2021 in review
These are Houston's top lifestyle innovation stories this year
Editor's note: As 2021 comes to a close, InnovationMap is looking back at the year's top stories in Houston innovation. When it came to the lifestyle innovation — whether it's fit tech companies or space bartenders — in Houston, five stories trended among readers.
ClassPass is expanding into Houston with over 20 new jobs and a local office. Image courtesy of ClassPass
When a global technology company focused on fitness and wellness was looking for a city to open their fourth office in the United States, the team wanted a community that was active and full of young professionals. They landed on Houston.
Membership-based fitness and wellness company ClassPass is opening a local office in Houston and is planning on hiring over 20 professionals across departments — from analytics, customer experience, design, and engineering, to marketing, partnerships and product.
Rachel Moncton, vice president of global marketing for ClassPass, has already relocated to Houston to lead the new office.
"Houston is a friendly, community-focused city with a rich talent pool. We are thrilled to contribute to the Houston economy by creating new opportunities for professionals with varying skill sets, and hope to build a local team with a broad range of experiences and backgrounds," says Moncton says in a news release. Click here to continue reading.
Looking to mix things up in your career? Elon's got a gig for you slinging cosmic cocktails. Mixology Crew
Can you mix a mean margarita? Are you capable of slinging a superb Aperol spritz? If so, Elon Musk wants you to become a "spaceport mixologist."
Musk's SpaceX, which builds and launches rockets, is hiring a "passionate, experienced" mixologist for its "spaceport" near Brownsville. The ideal candidate possesses at least two years of "superior" mixology experience at resorts, bars, and full-service restaurants, including the ability to pair drinks with themed menus.
Among other duties, the mixologist will prepare drinks, including handcrafted cocktails, and will ensure "consistency and compliance with the restaurant's recipes, portioning, and waste control guidelines." Click here to continue reading.
Sylvia Kampshoff has launched Kanthaka's first crowdfunding campaign. Photo courtesy of Kanthaka
Calling all cardio lovers, yogis, and strength trainers alike — a Houston fitness platform is opening up investment opportunities through a new crowdfunding campaign.
Kanthaka, a Houston-based app that connects clients to personal trainers and yoga instructors on-demand, announced it will be launching a $1 million campaign through Republic, a crowdfunding platform. Kanthaka's users and trainers — or anyone interested — now have the option to become part owners in the company.
"We are very happy at Kanthaka to have been selected by Republic for their crowdfunding campaign," says Sylvia Kampshoff, founder and CEO of Kanthaka, in a press release. "I want our users as our evangelists.
"Since we started the company I've had clients reaching out wanting to invest but it was complicated — you had to be an accredited investor or VC," Kampshoff continues. "Now through this crowdfunding campaign, clients and trainers can participate in our journey." Click here to continue reading.
Post Oak Motor Cars now accepts Dogecoin and Bitcoin as payment. Photo courtesy of Fertitta Entertainment
Post Oak Motor Cars is now accepting dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that recently gained new heights of popularity following support from Tesla founder Elon Musk, as a form of payment. New Bugatti, Bentley, Karma, and Rolls-Royce vehicles are sold at the boutique sales location next to Houston's only five-star hotel, The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston.
This is the second form of cryptocurrency the Houston dealership has accepted. In 2018, Post Oak Motor Cars announced that it would allow customers to pay using bitcoin after integrating cryptocurrency processor Bitpay into its payment system.
Dogecoin was created in 2013 by software engineers from IBM and Adobe. In 2014, the currency briefly passed Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies in trading volume. Fast forward to 2020 when a TikTok trend encouraged people to purchase dogecoin in an effort to get the value to $1. By January 2021 Musk, Gene Simmons, Snoop Dogg, and GameStop short squeeze Redditors were all in on the buying binge pushing dogecoin's value to new heights. Click here to continue reading.
Conroe is tops in Texas and No. 3 in the nation's list of boomtowns. Photo courtesy of Visit Houston
The Houston suburb of Conroe has come a long way since Civil War veteran Isaac Conroe planted roots there in October 1881 with the purchase of a tract of land and the establishment of a sawmill.
Fast forward 140 years, and Conroe now reigns as the leading boomtown in Texas. On November 2, personal finance website SmartAsset released a study ranking Conroe as the No. 1 boomtown in the state. Even more impressive: The city ties with Meridian, Idaho, for the No. 3 spot among the nation's top boomtowns. The No. 1 city overall is Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. Click here to continue reading.