TMC receives grant to collaborate with a government agency to enhance illness-detecting technology

The TMC Innovation Institute has been tapped by the government to collaborate on illness-detecting technology. Courtesy of TMC

The Texas Medical Center has been identified as a key partner for a national health-focused initiative. TMCx has been selected as one of eight accelerator programs to be a part of the program that focuses on identifying emerging health security threats, according to a release from TMC.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services has provided TMCx a $96,500 to conduct research and provide solutions for two different challenges within mitigating these risks.

"The first is 'pre-symptomatic' detection of illness, or detecting illness in patients and suggesting treatment before they even begin to show symptoms," the release reads. "The second is addressing sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to infection."

Sepsis, which is one of the most costly illnesses hospitals treat, affects 1.7 million patients a year.

HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, has a new entity called DRIVe, which stands for Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures. The effort will be lead by the new organization, which comes at a result of the 21st Century Cures Act that was enacted to spur health security within technology.

In July, HHS officials toured the TMC Innovation Institute campus before deciding to work with the accelerator. TMCx is no stranger to the national spotlight. In November, the organization was lauded for its accelerator program with a national award.

The accelerator has announced its eighth cohort of startups this spring. The 21 companies will be focused on digital health. Last cohort, TMCx accelerated 23 companies that raised $73 million by demo day.

In December, Erik Halvorsen, who had lead the Innovation Institute for a few years, abruptly left his position as director. Lance Black, associate director of TMCx, has been named the interim director.

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Building Houston


MassChallenge Houston's 2020 cohort has been selected. Photo courtesy of MassChallenge Texas

After launching in Houston with a smaller cohort last year, MassChallenge Texas has announced its latest, full-scale cohort and is kicking off virtual programming this month.

"Today's world is up against new challenges that require creative solutions to help us get back to speed as quickly and as efficiently as possible," says Jon Nordby, MassChallenge Texas in Houston's managing director in a news release. "The incoming cohort is uniquely positioned to make an impact because of their ability to act swiftly and adapt to new market needs. These founders will go on to create the impact and the jobs that will underpin the recovery of our economy for years to come."

The program begins this month and concludes in September. According to the news release, the accelerator will operate as a hybrid — combining virtual and in-person programming. The startups will pitch virtually at the MassChallenge Virtual Startup Showcase on July 16 and 17, as well as at the conclusion of the program at the the MassChallenge Texas in Houston 2020 Awards.

The cohort represents 12 countries and 13 states — with over a third being female founded. The program is also introducing two new tracks: Sports tech, which was announced in April, and space commercialization.

Here are the members of the 2020 MassChallenge Texas Houston cohort and where they are based.

Energy and clean tech

  • Direct Kinetic Solutions (Texas)
  • PolarPanel (Texas)
  • QUEMPIN SpA (Chile)
  • TexPower (Texas)
  • ThermoAI (New York)
  • WeavAIr (Canada)

General and retail

  • AbegYa (Cameroon)
  • Dunyha (Texas)
  • FieldTrend (California)
  • FloodFrame (Texas)
  • Integricote (Texas)
  • Sensegrass (India)
  • Scout, Inc (Virginia)
  • SurfEllent (Texas)
  • Tellinga (Texas)
  • Walter's Cube (New York, USA)

Health care and life science

  • Aniluxx Biotechnology (North Carolina)
  • Articulate Labs (Massachusetts)
  • Healium (Missouri)
  • Hera-MI (France)
  • NeuroRescue Inc. (Louisiana)
  • Noleus Technologies, Inc (Texas)
  • O2 RegenTech (Ohio)
  • OrganoTherapeutics (Luxembourg)
  • PATH EX, Inc (Texas)
  • Pegwin - Patient Safety Innovation (Texas)
  • PREEMIEr Diagnostics (Michigan)
  • ReCellTis Wound Cream (Texas)
  • RedOak Instruments, LLC (Texas)
  • Steradian Technologies (Texas)
  • Solenic Medical, Inc. (Texas)
  • Starling Medical (Texas)
  • TomoWave Laboratories, Inc. (Texas)
  • Tremedics Medical Devices (Texas)
  • UniExo (Ukraine)


  • Asystom (France)
  • B2B Pay (Finland)
  • BoxMagic (Chile)
  • ByLingual (Texas)
  • CityGuyd (Florida)
  • HVACIntel (Texas)
  • Keto A.I (Texas)
  • M1neral (Texas)
  • Navigation Research Company (Texas)
  • Node App (Canada)
  • Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc. (Arkansas)
  • Noala (Ukraine)
  • Securelyshare (Virginia)
  • SenSwim (Israel)
  • Sizzle (California)
  • Snaptivity (United Kingdom)
  • SpenDebt (Texas)
  • Tradeblock (Texas)
  • V2verify (Nebraska)

Social impact

  • Kietoparao (Spain)
  • Teaching Artists International (Massachusetts)

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