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Over the last two years, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund has been the most active early stage technology investor in the country, funding more than 60 companies.

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Learn to Create Wealth!

The University of Texas at Austin offers a unique degree designed specifically to prepare individuals to convert new technologies into marketable products. In the Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) degree, candidates develop skills in assessing the market potential of emerging technologies, writing business plans for taking the technologies to market, and creating an operational plan for launching the new venture. The MSTC entrepreneurs evaluate real technologies recently developed at UT-Austin,TAMU, NASA, and other research centers in Texas. The curriculum involves action-based, hands-on learning, not hypothetical exercises. Graduates become technology commercialization specialists working in entrepreneurial ventures, product development experts in major corporations, and technology transfer professionals.

Attending classes on alternating weekends, students complete the MSTC degree in one year. Candidates may participate by attending classes at the IC² Institute in Austin, by viewing a live video webcast of the classes or watching archived videos of the courses. During the 27 weekends, most students experience all three participation avenues. With no residency requirement for the MSTC program, students have the option of fully completing the program without ever coming to Austin. All classes are webcast live over the Internet, so students participate and ask questions from anywhere in the world that they can access a broadband connection. Class videos are archived online after the live session, so students can watch the lectures at a later time if they are unable to attend the live class or if they desire additional review.

You can learn more about the MSTC Program including course descriptions and faculty biographies at www.ic2.utexas.edu/mstc.

On the Horizon-The Texas New Markets Development Program

The federal New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC), enacted by Congress in 2000 and extended in 2006, authorizes up to $19.5 billion of investment in low-income areas nationwide.  Thus far, about $9 billion has been invested, leaving about $10.5 billion for investment in small businesses.  Another $3.5 billion reauthorization bill is pending before Congress.  Four states have enacted NMTC legislation and at least ten more states are considering similar bills.

A Texas NMTC program could drive hundreds of millions of dollars of capital into small businesses in Texas.  A state program can leverage federal credits and private capital, and make Texas more attractive for investments relative to other states, attracting national dollars for new or expanding companies and creating jobs.  This incremental incentive program could attract hundreds of millions of dollars of capital to rural and emerging urban areas. Follow-on investment capital of two to three times the original investment is often seen.

TechQuest Sparks New Ideas: Innovations Submitted from DFW, U.S. and International Sources

The Metroplex Technology Business Council's first TechQuest event featuring Texas Instruments exceeded expectations on the number of quality submittals. A dozen of the top innovators met with senior TI research and business development officials on June 3-4 at TI’s headquarters. These individual, face-to-face discussions focused on the technology and the potential for a business relationship with TI.

In addition, TI is considering several other proposals for separate meetings, including some made by area universities. A number of intriguing submittals were made by The University of North Texas, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Dallas and Texas Christian University.

Ideas offered up to Texas Instruments ranged from ones related to its core business of semiconductor manufacturing to technologies for the environment, medical devices and wireless communications for which TI’s chips are an essential component. Credit for the longest distance submittal goes to KeCrypt, a biometrics company located in Hertfordshire, England. Of course, most of the submittals came from the DFW Metroplex, but the majority of those came from non-MTBC member companies who learned of the program through publicity in the Dallas Business Journal or by referral from an MTBC member.

Sifting through all the applications and helping TI select the very best submittals was a considerable task, but an all-volunteer team led by Innovation Team Tri-Chair Paul Nichols met every challenge. From initial brainstorming to delivery of the first TechQuest event was accomplished in seven months. Other Innovation Team members working the TI TechQuest were Tri-Chair Barbara Lancaster, Myra Moore, Mary Cooley and Lee Forsythe. They assisted TI’s Brent Jones, who coordinated for the company. The TI TechQuest portal will remain open on the MTBC web site for the submission of innovative ideas in the future.

All of the parties involved in MTBC’s first TechQuest came together at a June 2 by-invitation-only reception hosted by Haynes & Boone, LLP at their Richardson offices. Expect a forthcoming announcement on the launch of TechQuest II.

Texas Emerging Technology Fund Continues Making Strides in Funding New Technology

On March 24, 2008, the ETF announced a $250,000 investment in Halsa Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Houston based company that is in the process of manufacturing a therapeutic drug treatment for obesity.

