5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note:Another week has come and gone, and it's time to round up the top headlines from the past few days. Trending Houston tech and startup news on InnovationMap included innovators to know, a guest column about addressing the digital divide, an update from The Ion, and more.
3 Houston innovators to know this week
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Samantha Lewis of Mercury Fund, Barbara Burger of Chevron, and Lauren Bahorich of Cloudbreak Ventures. Courtesy photos
In the week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three female innovators across industries recently making headlines — all three focusing on investing in innovation from B2B software to energy tech. Continue reading.
Photos: Here's a sneak peek at The Ion Houston's construction progress
Planning to open in the coming months, The Ion Houston has made great progress on its construction. Scroll down to view the slideshow. Photo by Natalie Harms
The Ion Houston is expected to open its doors this year, and the building's exterior is close to completion. Now, the construction team is focusing on interiors and then tenant build outs.
The 270,000-square-foot coworking and innovation hub owned and managed by Rice Management Co. is slated to be a convening building for startups, corporations, academic partners, investors, and more. Continue reading.
Houston expert: Three steps community organizations can take to close the digital divide
In times of crisis, communities are disproportionately affected and access to tech is limited. Here's what one organization is doing to bridge that gap. Photo courtesy of Medley Inc.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on low-income communities. On top of job losses and a greater risk of exposure to COVID-19, people in disadvantaged neighborhoods face another significant hurdle: access to technology.
In communities like Houston's Fifth Ward, owning a device with internet access can be an almost insurmountable challenge, as residents are 53 percent more likely to lack access to basic technology than the greater Houston area.
Technology has the power to help level playing fields, providing information and resources and even programming and socialization to all who have access, but for communities where the median household income is roughly $18,308, or less than half of Houston's median income, organizations must bridge the gap and support residents' access to and adoption of technology. Continue reading.
Overheard: How the energy tech ecosystem will evolve and the role of Houston innovators
At a panel at virtually hosted CERAWeek, energy innovation stakeholders discussed the future of cleantech. Photo via Getty Images
The energy technology and innovation ecosystem is comprised of stakeholders across the industry — from the academic institutions that house researchers in the field and the entrepreneurs with the big ideas to the venture backers who fund the scaling of these ideas and the corporations who put these new technologies into their supply chain.
A recent panel at CERAWeek by IHS Markit explored where the energy tech ecosystem is headed — and what all needs to be done to advance innovation. Missed the discussion or just want a refresher on on the highlights? Here are some significant overheard moments from the virtual panel. Continue reading.
Texas winery taps Houston tech company for innovative AR experience
With its fourth location recently opened, Texas winery Messina Hof has also launched an innovative augmented reality experience. Photo courtesy of Messina Hof
The Lone Star State is home to a vibrant and innovative wine scene, but, just like most hospitality businesses, winemakers missed the opportunity to engage with their patrons amid the pandemic. With a new idea of how to engage its customers, Messina Hof, an award-winning Texas winery, rolled out a new tech-optimized, at-home experience.
The winery partnered with VISION, a Houston-based production group, to create an augmented reality app. Combining the efforts of Messina Hof's in-house label design team and the animation capabilities of VISION, the app took four months to design.
"It was a labor of love for both parties to be able to experiment with this; it was uncharted territory," says Karen Bonarrigo, owner and chief administrative officer of Messina Hof. Continue reading.