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TX Roundup: New Funding, an IPO, Rice Biz Plan winner, & More

Xconomy Texas — 

Here is the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas:

—The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas this week announced it has awarded $6 million in cancer research awards. Margarida Santos received $2 million to be recruited to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston from the National Cancer Institute, while Xiaochun Yu received $4 million to join the faculty at UT’s Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas from the University of Michigan Medical School.

—Speaking of the cancer agency, also known as CPRIT, chief scientific officer Margaret Kripke has resigned her post, the Houston Chronicle reported. Kripke had been at the agency for two-and-a-half years following a legislative investigation that prompted former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to shut the agency down. She will retire upon her replacement or by Aug. 31, the agency said.

—Top prize in the 15th annual Rice Business Plan contest went to KiLife, a Brigham Young University startup that makes a wearable band that connects to a smartphone. The band essentially acts as an electronic leash that lets parents know a child has wandered beyond a designated perimeter by causing the phone to buzz and beep.

—Defense contractor Raytheon purchased Websense, an Austin cybersecurity company that last year moved to the Texas capital from San Diego. Websense features an Internet security technology sold to large corporations and governments, which dovetails with Raytheon’s client base.

—Austin, TX-based Xbiotech went public, selling four million shares at $19 each to raise $76 million. The company, which is listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker XBIT, is developing therapies targeting a variety of diseases, including cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and psoriasis.

TheSquareFoot, an online platform for commercial real estate, raised $2 million in seed funding. The Houston-born startup has also formalized its move to New York after expanding its website into the Big Apple.

—Houston is home to leaders in energy, life sciences, and space, but rarely do these industries come together to fully leverage each sector’s strengths for the good of the whole. That’s where the Technology Collaboration Center, or TCC, comes in. The group, formed late last year, is designed to bring these types of companies together to work on joint projects.

Dallas-based video aggregator ViewMarket bought media website CultureMap for $15 million. ViewMarket will use the Houston-based site’s platform to expand its offerings into fitness, baby care, and other topics beyond its initial market surrounding shopping.