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Central Texas Center of Innovation and Commercialization announced that the Emerging Technology Fund has chosen Xitronix Corporation, Inc. as a recipient of a $500,000 investment.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the ETF funded Texas Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS) at Texas A&M University was held March 28, 2008.

On April 2, $2 million was awarded to Texas Tech University by the Emerging Technology Fund for the recruitment of renowned experts in nanophotonics technology

The newly-created Center for Transitional Injury Research of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston received $5 million to recruit leading scientists and surgeons in trauma care and next-generation medical technologies on May 9, 2008.

This Issue's Featured Business

Terapio Selected As Texas Emerging Technology Fund Recipient

June 18, 2008 - The Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Central Texas Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (CenTex RCIC) announce that the state of Texas has chosen Terapio Corporation, a Central Texas pharmaceutical company, as the recipient of an award funded through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF). The Austin-based company specializing in the development of innovative therapeutics for such things as the treatment and prevention of Hand-Foot Syndrome, will receive a $1.7 million project award to hasten the commercialization of its product pipeline.

“Terapio is a great addition to the growing life science industry in Austin,” said Jeff King, Partner Haynes & Boone, LLP and Chairman of the CenTex RCIC. "With the help of the CenTex RCIC, a highly trained workforce and vast experience in research and development, Austin can serve the needs of the biomedical and life science industries in a distinctive way."

The cornerstone of the systemic and topical therapies being developed at Terapio (Tĕ•rah•pē•ō) is the normally-occurring transport protein RLIP76 that moves free-radical toxins out of cells before significant damage can occur from chemical, burn and radiation insults. For many patients receiving chemotherapy, a common side effect is the chemical burns associated with Hand-Foot Syndrome (HFS), which is caused by small amounts of chemotherapy drug leaking into the skin and damaging those areas. 

“Hand-Foot Syndrome has been troublesome for oncologists and patients for decades. We hope to bring a preventative to the market that will be of benefit in the various chemotherapy regimens where it is prevalent,” said C. Casey Cunningham, MD, Co-Founder, Vice President and Medical Director of Terapio as well as a clinical oncologist. “The Emerging Technology Fund award is certainly a positive step forward for the company in our efforts to bring this important technology to market.”

Currently, the only truly effective treatment of HFS is to delay or suspend the patient’s chemotherapy, thus delaying the patient's treatment of their cancer.  Terapio’s topical formulation of RLIP76 protein will be applied to the skin as a preventative for HFS, allowing more patients to finish their chemotherapy treatment on time.

Terapio was selected by the Centex RCIC after an extensive due diligence process based on multiple criteria including a stringent analyses of the market and financial opportunity, technology potential, management team and economic impact to Texas. They worked collaboratively with the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of North Texas Health Science Center, the Cancer Research Center at Scott & White in Temple and Texas A&M University.

“This award from the Emerging Technology Fund will allow Terapio to leverage the numerous university and industry collaborations we have within the State of Texas to accelerate the commercialization of the RLIP76 protein,” said Curt Bilby, Terapio President and CEO and the current Chairman of BioAustin. “We are very bullish on the capabilities within Texas and our state’s ability to be competitive in the commercial life science sector.”

About BioAustin

BioAustin, formed under the support of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, represents over 100 life science companies with over 7,000 employees operating in the five-county Austin region. Through BioAustin, local life science companies are given opportunities to network and collaborate which, in turn, leads to new commercialization and growth. Austin is a large center of support for life science companies including venture capital, qualified scientific and support talent, facility space, research and strong academic collaboration and amazing quality of life.

About the CenTex RCIC

The CenTex RCIC is a virtual center that operates out of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and serves as a catalyst for emerging technology research, development, commercialization and start-up incubation. In an effort to keep Texas globally competitive, the CenTex RCIC focuses on integrating technology development and commercialization in a 15-county region.

The CenTex RCIC works closely with the Chamber’s AusTech Alliance, a group of technology businesses and organizations working to consolidate efforts that strengthen the regional technology sector and to keep Texas globally competitive. The Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), which aims to assist local entrepreneurs with investment opportunities, also works with the CenTex RCIC, ETF and the universities to identify capital for start-ups.

