodies the ideal values of a physician and includes a $10,000 scholarship. “Now, more than ever, compassion and empathy are emphasized as part of formal medical training for doctors and nurses,” representatives told Dallas Innovates via email.

DONE DEALS

[Composite image: Elen11 via iStock/Source images: Furnished by NASA]

NASA Johnson Space Center Awards Jacobs a $478M Contract Extension
As NASA’s largest services provider, the contract—valued at over $1.9 trillion total—continues Jacobs’ almost 20-year relationship with the space center. Jacobs will be supporting NASA’s Artemis program to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024

Dallas-based Zimperium partners with cybersecurity automation startup ZecOps to amp mobile threat defense
For enterprises, now is the time to protect against device, network, phishing, and malicious app attacks, says Shridhar Mittal, CEO at Zimperium. Through a new partnership with ZecOps, Mittal says it’s now “the only company that can provide [businesses] and government agencies with on-device, machine learning-based threat detection, and automated digital rich forensics for incident response efforts.” Zimperium partnered with Google in November to help keep harmful apps out of the Google Play Store.

WHAT ELSE?

After 21 days of early giving and one 18-hour rally day for donations (see the Zoom “war room” above), North Texas Giving Tuesday Now raised $20.7M for area nonprofits and $21.8M for COVID-19 relief. Here’s the leaderboard for a full list of sortable results. “The spirit of North Texas shines bright,” says Jennifer Sampson, president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “We’re better together.”

North Texas-based tech firm Vertex One—with its 200 employees, 17M end customers, and about 200 electric, water, and gas utilities—has acquired SF-based WaterSmart Software, reports Brian Womack in the DBJ. 

Tuesday, May 5

TALENT POOL

Alkami

Alkami Technology nearly doubled its headquarters space last year at Granite Park in Plano, shown here. [Photo Courtesy Alkami Technology]

Now Hiring: Plano-Based Tech Company Alkami Looking To Grow
Plano-based fintech Alkami says “its technology has proven to be crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, and now they are looking to expand,” per CBS DFW. The company has 15 open jobs—and Chief HR Officer Adrianne Court says the jobs are “permanent, not temporary.” (The digital banking firm was a winner in The Innovation Awards 2020, presented by Dallas Innovates and D CEO.)

North Texas college graduates consider alternatives as job offers, internships disappear
Some 4 million graduating seniors “are entering an uncertain job market,” reports the DMN. But a few big companies in the region such as AT&T and Fidelity Investments are moving forward with hiring plans.

PLUS: Lockheed Martin, with plants in west Fort Worth and Grand Prairie, has “already hired 166 new employees and aims to bring in 700 more,” according to the Star-Telegram. The Grand Prairie Missiles and Fire Control Division just nabbed a $6 billion contract to build Patriot missiles and equipment.

LEADERBOARD

Since North Texas Giving Day opened its virtual gates today, the local effort has raised more than $12 million for 2,346 organizations. And 6,500 volunteers have pledge 220,000 hours of time. The top three nonprofit categories (so far) are:

1. Hunger, Food, and Nutrition: $1.9 million
2. Education: $1.5 million
3. Social Services: $1 million

WHAT ELSE?

The Blue Angels will salute frontline COVID-19 responders in a DFW flyover tomorrow at 11 a.m. (Here’s the flight path from @DallasPD.) The 35-minute tribute starts near McKinney, circles downtown Dallas and Fort Worth, and ends near Benbrook.

Gov. Abbott gave a coronavirus response update today. Hair salons can open on Friday and gyms can open on May 18, he announced. Watch it on Texas Tribune.

DFW has added to its Grade ‘A’ hospital total, relative to the last two years reports D CEO’s Will Maddox. A new evaluation looked at some 2,600 hospitals for its rankings.

Uber has asked the city of Dallas for more time on incentive requirements for its project in Dallas, per the DBJ.

Monday, May 4

[Image: Courtesy Communities Foundation of Texas]

KICKING OFF

Texas Instruments Foundation donates millions to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
The  $5 million grant from the foundation precedes ‘North Texas Giving Tuesday Now’ on May 5. The TI gift will support United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ COVID-19 relief, recovery, and rebuilding effort. UWMD launched its Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund in March, raising $1.2 million in donations the first day. To date, the fund has raised to more than $11.6 million.

PLUS: North Texas Giving Tuesday Now—the one-day emergency donation blitz to raise funds for those adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19—is a partnership between the Dallas Cowboys, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and Communities Foundation of Texas. Browse more than 3,000 local nonprofits here.

Lori Beer is the Global Chief Information Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. That means she’s responsible for the company’s technology systems and infrastructure worldwide. [Photo: Courtesy JPMorgan]

TOPPING TECH

JPMorgan’s global CIO talks tech, top talent, and honing in on DFW
Plano houses one of JPMorgan Chase’s top technology centers. We talked with the firm’s global CIO, Lori Beer, on why DFW is critical to the company’s strategy—and so is tech talent.

PLUS: JPMorgan’s new 12-story tower in Plano’s Legacy West “topped out” last week. With the new tower—slated for completion in May 2021—the company could “grow its workforce by an additional 4,000 employees,” per Dallas developer KDC. The tower is part of a Phase II expansion of the JPMorgan’s initial 1-million-square-foot corporate campus in Plano. When it’s done, over half of the company’s employees in DFW will work at the campus, KDC says. In addition to state-of-the-art technology and telepresence capabilities, it boasts worker-friendly amenities such as a food court, wellness center, and back-up childcare.


Friday, May 1

THE TOP 10

Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates from April 17-23, 2020

1  ‘Work Spacing’ the Workspace: Vari Renovates HQ, Develops Products

 

 REC Foundation Takes the World’s Largest Robotics Competition Virtual

 

 Linear Labs’ Smart Electric Motor Available to Startups, Makers & Small Biz

 

4  Texas Prepares for the ‘Digital Future,’ Signs Atos for Cloud Services

 

5  Cyberstates: Dallas-Fort Worth Lands in Top 10 for Net Tech Employment

 

6  BAL Law Firm Introduces Ellie, a First-of-its-Kind Immigration Chatbot

 

7  Big Thought, Dallas City of Learning Launch Education Hub with Partners

 

 City of Dallas Launches COVID-19 Tracker and Food Access Surveys

 

 Custom Med Device Startup in Deep Ellum Prototypes Better PPE 

 

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

FORCES FOR GOOD

Dallas-Fort Worth people and companies are stepping up to help local communities during the pandemic.

Thursday, April 30

WWCD*

Mark Cuban talks Texas reopening: ‘Would you let your kids out? I’m not letting mine.’
Dallas’ notorious leader in entrepreneurship, who is on Pres. Trump’s COVID-19 advisory team to reopen the economy, continues to be influential during quarantine. In a conversation with WFAA, Cuban made it clear he thinks the state is moving too fast in reopening restaurant and retail—especially from a business standpoint. “I don’t care if you’re the smallest business,” he said. “If you can only do 25% of your occupancy, it’s going to be more expensive and in 90% of the cases you’re going to end up losing more money than you would by staying closed.” And from a healthcare standpoint, Cuban says there’s still too much we don’t understand about the virus.

*WHAT WOULD CUBAN DO?

HACKING THE CRISIS

Health Wildcatters’ Health Hacking Crisis Network continues making moves
The Health Hacking Crisis Network, a community effort created to find solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, is supporting a new project that invented the “first surge capacity, rapid response, full face respirator.” Made by Dallas-based Kioma, a designer and manufacturer, the respirator folds like origami and provides better protection at a lower cost than what’s currently available.

We first told you about the Health Hacking Crisis Network when it launched in March. Hubert Zajicek, who runs Health Wildcatters, created the group to share knowledge and actionable ideas, and connect like-minded people to facilitate collaboration that supports an exchange of know-how in the current crisis. Since, it’s launched a new website, which you can explore here.

CELEBRITY CONNECTIONS

Where should hip hop artist Post Malone donate $1M? You can text Malone’s community number (which is a North Texas 817 number, y’all) to let him know, Billboard reported yesterday. 

Wednesday, April 29

[Photo: Michael Samples]

FOLLOW THE MONEY

A Dallas unicorn? $100 million investment boosts startup o9 Solutions into rarified world
With the investment from private equity firm KKR, o9 Solutions is now valued at more than $1 billion, as reported by The DMN. The Dallas software company helps companies in consumer goods, retail, and industrial manufacturing make better decisions. It has solutions in integrated business planning, revenue management, and supply chain management, according to LinkedIn. At the end of 2018, Inc. listed its revenue at $31.5M, but the company said annual recurring revenue grew by 100% last year.

PLUS: The range of industries in Dallas-Fort Worth makes us a seeding ground for unicorns—one that will grow in value by fixing problems instead of speculative investing. Here’s why.

TECH FOR GOOD

Dallas company connects businesses with $47M in PPP loan offers
Worldwide Express, a shipping logistics provider for small- to mid-size businesses, is partnering with UPS Capital and fintech Kabbage to give its 90,000 customers another way to get Paycheck Protection Program funding. On the WWEX website is a link to a PPP application on Kabbage, and per the DBJ, 572 applicants submitted through that were offered $47M in loans.

ONLINE EVENTS

SVP Dallas to host ‘Thinking Globally, Acting Locally, Leaders Respond’
Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, and DISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa will come together digitally to discuss what it takes to lead when record-level disruption is underway, the playbook of what is “normal” no longer applying, and what it means to be a transformational leader in a time of crisis. You can register for the virtual event here.

[Photo: John Smith]

VIRTUAL TOUR

Go see ‘For a Dream of Houses’—online
Through the Dallas Museum of Art’s new virtual tour feature, visitors can explore the newest special exhibitions while the museum is closed. For a Dreamer of Houses is an immersive exhibit that “explores the significance of the spaces we inhabit and how they represent ourselves, our values, and our desires.” The inspiration relates to the psychological importance of homes as discussed in philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s book, The Poetics of Space. (D Magazine explores the space in-depth here.)


Tuesday, April 28

THE WORLD IS WAITING

DIVERSE TEAM: The Perot Jain team consists of Ross Perot Jr., principal Cindy Revol, partners Joe Beard and Anurag Jain.

The Perot Jain team in 2019: From left, Ross Perot Jr.; principal Cindy Revol; and partners Joe Beard and Anurag Jain. [Photo: Courtesy Perot Jain]

Announcing my departure as Partner from Perot Jain
Within five years, Perot Jain’s portfolio grew to more than 40 companies, and the Dallas-based venture capital firm became one of Texas’ most active early-stage venture firms, Joe Beard writes in a Medium post that announces his departure. He describes his tenure as a ride that’s been “thrilling, bumpy, and inspirational—everything I could ask for!”

Beard shares a quote—and a tease—in the post:

When we look back in five years, we are going to realize that there were 10 to 20 amazing companies that were started that changed the world and led us to a brighter future. Ask yourself: “Why Not Me” or “Why Not Us”. Now is your time. The world is waiting. – Mark Cuban

“The next chapter in my journey has been calling me for some time,” Beard writes. “I have developed a unique and diverse skillset by means of some amazing mentors and professional opportunities throughout the years. I feel like I would have wasted all that I have been given if I didn’t pour EVERYTHING into the opportunity I am creating.”

Beard adds: “Why not me? Now is my time.”

Stay tuned.

SHOP THIS WAY


Retail traffic: Walmart stores have new one-way aisles 
Floor decals indicate the direction of the traffic flow on each aisle, reports Culturemap Dallas. And it seems to be working to reduce congestion, the publication says.  But, “some shoppers seem to think that you are now required to go through the entire store, as if you are on an amusement park ride, instead of simply skipping an aisle if there’s nothing you want.

WHAT ELSE?

Here’s how North Texas companies are meeting the moment in the age of the new coronavirus. “There’s only one way we’re all going to get through this: together,” writes Bianca Montes in D CEO.

Looking to the state’s new guidelines for restaurants, some food industry insiders say the allowed 25 percent capacity isn’t worth the risk. Referring to Gov. Abbott’s latest executive order, retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls can reopen on Friday, May 1, while limiting capacity to 25 percent of their listed occupancy. Here’s the full order.

Meanwhile, the DMN has five tips for local small businesses to secure funding.


Monday, April 27

MAJOR MOVES

Water tech firm OriginClear moves corporate HQ from Los Angeles to McKinney
OriginClear, which has a patented system to remove algae and other water impurities, is headed to DFW. The company purchased a McKinney water treatment firm, Progressive Water Treatment Inc., a few years ago, per the DMN. Now, Progressive’s ~12K SF facility will be OriginClear’s manufacturing center. Founded by two brothers, OriginClear originally focused on biofuels, but has since pivoted.

WHO’S HIRING

Home Depot

These Fort Worth companies are hiring despite the coronavirus—or even because of it
Unemployment is at “crazy-high levels” in Texas and the U.S., but there are companies in Dallas-Fort Worth hiring for all types of jobs, writes Gordon Dickson in the Star-Telegram. For example, “Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the F-35 stealth fighter jet at its enormous plant in west Fort Worth and operates a missile and fire control plant in Grand Prairie, has already hired 166 new employees and aims to bring in 700 more,” he reports.

DONE DEALS

Envy Gaming renews partnership with Acer, adds Dallas Fuel sponsorship
The expanded sponsorship makes Acer’s Predator gaming line the official laptop-desktop-monitor partner for Dallas Fuel and Team Envy. The new 21,000-square-foot Envy Gaming HQ  and training facility in Dallas’ Victory Park will be outfitted with Predator’s products.


Friday, April 24

THE TOP TEN

Here are the Most Popular Stories on Dallas Innovates from April 17-23, 2020  

1  Tyler Technologies: Goes Live With Tech, Offers Virtual Internships and Continues to Serve Texas

 

 Intl. Risk Management Solutions Firm Heads to Plano, Plans Tech Hires

 

 North Texas Firms Make Masks Their Mission to Fight COVID€’19

 

4  A Deep Ellum Custom Medical Device Co. is Prototyping Better PPE

 

5  Emmitt Smith to Lead DRC in Connecting Workers to Jobs 

 

6  REC Foundation Takes World’s Largest Robotics Competition Virtual

 

7  OYO Sees Rise in Long-Term Stays, Offers Rooms to Healthcare Workers

 

 Dallas€’Area Firms Join Forces for Smarter Healthcare Supply Chain

 

 RevTech Awards $40,000 in Impact Grants to 8 Dallas-Area Startups

 

10  How a Dallas Native is Helping Island Nations Shift to Renewable Energy


Thursday, April 23

CHALLENGE GRANT

Solution Fund: UT Dallas and SMU Partner With RevTech on Higher Ed (SAFE) Schools Challenge
Your COVID-19 mission, should you choose to accept it: To create a low-risk campus environment that could exist after state and local executive orders related to the pandemic have expired. Grants are open to students at UTD and SMU. (But we have a pro tip for startups who may want to match up with a student team.)

SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF

Coronavirus Policies Explained: The CARES Act Small Business Relief
“With an unprecedented crisis, comes unique aid,” writes D Magazine’s Kelsy Vanderschoot. Here’s how to navigate the nuances in the coronavirus relief package passed at the close of March.

SUPPORT THE FRONT LINES

Fort Worth, Dallas leading North Texas tribute to pandemic heroes during #ThankYouThursdays
Dallas and Fort Worth will continue lighting up the sky in blue lights every Thursday at 7 p.m. Mayors Eric Johnson and Betsy Price encourage people to applaud front line workers. 

WHAT ELSE?

Texas-based businesses received more than 1,200 disaster loan approvals related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the SBA, reports the DBJ.

The Dallas City Council yesterday approved $13.7 million in relief for rent, mortgages, and utilities for most residents who earn less than the median income in North Texas, WFAA writes.


Wednesday, April 22

CLIMATE ACTION

Jacobs Releases Plan to be Net Zero Carbon in 2020 and Carbon Negative by 2030
Jacobs’ newly released Climate Action Plan shows that the Dallas-based firm hopes to achieve 100 percent renewable energy and net zero carbon for its operations and business travel this year.

EARTH DAY

EarthX Continues
It’s Earth Day, Dallas Innovators, and environmentally related events have been happening all day long in honor of EarthX (and continuing through April 26). Here are some you can still tune into tonight:

EarthxFilm Virtual Screenings
Streams 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
A short documentary titled “When The Earth Moves” will be followed by “The Great Green Wall,” a documentary about a Malian singer’s mission is to help build a green wall of trees.

N’Dambi Live Performance
Streams 9:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The Grammy-nominated soul singer, songwriter, author, who is also an activist, environmentalist, and judge for EarthxFilm, will be giving a live performance.

COVID-19 COVERAGE

Meet the Local Company Helping New York Track COVID-19
Frisco’s MTX Group is working with 17 states to help them identify at-risk individuals for COVID-19 and prevent future spread, D Magazine reports. The company’s tech can map out clusters of the disease, guide health departments tracking contacts, and predict the outbreak’s movement.


Tuesday, April 21

COVID-19 COVERAGE

UNTHSC Grad Students Are Tracing COVID-19 Contacts 
The public health students will answer phones and aid Tarrant County Public Health investigators who perform contact tracing, reports D Magazine. Contact tracing is the process of identifying individuals who may have come into contact with an infected person and letting them know to take precautions.

COUNTDOWN TO EARTH DAY

Earthx Goes Virtual for Earth Day
On April 22, 1970, Earth Day, the world’s first major environmental movement was born. 50 years later, Dallas-based EarthX and The National Geographic Society have partnered to shine a light on all things environmental. The 11-day event (April 16-26) hosts conferences, film, and interactivity. And this year, Earthx has opened its virtual doors to all for free. Here are picks for April 22:

50th Earth Day Celebration
Streams Noon to 7:30 p.m.
From Robert Redford (earth advocate and activist) to Tia Nelson (daughter of Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day) you’ll find a diverse science, creative, political, and star-studded lineup€”all focused on the Earth.

E-Capital Virtual Summit
Streams 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Learn, pitch, and connect with presentations from climate tech’s top innovators and investors. Early-stage climate tech companies will pitch to investors for a chance to win up to $10,000€”and vetted companies can be connected to potential investors for one-on-one virtual meetings.

EarthxFilm / EarthXR Channel
Streams 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
You’ll find film screenings, filmmaker Q&As, immersive experiences, youth programming, music, and more.

For more Earth Day events, including EarthxLaw and the March for Science Flatten the Curve Forum, go here.

CATCH THIS TONIGHT

Embrace the Chaos (Innovation and Product Success Depend on It)
Online 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
“Many people are lulled into the false notion that a good plan will solve our pain points and prevent us from slipping into harm,” the Dallas User Experience Group notes on its Meetup page. It keeps us from feeling out of control. But, by planning everything, we can lose out on opportunities to embrace serendipity and spontaneity. Dialexa’s Sarah Reid talks about how to balance the forces surrounding you and your company’s teams for increased success with your products€”and well being. Free. 


Monday, April 20

TRACKING COVID-19 

Instagram founders launch COVID-19 spread tracker Rt.live
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger teamed up to launch a tracker of how quickly COVID-19 is spreading in each state. As of today, Texas is under 1 (at 0.85)and Connecticut has the best score at 0.37. (Lower is better: “Rt” is the average number of people who are infected by an infectious person. Higher numbers above one indicate “the faster COVID-19 races through a population,” while a number below one shows the virus receding.) Rt. Covid 19 is the Insta founders’ first product together “since leaving the Facebook mothership,” Techcrunch said.

LOOKING AHEAD

Dallas ISD Hopes to Reopen Schools This Fall
Michael Hinojosa said the school district is working out plans for bringing students back to class. But “We’re not going back to normal,” the DISD superintendent told the Dallas Observer. “We know we’re going to have some type of modifications in August.”

This Is How Dallas Gets Back to Work
Coronavirus containment is essential to prevent future outbreak and to ultimately open the economy back up to begin rebuilding, Will Maddox writes in D CEO. “The process of containment is the way we get back to work,” UTSW’s Dr. Robert Haley said. He thinks supervisors and CEOs need to exhibit leadership, give direction to personnel, and provide sick leave if the region is going to have any hope of rebounding.

EXPANSIONS

Coworking firm Common Desk is headed to Lower Greenville
“The eight-year-old shared office company is shopping a storefront in the Lower Greenville district for its latest location,” reports the DMN. According to filings with the state, the new location would total some 12,000 square feet in the 2000 block of Greenville Avenue. “It’s too early to talk about plans for the project,” Common Desk founder Nick Clark said.


Friday, April 17

NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Our partners at the Dallas Regional Chamber are keeping track of the news and stories that affect the business community across the Dallas region. Here’s what we’re reading in the COVID-19 news roundup.

Thursday, April 16

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Kimberly-Clark Foundation and the Falk Family Donate $1M to United Way Covid-19 Fund
The Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund€”which in March came together in under a week€”aims to tackle both urgent and long-term needs in North Texas, including those affecting education, income, and health.

RESOURCES

City of Fort Worth, PeopleFund Launch Microloan Program
The Business Resiliency Microloan Program has been created to support Fort Worth businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis with at least $850,000 available, but could total more than $1.7 million depending on the demand for relief.

COVID-19 COVERAGE

One COVID-19 Testing Site in Dallas is Using New, Less Invasive Technique
Dallas’ Ellis Davis Field House has received self-swabbing test kits, which are said to be less invasive and safer than the nasopharyngeal swabs used at the city’s other testing site, reports CultureMap Dallas.

COMING SOON

Dallas Will Soon Become Home to North America’s Largest Living Wall
The wall will be part of a 26-story condominium tower located across from the Union mixed-use complex. It will feature more than 40,000 plants that can absorb 1,600 pounds of pollution every year, per D Magazine.

Wednesday, April 15

CELEBS STEP UP

Oprah Winfrey is Supporting DFW
Minnie’s Food Pantry, a Plano-based nonprofit that provides healthy meals and educational resources, is getting some celebrity attention. A popular Instagram account shared a comment from Oprah sharing that she decided to donate to Minnie’s because they “do a great job.” According to People, Oprah decided to give $9M to charities she loves, which includes Minnie’s.

RESOURCES

SMU Offers Free Telehealth Counseling
In response to the ongoing pandemic, anyone can use the remote counseling service for free until further notice. The university has also opened registration for five new free remote support groups.

FUNDING

Texas leads the country in most approved PPP loans
Texas has approved the most loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program at 88,434, totaling $21.77 billion as of April 13. California and Florida follow close behind, reports the DBJ.

VIRTUAL EVENTS

The Dallas Art Fair’s Digital Viewing Room Is Open
The fair’s physical event may have been rescheduled for October, but there’s still a virtual version available now through April 23. Dallas Art Fair Online features 82 international galleries, guided tours, and panels, per D Magazine.

Tuesday, April 14

RISE OF TELEMEDICINE

Governor Temporarily Approves Expansion Of Telemedicine
Governor Abbott has expanded telemedicine in Texas to include telephone calls to new patients for diagnosis, treatment, ordering of tests and prescribing for all conditions, reports CBS DFW.

PLUS: The moment for virtual healthcare has, indeed, arrived, writes Dave Moore on Dallas Innovates. Demand has exploded since March, Nick Reddy, CDO and SVP of Information Systems at Baylor Scott & White told Moore. “We just ran the biggest virtual health experiment in the history of the universe in the last month,” he said. 

NO UNSAVORY SAMPLING

Getting the (Essential) Goods
Many may be surprised that “nearly 30% of food deliverers admit to sampling food from an order,” as cited by the WSJ. After all, most people order a delivery service thinking they are opting for a safer alternative than venturing out to get the goods themselves. That’s why local rideshare company Alto, which has pivoted to delivering food and essential goods in the time of COVID, is “leaving no room for an unprofessional act like this, with cameras installed in every vehicle and W-2 employee drivers,” the company told Dallas Innovates. (Alto is equipped with a HEPA filter and is cleaned using EPA-approved cleaning agents between trips, too.)

PLUS: Alto has teamed up with Dallas-based virtual pharmacy Scripx to deliver prescriptions, reports D CEO’s Will Maddox. Alto CEO Will Coleman says he’s seen 50 percent week-over-week growth in the company’s new delivery services that include food, prescriptions, and essential goods. The times required a quick shift: Alto saw 95 percent of rideshare requests disappear over the past month, writes Maddox.

COVID-19 COVERAGE

DFW-Based Jet Service Helps Dozens of Seniors Get Home During Pandemic
Private jet charter company JetSuite’s subsidiary JSX has brought 106 Americans home from their travels recently, many of whom were 65 or older, per D Magazine. CEO Alex Wilcox thinks that once people begin traveling again, JSX flights, which accommodate a maximum of 30 people, will be even more appealing to consumers.

Monday, April 13

MASK MAKERS

Turning Snorkel Masks into PPE in DFW
A partnership between a DFW anesthesiologist with U.S. Anesthesia Partners and Dallas-based Invene could become essential for hospitals across the country. Together the team is turning full face snorkeling masks into a replacement for N95 masks. With PPE already running low, if providers get approved by hospitals to bring their own equipment, this could be a gamechanger, Will Maddox writes.

VIRTUAL EVENT

SVP Dallas to Host a Digital Gathering on Mental Health
The global organization’s Dallas branch plans to bring together a panel of DFW mental health professionals to discuss the negative effects COVID-19 has had on North Texans’ mental health and how to cope with the stresses it brings.

ENTERPRISE

DFW warehouse demand is still booming
One thing North Texas doesn’t have to worry about with the pandemic is a shortage of industrial space, the DMN reports. We have one of the largest total warehouse and industrial space in the country, and CBRE says net leasing of warehouse space is up. A similar boom is the square footage of data centers€”last week, we told you about Dallas’ BBG citing DFW as the fourth largest market in the country.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from April 5-11, 2020.

1. Report: Dallas-Fort Worth Housing Market Ranks Among Least Vulnerable to Economic Impact From COVID-19

2. A Fort Worth Molecular Lab is Now Offering COVID-19 Testing

3. COVID-19 Response: Jacobs Execs Take Pay Cut to Help Raise $1M, Company Realigns Federal Contracts

4. Housing for Healthcare: Dallas’ RVs 4 MDs Connects First Responders with Temporary ‘Wheel Estate’

5. Giving Back: Salesforce Just Announced $5M in Grants to Help Small Businesses Weather the COVID-19 Crisis

6. Dallas’ BBG Sees a Data Center Boom for Years to Come

7. Trial by Fire for Telehealth Tech: The Moment Arrives for Virtual Healthcare During COVID-19

8. AT&T IoT Technology Powers Germ-Zapping Robots

9. Learning in the Living Room: 12 Resources for Making Education From Home Easier

10. Global Pet Treat Provider to Establish U.S. Headquarters in Dallas


Thursday, April 9

TICK TOCK

EarthX’s First Virtual E-Capital Summit Goes Public and It’s Free (But Don’t Miss the Deadline)
The summit, which is normally invitation only, will feature climate tech innovators, virtual happy hours, and a pitch competition with prizes up to $10,000. Fair warning: Organizers are serious about the deadline. Sign up by Apr. 10, 11:59 pm. 

PIVOT WITH PURPOSE

Poo-Pourri Repurposes 1M Toilet Spray Bottles to Speed Up its Hand Sanitizer Launch
Poo-Pourri originally planned to release antibacterial products this fall. But coronavirus motivated the team to change their plans.

RANKED

Texans Are Most Bored During Coronavirus Outbreak According To Twitter Posts
Some 2 million tweets were tracked, reports CBS DFW. “Texas was the top state complaining about boredom, and its neighbor to the north, Oklahoma, was right behind it in second.” (We get it. But IOHO … seems like Dallas Innovators have doubled down on their pace since the stay-at-home orders.)

Wednesday, April 8

COVID-19 COVERAGE

Grant Halliburton Foundation and Dallas County Medical Society Provide Mental Health Resources for Healthcare Workers
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, healthcare workers are working long hours and putting themselves at risk. Two Dallas organizations are offering free mental health resources to support them during this time.

JOB OPENINGS

Lockheed Martin hired over 160 people in DFW the past 2 weeks, has 700 more openings
The defense contractor, which builds missile products and fighter jets locally, is still looking to hire amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Since it’s considered an essential business, Lockheed’s employees are still going to work as usual. The contractor is currently advertising for 5,000 open positions nationally, reports the DBJ.

KUDOS

Jacobs CIO Andrews Inducted Into Hall of Fame
Chief Digital and Information Officer Madhuri Andrews was inducted into IDG’s 2020 CIO Hall of Fame in March. Andrews joined 10 peers from Lifeco, Nasdaq, Western Digital, Chipotle Mexican Grill and more who were honored. The personal leadership award celebrates men and women whose work has “advanced the CIO role and demonstrated sustained business success.”  It’s been a good year for recognition for Andrews, who was named CIO/CTO of the Year at the D CEO and Dallas Innovates The Innovation Awards 2020 in January. Andrews has been tasked with leading an enterprise-wide campaign to make innovation part of Jacobs’ DNA.

Tuesday, April 7

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Blue Box Grows HVAC Coronavirus Scrubbing Solution and Raises Capital
Following a recent HQ move to Dallas, Blue Box is bullish on its future. Its disinfection protocol is being used in numerous major cities and an additional capital raise of $2.5M is complete.

