Tour of Texas: Cancer Moonshot, Luminex, Integricote, & Rising Barn

Xconomy Texas — 

Let’s catch up with the latest innovation news in Texas.


—-Luminex (NASDAQ: LMNX) completed its acquisition of Nanosphere, an Illinois maker of diagnostic tests, for $77 million. The Austin-based Luminex, which also makes diagnostic tests, announced the purchase in May for an initial price of $58 million, according to the Austin American-Statesman.


—Dallas’s Tech Wildcatters accelerator has undergone a major reshuffling in its executive ranks. Molly Cain, its executive director, and Clarisa Lindenmeyer, chief revenue officer, were both let go by co-founder Gabriella Draney Zielke in a move that surprised many in the city’s innovation community. Zielke says she made the changes because she felt the accelerator needed a reorganization to fully implement its new Gauntlet program, in which startups receive investment as they meet certain milestones.


—Part of being a smart entrepreneur is realizing when you need to take the business into a different market than the one you first believed you would address. University of Houston physics professor Seamus Curran talks about his company’s transition from C-Voltaics to Integricote.

—Two Houston health IT startups have been tapped by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to participate in his national cancer moonshot initiative. DocGraph and CareSet Systems are aiming to develop a cancer dataset with summarized information on nearly a million Medicare cancer patients and more than 10 million specific claims. The plan is to create a picture of how cancer is treated by the government-funded health plan, and to identify efforts that could, ultimately, cure cancer. My colleague Alex Lash, Xconomy’s national biotechnology editor, offers a broader view of the moonshot initiative here.

San Antonio:

Rising Barn uses software to pre-design different housing structures to build more affordable houses. The units are largely constructed from structural insulated panels for walls and flooring, which help reduce the costs of each house. The homes, which range from 200 square feet to 1,000 square feet sell between $35,000 and $150,000.

—As Austin grapples with its post-Uber and Lyft world, the city of San Antonio has agreed to extend rules that allow drivers of the ride-sharing companies to opt in to a fingerprinting background check. The pact between the city and three companies (Uber, Lyft, and Get Me) was set to expire in July and is now extended to October.

—The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation has a new president and CEO in Jenna Saucedo-Herrera. The foundation works to brings new businesses to the city and also teamed up with Incell, a biotech contract manufacturer there, to create BioTurnKey, which aims to spin out biotech companies based around the life science products it develops.