Roundup: Build Sec Foundry, Tech Bloc, UT’s Goonewardene, & SiNode

Happy Monday from Xconomy Texas. Let’s get caught up on the latest innovation news in the state.

—A new incubator in San Antonio aims to nurture young startups in cybersecurity. Build Sec Foundry will be hosted at Geekdom and has received a $600,000 grant from the 80/20 Foundation, a San Antonio group that invests in non-profits and other organizations focused on entrepreneurial efforts. San Antonio is home to a key military node of the U.S. Air Force Cyber Command.

—Tech-focused non-profit Tech Bloc in San Antonio is seeking more than $1 million to fund the launch of a charter school dedicated to teaching technology and entrepreneurship. Tech Bloc is soliciting the money from the IT industry and other businesses for the effort, which also has been championed by city leaders and the founder of Texas grocery store chain, HEB.

Julie Goonewardene, associate vice chancellor for innovation and strategic investment at the University of Texas’ Horizon Fund, wants the UT system to be a better partner with the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We spoke to the former entrepreneur-turned-academic about her plans, how health innovation is personal to her, and some of the fund’s successes.

Revtech, the retail and restaurant-focused accelerator in Dallas, has announced four new startups. Among them are FindMine (New York), a retail tech company with software that uses algorithms and big data to give users a targeted shopping experience online; and Workplace Arcade (Melbourne, Australia), which provides software to measure, increase, and retain retail employee engagement.

SiNode Systems, a 2013 winner of the Rice Business Plan Competition, last week received a $4 million grant from Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, along with the U.S. Department of Energy, to develop cheaper electric car batteries for the automotive market. As a Northwestern University student startup, SiNode won nearly $1 million in the Rice University contest.


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