Texas Roundup: HTC, Pivot3, Honest Dollar, Mend, Virtuix

South By Southwest Interactive has closed the books on 2016, and we’re still rolling out coverage of this year’s events. But let’s pause and review Texas innovation news from the past 10 days.

Walter Ulrich, president and CEO of the Houston Technology Center, announced today that he is leaving his post in February 2017. When he steps down next year, he will have led the organization for a decade. The HTC will take the next year to do a nationwide search for Ulrich’s replacement.

—Austin, TX’s Pivot3 raised nearly $55 million in a debt and bank financing. The funding comes just as the software company completed its purchase of NexGen Storage in Littleton, CO. Pivot3 sells Web-based storage and computing power to businesses ranging from casinos to correctional departments to aviation authorities.

—A year after launching, Austin’s Honest Dollar gets a big exit. Goldman Sachs’ investment management arm bought Honest Dollar, which provides small and medium-sized businesses retirement benefits packages that can be offered to employees.

—Dallas medtech startup Mend placed second in the ReleaseIt pitch competition at South By Southwest Interactive. Mend has an app that people can use to schedule on-demand health care.

—My colleague David Holley spoke to Ian Thompson, the director of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center in San Antonio. The center was founded 40 years ago as a non-profit and is now part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “Our purpose is to make people live longer and live higher-quality lives, and to prevent them from suffering from cancer,” Thompson says.

Virtuix, an Austin-based virtual reality startup, is among the first wave of companies to raise funds through the so-called “mini-IPO” route. The new Regulation A+ rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission allows companies to seek funding from non-accredited investors.

—The Alamo City became home to the San Antonio Entrepreneur Center last month, offering startups co-working space, mentorship programs, and networking events. The organization is modeled after the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, whose founder, Trey Bowles, worked with San Antonio entrepreneurs to get the new space up and running.

— “Five Questions For …” is a new feature at Xconomy Texas and is designed to get a little more personal with those in the innovation community. First up is Nick Kennedy, founder of Dallas aviation startup Rise.

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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