Sportswear company raises $ 35 million, 3D tech company sells to Nike, SMU invests in incubator

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The start of the year has been busy for startups in the region. Here’s the latest news on people growing, merging, and changing, plus some making news.

Accelerate growth

Dallas-based sports and group clothing sales platform Order My Gear has raised $ 35 million to add more features to its software and bolster its marketing efforts.

The company secured the investment from Susquehanna Growth Equity, which has offices in Pennsylvania and Israel.

Order My Gear started out as a software tool that CEO Kent McKeaigg built to help his father, who was a retailer of team sports clothing and equipment. Instead of juggling dozens or even hundreds of paper forms and individual parent checks, clothing merchants can create a single online store to display materials and manage customer payments.

Order My Gear works with approximately 2,500 sporting goods distributors and clothing decorators in the United States and Canada. Its platform manages group sales of equipment for school sports teams, recreational leagues, student council groups and more.

Since its inception in 2008, Order My Gear has grown to 80 employees and plans to add 35 to 40 people by the end of 2018, McKeaigg said. About $ 200 million worth of equipment was purchased from stores that used the Order My Gear platform last year, he said.

Hooked on by a sports giant

Nike acquired Invertex, a startup that secured early funding from the Dallas Health Wildcatters startup accelerator. The sports giant did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Tel Aviv-based Invertex specializes in computer vision, a technology that can power 3D body scans that could personalize a pair of shoes on a client’s feet. The company will help develop digital technology to improve the customer experience, according to Nike’s press release.

The sportswear and footwear maker has stepped up efforts to improve and personalize shopping as more consumers buy products online. For example, NikeID allows customers to design their own shoes on the company’s website.

Health Wildcatters provides funding and mentorship to early stage healthcare related businesses in return for equity. Invertex graduated from its program and received $ 30,000 in funding in 2014. The company started with the idea of ​​developing specialty insoles and footwear for people with diabetes.

Since the creation of Health Wildcatters in 2013, its portfolio has grown to 51 companies. Invertex marks the second exit.

Highlight emerging technologies

Thought leaders and business leaders in artificial intelligence, blockchain and other emerging technologies will soon speak at a conference at the University of Texas at Dallas. The university will host its first emerging technology summit on April 18-19.

The two-day conference will explore how new technologies are changing the landscape for business and government. Guest speakers will include Don Tapscott, who founded the Blockchain Research Institute and wrote a book on blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrency like bitcoin; Shamoil Shipchandler, regional director of the Fort Worth office of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Dave Copps, the founder of Dallas-area artificial intelligence firm Brainspace; Jason Kelley, general manager of blockchain services at IBM; and Christopher Calicott, Managing Director of Trammel Venture Partners, among others.

Tickets are on sale at emtechsummit.com.

Boost SMU startups

Starting this summer, students, faculty and staff at Southern Methodist University will have a new place to turn their ideas into businesses.

Southern Methodist University is launching a startup incubator to support students and staff with ideas for new businesses or new products.  (Tom Fox / The Dallas Morning News)
Southern Methodist University is launching a startup incubator to support students and staff with ideas for new businesses or new products. (Tom Fox / The Dallas Morning News)

The university announced this week that it will be opening a startup incubator in the Foundry Club, an office space for professionals and entrepreneurs located at Mockingbird Station. It’s right across from the SMU campus.

At the incubator, students and university employees can network, organize company meetings, make investor presentations and attend special events. SMU students and employees can apply for the incubator and register for a one-time fee of $ 25.

Reward social innovation

ScholarShot won a competition showcasing social innovation in Dallas nonprofits and businesses.  Famous judges included (left to right) Todd Wagner, founder and CEO of Charity Network;  Amber Venz Box, President and Co-Founder of RewardStyle;  and Ken Hersh, President and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
ScholarShot won a competition showcasing social innovation in Dallas nonprofits and businesses. Famous judges included (left to right) Todd Wagner, founder and CEO of Charity Network; Amber Venz Box, President and Co-Founder of RewardStyle; and Ken Hersh, President and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.(Courtesy of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas)

Dallas-based social innovator ScholarShot won a $ 75,000 award to expand its mission to help at-risk Texas students stay in colleges and vocational schools, so they can earn degrees that prepare them for a career.

It was one of five social startups that made presentations Thursday at OneUp the Pitch, a Shark aquariumstyle competition in front of famous judges. The event is organized by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. The nonprofit has attempted to nurture entrepreneurial ventures for social good through similar events and through United Way’s GroundFloor, an acceleration program that mentors and provides funds for social enterprises. .

ScholarShot was founded in 2009. ScholarShot recipients are assigned an academic officer who mentors them, checks their grades and progress in classes, and helps with financial planning, such as managing university debt. The association also offers scholarships.

Do you have any advice? Any news to share? Email me at mr[email protected] or tweet me at @melissa_repko.


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