Nike Buys Invertex, Mark Cuban Backs Billshark, & More TX Tech News

I was out last week, exploring the rocky terrain of Big Bend National Park out in West Texas. Let’s catch up on the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas, part 1. (Part 2, chock full of startup funding news, is next.)

—The first-ever Austin Cannabis Entrepreneur (or, ACE) conference is being held this Thursday and Friday, including a keynote by Troy Dayton, CEO and co-founder of Arcview, a cannabis market research firm. Hugh Forrest, one of the event organizers, says he has seen an increasing interest in discussion about the growing cannabis industry. (Forrest is also chief programming officer of Austin’s South By Southwest Festival. He stresses that SXSW has nothing to do with the ACE conference.)

While cannabis use is not legal in Texas, in 2015, state leaders did approve the Compassionate Use Act, which permits people diagnosed with intractable epilepsy to purchase and use cannabis oil with up to 0.5 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC.) The state issued its first medical marijuana license last year to Florida-based Consortium Holdings, which operates the Knox Medical dispensary in Schulenberg, TX, in Central Texas.

—Dallas’ Health Wildcatters accelerator announced that one of its portfolio companies, Invertex, was acquired by Nike (NYSE: NKE). Tel Aviv-based Invertex uses computer imaging—replicating the process we use from our eyes to our brain—to create 3D scans of feet. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The acquisition of Invertex will deepen our bench of digital talent and further our capabilities in computer vision and artificial intelligence as we create the most compelling Nike consumer experience at every touchpoint,” Adam Sussman, Nike’s chief digital officer, said in a press release. Invertex is Health Wildcatters’ second exit.

—Boston-based Billshark announced in a press release that tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban is one of its investors and advisors. (The startup did not provide the exact amount of Cuban’s investment.) The company offers … Next Page »

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