For additional information, contact:

Susan M. Davenport
Vice President, Business Retention & Expansion
Greater Austin Chamber
Phone: 512.322.5657

Texas Emerging Technology Fund Latest Investment Data

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Angel Network Organized Across the State

An organization has been formed to aid in the development of non-profit angel groups in Texas.  Angel investing fills a critical gap for entrepreneurs who require outside investment, but need less money than Venture Capitalist tend to invest.  Typically, the investments are grouped into three categories ; Friends and family money - ranging up to $200,000, Angel investment – from $200,000 to $2 million, and Venture Capital investment – over $2 million.  In a typical year approximately 600,000 new businesses are created by entrepreneurs who self-fund, approximately 40,000 new businesses are created with angel investment, and between 150 to 200 new businesses are created by venture capital firms.

The group, which has been in existence for the last year, fosters cooperation between both existing angel groups in Texas and regions of the state working to form angel groups.  The goal is to share best practices for starting and running angel groups and to share deal flow among angel groups and regions. 

The following groups/regions are represented:

  • Central Texas Angel Network
  • Houston Angel Network
  • San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative (SATAI Network)
  • North Texas Angel Network
  • North Texas Enterprise Center for Medical Technology
  • Lone Star Angels
  • Waco
  • Concho Valley Angel Network
  • Rio Grande Valley Angels
  • Eyes of Texas Partners
  • Camino Real Angel Network

If you are interested in investing in the Angel Network, please contact:

Jamie Rhodes
Central Texas Angel Network

Craig Casselberry
Texas Coalition for Capital
Phone: 512.477.6400

Cancer Institute Begins Work

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee held its first meeting on June 23 from 1:30-2:30 in the Capitol Extension Auditorium, E1.004.  At this initial meeting, the Oversight Committee selected an administrative director to manage the agency until it develops the Institute’s new organizational structure.  It also set the date and agenda for the next meeting.

In the coming months, the Oversight Committee will make decisions not only about the organizational structure but also on a peer review process for research applications, agency performance criteria, monitoring and evaluation procedures of funded projects, and intellectual property and commercialization issues.  These decisions will shape the structure, processes, and procedures of the new Institute to ensure that grants are invested in the most promising cancer research projects and prevention programs.  The investment of $3 billion in state funds must be strategically allocated to fund projects which add value to current efforts and resources, or spur new opportunities, which lead to better methods of cancer prevention and care.  For additional information contact:

Heidi McConnell
Special Assistant
Governor's Office of Budget, Planning, and Policy
Phone: 512.463.1778

Craig Casselberry
Texas Coalition for Capital
Phone: 512.477.6400

U.T. System Partners with the State of Texas to Expand Opportunities to Texans

From breakthrough cancer imaging and drug delivery systems to alternative energies and freight tracking technology, new discoveries that result from the vast research activities at the fifteen U. T. System universities are creating opportunities for Texans and changing lives around the globe. And the ETF’s financial support is boosting the U. T. System’s resources to expand and accelerate the commercialization of these discoveries.  Please clink below to read more about these important opportunities. 

Ignite Texas!

The U. T. System has embarked on a dynamic new program dubbed “Ignite Texas!” that involves many initiatives to support the evolving culture and accelerate commercialization of inventions. Ignite Texas! offers pre-seed funds, entrepreneurship training, technology solutions, standard documents and policies, mentoring, and expanded collaborations to capture synergy and increase momentum in all corners of the state.   Link below for more details. 

U.T. Incubation Facilities Launching Start-Ups

Incubation facilities at many U. T. campuses have already helped launch more than 250 start-up companies System-wide (at least 200 with University IP). These expanding facilities require significant capital investment and staffing to offer subsidized space, equipment, mentoring and other services for start-ups.
Click below for a snapshot of just a few of U. T. System’s successful incubators:

Overall U.T. System’s performance stats:

  • Nearly $2 billion in annual research expenditures (FY07)
  • 2006 Milken Institute’s 1st in the world in biotech patents, with Five U. T. System institutions in the top 100 (UT Austin, UTSWMC, UTMB, UTHSC-H, UTHSC-SA)
  • Over five years from FY02-FY06
    • 66 new companies (14 in FY06)
    • 724 total IP licenses and options (92% increase)
    • $151M in total gross revenues (34% increase, 14th in the nation AUTM FY06)

For contact information for the U.T. Research and Technology Transfer office, please click below.