TX Roundup: Student startups, Shell GameChanger, MTPV, & Fallbrook

7/18/14Follow @angelashah

Here is the latest innovation news from the Texas community:

—We take another look at Startup Summer School, this time visiting student entrepreneurs at the University of Houston’s RedLabs accelerator. Last week, we profiled ProsthetiTech, a Rice University startup building a robotic arm for wheelchair users.

—Energy entrepreneurs got a chance to get in the door at Shell GameChanger, an angel arm for the global oil giant, in an open casting call held at co-working space Platform Houston.

MTPV Power, an Austin, TX-based company, announced Tuesday that it has raised $11.2 million in a Series B1 financing. The clean energy firm makes semiconductor chips that convert heat to electricity, much as solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Investors included Total Energy Ventures and SABIC, the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, and others.

Fallbrook Technologies raised $8.3 million in debt financing Monday. The suburban Austin company makes the NuVinci transmission, which it says is a greener and more fuel-efficient transmission technology for cars, trucks, and other vehicles.

—A new Houston-based health accelerator is looking for startups to join its first class. Houston Health Ventures has launched the NextHIT accelerator, which will be an eight-week program at the University of Houston. Each startup will receive $30,000 in investment from HHV as well as $24,000 in in-kind services from Rackspace, the San Antonio, TX-based cloud-hosting company. David Franklin, the program’s managing director, is also one of three Houston investors behind Quoz Capital, which plans to attract investments from foreign citizens, as well as other investors, as part of the Texas Collegiate Regional Center, which will be housed at the Houston campus.

—Executives from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas made a pit stop in Houston to speak about the agency’s future, saying CPRIT has put the scandal of misallocated grants behind them.

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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