Xconomy’s Top Innovation Stories of the Half Year

Here we are at the midpoint of 2016 already. Time to look back on the past six months—and some of the top stories of the year so far.

The following represent a cross-section of what Xconomy offers on a daily basis: in-depth reporting from the front lines of technology and business innovation; coverage from 11 regions of the country, including unheralded places like Indianapolis, Madison, and San Antonio; analysis of fast-moving fields such as artificial intelligence, brain disease treatments, cybersecurity, and digital health; and personal profiles of people and companies that are leading in these areas. The articles were selected, in part, because they paint a bigger picture of what’s happening nationally.

If you read only a few of our stories this year, read these. We hope you enjoy them, and have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

1. Fred Lee, the University of Wisconsin Radiologist With Startup Vision
Jeff Buchanan goes deep with a special series on doctors-turned-entrepreneurs in health IT and other medical technologies.

2. Unusual “Xtern” Experience Aims to Help Indiana Attract Tech Talent
Andrea Davis looks at company programs trying to boost the Hoosier State’s talent pool—and get more college grads to stay in the area.

3. No PhD, “No Fear”: Alice Zhang, 27, Aims Software at Neuro Diseases
Alex Lash profiles an unusual rising star in the hypercompetitive world of brain diseases and biotech.

4. A Front Row 5,000 Rows Deep in AltspaceVR’s Virtual Theater
Bernadette Tansey dives into the world of virtual reality from a consumer and entertainment perspective.

5. Amid Leadership Changes, NY Biotech Braces for Its Pivotal Moment
Ben Fidler chronicles the rise of New York’s life sciences scene, from startups and investors to universities and nonprofits.

6. Mary Lou Jepsen on Life Post-Facebook and New Startup, “Open Water”
Bob Buderi’s scoop on what the Facebook/Oculus leader is working on next: wearable brain-imaging devices that could one day interpret your thoughts.

7. Layoffs Reflect New Turbulence at High-Flying 3D Robotics
Bruce Bigelow lays out the business challenges of drone companies such as 3D.

8. AgTech Accelerator Aims to Sway Agriculture Investment Trends
Frank Vinluan reports from North Carolina on a new effort to boost agtech startups and university research.

9. Boston Cybersecurity Map Shows Deep, Diverse Local Sector
Jeff Engel maps out New England’s cluster of cybersecurity companies—one of the region’s strengths (and a rich source of acquisition targets).

10. The Xconversation: Vaccine Developer Meets Energy Innovator
Ben Romano sits down with two Seattle-area leaders from different fields to talk about commonalities and lessons in science, business, and parenthood.

11. Denver Proposal Calls for Smarter Electric and Autonomous Vehicles
Quincy Snowdon examines one of the finalists in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s $40 million Smart City Challenge.

12. GM Bets Big Bucks on Cruise Automation and a Driverless Future
Sarah Schmid gives the context around this big deal in self-driving vehicles, and what it means for the future (never more relevant than this week).

13. San Antonio Entrepreneur Center Opens Using Dallas Nonprofit as Model
David Holley reports on an effort to boost San Antonio’s startup scene, with ideas from another part of the Lone Star State.

14. Austin’s Lucid Aims to Make Artificial Intelligence More Human
Angela Shah delves into a company that’s part of a growing cluster of A.I. and cognitive computing efforts in Austin, TX.

15. Founder Nathan Smith on What Comes Next for Wink, Smart Homes, & IoT
João-Pierre Ruth previews the future of smart homes and connected devices through the lens of a New York tech company.

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