Hospital Robots, Vista Bets on Diversity, Cocktails, & More TX Tech

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

—Two Texas startups have been named to the inaugural 2019 cohort of the LaunchPad Lift program, which is organized by Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars. One of them, Lazarus, is a Texas A&M University spinout developing ammunition that minimizes blood loss to preserve life after penetration. The other, Shower Stream, is making a smart bulb shower head adapter that installs like a light bulb, saves water, and displays those savings via the web. Shower Stream’s team is made up of University of Texas at Austin students. LaunchPad Lift puts student founders through a 10-week accelerator with an assigned Techstars mentor. At the end of the program, participants receive a $10,000 grant. Techstars says the program says is designed specifically for students who are in school full-time.

—If you’re at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston over the next month, you could see a robot roaming the halls. Diligent Robotics, an Austin based robotics startup, is starting a second pilot program at the hospital in which the company’s Moxi robot is deployed to assist nurses. Diligent says its robot is designed to take some rote tasks away from nurses so they can focus on patient care. During the robot’s first pilot, which took place at Texas Health in Dallas this fall, it hauled heavy bags of soiled linen from patient rooms to laundry centers and delivered lab specimens to labs, among other duties, Diligent says. Moxi’s third pilot is scheduled for next month at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin.

Vista Equity Partners has launched a fellows program designed to boost the ranks of women, African Americans, and Latinos in the investor community. The private equity firm’s Vista Frontiers Fellows complete an internship, and afterward could be offered full-time positions at Vista or portfolio companies. “A young, dynamic, and diverse workforce is essential for the long-term health of our company,” Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista, said in a press release. The Frontier Fellows Program will begin accepting applicants in February.

Austin Cocktails, a beverage startup based in the Texas capital, is one of the first companies to receive an investment from a new venture capital group launched by Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ). The investment program is called Focus on Female Founders. Over the next decade, it will invest $100 million businesses founded or led by women in the beverage industry or related categories, Constellation said in a press release. “Broadening our focus on this critical demographic will drive incremental growth for our business, enhance our relevance, deepen our consumer knowledge base, and broaden our pipeline of ideas and talent,” Mallika Monteiro, Constellation’s chief growth officer, said in the release.

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