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Texas Roundup: ATI, CPRIT, Techstars Austin, Mend, Epic Provisions

Xconomy Texas — 

Happy Monday. Let’s catch up with the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas.

—Techstars Austin has a new face at the top. Amos Schwartzfarb, who founded BlackLocus and sold the company to Home Depot in 2012, is the three-year-old accelerator program’s latest managing director. Techstars Austin plans to announce its latest group of 10 startups next month. They will hold a demo day following a three-month program on May 19. My colleague David Holley speaks to Schwartzfarb about his plans at the helm.

—The Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas at Austin announced a program with Austin Community College to provide business mentoring services for startups at ACC’s Advanced Commercialization ACCelerator. The campus is expected to offer biotech equipment, wet lab space, and staff to help young life sciences companies develop their technologies. The project is supported by public grants and funding awards.

—The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has named James Willson chief scientific officer of the cancer agency. He replaces Margaret Kripke who had held the position since 2012. Willson had been director of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center and associate dean of oncology programs. A practicing oncologist with a specialization in colorectal cancer, Willson will begin at CPRIT on March 1.

Mend, a digital house calls company in Dallas, has enlisted a local hospital as a way to expand its reach and funding. Children’s Health hospital took a majority stake in the startup, which has an app connecting patients to health care providers needing urgent care. Mend is now able to tap into the hospital’s physician network and patient roster.

—In the last few years, the Dallas-Fort Worth technology ecosystem has grown by multiples. One hub of this growth is the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, founded two-and-a-half years ago. Now founder Trey Bowles says the organization is franchising its model to other parts of Texas.

—General Mills has acquired Epic Provisions, a three-year-old Austin company that makes protein bars, jerky, and other meat snacks, according to the website Austin Inno. Epic will remain in Austin and operate under General Mills’ Annie’s business unit. Terms were not disclosed.