Texas Roundup: Solar Winds, VMware, Procyrion, Houston Tech Center

It was a soggy weekend in Texas, so happy Monday as we get on with the week. Let’s recap the most recent innovation news in the state.

—Austin, TX’s Solar Winds was taken private by PE firms Thoma Bravo and Silver Lake Partners. (Two years ago, Silver Lake also took Dell Computer private.) The 16-year-old Solar Winds sells software that manages computer networks for schools, businesses, and governments. It became a publicly traded company in 2009.

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio research is being used to develop a drug that Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals believes can help protect brain cells left at risk after a stroke. The Cambridge, MA-based company is named after the most abundant type of cell in the brain: astrocyte.

—Investment in the life sciences are strong even as low oil prices have dented venture capital activity in the energy sector, according to the latest MoneyTree data for Texas venture capital.

—Shortly after coming into the Dell Computer fold, VMware announced it has bought Austin’s Boxer, an e-mail management software company.

—Explore the frontiers of the human brain with Baylor College of Medicine’s professor and entrepreneur David Eagleman, who hosts a PBS show on the topic.

—From pediatric health to that of aging seniors, Houston entrepreneur Brian Lang focuses on programs to boost startups that are innovating in health care.

—Want a glimpse of the earliest stages of innovation in Houston? Take a look at the portfolio companies at the Houston Technology Center. (Also, the real life Scorpion came to town.)

—In fundraising news, TVA Medical, an Austin medical device company which is developing minimally invasive treatments for patients with end-stage renal disease, announced it raised $15 million in a Series C round. The funding will be used for developing its endoAVF, a catheter-based system designed to create hemodialysis access for patients with chronic kidney disease. Investors included Baxter Ventures, Boston Scientific, Sante Ventures, and S3 Ventures.

Houston biotech Procyrion raised $10 million for a circulatory support pump to aid patients with heart failure from investors such as Fannin Innovation Studio in Houston and Dallas-based Scientific Health Development.

Austin cleantech startup Curb picks up $1.25 million after a successful Indiegogo campaign. The company makes a device that acts like a home’s “nervous system” in order to understand and analyze each appliance’s electricity use and target energy hogs.

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