startup

‘I’ve Never Been More Bullish on Our Region’: Longtime Dallas Investor Aaron Pierce Joins Perot Jain as Partner

by | Oct 12, 2022
Aaron Pierce, the co-founder and board chair of Venture Dallas, has a deep investment background and a history of supporting the local entrepreneurial community. As partner at Perot Jain, his role is "all encompassing." One item on his agenda is overseeing the firm's investments in Major League Cricket—along with managing the firm's investment portfolio of more than 60 companies.

“We have the ingredients required to be a major player in the national investment landscape," Pierce says, "especially as the family office and private investment focus grows from funds to direct investments in venture-backed companies.”
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Form Bio Spins Out of Colossal Bioscience to Offer Scientists the ‘Missing Piece’
by | Sep 27, 2022
Dallas-based Colossal Biosciences, the de-extinction company behind plans to bring back the woolly mammoth and thylacine, developed its own software solution "after reviewing everything available on the market." Now it's sharing the platform with the launch of Form Bio.

The spinout's technology tools can help drive the “entire molecular revolution” that is occurring in the life sciences and biotech space, in addition to bolstering the Lone Star state as a hub for the industry, says Chief Strategy Officer Claire Aldridge.
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Dallas Route Optimization Startup Routora Aims to Help You Save Time, Money on the Road
by | Sep 20, 2022
It's easy to get from A to B. But what if you have to go from A to B to C to D to E? Finding the fastest way to complete all the stops can be daunting. But now a UT Dallas computer science student has co-founded Routora—a free Google Maps extension tool that reorders your stops for the fastest, most efficient trip. While still in beta, the tool has already attracted around 3,000 users from 70 countries. “By creating more efficient routes, not only are they saving money on gas, but they're also emitting less carbon into the atmosphere," says Routora Co-founder and CEO Tom Vazhekatt.
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Local Accelerator and Investment Platform MLTPLY Launches Insurance Tech Startup Proxima
by | Sep 19, 2022
Dallas-based MLTPLY launched late last year with the goal of helping seed-stage insurtech startups get to market up to 18 months sooner than they would on their own. Today it announced the launch of its third portfolio company, Proxima—which helps clients develop "highly complex" insurtech projects while providing back-office support via "operations hubs" in Latin America. “This partnership also allows MLTPLY to expand our footprint into Latin America, where extraordinary talent is already yielding impressive results for the insurance sector," MLTPLY Founder and CEO Gloria Gutinas says.
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From Innovative Ice Cream to Energizing Kombucha, SKU Dallas Accelerator Aims to Grow the Next Batch of Consumer Brands

by | Aug 4, 2022
SKU Dallas set up shop in North Texas in 2020, partnering with DFW CPG as a local arm of the Austin-based CPG-focused accelerator. It's graduated 12 companies since then, including local plant-based jerky brand All Y’alls Foods, along with Texas-based mmmpanadas and Meli’s Monster Cookies. Now it's announced its third lineup of CPG startups. All female-founded, they range from a Brooklyn sexual wellness and body product company to a California-based Vietnamese cold-brew coffee brand.
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Frisco’s POWERHANDZ Gets ‘Multimillion-Dollar Investment’ From Vanguard Holdings Group
by | Aug 1, 2022
PH Innovation Holdings, operator of fitness gear and training tech platform company POWERHANDZ, has landed a “multimillion-dollar” investment from Vanguard Holdings Group in an all-Frisco deal. In addition, Vanguard Holdings has issued a private tender offer to acquire all issued and outstanding minority shares of PHI. “This partnership will allow us to reach more athletes and shift mindsets about overall performance, physically and financially,” said POWERHANDZ CEO Danyel Surrency Jones.
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Dallas-Based Nada Closes $8.1M Seed Round to Make Real Estate Investments More Accessible to All
by | Jul 27, 2022
Nada's Cityfunds enable people to invest in single-family rental homes and fractionally invest in owner-occupied homes in Dallas, Austin, and Miami. With the new funding, Nada plans to expand Cityfunds to six new cities, grow its Oak Lawn-based staff to around 60, and develop a home equity-accessing debit card.