Dallas-based P10 Holdings Completes Acquisition of Five Points Capital
P10 Holdings, which calls itself an innovative alternative asset management investment firm, acquired Five Points Capital for an undisclosed amount. P10 aims to create long-term value for its shareholders by providing “superior risk-adjusted returns to its Limited Partners.” The firm intends to provide other investment vehicles and also continue its plan to monetize its patents, P10 says.

Dallas VC Curative Ventures Invested in BioTech Firm iTeos Therapeutics
Privately-held iTeos, which develops innovative cancer immunotherapies, raised a total of $125 million from 13 investors. Curative Ventures, “a capital and talent partner to category-defining biotech companies that are developing new therapies,” participated in the oversubscribed Series B round co-led by RA Capital Management and Boxer Capital. The biotech is based in Cambridge, MA with R&D facilities in Belgium.

Monday, April 6

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Blue Box Grows HVAC Coronavirus Scrubbing Solution and Raises Capital
Following a recent HQ move to Dallas, Blue Box is bullish on its future. Its disinfection protocol is being used in numerous major cities and an additional capital raise of $2.5M is complete.

Dallas-Based P10 Holdings Completes Acquisition of Five Points Capital
P10 Holdings, which calls itself an innovative alternative asset management investment firm, acquired Five Points Capital for an undisclosed amount. P10 aims to create long-term value for its shareholders by providing “superior risk-adjusted returns to its Limited Partners.” The firm intends to provide other investment vehicles and also continue its plan to monetize its patents, P10 says.

Dallas VC Curative Ventures Invested in BioTech Firm iTeos Therapeutics
Privately-held iTeos, which develops innovative cancer immunotherapies, raised a total of $125 million from 13 investors. Curative Ventures, “a capital and talent partner to category-defining biotech companies that are developing new therapies,” participated in the oversubscribed Series B round co-led by RA Capital Management and Boxer Capital. The biotech is based in Cambridge, MA with R&D facilities in Belgium.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from March 29-April 4, 2020.

1. COVID-19 Response: Jacobs Execs Take Pay Cut to Help Raise $1M, Company Realigns Federal

2. ContractsRideshare Startup Via Raises $200M in Series E Funding

3. Texas Central Working to Keep High-Speed Train on Track Despite COVID-Related Layoffs

4. Toyota Tackles the COVID-19 Crisis With Money, Manufacturing, and Customer Support

5. Learning in the Living Room: 12 Resources for Making Education From Home Easier

6. New Fort Worth Office Building Will Feature First Fully Automated Parking Garage

7. AT&T Collaborates With Plano’s VitalTech On Telehealth Services During COVID-19 Outbreak

8. Dallas Regional Chamber Deploys Bot to Connect Displaced Workers With Jobs

9. DFW Hospital Council: We 💜 Our Healthcare Heroes

10. Calling All Makers: Better Block Has a How-To for Creating Medical Face Shields


Friday, April 3

INVENTION

North Texas companies making retina scanners to help essential businesses stay open during COVID-19 pandemic
Addison-based Wello and Richardson-based Suntronic are developing tech that removes human interaction to help other businesses, Fox4 reports. Wello’s retina scanners can take someone’s temperature via a camera and infared tech€”scanners that are manufactured by Suntronic. “It will log the temperature of the employee and issue them a sticker or identifier that shows they are fever free,” Suntronic’s COO said, noting that the machines were used during the Ebola outbreak.

#WFH: THE PET EDITION

It’s a Paw-ty for these Dallas Pets of Quarantine: The Work Edition
Dallas’ PR maven and fashion-preneur Leah Frazier rounded up some furry co-workers of local CEOs, bosses, and remote workers to mix in some positive content during this time. Frazier invites readers to dive in, “paw-ty” on, and “yap” it up for her #PetsOfQuarantine. (Seriously, it’s adorable).

IDEA PEOPLE

Can silent meetings make your teams more collaborative?” tweets Dallas Innovator @GracePlaton, sharing a “work smarter” tip from Slab, a knowledge hub for the remote workplace. Here’s how embracing silence could make your team more productive€”and happy. We think it’s an idea ripe for adaptation amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thursday, April 2

PHISHING

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, cyberattacks are on the rise
Phishing attacks have risen more than 600 percent since the end of February with many directly related to COVID-19. Here are some tips on how to spot them.

COVID-19 COVERAGE

Ask these UT Austin students from Plano and Irving what they did during pandemic spring break
Two students home in North Texas decided to tackle a major problem caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: A store’s inventory. The duo created Instok.org for shoppers to search products by ZIP code at big chain retailers to see what’s available, the DMN reports. It already has 300,000+ users.

HKS architects create plan to convert hotels to hospitals in 10 days
The Dallas architecture firm has a plan to quickly turn use a hotel for overflow patients if the outbreak continues, and various operators are interested, per the DBJ. For instance, ballrooms would become patient wards, rooms would be used for patients and nurses, lobbies would be for triage and intake, and restaurants turned staff dining.

Wednesday, April 1

The DEC Launches Free Virtual Mentoring to Help Entrepreneurs Through COVID-19
The new Fast Start Mentoring Program pairs entrepreneurs with business veterans who can help plan a path forward€”and identify emerging opportunities. “It’s fair to say we’re genuinely saving jobs here,” CEO Bill Chinn says.

UPDATED: COVID-19: A Roundup of Resources for Small Businesses
If you haven’t yet, check out our roundup of small business resources, which is being updated regularly. The Dallas Regional Chamber, University of Texas at Dallas, and U.S. India Chamber of Commerce DFW are among the organizations we’ve found providing resources.

DI PEOPLE

AT&T names Hulu co-founder Jason Kilar CEO of WarnerMedia, replacing John Stankey
Kilar was Hulu’s founding CEO until 2013 and previously held leadership positions at Amazon, per The DMN. He’s joining WarnerMedia on May 1€”the same month that its new streaming service HBO Max is expected to launch.

TELEMEDICINE

Coronavirus has Sparked a Teleradiology Revolution
Radiologists are embracing technology as they transition to working from home, but as Will Maddox writes, it’s actually improving the accuracy, quality, and speed at which images are being read. In North Texas specifically, a virtual network of radiologists has been created, which gives more bandwidth to cover for each other as needed.

Tuesday, March 31

FUNDING

Rideshare Startup Via Raises $200M in Series E Funding
The City of Arlington recently received nearly $1.7 million from the Federal Transit Administration to integrate autonomous vehicles into its on-demand system operated with Via.

ON-DEMAND DELIVERY

Quarantine Survival: Rideshare Startup Alto Launches More On€’Demand Delivery Services
Dallas-based Alto is now delivering essential goods (toilet paper, eggs, milk, more), meals (rotating restaurants), and ready-to-cook items (Wagyu beef and meal kits).

FOOD + BEV

Although local restaurants and distributors are struggling as we #FlattenTheCurve, that hasn’t stopped them from helping. Here’s a few recent updates:

€¢ Savor in Klyde Warren Park is dropping off free individually packaged, homemade pasta meals to the frontline healthcare workers at UT Southwestern.

€¢ Fort Worth’s TX Whiskey has made a temporary transition from producing spirits to sanitizer. As of today, the team has produced 800 gallons, and is positioned to make another 5,000 bottles. The first 150 gallons went to first responders in the area.

€¢ Three Dallas coffee shops have repurposed their spaces to help out with coronavirus-related issues. Full City Rooster in the Cedars now has a dedicated collection and storage space for donated PPE. Noble Coyote Coffee in Expo Park is hosting free virtual educational classes while people are stuck at home. And Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters created a public pantry to alleviate grocery-store nightmares, even giving away items for free.

Monday, March 30

COVID-19 COVERAGE

Neiman Marcus and JOANN Partner to Make Protective Gear for COVID-19
Dallas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group is partnering with JOANN Stores to begin producing personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns, and scrubs. Neiman Marcus alterations facilities will receive product from JOANN Fabric.

Toyota Tackles the COVID-19 Crisis With Money, Manufacturing, and Customer Support
Plano-based Toyota Motor North America has put its efforts related to the COVID-19 crisis in overdrive. The company is making monetary donations, using its facilities to fabricate face shields, and collaborating with medical device companies to hasten the manufacture of PPE for hospitals.

DFW radiology group working from home more to avoid coronavirus
Collaborative Imaging has adjusted its operations so some 140 DFW-based radiologists are working from home, according to the DBJ. Chest X-rays and CRT scans done by radiologists are used to diagnose COVID-19. “In DFW, the company’s radiologists handle about 300,000 studies per month,” writes Bill Hethcock. Their radiologists’ turnaround time is about 8 minutes, says the CEO.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from March 22-28, 2020.

1. The North Texas Fashion Industry is Making Medical Masks Amid Shortages to Fight COVID-19

2. PrimeVox Doubles Staff, Moves Into New Frisco Offices & Boosts Telecom Capabilities During COVID-19

3. Smart Electric Motor Maker Linear Labs Benefits from Supply Chain Independence

4. May the Trust Be With You: Plano Entrepreneur Shares His Latest Book on Kindle, Free

5. Dallas Biopharma ReCode Therapeutics Gets $80M Series A Investment for Lung Disease Drugs

6. Trimming Branches: Banking Companies Increase Focus on Digital Banking

7. Discovery: HSC Opens COVID-19 Test Site for Tarrant County First Responders

8. AT&T Launches $10M Fund to Provide Home Learning Resources During COVID-19

9. Dallas Native’s Everlywell Releases First At-Home COVID-19 Test Rollout

10. 15 North Texas Funders Launch a Shared Grant Application for Local Nonprofits During COVID-19


Friday, March 27

TECH COMPANIES STEP UP

A common thread we’ve noticed is North Texas companies making their tech available for free while it’s in higher demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a few from the past week (and drop us a line if you know of one).

McKinney-based healthcare SaaS company Blockit made its online patient scheduling solution free for any licensed healthcare systems providing COVID-19 testing. The tech helps to easily schedule and direct patients to testing centers.

SpotSee, a Dallas-based IoT solutions provider, is giving 20,000 temperature indicators to state health departments nationwide to help with the transporting and storing of COVID-19 test specimens. SpotSee hopes this will also ensure correct test results.

On a mission to save local eateries, OneDine’s scan-to-order and scan-to-pay solution is offered at no charge. The Plano restaurant tech startup says this allows restaurants to turn their parking lots into revenue-generating real estate.

Thursday, March 26

GET IT NOW

May the Trust Be With You: Plano Entrepreneur Shares His Latest Book on Kindle, Free
But hurry: “The Book of Trust” is free on Kindle through tomorrow. Author Yoram Solomon also has seven timely tips for companies and leaders on how to operate with trust in a world gone virtual.

Booster Lauds New Dallas Mobile Fueling Ordinance as Vital in COVID-19 Pandemic
The Dallas City Council has passed an ordinance allowing and regulating mobile fueling within the city. Same-day fuel delivery service Booster can now deliver fuel to commercial vehicles and critical workers that are helping to keep the infrastructure up and running during the shelter-in-place.

GET IT DELIVERED

Delivery company Shipt is hiring 2,000 in North Texas as more people work from home
Shipt, a business under Target that home delivers household essentials, groceries, and medications, is boosting its presence in North Texas, the DBJ reports. The 2,000 new “shoppers” (making this the biggest presence in the state) will help as more people work from home during COVID-19.

Wednesday, March 25

COVID-19 COVERAGE

Confronting COVID-19 With Dr. Philip Huang
The Dallas Regional Chamber is hosting a digital pre-recorded Town Hall conversation today with Dr. Huang, the director of Dallas County Health and Human Services. He will share his observations and recommendations on confronting COVID-19 and keeping business running in the Dallas region. You can sign up to get a link to the video.

City of Dallas Crisis Response Survey
The City of Dallas is asking locals to fill out a form to share the needs they see due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents can also provide available resources that may be useful during this time. You’re encouraged to participate in the survey here.

BuzzBallz Joins the Fight Against COVID-19 Through Hand Sanitizer Production
The ready-to-drink Carrollton cocktail company plans to donate 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to Texas healthcare facilities, municipalities, and retail personnel in the next week. BuzzBallz is already a pioneer in the beverage industry, so it’s no surprise they’re contributing to the frontline in the fight against coronavirus. It’s led by Merrilee Kick, the only female owner of a combined distillery and winery in the U.S.

Tuesday, March 24

TEST KITS

Dallas Native’s Everlywell Releases First At-Home COVID-19 Test Rollout
UPDATE: A recent announcement from the FDA has barred private labs from collecting at-home samples from customers. Startups like Everlywell (in the story above) had to discontinue their testing programs immediately, reports TechCrunch. As of March 23, Everlywell says it’s still committed to making a COVID-19 test available to consumers, but for now, its COVID-19 test is only available to qualifying hospitals and healthcare companies that provide the test for free to healthcare workers and symptomatic patients.

GOING VIRTUAL

North Texas Film Festivals Are Now Taking Place in Your Living Room
With the coronavirus pandemic leading to many film festivals like SXSW being canceled or postponed across the nation, some DFW festivals are pivoting to create virtual marquees. Denton’s Thin Line Fest and Dallas VideoFest’s Alternative Fiction Fest are two of the upcoming film festivals that will be hosted virtually, per the Dallas Observer.

Remote Work: Testing the Model During Uncertainty
With many businesses adjusting to the coronavirus pandemic by allowing employees to work from home, the capacity for a remote job market has become limitless, writes Stream Realty Partners’ Dan Harris. If companies are able to create a successful remote working platform during this time, he says it may result in an increase in employee satisfaction, a reduction in overhead from reduced office obligation, and lower operating costs.

Monday, March 23

COVID-19 COVERAGE

Keeping Entrepreneurs Running in DFW
The Dallas Entrepreneur Center is providing an up-to-date resource guide for any local entrepreneurs needing help, as well as resources for consumers wanting to help local businesses. For additional resources, check out our listhere.

Why DFW Hospitals Wanted a Statewide Shelter-in-Place
After Steve Love and the DFW Hospital Council saw the projection of data on the spread of COVID-19 in North Texas, they joined local mayors in advocating for Gov. Greg Abbott to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order, per D Healthcare. The data showed that 480,000 Texans would die if the state continued down its current path. With the order, that decreases to 5,000. So far, Gov. Abbott hasn’t issued the shelter-in-place, but Dallas has.

Real estate agents adapt to coronavirus with virtual tours, other creative ways to do business
Brokers and agents have grown accustomed to conducting business face to face, but that’s nearly impossible amid COVID-19. Most agents are working from home or doing business remotely. And, they’re conducting virtual tours of properties and sending clients online listings. “I have many buyers and sellers that just can’t pause because they have immediate housing needs,” Todd Franklin of DFW City Homes tells the DMN.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from March 15-21 2020.

