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Texas Roundup: “1st & Future,” “Pink Tank” Pitch Contests, & More

Xconomy Texas — 

As we approach Santa’s annual visit—are your milk and cookies ready?—let’s get caught up with the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas:

—The National Football League has teamed up with the Texas Medical Center to sponsor the 1st & Future startup pitch competition Feb. 4, the day before the Super Bowl takes place in Houston. The focus is on athlete communication, training, and safety; the winner in each category will get $50,000 in prizes and acceptance in the TMCx accelerator to help the company grow, as well as two tickets to the Super Bowl. Companies that are eligible to apply must not have raised financing beyond seed and/or Series A rounds, and at minimum must have functional “beta” versions of their products. The entrepreneurs will be pitching in front of NFL executives and owners, investors, and others. The deadline to apply is Jan. 20.

—Mary Kay, the cosmetics sales company based in the Dallas area, and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center have founded a “Pink Tank” pitch competition to support women entrepreneurs. The “Women’s Entrepreneur Summit” takes place Jan. 27 and is aimed at offering guidance to founders of fashion, tech, and consumer packaged goods startups, as well as those providing business services. Five pre-selected startups will be able to pitch for $5,000 in seed funding from the DEC.

—San Antonio’s Acelity, which makes wound-healing technologies and tissue repair products, has sold its LifeCell business unit to Dublin-based biopharmaceutical company Allergan for $2.9 billion. LifeCell focused on regenerative medicine and Acelity sold it to narrow its focus to wound-healing devices such as pumps that use vacuum pressure to help heal ulcers and other hard-to-treat wounds, president and CEO Joe Woody said in a press release.

—In other San Antonio biotech news, CytoBioscience has acquired Soluble Therapeutics, a Birmingham, AL-based company that like CytoBioscience is developing screening technologies for scientists and researchers. CytoBioscience’s product screens a drug formulation’s safety and efficacy, helping users observe how multiple formulations might interact with a cell’s ion channel.

—Bret Piatt, the CEO of San Antonio startup Jungle Disk, has a podcast called “CyberTalk Radio,” which features discussions about the Internet and computer security. In the debut episode, Piatt chatted with Charlie Rentschler, who works on the Google Cloud Platform, and the opportunities and pitfalls of a world that is increasingly collecting, storing, and using massive amounts of data to train machines to think and act like humans.

Michele Skelding, the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s senior vice president of global technology and innovation, told Xconomy that she has left the organization to pursue other opportunities. She said that she plans to stay in Austin and continue to work in innovation but did not provide details.