Lone Star Innovation: Xconomy Texas’ Top Stories for Q2 2014

At Xconomy Texas these last three months, we started with the world’s richest business plan competition and ended with a somewhat rare event, that of a local biotech company going public.

In between, the financing market for Texas startups, especially those in Austin, really took off. In addition to separate venture capital and angel deals, investments flowed to startups through Dallas’ Health Wildcatters and new funds from LiveOak Venture Partners in Austin and Cypress Growth Capital in Dallas.

Here is a non-scientific run-down of the top 12 innovation stories in Texas from April to June:

1. Zombies, Cowboys, & Aliens Dish Up for BioHouston Chili Cook-off
Because zombies. And a Michael Jackson tribute in dance.

2. Big Money Follows Big Talk at Rice University’s Startup Competition
Rice University brings together some of the world’s best college entrepreneurs for a weekend. Aziz Gilani, of Houston’s Mercury Fund, steals the show.

3. Houston’s GripeO Markets Online Customer Service Platform
We all complain. GripeO says it can help you actually get heard.

4. Austin’s Peach Digitally Connects Local Farmers to Restaurant Chefs
An app that digitally connects restaurants to farms.

5. ZS Pharma Ends Texas Biotech IPO Dry Spell With $86M Pitch
The first IPO for a Texas biotech in 14 years. Or is it 9?

6. Cleantech Entrepreneurs—and Sasquatch—Star at Surge Demo Day
It’s Houston, the energy capital of the world. And Sasquatch.

7. Austin Startup Voter Trove Brings Big Data Analytics to the GOP
Republicans turn to data analytics.

8/9. Techstars Austin Debuts Second Class of Startups for 3-Month Program and Austin Firms, Dallas’ Health Wildcatters Startups Raise Funds
Accelerators preview the next wave of Texas innovation.

10. In Crowded Field, Cariloop Helps Families Find Care for Elders
“Match.com” plus “Expedia” to help care for Grandma.

11. Dallas Tech Startup Chui Crowdfunds an ‘Intelligent’ Doorbell
How a doorbell can help you break up with your soon-to-be ex.

12. Ziosk’s E-Waiter Device Brings Technology to Restaurant Orders
Tableside tablets automate ordering and payment—and entice you to order dessert.


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