1. Get Shift Done: New North Texas Fund Puts Hospitality Workers Hit by COVID-19 Back to Work€”at Nonprofits

2. Arlington Gets $1.7M to Integrate Autonomous Vehicles into Via Rideshare Program

3. DFW Airport’s Mitzi Chollampel: “It’s Relationships That Really Move the Needle.”

4. Vivify Health Launches COVID-19 Mobile Solution for Providers to Screen and Monitor Patients Remotely

5. IT Company Auticon Hires Local Exec as CEO to Set its ‘Sites’ on DFW

6. Dallas Native’s Everlywell Releases First At-Home COVID-19 Test Rollout

7. COVID-19: A Roundup of Resources for Small Businesses

8. HSC Researchers Make Stem Cell Discovery That Could Help Fight Coronavirus

9. Discovery: UTSW Studies Existing Drugs to Fight COVID-19, UTA Researches Economic Abuse

10. JPMorgan’s Global CIO Talks Emerging Tech, Top Talent, and Honing in on DFW


Friday, March 20

COVID-19 COVERAGE

The First U.S. Company Has Announced an Upcoming Home COVID-19 Test
Dallas native Julia Cheek’s (pictured above left) home health testing company Everlywell, which got a “Shark Tank” investment from Lori Greiner (right), will be offering at-home tests for COVID-19 starting on Monday. In order to buy a test, a telemedicine doctor can prescribe it through PWNHealth. The test kit will be sent within two days at the base price of $135. After samples are collected, they’re sent overnight to an FDA-approved lab for testing within 72 hours. Around 30,000 COVID-19 tests are ready to be sent out, according to Everlywell, with hopes to ramp up to 250,000 a week. Read more here.

Coworking During the COVID-19 Era
Among DFW’s coworking spaces having to make business adjustments is Her.HQ, a female-focused coworking space in Bishop Arts. Although the space shut down earlier this week, it’s still making the most of its situation by offering its members virtual meetups, according to D Magazine. It also plans to host digital group meditations and provide members with a form of coworking through Google Hangouts and Slack.

Thursday, March 19

COVID-19: LOCAL RESTAURANTS STEP UP

Bowlski’s Owner Launches Delivery Website to Save Neighborhood Restaurants
Craig Spivey, the man behind the historic movie theater-turned-bowling alley, has launched saveneighborhoodrestaurants.com to support local businesses during coronavirus. There’s no fees for restaurants to participate, and no delivery charge for customers. Go here to see what local restaurants are also offering takeout and delivery specials during this time.

DFW Coronavirus Tracker: Texas Restaurants Can Deliver Booze
Governor Abbott issued a new waiver that allows Texas restaurants (with mixed beverage permits) to deliver alcohol with food purchases, starting immediately. He also directed the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to waive provisions, which permits wholesalers and retailers to repurchase/sell back unopened inventory, the DBJ reports.

Oddfellows, Better Block Transform Restaurant into Outdoor Market
Adaptive urbanism nonprofit Better Block is teaming up with Oddfellows in Bishop Arts to transform the restaurant into one that makes more sense in the light of COVID-19. The makeshift pop-up outdoor market will use market stalls constructed by the Better Block crew (previously made for a now-canceled event) and fill them with Oddfellows stock, per D Magazine.

Dallas Restaurants Are Doing Good Deeds Even During COVID-19
And lastly, here’s a roundup from CultureMap of generous things the local food and beverage industry has stepped up to do. It includes VisitDallas developing a micro-website, a Gofundme to help workers on Greenvile Avenue, the Deep Ellum Bartender Relief Fund, and more.

Wednesday, March 18

CONFRONTING COVID-19

Don’t Miss Tomorrow’s DRC COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall
The Dallas Regional Chamber knows that coronavirus is impacting the way all businesses are being run in ways that were unimaginable a few days ago. And they’re no exception€”the DRC has been surveying members and restructuring its 55-person team to navigate the uncharted waters. That’s why it’s calling all leaders and experts to participate in Confronting COVID-19: Keeping Business Running in the Dallas Region, hosted tomorrow at noon.

HONORS

UT Dallas Graduate Programs Ranked Among Best in Country by U.S. News & World Report
The University of Texas at Dallas’ audiology program in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences was this year’s highest-ranked UTD program, tying for second. Also in the top 10 was UTD’s speech-language pathology program.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

PE firm focused on health care real estate looks to raise $150M
Dallas-based MedProperties Realty Advisors has already raised about $45M, according to the DBJ, but is now setting out for $150M in its third fund.

Tuesday, March 17

COVID-19 COVERAGE

The White House Asked Dallas-based Signify Health to Join the COVID-19 Task Force
 “The company’s national network of providers and logistics expertise could be a key asset as screening and testing for COVID-19 ramp up,” writes Will Maddox on D CEO. Signify will join a task force with the largest retailers and healthcare companies in the country, including leaders from CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, Target, LabCorp, and Quest. The company is meeting with White House officials twice a day, Signify Chief Strategy Officer Nathan Goldstein said. There’s a collaborative spirit, and “everybody’s there for the same reason.” It’s a service project for the benefit of the American people, Goldstein noted in a blog post. “We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re up for the challenge.” Signify Health has agreed to supply its network of providers to screen and test patients in their homes and at testing centers, Signify CEO Kyle Amrbrester told USA Today, reports Maddox.

Whiskey Maker in Lewisville is Using its Alcohol to Create Hand Cleaner Amid Coronavirus
Bendt Distilling Co. has been producing a hand cleaner with alcohol from its distillery for about a week, the DBJ reports. Bottles are being distributed free of charge. The alcohol percentage is 70%, versus the recommended 60%.

Monday, March 16

BREAKING

Dallas Mayor Limits Groups to 50; Closes Bars, Restaurants to Pick-Up Only
Mayor Eric Johnson says the new restrictions will go into effect at midnight tonight and are some of the most aggressive rules among Texas cities for minimizing the spread of COVID-19, per NBC DFW. Lounges, taverns, nightclubs, health clubs, and theaters will also have to close.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Hospitals Begin Drive-Through Testing and Screening at Limited Entrances
As the COVID-19 outbreak sweeps across North Texas, Parkland Health and Hospital System has begun drive-through testing for current Parkland patients, first responders, and other healthcare workers, per D Healthcare Business. The lab will be able to test 270 people a day once Texas relaxes its testing guidelines.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from March 8-14 2020.

1. Office Envy: These 15 Dallas€’Fort Worth Companies Attract Top Talent With Their Innovative Spaces

2. UTSW Researchers Discover Human Protein That Could Stop Coronavirus

3. Industry 4.0: CellAntenna Wireless Opens Regional Operations Center in Plano

4. JPMorgan’s Global CIO Talks Emerging Tech, Top Talent, and Honing in on DFW

5. ‘Drybar for Women of Color’: Pressed Roots Launches Flagship Store in Dallas

6. Ericsson’s Lewisville 5G Smart Factory Rolls Out First Product

7. Fort Worth Biotech Exact Diagnostics Offers Research Lab Standard for Coronavirus Testing

8. The Innovation Ecosystem: Dallas-Fort Worth is a Big Place. It’s Also Remarkably Well Connected

9. Dallas’ Blue Box Offers HVAC Coronavirus Scrubbing Solution

10. A New App From Two Former SMU Football Players Connects Search With Social


Friday, March 13

RANKINGS

The 250 Fastest-Growing Companies in Texas
The DFW companies topping the list are Case Energy Partners at No. 1, Allata at No. 2, and Good Faith Energy at No. 10. Inc.’s new spinoff of its annual Inc. 5000 list ranks the 250 fastest-growing companies in Texas by the highest revenue increases from 2016-2018.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

MTX Seeks to Help Flatten the Curve Through Free App
Dallas-based MTX Group will offer its MTX Health Monitoring and Control application to schools for free (a $500,000 value), which provides a centralized monitoring and control system allowing for people to quickly access resources if needed.

A Running List of Dallas Cancellations and Changes Due to Coronavirus
With gatherings of more than 500 people canceled and ones with over 250 people strongly discouraged in Dallas County, more events are being canceled or postponed every day. D Magazine has created a cumulative resource of local event cancellations to keep everyone up to date.

Thursday, March 12

Gabriel Barbier-Mueller to Receive D CEO’s 2020 Pioneer Award
The Harwood International founder and CEO transformed a part of Uptown once known as Little Mexico into a European-inspired, $4 billion mixed-use neighborhood, writes Bianca Montez. Asked if he considers himself a pioneer, Barbier-Mueller considered the question: “I pushed the envelope,” he told D CEO. Read more about the international developer known for building with unique, innovative, award-winning designs on Dallas Innovates.

DI PEOPLE

Transplace Appoints Former NASA Astronaut and Leader Susan Kilrain as New Board Member
Kilrain, a Navy veteran and one of only three women to ever pilot a space shuttle, reinforces the global logistics giant’s focus on breakthrough ideas and innovation, the company said. “Transplace is comprised of technology leaders harnessing AI, machine learning, and other technology advancements to provide their customers a competitive advantage,” Kilrain said. Transplace currently has $9B+ of freight under management and a growing global presence.

TECH FOR GOOD

RoboKind Donates up to $500,000 in Coding Software for Districts Experiencing Coronavirus (COVID-19) School Closures
The Dallas-based tech company announced an advanced release of some of its online coding software at no cost for students experiencing school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. RoboKind is the only US developer and manufacturer of Advanced Social Robots with instructional software.

Wednesday, March 11

WORLD NEWS

Frisco-based MTX Group Inc. has launched a disease-monitoring app for coronavirus cases
The new disease monitoring and control application could help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Using real-time data and AI, the app can track travelers’ symptoms, predict at-risk communities, and suggest the outbreak’s movement. Currently, only New York is using it, but the Frisco-based company is talking to DFW Airport and others, the DMN reports.

PEOPLE MOVES

Workspace innovation company bolsters executive team
Dallas-based Vari, maker of the market-leading sit-stand desk, is promoting Sean Scogin from chief marketing officer to chief revenue officer and is adding Jeff Dinard as the new chief information officer. Scogin has been an exec with the company since its founding in 2014, and Dinard is the former CIO of Highland Homes, the largest single-family homebuilder in Texas.

ART

Psychedelic Robot’s owner calls it a Woodstock for Millennials
The Bivins Gallery at the Crescent first opened its Instagrammable, interactive pop-up museum in 2018, quickly grabbing the public’s attention with its custom contemporary exhibitions and immersive experience. Now, Bivins is opening its third exhibition, Illuminated Walls, which will marry technology and art to show the “quintessential of a modern world,” per The Observer.

Tuesday, March 10

CUE THE APPLAUSE

The List is In: The World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2020 
You’ll find familiar Dallas-area names among Fast Company’s picks, including Neighborhood Goods (No. 8 Retail), Dallas Cowboys (No. 4 VR/AR), and Kodiak Robotics (No. 6 Transportation). Along with FC’s annual Top 50 list, the publication highlights the top ten in 44 industry sectors and seven regions.

Go Energistics (GoE) Named No. 8 on the Vet100 List
The Dallas company, which has a tagline of “Serving Those Who Serve,” helps military and veterans’ healthcare systems plan, design, and activate “innovative buildings and healing environments.” The Vet100 list of the fastest-growing veteran-owned or operated businesses in America was born out of the iconic Inc. 5000 list. GoE was No. 104 on the Inc. 5000 in 2019.

WHAT ELSE?

Monday, March 9

TOP OF THE LIST

If a Recession is Coming, These Texas Cities Are the Place to Be
Another week, another ranking. With uncertainty in the global market, its good to know that several North Texas cities made Smart Asset’s list of the most recession-proof cities in the U.S. Frisco led the way, with Plano and Denton not far behind. Scores were based on employment, housing, and social services.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

NGP Energy Capital Starts Fund Focused on $20M and $30M Investments in Power Transformation
A new private equity fund will commit “tens of millions in new capital to renewable energy, power, energy storage, efficiency and transportation sector startups.” NGP Energy Capital Management, which has offices in Dallas, announced its investment in the spinoff tech fund this month.

ARTS

Community Beer Co. Celebrates Dallas Art Month With Cans Designed by Local Artists
Starting this month, you can grab a beer from Community Beer Co. in a can designed by three locals, per the Dallas Observer. Proceeds from the special edition Texas Lager will go to Texas Arts Marketing, a nonprofit that works with the Dallas Office of Arts and Culture to fund public installations and projects.

Goldman Global Arts and Westdale to Bring World Class Street Artists to Deep Ellum
The long-term installations you’ll be seeing pop-up over the next month are the result of a new public art program from Goldman Global Arts and Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management. Six international artists will get to add their touch to the neighborhood’s rich cultural landscape.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from March 1-7, 2020.

1. Paul Quinn College Has a New Outdoor Basketball Court, Courtesy of the Dallas Mavs

2. Dallas Ranks Eighth Among Cities Where Women Break the Glass Ceiling

3. Innovator Awards: Fort Worth Mayor Price Names 4 Companies ‘Best Place for Working Parents’ Winners

4. Unicorns Can Happen Here. Why Dallas-Fort Worth is Fertile Ground for Tech Startups

5. TMGcore Unveils its Transformative Data Center Platform€”And it’s About the Size of an SUV

6. California Telecom DZS is Moving its Headquarters to Plano

7. Motherboard: Richardson’s High-Tech Past, Present, and Future Honored in New UTD Art Installation

8. DI People: Cinemark, Brinks Home Security, Medical City Children’s Make Leadership Announcements

9. UT Dallas Researchers Develop a New Cybersecurity Tool That Actually Welcomes Hackers

10. Texas Central Makes $5.9B Deal With Spanish Firm to Develop, Operate High-Speed Rail Line


Friday, March 6

BREAKING

SXSW cancels its 400K-person conference due to coronavirus
Heads up, North Texans: SXSW has officially been cancelled. But, organizers of the tech, music, and media conference are exploring options to reschedule the event or provide a virtual online experience. Per TechCrunch, SXSW says it will be in touch as soon as possible with ticketholders and participants.

TECH TOWN

Dallas €” after falling short last year €” lands among cities with promising source of disruptive tech
KPMG’s 2020 Global Technology Industry Innovation Survey lists Dallas 19th (a jump from not making the top 20 last year) in its ranking of the most promising source of disruptive technologies outside the Bay Area. Singapore was first, followed by London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and NYC, the DBJ reports.

SOCIAL INNOVATION

Dallas nonprofits to merge, provide multi-generational literacy programs
The Aberg Center for Literacy and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) are merging to create a new organization that will provide North Texans multi-generational literacy education programs, according to the DMN.

