TX Roundup: Blue Star Accelerator, Industrial Tech at SXSW, UT’s Foundry
Let’s catch up on the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas.
—The Big Cities Health Coalition released its “Big Cities Health Inventory Data Platform” this week, which allows users to use databases to compare the healthy of 28 large urban cities across the country. The effort, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the first of its kind to allow such comparisons, according to a report in Pulse, the magazine of the Texas Medical Center. (Previously, the report said, data were only available at the state or county levels.) The database features more than 17,000 data points, including more than 50 socio-demographic indicators. Including Houston, other Texas cities in the survey are Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.
—Blue Star Accelerator, which is affiliated with the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise, is looking for startups related to sports and entertainment. Jerry Mooty, chief business and legal officer at Blue Star Sports, which is running the accelerator, says details on the particulars—equity stake in exchange for cash investment, etc.—are still being worked out but they are taking applications. The accelerator is a joint project between Blue Star Sports and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his family.
—Former Tech Wildcatters chief Molly Cain announced she’s taken a newly created position as director of venture technology for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Details are still forthcoming, Cain says. Cain was dismissed as executive director of the Dallas accelerator last summer, along with chief revenue officer Clarisa Lindenmeyer, in a restructuring. Shortly after leaving Tech Wildcatters, Cain announced she had accepted a position as venture partner for Dallas-based Sumo Ventures.
—Holt Ventures, the new venture arm of HOLT CAT, has teamed up with Caterpillar Ventures, Brick & Mortar Ventures, and the Cottonwood Technology Fund to sponsor a new pitch competition at next year’s South By Southwest Interactive, Silicon Hills News reported. The Industrial Technology Pitch Competition will feature 15 startups using technology in the industrial and manufacturing space—think smart tractors, robotics, improved processes, and the like. Interested startups must apply by December 16.
—The University of Texas at Austin’s Foundry program, a skunkworks based in its College of Fine Arts, is hoping to spark student connections between technology, and arts and entertainment. The Foundry opened at the start of this school year and features a variety of equipment such as 3D printers, industrial laser cutters, and a music recording studio. UT joins a growing number of universities starting such programs in order to complement more traditional classwork and lectures. The Foundry comes along at the same time as a new degree program in the College of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Science in Arts and Entertainment Technologies.
—Austin-based Get Smart Content, a web personalization platform, has raised $1.75 million, according to a regulatory filing. The funding came from Origin Ventures and Virgo Capital and brings its total fundraising to $6.92 million, according to MarTech Advisor, a trade publication.
—San Antonio cybersecurity firm Delta Risk has raised $3 million a few months after acquiring a Philadelphia-based competitor. The company didn’t respond to queries on the use of the fund. The nine-year-old Delta Risk has some familiar names in its leadership, most notably former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff. His firm, the Washington, D.C.-based The Chertoff Group, acquired a majority stake in Delta Risk through an affiliate holding company called TCG Diamond Holding.