“We fundamentally believe that we can make a material difference to people's lives by making real estate as an asset more accessible,” co-founder and CEO John Green told Dallas Innovates.
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Dallas Startup TestFit Lands $20M for AI-powered Building Configurator Technology
by | Jul 26, 2022
Co-Founder Clifton Harness says TestFit is the first company to connect pro forma, construction cost, and asset design through building configurator software. The technology allows companies to "de-risk decisions" and log critical time savings when they develop new real estate. The funding will help the startup expand its R&D, quadruple its product and engineering teams, and build a new HQ.

“With TestFit, we see a disruptor driving a paradigm shift in the real estate industry,” said Gregg Hill, co-founder and managing partner at Parkway Venture Capital, which led the funding round.
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Bitewell Launches its ‘Healthy Eating Ecosystem’ in Dallas

by | Jul 12, 2022
Bitewell—which has already served about 5,000 subscribers in a months-long pilot—is officially launching its personalized meal planning app in the Dallas area. The platform helps users make healthy eating decisions when eating out or dining in. After launching in Dallas with backing from several seed funders, it plans to expand to cities like Chicago in the future. “Our mission as a business is to make healthy eating simple and accessible for all,” says Bitewell co-founder and CMO Samantha Citro Alexander.
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Dallas Startup Quiltt Emerges from Stealth to Help Businesses Build Their Fintech Infrastructure
by | Jul 11, 2022
Quiltt, a low-code financial tech platform that "lowers technical barriers for innovators," announced its beta launch for other startups and small businesses. The company closed a $4 million seed funding round earlier this year. “Quiltt's vision is to make fintech development more accessible so that more growing businesses and startups can create seamless experiences for their customers,” says Ruben Izmailyan, Quiltt co-founder and CEO.
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Frisco Student Loan Startup Meritize Gets New Funding, Aims to Change the Way Access is Provided
by | Jun 30, 2022
Meritize CEO Chris Keaveney, in a previous stint as a student loan credit officer, saw that "educational finance was really not student lending—it was family lending. And the loans were really made to prime and super-prime co-signers."

Meritize provides an alternative to the traditional way of securing an educational loan, he says. The platform looks at a person's "potential to succeed," providing options that can help get workers trained and placed in a variety of industries.
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Joshua Aaron

Aided by Grant Funding, a Fast-Growing Cybersecurity Startup is Relocating its HQ to McKinney

by | Jun 14, 2022
With a grant from the McKinney EDC added to its $2.9 million 2021 seed funding round, Aiden Technologies is moving to Serendipity Labs in McKinney's Craig Ranch Development. The startup has been on a tear since it launched its tech a little over a year ago. With offices in New York and California and $1 million in annual recurring revenue, it plans to grow its team and expand its market.
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After Quietly Moving Its HQ to DFW, OrangeGrid Sees Growth in Mortgage Loan Servicing Business
by | Jun 7, 2022
With around $15 million in funding to date, Flower Mound-based OrangeGrid is on a mission to rid the mortgage loan servicing industry of the need for emails and spreadsheets. Its no-code platform allows users to create automated workflows across different software systems, especially in highly regulated industries, and bring them into a single dashboard.  

Why did the startup move from California to Dallas-Fort Worth? "Essentially, DFW is the mortgage servicing capital of the country," CEO Todd Mobraten told us.
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Plano Information Security Startup Raises New Funds Amid Growing Global Threats
by | Jun 1, 2022
In about 24 months, Plano-based Tentacle has grown from an "idea sketched out on a PowerPoint deck to a valuable enterprise application that's able to solve real problems," says founder and CEO Matt Combs. 

Now a new investment by Providence Strategic Growth will help the cybersecurity startup expand both its functionality and market position, after a 105% surge in ransomware attacks and a 350% increase in social engineering attacks in 2021.
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‘Affecting Every Aspect of Our Society’: McKinney Startup Aims to Identify Mental Health Issues
by | May 31, 2022
Many who are diagnosed with a mental health condition had no idea the symptoms they suffered were related to mental health. McKinney-based Connected Mind aims to change that with technology that screens people for the most common types of mental health conditions. “It's like being interviewed by a psychologist, but it's a computer,” says CEO and CTO Christian Lehinger.
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