Thursday, March 5

TECH BYTES

AT&T nabs Google Cloud for 5G services partnership
With the new collaboration, Dallas-headquartered AT&T’s new 5G network will now help speed up cloud applications for Google’s corporate customers. Fortune writes that it’s intended for customers wanting access to apps with features like AI, machine learning, and big data analysis. The news is similar to a deal AT&T announced with Microsoft Azure last year.

HEALTHCARE

Dallas has the First Clinic in Texas to Test for Coronavirus
Dallas County Health and Human Services, in partnership with state and federal agencies, is going to run the first Texas clinic with the capability to test for coronavirus, D CEO reports. The lab, which fits into the preparedness plans currently in place, will serve several North Texas counties.

TRANSPORTATION

Hyperloop Selection Process in North Texas Moves Into Second Phase Amid Some Opposition
The Virgin Hyperloop One project, the magnetic-levitation system that would zoom between DFW and Laredo at speeds of 670 mph, has moved into its second phase of development after a council vote, per The Texan. The decision for the third phase is expected late next month.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Greatbatch Backs Cardionomic’s $15.8M Funding Round

Frisco-based Greatbatch was among the investors for Forest Lake, Minnesota-based Cardionomic Inc.’s latest funding round. Cardionomic raised the money to further clinical research of its neuromodulation device for heart failure, reports Twin Cities Business. The company also plans to use some of the funding for product development. Greatbatch previously invested in Cardionomic’s Series A funding round, which managed to raise $20 million. 

savusol Raises Undisclosed Amount of Seed Funding
The Celina-based company creates renewable hydrocarbon fuels from the geothermal energy of hydrothermal vents. savusol’s fuel is made from CO2, hydrogen, and the energy of hydro-thermal vents through patent-pending technology, according to its website.

Wednesday, March 4

DALLAS STARTUP WEEK WATCH

DSW20 announces Launch Party and Startup Alley
As promised, we’re continuing to keep you up-to-date on all things Dallas Startup Week. Today, the team announced the networking event of the year. Held at Gilley’s Dallas on Monday, April 27, the Launch Party will kick off DSW, and feature Startup Alley, where local entrepreneurs can showcase their products and services (apply for that here).

What to Expect at Digital Fight Club and the Women of Innovation Summit
Here’s some details Dallas Startup Week released about its major events, this year’s tracks, and track captains.

Dallas Innovates is the media sponsor for Dallas Startup Week.

TECH BYTES

Ericsson starts producing 5G equipment at first U.S. smart factory in North Texas
Ericsson announced today that it would have the “most advanced 5G technology manufacturing facility in the U.S.” fully operational in late 2020. Already the factory has produced its first 5G base station, per the DMN. Ericsson first announced it chose Lewisville for the $134M fully automated smart ‘Factory of the Future’ in September.

DIALED IN

Dallas gets a new additional possibly cooler telephone area code
945 is now a Dallas thing. The Public Utility Commission of Texas predicts that 214, 469, and 972 will run out in 2021, so it approved a new area code. According to Governor Greg Abbott, the add represents prosperity for Dallas’ growth and economic vitality, CultureMap reports.

Tuesday, March 3

SHATTERING STEREOTYPES

Dallas Ranks Eighth Among Cities Where Women Break the Glass Ceiling
Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, SmartAsset conducted an analysis on the odds of working women securing management roles and breaking the glass ceiling. Dallas placed in the top ten.

ON-DEMAND

Amazon taps Dallas for speedier same-day deliveries, creating hundreds of jobs
Dallas and three other cities will be the first to receive even faster same-day deliveries from Amazon through the creation of smaller, but more efficient facilities, per the DBJ. Locally, the new facility will be located in Carrollton. Once established, you can select items labeled “Today by” for delivery throughout the day or “Overnight” by 8 a.m.

JOBS

Auto dealership IT services firm plans to triple workforce in Garland
Helion Technologies is planning to have 3x the space and number of employees in Garland, its second-largest hub. In order for Helion to double its user-base of dealership employees in the next five years, it plans to increase its Garland workforce to 135 over the next 3-5 years, according to the DMN.

Monday, March 2

TECH BYTES

AT&T introduces new TV service as it looks for a fresh way to appeal to the masses
The “next generation video experience” from AT&T was launched nationwide today after over six months of testing. AT&T TV comes with a small device, uses Internet connection, and allows popular applications like Netflix to be used, along with traditional channels, according to the DBJ.

STARTUP

Dallas startup Sol Planted will help your houseplants thrive
The newly launched startup matches customers to plant, then provides hand delivery, setting up, and a maintenance overview. The plants are exotic yet easy to care for (especially indoors), and comes with a comprehensive care guide. Delivery will be offered in Dallas County and several northern suburbs first, according to D Magazine.


Friday, Feb. 28

EXPANSIONS

State of the City: Mayor announces new large-scale manufacturing facility in Fort Worth
Linear Labs, maker of the revolutionary Hunstable Electric Turbine, is expanding with a new large-scale manufacturing plant at the AllianceTexas development, Mayor Betsy Price announced Friday during her State of the City address. Based in Fort Worth, Linear Labs’ manufacturing plant is expected to create more than 3,000 high-tech jobs in the region in the next 10 years, per the Fort Worth Business Press. Linear Labs is also “moving an advanced manufacturing facility and corporate office from Mexico to Fort Worth. That’s reshoring,” Price said. Last year, Linear Labs, which was co-founded by Brad Hunstable (above), announced the launch of its smart electric motordesigned specifically for micromobility use, like e-scooters.

TEST DRIVE

Fort Worth is among potential sites for electric vehicle plant employing 200
Vancouver-based ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. is scouting roughly a half dozen cities, including Fort Worth, according to the DMN. The new facility, which would produce single-seat, three-wheeled Solo electric vehicles, would employ about 200 people.

Thursday, Feb. 27

GROUNDBREAKING

UT Southwestern Finds Coronavirus Vulnerabilties
The world has been buzzing about the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 2,000 people worldwide. That probed data scientists at UT Southwestern, who have now identified potential vulnerabilities in the virus that could help in vaccine development and further studies.

ON THE LIST

2020’s Hardest-Working Cities in America
Four Texas cities have landed on WalletHub’s new list of places with the strongest work ethic. Irving (No. 5) came in first for the state, with the lowest share of households where no adults work at 11.75%. It was followed by Corpus Christi (No. 7), Austin (No. 9), and Plano (No. 10).

EXPANSIONS

PDR architecture firm opens Dallas office
Global design, architecture, and consulting firm PDR has opened a Dallas regional office, expanding its presence in North Texas. PDR has a diverse set of clients, including DFW’s ExxonMobil, Texas Instruments, and USAA.

Wednesday, Feb. 26

FASHION IN BLOOM

UNT Texas Fashion Collection explores how designers have redefined rules of dress for men in NorthPark Center exhibit
A new exhibit at NorthPark Center looks at how fashion designers throughout history have redefined the rules of menswear through a flower-inspired aesthetic. “Bloom Men,” opening March 3, showcases men’s clothing from the Texas Fashion Collection at UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design. You’ll find everything from elaborate, hand-embroidered court dress of the late 1700s to brightly-hued resort wear of the 1970s.

[Photo: Courtesy UNT]

EXPANSIONS

Critical Start Grows Business By More Than 100%, Expands Headquarters
The Plano-based cybersecurity firm grew its Managed Detection and Response business by 101% due to mid-size firms and enterprises looking to combat security threats. Last year, Critical Start received a $40 million minority investment, which helped the company significantly expand its services.

HITTING THE ROADS

Your Ad Here€”Uber Moves Into Car-Top Digital Billboards
This April, Uber is launching a new ad program that puts digital screens on top of drivers’ cars. Called Uber OOH (out-of-home), the advertising will first be on the roads in Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix, according to Wired.

[Photo: Courtesy Adomni]

Tuesday, Feb. 25

TECH BYTES

Tyler Technologies Helps the State of Texas Reach E-Filing Milestone
Plano-headquartered Tyler has helped the state achieve its electronic filing mandate for all criminal and non-criminal case types. All of Texas’ 254 counties are now using eFileTexas, a Tyler Technologies electronic filing solution.

Dallas Public Library allowing residents to take internet home with hotspot lending
In an effort to make internet more accessible, the Dallas Public Library is making 900 mobile hotspots available for checkout at 10 library locations. Library Director Jo Giudice says that the “neighborhoods with the largest digital divide” were identified for the pilot.

BUSINESS

Workers’ pay is rising faster in Dallas than the rest of the U.S.’
According to newly released federal data, private-sector workers in Dallas saw their average wages increase by 5.1% in the 12 months that ended in September, per the DMN. That’s the largest increase for the period since 2016€”plus, Dallas County’s increase was bigger than the national average.

Monday, Feb. 24

MAJOR MONEY

Warren Buffett calls this Fort Worth company a ‘lead dog’ in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio
In Buffett’s annual shareholder letter, he singled out Fort Worth’s BNSF, operator of the country’s biggest freight railroad network. BNSF has 32,500 miles of track, employing 46,000+ at its North Texas HQ, the DMN reports.

TECH BYTES

Bell’s New Design Could Make Helicopters Quieter€”and Safer
Bell’s recently released helicopter design would replace a helicopter’s “mechanically driven tail rotor assembly with four much smaller, shrouded electric fans,” Wired reports. In doing so, helicopters could become safer and easier to fly, while also providing a basis for further electrified aircraft developments.

HEALTHCARE

Medical City Healthcare Opens New Nursing Education Center
The new HCA Healthcare Center for Clinical Development in Frisco is a $4.8M facility with interactive mannequins that mimic real patients, simulated care environments, advanced training, and more.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Feb. 16-22, 2020.

1. Dallas Aerospace Startup FusionFlight Takes Off With Fully Autonomous Drone

2. The National: Massive Downtown Dallas Redevelopment Gets New Name and First Tenant

3. Career Connection: New Search Engine Helps ‘Often€’Overlooked Talent’ Find Training for In-Demand Jobs

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

5. Texas Ranks No. 2 in ‘Best States for Black Entrepreneurs’ Study

6. Arlan Hamilton’s Backstage Capital Tour is Coming to Dallas

7. DI People: Opendoor, Southwest Airlines, and Collective 54 Make Exec Moves

8. UNT Will Start Texas’ First AI Master’s Degree Program in the Fall

9. Innovative Spaces: Tyler Technologies Leads a Culture of Health at its Plano Headquarters

10. Artist Uprising Brings ‘Work Hard Shop Harder’ Mural to The Shops at Park Lane


Friday, Feb. 21

TRANSPORTATION

Driverless shuttle debuts at Dallas airport
If you get on ‘Emma’ in the south remote parking lot at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, don’t try to strike up a conversation with the driver€”there isn’t one. Short for Easy Mile Mobility Assistant, Emma is an autonomous shuttle being used as part of a pilot program.

DART’s new kiosks make it a little less frustrating to ride a bus
In an effort to help passengers know if their bus is on its way or already gone, Dallas Area Rapid Transit is rolling out free, public Wi-Fi and real-time bus arrival times through new digital kiosks being installed at 300 locations, per CultureMap Dallas.

TECH BYTES

Manduu America Brings Electrical Muscle Stimulation Fitness to Dallas
Manduu, which offers electrical muscle stimulation technology (EMS) for fitness, has opened its first location in Dallas at Preston Center. The center offers 15-minute customized sessions that activate muscle fibers through whole-body EMS.

STARTUPS

Capital Innovators taps new fund to invest in 7 startups
Hidrent, a Prosper-based platform to connect off-duty firefighters with handyman jobs, is one of seven startups that have been accepted to the spring cohort of St. Louis accelerator program Capital Innovators, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. We told about Hidrent’s funding efforts last year.

Thursday, Feb. 20

[Photo: Courtesy Deep Ellum Foundation]

RANKINGS

The 10 best cities in the U.S. to move to right now
Curbed included Dallas on its list of “10 intriguing alternatives to unaffordable coastal metros.” The website cites Dallas’ desirable downtown living like Deep Ellum and the Design District, how lower cost of living is attracting businesses, and singled out Plano (for attracting Toyota) and Arlington.

AEROSPACE IS SOARING

Major aerospace company chooses DFW for headquarters of new unit
Triumph Group Inc. is combining two of its business units into a new unit called Triumph Systems & Support, which will be headquartered in Arlington, per the DBJ. Triumph says the new unit will combine some of its factories and repair centers under one management team.

Gulfstream investing $35M in new DFW facility
Business aircraft maker Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. is expanding its DFW footprint with a $35M investment to build a 160,000-SF maintenance facility at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, per the DBJ. Once completed, Gulfstream will transfer some resources from its location at Dallas Love Field, where it employs roughly 650.

COMING SOON

First Look: Stream Realty’s Plans for The Quadrangle
Stream Realty Partners has revealed its development plans for Uptown’s Quadrangle complex, and among them is a digital art installation that’s the first of its kind for a Dallas office building, D CEO reports.

Wednesday, Feb. 19

Photo: Courtesy UNT]

REBRANDING

UNT Health Science Center reveals new brand identity
The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth has rebranded with a new logo to emphasize its commitment to Fort Worth and to maintaining an innovative spirit. Now, UNTHSC will be known as HSC.

NOW HIRING

Uber is quietly hiring in Dallas for launch of temporary staffing service Uber Works
Uber is seeking to hire new teams for the launch of its temporary staffing service Uber Works, according to The DMN. Uber has already been hiring for other positions as it staffs its new regional office at The Epic in Deep Ellum.

TECH BYTES

Meet Moxi, Medical City Dallas’ robotic nurse assistant
Medical City Dallas is the first hospital in North Texas to use a full-time robot in a clinical setting, reports Becker’s Hospital Review. Moxi is intended to help optimize nurses’ daily tasks, and has started with tasks like updating patients’ medical records and delivering blood samples.

NEC Is the Most Important Facial Recognition Company You’ve Never Heard Of
Global tech company NEC’s U.S. headquarters is in Irving, so when the Irving Police Department agreed in 2018 to use NEC’s facial recognition technology, it was a pact between neighbors. OneZero reports that NEC has emerged as one of the world’s largest providers of facial recognition technology.

Tuesday, Feb. 18

GROWTH

Dallas, Houston projected to see continued economic growth
Oxford Economics predicts that two-thirds of major cities may see an economic slowdown over the next two years€”but don’t count Dallas and Houston among them. Citing technology and highly skilled workers, the global forecaster said the two will join San Fran in continuing to see economic growth, with Dallas’ projected GDP to grow by 2.2% between 2020 and 2021.

