What's trending

5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week

A new venture fund, which is led by three Houston female investors and focuses on women-owned startups, made its first investment, and other top stories in Houston innovation. Courtesy of The Artemis Fund

Editor's note: Houston had money on its mind this week with a new female-focused fund doling out its first investment to Houston having a record quarter for VC funds. Also trending was the news of Houston ranking high on the list of large metros that are great for startups and three University of Houston researchers who are re-envisioning brain treatment and technologies.

New Houston venture capital firm makes first investment

The Artemis Fund, which focuses on providing access to capital to women-led companies, made its first investment. Getty Images

The new female-founded venture capital fund that launched in Houston in April has made its first investment. The Artemis Fund led Burbank, California-based U-Nest's $2 million Seed round.

U-Nest is a user-friendly app that allows for users to create a 529 college savings plan in less than five minutes and $25. This tool provides access to financial tools that previously were only available to wealthy families who could afford financial advisers. Continue reading the story.

3 Houston innovators to know this week

From smart home technology to higher education institutions, these leaders are pushing forward innovation in Houston. Courtesy photos

Another week, another set of Houston innovators to keep your eye on. This week's edition crosses retail technology with higher education — both on this planet and beyond.

From tech that's orbiting the planet to tech that's in your very home, here are the Houston-based innovators to know. Continue reading the story.

Houston sees massive growth in startup venture capital investments

The most exciting part of this Texas startup funding roundup is that Houston brought in more dollars than Dallas. Getty Images

When it comes to startup funding, Texas saw only a small jump in startup investments made, according to Crunchbase. However, when you look at funds coming into Houston companies, the Bayou City's numbers soared.

Houston raked in $251 million of the state's total $817.9 million for the second quarter. Last quarter, the city posted a mere $44.7 million of investment into local startups, which was previously a huge drop from the $121.4 million reported in Q4 2018, according to Crunchbase. Continue reading the story.

3 ways University of Houston researchers are innovating brain treatments and technologies

Three UH researchers are revolutionizing the way we think the brain works. Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

While a lot of scientists and researchers have long been scratching their heads over complicated brain functionality challenges, these three University of Houston researchers have made crucial discoveries in their research.

From dissecting the immediate moment a memory is made or incorporating technology to solve mobility problems or concussion research, here are the three brain innovations and findings these UH professors have developed. Continue reading the story.

Houston named among the best large cities for early-stage startups

Houston came in at No. 5 for best cities — with populations of more than 1 million residents — for startups. Photo by Tim Leviston/Getty Images

When it comes to cities with over a million residents, Houston's at the front of the pack, according to a new study. But, there's a catch.

Last month, Commercial Cafe rounded up the 20 top cities for early-stage startups and entrepreneurs, and Houston missed the list. Now, the commercial real estate blog has broken down the data into three top ten lists based on city size, and Houston has claimed the No. 5 spot on the list of cities with 1 million or more residents. Continue reading the story.

Trending News

Building Houston

 
 

The growth of the Hispanic entrepreneur and small business owner, whether through corporate or individual support, is a positive for the entire state. Photo via Getty Images

Texas’ demographics are changing. The latest statistics from the American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau states Hispanic Texans are estimated to be the largest demographic group in the state at 40.2 percent. However, the U.S. Small Business Administration reports Texas Hispanics make up only 29.4 percent of business owners.

Many times, small businesses are a good barometer for an area’s economic health. When Texas’ Hispanic businesses succeed, so does the state’s economy. Therefore, it is imperative for Texans to support its Hispanic entrepreneurs and small business owners so the local economy can thrive. There are a variety of ways to show support, both large and small.

Support supplier diversity

Supplier or vendor diversity programs serve both businesses well. These programs, when founded with the intention to help foster and grow businesses with shared values and behaviors, breed innovation through collaboration. Businesses do not have to be large to implement vendor diversity programs, but it helps if they are established with strong processes in place.

Training can be a major benefit for the entrepreneurs involved in vendor diversity programs. This is the best opportunity for entrepreneurs to fine-tune business processes and to streamline their work to become a more efficient vendor, which is ideal for all parties. In turn, these learnings foster growth, preparing them for more new business opportunities, and it give them the ability to compete at a higher level.

Back innovation hubs

There are numerous innovation hubs across the state where entrepreneurs can come together to research and create. Encouraging Hispanic entrepreneurs to plug into these diverse communities can only help accelerate their business to a profitable state and bring it to scale.

For the Hispanic executives who have found success, it is important to encourage these entrepreneurs and participate in programming. When an entrepreneur sees someone who looks like them succeed, it gives a boost of confidence that success is within reach. Mentoring is another avenue that can lead entrepreneurs to further success. Studies show entrepreneurs who are mentored have more profitable and long-lasting businesses when paired with a mentor.

Support and recommend business

The simplest way for anyone to help a Hispanic entrepreneur, as is the case with every small business, is to patronize and recommend them to others. When an entrepreneur with an exceptional product or service is found, purchasing directly supports the entrepreneur’s dream, and word-of-mouth marketing is priceless. This can be as easy as telling another business owner about their service or posting about it on social media.

At a corporate level, consider these businesses for events. A popular Hispanic-owned catering company could become a preferred vendor for client lunches or sales meetings. Prizes and gift bags are popular at larger events and stocking them with products from local entrepreneurs can help them land another loyal customer. Taking it a step further, highlight these entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the event, giving them your company’s stamp of approval.

When Texans support Hispanic entrepreneurs and their businesses, there is a significant impact on the economy through job creation, increased wages and tax revenue. The growth of the Hispanic entrepreneur and small business owner, whether through corporate or individual support, is a positive for the entire state.

------

Steve Arizpe is president and chief operating officer with Houston-based Insperity.

Trending News