May 2018

As this goes out, we are at The BIO International Convention in Boston representing Texas with folks from all across the state. This past month saw lots of activity in the network, and there’s even more on the horizon as we reach the halfway point for 2018.

See how folks have engaged with us since the start of the year:

Let’s keep growing that number and work to increase the visibility of all the innovation happening in Austin, Texas.


Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain!

On May 11, we were pleased to host a visit by the Urban Land Institute’s Oklahoma City chapter, who were visiting Austin to learn about our emerging innovation district. The Urban Land Institute is a non-profit that promotes and provides responsible use of land and the creation of sustaining thriving communities.

We were delighted to host them at the Dell Medical School’s Health Discovery Building, where they heard about the history of Austin’s medical school and its commitment and approaches to health innovation from Mini Kahlon (Vice Dean of Strategy and Partnerships). We talked with them about the innovation district and our strategy for blending university, industry, entrepreneurial, and non-profit strengths.

And Michele Van Hyfte (Vice President for Economic Developments at the Downtown Austin Alliance) took them on a “virtual” tour of the district from a vantage point in the parking garage at 15th and Red River! We’re just as excited to learn from them as they are to learn from us!

Did you know Oklahoma City is supporting the emergence of an innovation district? The district includes a 1.3 square-mile downtown location adjacent to the Oklahoma Health Center and supported by the City government, the University of Oklahoma, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, several health systems and foundations, and others.

In April 2017, the Oklahoma City Innovation District was the subject of a report released by the Anne T. and Robert M Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Project for Public Places. Other emerging and established innovation districts that have been similarly studied by Brookings include Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.


Telemedicine Across Texas

We were pleased to host Telemedicine Across Texas, a panel and networking session, with Austin Technology Alliance. Austin Tech Alliance is a nonpartisan nonprofit that promotes civic engagement in Austin’s tech sector using tech as a tool to tackle our community’s most pressing challenges.

With over 40 folks in attendance, we had a pretty lively bunch for a 7:30 am event on a Monday. We're sure the coffee and breakfast tacos helped. After some light networking, opening remarks came before a discussion from our 5 panelists. Participants heard from the legal, clinical, and technological perspectives on emerging technology and limitations on patient care.


Check out a choice tweet from the event:

Based on some post-event feedback, we learned the following: 

  • Folks are interested in hearing diverse perspectives, everyone who provided feedback made a note of the representatives from the tech startup space to the legal field on our panel.

  • Members of the audiences are interested in hearing more stories and case studies of specific local failures and successes in the space.

This event is just the start of our collaboration with community partners - stay tuned for more events coming up!

Wish you were there? You can review the recorded live streamed recording on YouTube


Young Chamber Fast Start

I was pleased to participate as a judge in the Young Chamber’s Fast Start Competition. Fast Start is a quarterly pitch competition and this quarter they are focusing on Bio/Med Tech. Dell Medical School is a sponsor along with the two other organizations, 3 Day Startup, and Health Tech Austin.

Finalist for the pitch are:

  • Clairvoyant Networks

  • EllieGrid

  • Enzyme

  • JellyMedical Labs

The winners of the pitch competition will be selected on Thursday, June 14th at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm. The competition will be held at the Dell Medical Center, Health Learning Building First Floor Auditorium. Register for the event today!


Across the District  

Dell Medical School

Select teams from Dell Medical School's Health Catalyst Program recently received a consulting award from the program. During this phase, their first step is conducting customer discovery by going through the regional I-Corps program. Texas Health Catalyst has partnered with the regional NSF I-Corps node to offer a cohort exclusively to our finalists

Although applications are closed for the current cycle of TX Health Catalyst, Austin entrepreneurs and UT faculty are welcome to submit innovations, to be considered for other related opportunities or future cycles.


ACC BioScience

ACC Bioscience Incubator member company, Fabrico Technology, received Small Business Innovation Research(SBIR) Phase I and II Awards from the Department of Defense to develop new technologies with potential applications for stem cell treatment for traumatic brain injury & stroke, and drinking water monitoring and testing which will be EPA-ATP compliant. Fabrico will be relocating to Bioscience Incubator's state-of-the-art facility at ACC Highland.

Also, ACC Bioscience Incubator welcomed new member company, Food and Ag Lab. The startup company offers testing lab services to the food and agricultural industries and consulting in the areas of compliance and food safety.


Siva Therapeutics

Siva Therapeutics’ Targeted Hyperthermia™ photothermal cancer therapy technology received a “Judges Choice Award” as a finalist at the 2018 US China Innovation Alliance's (UCIA) InnoSTARS Competition last week in Houston.  As part of the award, they will be traveling with the UCIA delegation to several cities in China in June for partnership and investment meetings.  Read the press release online.

They also received Notice of Allowance from the US Patent and Trademark Office on all 24 claims of their “Smart Light Engine” patent, which forms a critical element of Siva’s systems approach to photothermal therapy.  The SivaLum™ light engine has many advantages over antiquated lasers for photothermal therapy, and it is optimized for use with SivaRods™ precision gold nanorods.  Read the press release online.

Finally, they are excited that Siva will have a panelist seat in a session on “Emerging Immuno-Oncology Targets” at the Cambridge Healthtech Immuno-Oncology Summit in Boston on August 30th.  Immune system stimulation is one of the beneficial effects of Targeted Hyperthermia, and they look forward to increasing involvement with the immuno-oncology community as awareness of the benefits of hyperthermia grows.

They look forward to the completion of their NCL program with great results in Q3 of 2018..


City of Austin’s Economic Development Department

The City’s Economic Development department is revising its economic development policies for the first time in 15 years. After a year of community and consultant recommendations, a new vision for the policies have been put forth. 

The current proposal seeks to support small businesses andincentivizes employers to hire economically and socio-economically disadvantaged individuals. 

Before a formal vote on the new policy the City is seeking final community input through June 14th. 


Future Forward

Are you interested in interacting with innovation districts elsewhere in the country – either inviting them here to Austin or visiting them? Send us a note – we are exploring whether there might be interest in an “Innovation Forum” to benchmark, learn, and exchange ideas about urban innovation efforts in other markets.

Email us at with your ideas!  


Did you know research has shown “that 47 percent of new product and process innovations occur through external partnerships? Density and proximity help facilitate this type of collaboration. While labor moves within a shed of approximately 40 miles, knowledge sharing occurs at a scale of less than 1 mile(Carlino & Kerr, 2014).”

This finding came from Brooking report on auditing innovation districts that was released earlier this year.



Upcoming Events In The CCI Network


Christopher Laing, MRCVS, PhD Executive Director, Capital City Innovation
As Executive Director of Capital City Innovation, Chris leads an organization that is coordinating the stakeholders of the innovation district emerging around Austin’s new health complex. Previously, Chris was a member of the senior management team of Philadelphia’s University City Science Center, the country’s oldest and largest urban innovation hub.

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrislaing