Houston startup trending news includes funding, M&A updates
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 an exit for a Houston edtech startup, fresh funding for a med device company, and more.
Ampersand has been acquired by a college loan and student services provider based in San Diego. Photo ampersandpro.com
A Houston startup, founded to streamline and optimize the intern-company relationship, has been acquired by a student loan and services provider.
San Diego, California-based Ascent, a collegiate student loan company that also provides student support services, announced it has acquired Ampersand, a software platform that provides skills training to young professionals. The news was announced today, July 27, coinciding with National Intern Day.
With the acquisition, Allie Danziger, co-founder and CEO of Ampersand, joins Ascent as senior vice president and general manager of student success. She will lead the company's educational program that focuses on equipping students with skills from education to employment.
“Since launching Ampersand in 2020, we’ve received constant praise from employers, students, and universities on the real education-to-employment skills gap we are filling,” says Danziger in a news release. “I take immense pride in the fact that we’ve helped thousands of students enter the workforce with confidence, earn higher salaries, and get set on the right career path. I know joining the Ascent team will unlock even more opportunities for our combined companies, expanding our collective impact to millions of students and job seekers.” Continue reading.
A Houston startup based out of the TMC Innovation Factory has announced funding and upcoming trials. Photo courtesy of TMC
Fueled by fresh funding in the bank, a medical device startup has announced upcoming trials.
VenoStent, Inc., a company developing an innovative tool to improve outcomes for hemodialysis patients, has closed $16 million in a series A round of financing. Two Charleston, South Carolina-based firms — Good Growth Capital and IAG Capital Partners — led the round.
The company also announced it received Investigational Device Exemption from the FDA for its United States clinical trial, SAVE-FistulaS.
“Our mission at VenoStent is to improve the quality and length of life of dialysis patients. On the heels of our very promising results in several preclinical studies and a 20-patient feasibility study that led to our Breakthrough Designation last year, this recent IDE approval is perhaps our biggest milestone to date," Tim Boire, CEO of VenoStent, says in a news release. "We now enter an exciting new epoch in our company’s development that we believe will ultimately result in FDA Approval and vastly improve the quality and length of life for patients." Continue reading.
Check out these workshops, networking events, conferences, and other goings on in Houston this month. Photo via Getty Images
From networking meetups to startup showcases, August has a smorgasbord of opportunities for Houston innovators.
Here's a roundup of events you won't want to miss out on so mark your calendars and register accordingly. Continue reading.
Currently, methane leak detection requires human evaluation. With this innovative new company's tech, this process can be automated. Photo via Getty Images
A Houston startup that is developing a technology to detect methane leaks has moved on to phase two in Chevron's unique business accelerator.
Aquanta Vision Technologies, a Houston-based climate-tech startup, was selected to participate in the scale-up phase of Chevron Studio, a Houston program that matches entrepreneurs with technologies to turn them into businesses. Aquanta's computer vision software completely automates the identification of methane in optical gas imaging, or OGI. The technology originated from Colorado State University and CSU STRATA Technology Transfer.
Babur Ozden, a tech startup entrepreneur, along with Marcus Martinez, the lead inventor and Dan Zimmerle, co-inventor and director of METEC at CSU Energy Institute, came up with the technology to identify the presence and motion of methane in live video streams. Currently, this process of identifying methane requires a human camera operator to interpret the images. This can often be unreliable in the collection of emissions data. Continue reading.
A new Houston firm has closed its inaugural fund to invest in health tech. Photo via Getty Images
A new firm has emerged to invest in early-stage tech bio, artificial intelligence, and life sciences.
Modi Ventures announced its inaugural fund, Tech+Bio Fund I, closed at $32 million, an oversubscribed amount. The fund targets companies "shaping the future of humanity," reads a press release from Modi.
“Investing in next generation technologies has always been very lucrative,” says Sahir Ali, general partner of Modi Ventures, in the release. “We are entering an era of software writing software (artificial intelligence), technology that can unravel our individual genetic makeup (gene sequencing), biotech that can reprogram our genes (gene editing), and a fundamental change in how medicine is practiced by leveraging all of the above (precision medicine).
"Tech Bio companies will revolutionize multiple trillion dollar industries, providing early investors with potential for great returns,” he continues. Continue reading.
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