WATCH THIS

Samantha Brown spotlights Dallas on her Emmy Award-winning PBS show ‘Places to Love’
You’ll want to tune in for the Feb. 22 episode of Samantha Brown’s show when she highlights her hometown of Dallas. Brown showcases hot spots in Deep Ellum, the Arts District, and Bishop Arts, saying the city has grown to be full of “small entrepreneurs who are creating personal experiences.”

AROUND TOWN

Inside the 20 restaurants and bars opening at AT&T Discovery District in downtown Dallas
The $100M AT&T Discovery District is set to open in May as a high-tech restaurant- and art-focused development intended for more than just the 5,500 AT&T employees at its 2.5M-SF downtown campus, the DMN reports.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Feb. 9-15, 2020.

1. CarOffer’s Used Car Bidding Platform Hits $60M in Monthly Sales

2. Meet the Future 50: North Texas Innovators and Disruptors You Need to Know

3. 7-Eleven Pilots Cashierless Concept Store at its Irving Headquarters

4. Trend Micro Spin-Out Cysiv Gets $26M to Scale Its Cloud-based Cybersecurity Platform

5. Reata Pharmaceuticals Extends 122K Sublease as it Awaits New HQ Tower in Plano

6. Innovative Spaces: Tyler Technologies Leads a Culture of Health at its Plano Headquarters

7. Worlds Raises $10M in Series A Funding as Dave Copps’ AI Startup Launches From Stealth

8. IF/THEN Exhibit at NorthPark to Display the Most Life-Size Statues of Women at Once

9. Career Connection: New Search Engine Helps ‘Often€’Overlooked Talent’ Find Training for In-Demand Jobs

10. Power Couple: How Jamie and Melbourne O’Banion Run Two of Dallas’ Fastest-Growing Brands


Friday, Feb. 14

REAL ESTATE

Amazon Officials Confirm New DFW Fulfillment Center
Amazon continues to grow its footprint in North Texas, signing a lease for 1M SF of warehouse space in Irving at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, D CEO reports. The space will be used as a fulfillment center and is expected to create 1,000 new jobs. The lease is just the latest for Amazon, which earlier this month announced others in North Fort Worth and Far East Dallas.

ESPORTS

Envy Gaming Hops Onboard Greyhound as Preferred Travel Partner for 2020 Esports Seasons
Dallas esports org Envy Gaming has formed a season-long partnership with Dallas-headquartered Greyhound. It’s the first venture into the esports world for Greyhound, which will provide exclusive intercity bus transportation for Envy Gaming’s teams. There will also be promotional opportunities for both, like custom-wrapped buses.

[Photo: Courtesy Envy Gaming]

FORWARD THINKING

Plano mayor reveals plans for downtown expansion and smart-technology integration at State of the City
In his state of the city address last week, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere called his vision for the city “Plano 4.0,” and said he expects downtown Plano to expand with several development projects and the integration of smart features like transportation, education, public safety, and green infrastructure.

DIALED IN

Hey, You, Dallasite: Take the City’s New Transit Survey and Tell Them Your Priorities
If you have opinions about getting around in Dallas, the city wants to know. For the second phase of its mobility plan, the city wants residents to take a survey about transportation system priorities. It’s an opportunity to tell leaders how you want your tax dollars spent.

Thursday, Feb. 13

RANKINGS

Southwest Transplant Alliance ranks among the nation’s top-performing organ procurement organizations 
The nonprofit has surpassed the Trump Administration’s new federal guidelines in the highly regulated industry. 2019 was a record-breaking year with the most lives saved in STA’s history: 1,308 organs recovered for transplant. In December, STA announced an expansion of its automated electronic referral technology across Texas, which could revolutionize organ donation and transplantation on a national level. Last March, the organization broke ground on a first-of-its kind facility in Dallas to further its mission to save lives through organ and tissue donation. It’s scheduled to open in 2020.

PARTNERSHIPS

Bell partners with major airline as air taxi development continues
Fort Worth-based Bell is partnering with two Japanese companies€”Sumitomo Corp. and Japan Airlines€”as the helicopter maker works toward “mobility-as-a-service” offerings such as air taxis, the DBJ reports. Bell recently unveiled its latest air taxi concept, the Nexus 4EX, at CES in Las Vegas. 

TECH BYTES

MoneyGram Launches Innovative MoneyGram FastSend Service Enabling Customers to Send Money Directly to a Phone Number
Dallas-headquartered MoneyGram, a provider of cross-border person-to-person payments and money transfers, has launched a new service called MoneyGram FastSend, allowing consumers to send money to their friend’s mobile phone number.

Wednesday, Feb. 12

ACTION PLAN

Weigh in on Dallas’ Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan
Dallas has released the first draft of its new climate action plan, and it’s open for public comment. The Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability’s Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP for short) is focused on issues€”reducing greenhouse gas emissions, flooding, public health, etc.€”that align with the Paris Climate Agreement.

[Image: FINTRX Schwab 2020 FO Report]

MONEY MAP

Dallas ranks third on FINTRX’s list of the Top 10 cities for family offices
Roughly two-thirds of family offices, privately held firms that handle investment and wealth management for wealthy families, are in the U.S. According to FINTRX, 3.4% of them are in Dallas. Leading the list is New York with 18% and Chicago at 3.9%. Houston was No. 9 with 1.5%.

FUTURE WORKFORCE

Mayor Eric Johnson launches Dallas Works
The new initiative aimed at connecting students with summer jobs is an expansion of the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program started by Mayor Tom Leppert in 2008. Johnson says he wants Dallas Works to at least double the 2019 numbers€”370 young people employed at 200+ major corporations. In less than two weeks, roughly 1,500 students and 75 companies have joined.

MAKING THE LIST

A virtual high five to some familiar names in DFW:

Tuesday, Feb. 11

GAMING

Game while you wait: Nintendo is bringing a Switch video game pop-up to Dallas Love Field
Nintendo is helping break the boredom of waiting for a flight by bringing a Switch gaming system pop-up lounge called “On the Go” to Dallas Love Field, from Thursday-March 26. Love Field is one of four airports that will feature the event, per the DMN. The pop-up will feature popular games like Mario Kart 8, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Tetris 99.

MOVES

A couple of tech companies in California have quietly moved HQs to the Dallas area
Two more California companies have made North Texas home: SignEasy, a provider of digital signature technology, and Finical, an electronic payments tech firm. They aren’t as big as previous transplants (Toyota, McKesson, Core-Mark, Charles Schwab), but each has 30 to 40 employees, per the DBJ.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Integrity Marketing Group Acquires ThomasArts€”A National Advertising Agency Focused on the Senior Market
Dallas-based Integrity Marketing Group has completed its acquisition of Salt Lake City-based ThomasArts. Integrity Marketing is one of the nation’s largest independent distributors of life and health insurance products.

Monday, Feb. 10

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Private equity firm focused on the lower middle-market acquires Carrollton company through platform
Lewisville-based Alliance Source Testing, an environmental service platform of Align Capital Partners, has bought Carrollton-based METCO Environment. The deal should help boost Alliance Source Testing’s standing as a national provider of source air emissions solutions across the nation.

BOOSTS

Downtown Dallas Inc. is keeping the focus on the center city
Over the past 20 years, downtown Dallas has gone from a place where the streets were empty after 5 p.m. and the urban core sported numerous empty buildings. Now, downtown has a new look: thousands of residents, businesses, and new developments. Downtown Dallas Inc. wants to see the comeback continue and has launched a new promotion aimed at business recruitment, retention, and investments, per the DMN.

ARTS

New HiFi Dallas concert venue opens with all local and regional bands
The HiFi Dallas, the city’s newest concert hall that’s connected to Mavs owner Mark Cuban, announced when it opens in May, it will feature exclusively local and regional acts, per CultureMap. Live Nation COO Ben Weeden calls the lineup an “exciting and diverse list of artists,” for the venue, which will feature two floors, an outdoor patio serving beer, food, and cocktails.

LitTalk Gives Dallas Authors a Home, and an Audience
Sensing a dearth of author panels in Dallas, author Alex Temblador approached Writing Workshops Dallas founder Blake Kimzey with an idea to host a panel on diverse authors based in the Dallas area. Once Kimzey brought in Interbang Books as a partner, Temblador became founder and moderator of a new quarterly panel series called LitTalk, D Magazine reports.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Feb. 2-8, 2020.

1. Meet the Future 50: North Texas Innovators and Disruptors You Need to Know

2. Power Couple: How Jamie and Melbourne O’Banion Run Two of Dallas’ Fastest-Growing Brands

3. 7-Eleven Pilots Cashierless Concept Store at its Irving Headquarters

4. Reata Pharmaceuticals Extends 122K Sublease as it Awaits New HQ Tower in Plano

5. Jobs of the Future: The Hottest Areas of Tech Education

6. Hedera Hashgraph Joins the Fight Against Coronavirus by Powering a Data Visualization Tool

7. Worlds Raises $10M in Series A Funding as Dave Copps’ AI Startup Launches From Stealth

8. These Are the 7 Trends That Could Shape Our Future

9. The Eagle Has Landed: American’s New $350M HQ is 300 Acres of Opportunity

10. International Influence: How 5 Local Developers Are Making a Mark on North Texas’ Skylines


Friday, Feb. 7

ENTERPRISE

Dallas-based Topgolf unveils small venue plans
The sports entertainment company has unveiled details of its new venue format, which will launch this year in smaller markets. The DBJ reports the venues are styled like an outdoor bar, featuring a 13-foot programmable video wall and a single-floor of Topgolf bays.

STARTUP

This Plano firm wants to help the region get the ‘respect that it deserves’
Four years after self-funding their growing consulting startup, Plano-based ENO8 now has more than $2.5 million in annual revenue and has grown 40 to 50 percent year over year, according to co-founders Jeff Francis and Rishi Khanna. 

RANKINGS

This Dallas ZIP code clocks in among the smartest spots in Texas
A list from UnitedStatesZipCodes.org reveals that among Texas’ top ZIP codes of residents who’ve earned a master’s, professional, or doctor degree, is the 75205 ZIP code in the Park Cities, which houses SMU.

Thursday, Feb. 6

TEAMING UP

Dallas Cowboys team up with local university for new sports management MBA program
Starting next fall, the Dallas Cowboys and the University of North Texas are teaming up on an online MBA program in sports entertainment management, per CultureMap Dallas. While the courses are online, the program will include three on-site bootcamps at the The Star in Frisco.

ENVIRONMENTAL

Richardson-based Metropak is making recyclable mailers for online shopping
Metropak has received a recycled-content certification to produce bags and mailers out of plastic trash harvest from beaches and waterways all over the world, according to The DMN. 

COWORKING

New coworking operation lands in Southlake Town Square
Coworking company WorkSuites is putting in its 17th DFW location, this time at a 19,000-square-foot office in Southlake Town Square. The location is not far from one of the company’s longtime locations in Grapevine.

EVENTS

Reunion Tower Lifts Love Higher for Valentine’s Day 2020
This year, the Tower is introducing a 68-second elevator wedding ceremony up to the top of the GeO-deck€”for couples who want to make it official or renew their vows at the Dallas icon. 

Wednesday, Feb. 5

TECH BYTES

Is Elon Musk considering Texas for a gigafactory? Here’s the Twitter poll that’s creating a buzz
Tesla CEO Elon Musk put up a two-word Twitter poll asking his followers, “Giga Texas?” As of earlier today, roughly 80 percent of those who responded voted in favor of it. A gigafactory is a large battery factory, and this isn’t the first time Texas has been mentioned. In 2014, a location in southern Dallas was floated as a possible site that eventually ended up in Nevada, per the DMN. 

PREDICTIONS

On Topic: Dallas Business Leaders Forecast the Year
Three leaders in the banking, construction, and oil and gas sectors in Dallas-Fort Worth offer their perspectives of what 2020 will bring in North Texas, including their possible concerns and opportunities that may lie ahead.

TEAMING UP

Hedera Hashgraph to Leverage Armanino TrustExplorer in New Strategic Partnership
The Dallas-based public distributed ledger platform announced a partnership with national accounting and consulting firm Armanino, which will allow Hedera participants to leverage Armanino’s DLT assurance technology platform, TrustExplorer, and its new Trusted Node data service that provides a transaction and account data source. 

Tuesday, Feb. 4

CREATIVE

Don’t Skip This Community Barbecue with Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz
Rakowitz is teaming up with Dallas’ Break Bread, Break Borders and F.A.R.M. for an international community barbecue on Feb. 8, leading up to the opening of Rakowitz’s show at the Nasher next month. “The intersection of food and art on full, delicious display,” writes Eve Hill-Agnus.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

BGSF Acquires EdgeRock Technology Partners
BG Staffing Inc., a Plano-based workforce solutions provider, has acquired Boston-headquartered EdgeRock Technology Partners for $21.6M. The acquisition is expected to deepen and expand BG Staffing’s IT solutions offerings.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Another day, another Amazon deal €” this time in Fort Worth
Yesterday, we told you about Amazon’s recent partnership with Children’s Health and its Far East Dallas warehouse lease. Now Amazon is taking 465,450 square feet in Fort Worth for a distribution site, which it plans to spend $22M on to redo the space, reports The DMN.

TECH CITIES

6 Emerging Tech Cities with Big Salaries, Growth: Dice Salary Report
DFW has seen a 5.8 percent increase in year-over-year tech salary growth with an average salary of $95,002. That makes DFW among the top six emerging tech cities in the U.S., according to Dice Insights.

Monday, Feb. 3

TECH BYTES

5 hospitals that partnered with big tech in January
On the Becker’s Hospital Review list was Dallas-based Children’s Health, which partnered with Amazon to provide Amazon Hub lockers for patients, families, and employees so they could receive and return packages at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

This Fort Worth-area library lets you check out tools, carpet cleaners and more
The Bedford library is launching a new program called Library of Things that allows card holders to check out things other than books, like an Instant Pot home repair tool kit. It’s a “natural extension” of the library adding STEM kits, according to the Star-Telegram, and was made possible by a $3K grant from Dallas’ Atmos Energy.

PARTNERSHIPS

ScoreSense Leverages Machine Learning to Take Its Customer Experience to the Next Level
Dallas-based One Technologies and data management provider Arrikto Inc. are partnering to incorporate Machine Learning into One Technologies’ ScoreSense credit platform.

EXPANSIONS

Amazon’s at it again€”this time with a warehouse in Far East Dallas
Online retail giant Amazon is expanding its distribution footprint in North Texas with another large warehouse lease, per the DMN. Amazon has leased the 419,626-square-foot Eastpoint Distribution Center in Far East Dallas, which is owned by Dallas-based by Dalfen Industrial.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 2020.

