Texas Roundup: Favor, UT-San Antonio, Yan Engines, Health Wildcatters

Xconomy Texas — 

Happy weekend. But before you head off, let’s catch up on the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas.

Favor, the Austin, TX-based startup that offers to deliver anything, is going international. With the addition of a “u”—hello, Favour—the company will begin service to Canada. In addition, the stateside operation announced expansions to Fort Worth, TX, and San Marcos, TX, this week.

—Student entrepreneurs at the University of Texas at San Antonio have developed a tele-psychiatry service for the homeless. The program, which is called VideoMed, came out of a UT System effort called the Student Entrepreneurship Fellowship, a six-week course developed by the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps. VideoMed plans to get non-profit status and form relationships with other non-profits that work with the homeless, as well as recruit mental health providers.

—An Austin startup says it has an engine that can be up to 80 percent more efficient than current technology. Yan Engines announced this week it has raised $700,000 to launch a subsidiary in the United Kingdom. The latest fundraise makes a total of $5 million for the startup, which was founded in 2001.

—Ten startups—half of which are headed by women—-will join the latest class at Dallas’s Health Wildcatters accelerator this fall. Companies in digital health, medical devices, and telemedicine will participate in the 12-week program; a demo day will be held in November.

—The flock has expanded. Larry Lawson, a longtime medical device entrepreneur, has joined Houston’s Goose Society, a group of super-angel investors founded by Jack Gill, the founder of Silicon Valley’s Vanguard Ventures and a professor of entrepreneurship at Rice University.

—Austin biotech Mirna Therapeutics filed for an IPO this week, making it the third Texas life sciences company to seek a place in the public markets. The company, which is currently preparing its lead microRNA therapeutic product candidate, MRX34, for Phase 1b and Phase 2 trials in 2016, plans to trade on the Nasdaq stock market with the ticker symbol “MIRN.”

San Antonio has entered into a $15 million contract with civic technology company Accela to better digitize the way the city manages land and licensing in order to more efficiently serve its residents and business customers.

—Austin is known for its cutting-edge technology but one company aims to innovate with an old economy stalwart: rubber. Austin Rubber has created what it calls APX, a secret sauce of chemicals that allows at as much as 50 percent more recycled rubber to be used in manufacturing new products.

—Houston’s FlexGen Power Systems has created software and power electronics that the company says efficiently and precisely controls the ability to store energy—in lithium ion batteries or ultra-capacitors, for instance—in electric power systems.