1. Meet the Future 50: North Texas Innovators and Disruptors You Need to Know

2. The Sinclair, the ‘World’s First All-Digital Hotel,’ Opens in Downtown Fort Worth

3. The IQ: Richardson Innovation District Unveils New Name and Branding

4. T.D. Jakes Foundation Launches to Raise $100M for STEAM Education in Underserved Communities

5. These Are the 7 Trends That Could Shape Our Future

6. UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism is Overhauling Denton Square

7. International Influence: How 5 Local Developers Are Making a Mark on North Texas’ Skylines

8. McKinney EDC Launches Innovation Fund for Tech Startups

9. Plano Restaurant Tech Startup OneDine Raises $5M to Broaden App’s Reach

10. International Developers: Meet Mike Hoque From Dhaka, Bangladesh


Friday, Jan. 31

FOLLOW THE MONEY

New VC firm raises more than $15M for health care and tech startups
Lydia Partners, which has offices in Plano and Frisco along with Pensacola, Florida, has raised over $15 million for robotic tech startup Oxefit’s Series A funding round. The firm also has other tech prospects, per the DBJ.

Austin still has the top tech salaries in Texas€”but maybe not for much longer
According to the Dice 2020 Tech Salary Report, the average salary for a tech job was $95,118 in Austin last year, but Dallas wasn’t far behind with a nearly 6 percent jump to an annual average of $95,002.

EDUCATION

Dallas’ 7 Community Colleges Plan to Become 1
The Dallas County Community College District administration is submitting a proposal to its accreditor to combine its seven schools, the Observer reports. The move was made by the district chancellor, who hopes it will help students get the correct number of credits to graduate. The final decision will be announced in June. 

Thursday, Jan. 30

DINOS TO DALLAS

Animatronic Dinosaur Manufacturer Expanding HQ In Texas
Later this year, a new home from 350 life-size animatronic dinosaurs and bugs will open in Allen, where Billings Productions Inc. is building its new 50,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility. The company plans to include space for community events and offer tours, per Business Facilities.

TECH BYTES

VolunteerNow Launches Easy-to-Use Technology to Support School Partnerships
National nonprofit VolunteerNow has launched “VOLY for School Partners” to make fostering and building relationships with the community even easier for schools. The state-of-the-art software will help manage, document, and track partnerships with local businesses and organizations.

ParkHub Supports SP+ GAMEDAY at the Big Game for the Fifth Year Running
Dallas-based technology startup ParkHub and SP+ Gameday are teaming up for the fifth straight year to help fans park in time for the Super Bowl this weekend. SP+ Gameday will use ParkHub’s cutting-edge parking tools to handle the high volume of traffic expected.

New school in Fort Worth suburb includes sensory garden, other amenities
Ground will be broken in March on a new building for Birdville School District’s aging Smithfield Elementary School in North Richland Hills. The new campus will feature a sensory garden for special needs students, upgraded tech and security, and more, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

FUTURE FORWARD

TREC Dallas Hosts A Roadmap to Dallas’ Equitable Development
Our colleagues at D CEO Magazine live tweeted TREC’s panel on equitable development and neighborhoods yesterday. There, it was announced that TREC’s Community Fund is creating an affordable housing loan fund€”seeding the fund with $2.6M€”for its three target neighborhoods. Back in October, the Community Fund received a $6M investment from JPMorgan Chase’s Partnerships for Rising Opportunity in Neighborhoods program, the largest single investment ever awarded.

NEW PROJECTS

Compass Datacenters Adds Second Dallas Area Campus
Addison-based Compass Datacenters LLC has purchased 225 acres in Red Oak, just south of downtown, for a campus that will support hyperscale, cloud, and enterprise customers. The Compass CEO said the Dallas area is “one of the most dynamic data center markets in the country,” and he’s right€”this month, we ranked third among 38 global markets in Cushman & Wakefield’s global Data Center Market Comparison.

EDUCATION

SMU and PEP Launch ‘World’s First Certificate in Prison Entrepreneurship Education’
The PEP is a three-step process to earning a Prison Entrepreneurship Education Certificate of Completion. The intent is to build sustainable programs on campuses to offer resources and real-world business skills to inmates.

FOOD & BEV

Fun restaurant dedicated to all things avocado opens at Dallas’ Trinity Groves
Trinity Groves Founder Phil Romano and Avocados From Mexico are partnering on an avo-only venture: AvoEatery. The new restaurant€”also intended to be a living lab for AFM to test new avocado concoctions€”is slated to soft open in Romano’s West Dallas restaurant incubator on Jan. 30.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

ACCOLADES

University of Texas at Dallas Engineering Building Earns 2019 MCA Chairman’s Award
UTD’s Engineering & Computer Science Building in Richardson won the Chairman’s Award in the Education: Colleges and Universities category. The new 206,000-square-foot building features hands-on learning environments for engineering education, advanced research labs, and showpiece spaces for industry partnership. And, of course, it’s made of metal.

SOCIAL GOOD

‘Anyone can save a life’ 
The University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth has launched an ambitious project to prevent opioid deaths in North Texas. UNTHSC will begin distributing 9,000 doses of Naloxone, known by the brand name Narcan, and train students, employees, and community members to administer the life-saving medication.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Dallas’ newest concert venue debuts in Design District via Mark Cuban
A new state-of-the-art 1,000-seat entertainment venue is scheduled to open in May next to the Mavs’ practice facility Called The HiFi Dallas. The venue will be a partnership between Mavs owner Mark Cuban and Live Nation. It will set a new standard for music clubs, CultureMap Dallas reports, giving guests an up-close experience with artists and performers.

Barry X Ball Brings Together Classical Art and Technology at the Nasher
American sculptor Barry X Ball uses 3D scanning tech, computer-aided modeling software, and CNA milling machines to recreate familiar forms, per D Magazine. Ball’s first major U.S. museum exhibition, Barry X Ball: Remaking Sculpture, is on display at the Nasher Sculpture Center through April 19.

Monday, Jan. 27

Alto Launches New Art Car In Support Of American Heart Month
Through February, the Dallas-based rideshare is donating a portion of the money from trips taken in its “Heart Car” to the American Heart Association Dallas Division in honor of American Heart Month.

What Rideshare Could Mean For North Texas Healthcare
When rideshare come to mind, people don’t typically think about healthcare. But Uber has a division called Uber Health that provides healthcare professionals the option to order rides for patients. It’s available everywhere Uber is in service and could “add safety, reduce costs, and open up opportunities for North Texas’ isolated seniors,” according to D CEO.

TECH BYTES

Texas Capital Bancshares launches digital bank where consumers earn airline miles instead of interest
Texas Capital has announced a collaboration with American Airlines through Bask Bank, a digital savings account allowing for incentive-based savings, reports the DBJ. Bask lets users accrue American Airlines AAdvantage miles instead of interest.

REDEVELOPMENT

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson Discusses Hensley Field’s Potential During White House Visit
Mayor Johnson spoke with a Trump Administration official about possibly redeveloping a former Naval Air Station called Hensley Field. Although the City of Dallas owns the location, it must request for qualifications for a “Re-Use and Redevelopment Master Plan” before it changes the site, per NBC DFW.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Jan. 19-25, 2020.

1. Uber Starts its Hiring Process in Dallas

2. It’s Tyme: Local Organizers Apply to Form a New Bank in Dallas

3. UNT’s College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism is Overhauling Denton Square

4. DI People: Toyota North America, Sally Beauty, Allie Beth Allman, Bottle Rocket Make Leadership Moves

5. Meet the 46 Winners and Finalists from the Innovation Awards 2020

6. Real Estate Tech: RealPage Acquires Engagement Platform Modern Message

7. The (Alcon) Family Tree: How One Company Seeded a DFW Life Science Legacy

8. Plano’s DoctorLogic Announces $7M Series A Round

9. A Front Row Seat: Debra von Storch Looks Back on Four Decades in the DFW Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

10. Dallas is No. 3 Among Global Data Center Markets, C&W Study Says


Friday, Jan. 24

NOTABLE IN NORTH TEXAS

5 Executives and 100 Companies and Products Leading in Innovation in 2020
Local companies were included in Business Intelligence Group’s 2020 BIG Innovation Awards, which recognizes the organizations, products, and people bringing new products to life. Winners in DFW include: Fort Worth-based Alcon’s AcrySof IQ PanOptix Trifocal Intraocular Lens, Texas-based Hypergiant Industries’ Eos Bioreactor, Plano-based Masergy’s AIOps, and Dallas-based next-gen retailer Neighborhood Goods.

GIVING FOR GOOD

State Fair of Texas Awards $483K in Grants to 67 South Dallas Nonprofits
The Dallas Innovation Alliance and the University of Texas at Arlington are among the 67 South Dallas organizations awarded more than $483,000 in grants from the State Fair of Texas. Grants were given to organizations focused on building the local community in areas such as education and economic development. 

GROWTH

AllianceTexas added more than $7 billion to the economy last year
AllianceTexas in the North Tarrant and Denton counties generated $7.3 billion in economic activity in 2019, reports the DMN. The development currently houses 525 companies and has added $83.74 billion to the DFW economy in the past 30 years.

LAYOFFS

Playful Studios “significantly reduces” full-time staff
McKinney’s Playful Studios, maker of the Lucky’s Tale game series, significantly reduced its full-time staff due to its transition to a new production model, reports GamesIndustry.biz. Playful’s founders Paul and Katy Drake Bettner discussed their decision in a blog post, noting that it was “incredibly difficult.”

EXPANSIONS

Coworking Operator Embraces New Model As It Expands Across U.S.
Serendipity Labs, a New York-based coworking firm, is changing its business model to become franchise-based as it enters six new markets in 2020€”including 28K square feet of office space in McKinney.

A BIG BITE

This North Texas business owner is eating nothing but dog food for 30 days
Mitch Felderhoff, the co-owner of North Denton pet food distributor Muenster Milling Co., is so confident in the freshness of his product that he’s taking on 30 days of eating nothing but his company’s dog food. 

Thursday, Jan. 23

Jerry Jones Has Formed A Commercial Real Estate Brokerage
The billionaire Dallas Cowboys owner quietly entered the commercial real estate business last year with Blue Star Commercial Real Estate firm, Bisnow reports. Jerry Jones was already in the real estate business with his Blue Star Land operation, but Blue Star CRE is a separate business. Blue Star CRE told Bisnow it’s interested in a 13-building, 3.6-million-square-foot office portfolio currently being offered by Dallas-based AT&T Inc. Jones owns 500 acres of land in Frisco, where The Star mixed-use development and headquarters for the Cowboys is located.

NOW OPEN

New $127M Building for A&M’s Dental School Opens in Dallas
Students at the Texas A&M College of Dentistry in downtown Dallas returned from winter break to a new $127 million, nine-story Clinic and Education Building. It’s the first stand-alone building constructed for the dental school since 1950, NBCDFW reports.

AWARD WINNING

Nobel Prize winner from Alice, Dallas philanthropists named as ‘History-Making Texans’
Prominent Dallas philanthropists Edith and Peter O’Donnell Jr. will be honored by the Texas State History Museum Foundation at the Texas Independence Day Dinner on March 2. Also to be recognized is James P. Allison, a Nobel Prize winner in medicine who grew up in the South Texas city of Alice.

INVENTIONS

UT Dallas researchers create fridges with a twist
Researchers at UTD have developed a new cooling device called the ‘twist fridge,’ per the DMN. We first told you about this research last year, noting that the team demonstrated the refrigeration technique on diverse materials like rubber, fishing line, and nickel titanium wire.

COMING SOON

Thinking small: New downtown Dallas hotel will have ‘micro’ rooms
Sova Hospitality plans to turn a 90-year-old historic three-story building next to the East Quarter development into a unique, 39-room ‘micro-hotel,’ per the DMN. Sova plans to open it this summer with a lobby bar and saunas. 

Wednesday, Jan. 22

PARTNERSHIPS

Molly Ringwald Makes Super Bowl Ad Debut With Avocados From Mexico
After AFM announced last week it was giving this year’s Super Bowl campaign a high-tech sheen through blockchain, it’s now teasing an advertisement featuring Golden Globe-nominated actress Molly Ringwald. But as always, avocados remain the star of the show.

UNT Health Science Center and Quest Diagnostics announce collaboration
Fort Worth’s UNTHSC and Quest Diagnostics are collaborating to bring together data, research, and tech to help improve the prevention and the treatment of people at a high risk for preventable diseases such as chronic kidney disease and diabetes, per Fort Worth Business Press.

Jacobs Joins The Valuable 500, Furthering its Commitment to Diversity in the Workplace
Jacobs has joined over 200 companies who have pledged to take a stand on diversity encompassing disability in the workplace through its membership in The Valuable 500. 

RANKINGS

Dallas takes No. 6 spot in list of top cities to move to in 2020, poll says
In a CubeSmart.com poll asking the question “Where would you move to in 2020, if you could move anywhere in the U.S.?,” Dallas placed sixth based on more than 1,000 Americans’ answers, reports WFAA. CubeSmart noted that Dallas is the perfect move for “career climbers.”

TECH BYTES

Fort Worth’s Hill School Unveils First-of-its-Kind New Website
The Fort Worth college preparatory, full-service school has created a website built for people with learning differences, which includes dyslexia font toggles and typefaces, user-controlled efficiencies, and other helpful tools.

Tuesday, Jan. 21

TECH COMPANIES COME TO DFW

California Tech Firm Tanium Leases Office Space in Addison for Expansion
Tanium, a technology management and endpoint security company, will take up 12,992 square feet at Spectrum Center, according to CBRE.

Australian 3D Metal Printer Maker Opens First U.S. Location in Allen
The new 4,112-square-foot office is on S. Greenville Avenue.

COOL JOBS

Tenet Healthcare hiring NBC5 Meteorologist Brian James
James has been chosen for the newly-created meteorologist position at Tenet Healthcare in Dallas where he’ll be joining its emergency preparedness and response team.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Exela Technologies Announces Closing of $160 Million Financing
The business process automation company has entered into a 5-year, $160 million accounts receivable securitization facility following its debt reduction and liquidity improvement initiative, which it previously announced late last year.

INVENTIONS

UNT Lab Creates Credit Card Skimmer Detection Device
UNT’s Cyber Forensics Lab has created a product that could help people find credit card skimmers located at gas pumps. A patent has already been filed on the device, according to NBC DFW, and could save people from getting their credit card numbers stolen. 

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Jan. 12-18, 2020.

It’s Tyme: Local Organizers Apply to Form a New Bank in Dallas

2. IT People: Meet Toyota’s Sailendu Mohapatra

3. Kanna’s Home Base is Dallas, But It’s Growing Outside the State

4. A Front Row Seat: EY’s Debra von Storch Looks Back on Four Decades in the DFW Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

5. Meaning, Mission, Immersion: How the Dallas Region Draws Top IT Talent

6. Startup Funding: Who Got the Money in 2019

7. Dallas PropTech Dottid Raises $3.85M in Seed Funding Round

8. Irving’s Avocados From Mexico Brings Blockchain to its Super Bowl Party

9. CES 2020 Recap: Dallas-Fort Worth Shows Up and Shows Off

10. F&B/CPG: How a New Initiative Plans to Catalyze a Growing Industry in Dallas-Fort Worth


Friday, Jan. 17

Stryve Announces Four Leadership Moves as the Plano Snack Company Ramps Up Growth
After previously doubling its annual revenue, Stryve is adding a co-CEO and three C-Suite executives to its team as it expects its sales to double once again in 2020.

TECH BYTES

Inside the New Tech of Fort Worth’s Legendary Rodeo
As the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo begins this weekend, attendees may notice some high-tech upgrades including the second largest continuous video board display in the U.S., along with 18 video cameras to enjoy the rodeo from every angle, reports NBC DFW.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Coltala Holdings’ Trudela Partners Buys Metro Energy Savers
Metro is the second acquisition by Trudela, a DFW-based company specializing in home service repairs and maintenance, in 2020. The acquisition expands Trudela’s service coverage with more growth expected in the future.

Thursday, Jan. 16

COWORKING

Serendipity Labs adding third location to DFW network
Flexible workplace brand Serendipity Labs announced six new locations today, one of which is in McKinney. The 27,500-square-foot space will span the first two floors and third floor mezzanine at the HUB 121 Office Park. In a partnership with Dallas-based HALL Group, Serendipity Labs also has space in HALL Arts and Frisco’s HALL Park.

SUSTAINABILITY

Every Bottle Back coalition to invest nearly $3 million in D-FW recycling
Keurig Dr Pepper, Coca-Cola Co., and PepsiCo have picked Dallas as the first city to get funds from the trio’s Every Bottle Back initiative. Announced in October, the initiative is a $100M commitment to decrease plastic waste€”in DFW, the $3M will go to recycling infrastructure, education, and collection, per The DMN.

ESPORTS

Complexity Gaming, NFL Alumni, and Frisco Education Foundation Team Up to Launch the GameStop High School Esports Challenge
The Dallas Cowboys’ esports organization Complexity Gaming is partnering with NFL Alumni and Frisco Education Foundation to host a mix of online tournaments and in-person semi-finals at Complexity’s headquarters at The Star in Frisco. These tournaments will be part of the GameStop High School Esports Challenge, which will culminate in an “esports triathlon” where finalists will compete in three games (Rocket League, Madden, and Fortnite) to determine the FEF esports champion and earn scholarship money.

EDUCATION

New Master’s Degree Combines Public Policy with Cybersecurity
This fall, the University of Texas at Dallas’ School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences will begin offering students the chance to earn a master’s in cybersecurity, technology, and policy. Last March, we told you about SMUlaunching its own online master’s degree in cybersecurity, a 20-month interactive program with its first cohort starting this year.

Wednesday, Jan. 15

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Toyota Makes a New $394 Million Bet on Flying Taxis
Toyota is investing in Joby Aviation, an air-taxi startup with a working prototype. Toyota joins Intel Capital, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and others in Joby’s $590 million Series C funding round.

Frisco tech company raises $1M as it looks to fuel growth after getting started last year
SmartKarrot, which uses cloud-based software to help companies better manage their customer and user bases, is bringing in $1 million in investments. The funding is expected to support the company’s research and development, as well as sales.

DI PEOPLE

Trinity Industries turns to its board of directors for its next CEO
Dallas-based Trinity Industries, a provider of railcar products and services in the U.S., found its new CEO in house, naming E. Jean Savage to the top job. She’s been on the company’s board since November 2018.

TECH BYTES

Lancaster: A Hidden Gem On The Automated Vehicle Community’s Radar
California-based automated trucking startup Kodiak Robotics is perfecting its self-driving freight trucks in Lancaster, which has plenty of land, highway access, and intermodal transportation to meet its needs, per Bisnow. We told you about Kodiak’s efforts in North Texas last year.

Tuesday, Jan. 14

ON-SCREEN

Dallas’ Trigg Watson Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Netflix’s Magic for Humans
The Netflix series Magic for Humans may leave you bewildered and amazed as its team of full-time magic consultants creates stunts that often are more than meets the eye. One of the team members is Dallas’ own Trigg Watson. D Magazine reports Watson usually designs his own effects and performs his own show, but that “there’s something to be said for the joy in collaboration.”

RECOMMENDED READS

Our readers can’t get enough of CES, if the response to our recent roundup of Dallas Innovators at this year’s consumer electronics show is any indicator. Here’s a recommended read that takes a deep dive in twelve categories:

#CES2020: Primordial Soup of Innovation
In this overview that Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky calls “the deep dive of all deep dives,” former Microsoft exec Steven Sinofsky “has seemingly investigated every nook and cranny of CES and come back with summaries, hints, warnings, trends, and quite a few pictures and videos to boot” in 12 categories. CES is where innovation meets invention, Sinofsky writes in a post on Medium. And, he points out, it’s about the raw materials of the next big thing. What CES is not, is a shopping mall.

EXPANSIONS

Maryland company expands to DFW with aerospace and defense facility
North Texas has a new member of its engineering and sciences community with the announcement of a new EASi facility aerospace and defense delivery center in Fort Worth. Per the DBJ, the company will use the center to provide engineering services, including managed services, full product development, and delivery.

TECH BYTES

New App To Help Texans Save Cash During Commute
GoCarma, which goes live later this month, could help commuters if they carpool in Texpress Lanes, CBSDFW.com reports. To get the app’s discounts, two people in the same car have to have the app€”it knows where you are using Bluetooth tech that’s already built into smartphones, says Natalie Better with the North Texas Council of Governments, which is a partner of GoCarma.

Monday, Jan. 13

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Outside Sales Software Provider Spotio Receives $4.5M in Series A Funding
The company plans to use the funding to accelerate its tech pipeline development, add to its sales team, and strengthen its marketing.

TPG Is Raising New Fund Focused on Public Company Stakes
TPG, which has dual headquarters in Fort Worth and San Francisco, plans to use its experiences to provide better decision making, according to the DBJ. The Strategic Capital Fund is expected to concentrate on building minority positions in large companies, but hasn’t been officially announced yet.

Frisco healthcare tech firm Valify sells to hospital giant HCA Healthcare
The nation’s largest hospital operator HCA Healthcare has bought Valify for an undisclosed amount, reports The DMN. Last year, the health care tech company placed on the Inc. 5000 rankings of the fastest-growing companies and posted $3.1 million in revenue in 2018.

ESPORTS

Why Mike Rufail Is Going All In on Esports
Forbes values Mike Rufail’s Dallas-based Envy Gaming at $170 million€”and the esports industry itself at roughly $1 billion. Envy, a professional Call of Duty team, already has expanded its physical footprint in Dallas and, as D CEO reports, is in discussion with cities and real estate developers on what would be the best site for the team moving forward.

The Top 10

Dallas Innovates’ most-read stories from Jan. 6-12, 2020.

1. Dallas Innovates 2020: The Magazine

2. Toyota is Building a City of the Future Prototype

3. DI People: AECOM, American Airlines, Michaels, and Aventiv Make Executive Moves

4. Q&A: Meet Bill Chinn, the New CEO of the Dallas Entrepreneur Center

5. ‘Beyond the Aircraft’: Bell Unveils its Plans for the Future of the Smart Cities

6. Meaning, Mission, Immersion: How the Dallas Region Draws Top IT Talent

7. Plano Drone Company Partners on New Compressed Hydrogen Gas Distribution Service

8. Follow the Money: Topgolf Preps for $4B IPO; Pieces Technologies Raises $25.7M Series B; ORIX Makes Acquisition

9. Construction Kicks Off on High-Tech West End Square in Downtown Dallas

10. DataBank Receives $185M Investment from Colony Capital


Friday, Jan. 13

LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION

Rogers Healy Hosts Selling Mega Mansions Season Five Airing Soon
Rogers Healy, a Dallas luxury real estate broker who Candy’s Dirt says “looks like he was born to be on television,” will be mirroring what he does on a day-to-day basis of AWE TV’s Selling Mega Mansions. Healy is known for taking a non-traditional approach in a traditional business as the owner and CEO of The Rogers Healy Companies. “Filming this season of Selling Mega Mansions was an absolute blast and allowed me to combine my favorite things: real estate, TV and travel,” Healy says.

COMPANY NEWS

CEO: 34 employees exiting Door.com in round of layoffs, nationwide expansion on hold
Addison-based real estate startup Door.com has laid off 34 employees at its headquarters and has halted its planned nationwide expansion, per the DBJ. CEO Alex Doubet said the layoffs occurred after a $20 to $30 million funding round fell through in December. The company will now focus solely on Texas, Doubet said. No more layoffs are expected.

Thursday, Jan. 12

RELOCATIONS

California company heads to Texas with new McKinney headquarters
Another California company has landed in Texas. KVP International Inc., which designs and makes veterinary medical devices and surgical supplies, is relocating its headquarters from Chino, California to McKinney. Heady Investments is developing a 120,000-square-foot warehouse with office, light manufacturing, and distribution space, per the DMN.

SOCIAL GOOD

United Way will rename its building in honor of $10 million gift
After Mary Anne Sammons Cree gave $10 million to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ endowment campaign for her 90th birthday, United Way decided to give a gift of its own to her by naming its Lamar Street headquarters “The Mary Anne Sammons Cree Building,” reports the DMN.

DEALS

Pentagon And Lockheed Martin Sign 2020 F-35 Sustainment Contract
The F-35 Joint Program Office awarded Lockheed due to the sustainment of its Fort Worth-built F-35 jets operated by militaries worldwide. The $1.9 billion is expected to support the F-35 fleet’s operations and sustainment, along with improving mission readiness and reducing costs.

FOOD + BEV

Cheetos Pops Into The New Year With Launch Of Cheetos Popcorn In Stores Nationwide
If the orange and red dust isn’t a dead giveaway, the name “Cheetle” should be. Plano-based Frito-Lay North America has launched a Cheeto-flavored brand of ready-to-eat popcorn, replacing salt and butter with the Cheetos Cheddar and Flamin’ Hot flavors that Cheetos fans love.

Wednesday, Jan. 11

MOVING IN

Moo! Borden Dairy is moooving in to the neighborhood
The major milk producer, which recently filed for bankruptcy, has signed a lease at Lake Highlands Tower to house the Borden Business Support Center, according to Advocate Magazine. Back in May, Borden gave a makeover to its 83-year-old mascot, Elsie, and doubled down on efforts to introduce innovative new products.

Goldman Sachs-backed tech firm has quietly moved its HQ to Frisco €” and is looking to expand
Antuit.ai has thrived since moving its headquarters to Frisco and is now looking to double its number of workers, the DBJ reports. The company has raised more than $50 million and has around 250 employees globally.

DI PEOPLE

Wingstop names new COO
Dallas-based Wingstop has promoted Mahesh Sadarangani to chief operating officer, replacing Larry Krueger who is stepping down on March 7. Sadarangani, who joined Wingstop in July, has been senior vice president of the fast-casual dining chain and has led its rollout of nationwide delivery and other initiatives, per Restaurant Business.

PARTNERSHIPS

The Dallas Cowboys Choose Adra by Trintech to Accelerate and Streamline Financial Close Process
The Dallas Cowboys are partnering with Dallas-based Trintech to help automate and simplify its accounting processes through Trintech’s Adra software. Being a professional football team valued at $5.5 billion, the Cowboys expect Adra to help with time-consuming tasks, financial visibility, and close processes.

Tuesday, Jan. 10

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Dragon City Farms Raises Funding Via Harvest Returns’ Platform
Dragon City Farms said it will use the money to provide safe, superior quality, fresh produce to consumers across the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

The Guild, a cross between Airbnb and a corporate-stay hotel, raises $25M
Austin-based real estate tech startup The Guild has raised $25 million in Series B funding to expand its national footprint and further its tech offerings. The Guild has rooms available at three locations in Dallas, and 800 total rooms available in six cities.

Topgolf preps for an IPO that could be valued at $4 billion
The Dallas-based company has reportedly hired investment bankers, according to the DMN,and is working with JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley to help it prepare for a possible IPO.

TECH BYTES

AT&T Takes Home the “Nation’s Fastest Wireless Network” Crown for 2019
Speedtest by Ookla named Dallas-headquartered AT&T as the fastest wireless network in the U.S. for all of 2019. The results also show that AT&T increased its speeds by 45.7 percent year-over-year.

ENTERPRISE MOVES

Rapid-Growth Digital Services Company, MST Solutions, Expands to Dallas
MST Solutions, a Salesforce CRM and marketing automation consulting partner based in Arizona, has expanded to Dallas with it fourth global location. Sudhir Setty, SVP of digital transformation, will lead the Dallas office.

Siemens partners with Arm to accelerate the future of mobility by redefining design capabilities for complex electronic systems
Plano-based Siemens Digital Industries Software is partnering with global semiconductor intellectual property leader Arm to bring leading-edge IP, methodologies, processes, and tools together.

Blucora to make $160M acquisition as CFO steps down
The Irving-based tax firm has acquired HK Financial Services, which will add around $4.4B to Blucora’s total client assets, reports the DBJ. The acquisition is expected to help expand Blucora’s product offerings and the company’s ability to provide additional end-to-end retirement plan services.

Monday, Jan. 6

DataBank Receives $185M Investment from Colony Capital
Colony Capital is supporting the data center provider through additional capital to potentially fund add-on acquisitions and greenfield edge data center developments.

FOOD & BEV

Soulgood announces two virtual restaurants
Dallas’ Soulgood, which began as a foodtruck business, is launching two virtual vegan restaurant concepts called SoulgoodVR. The 100 percent vegan menu will be available to DFW residents through DoorDash, GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Postmates.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

The parent company of KFC and Taco Bell is acquiring Habit Burger Grill, a burger chain with a cult following
Plano-based Pizza Hut’s parent company Yum! Brands is acquiring The Habit Restaurants Inc., which includes Habit Burger Grill. The Grill will become Yum!’s first fast-casual chain, according to Business Insider.

McKesson Sells Patient Care Solutions to AdaptHealth Corp.
McKesson, the Irving-based healthcare wholesaler company, has sold Patient Care Solutions to the third largest provider of home medical equipment in the U.S., per D CEO.

ART

A Sculpture Park Grows in West Dallas
Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns dreamed of starting an artist-run sculpture park and found a home for it in West Dallas’ Tin District. The couple’s 1-acre plot is called Sweet Peas and is “an interactive field of art-fueled dreams,” per D Magazine.


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