Money makers

Chevron Technology Ventures launches $90 million fund

Chevron Technology Ventures' new fund will seek out "high-tech, high-growth startups." Getty Images

Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures announced today that it's launched a new $90 million fund to focus scalable tech companies that could improve and advance Chevron's oil and gas business.

Fund VII, according to a release from CTV, will target early- to mid-stage companies and limited partnership funds.

"CTV serves as an excellent source within Chevron for new business models and novel technologies that can deliver value to the enterprise through their integration," says CTV president, Barbara Burger, in the release. "We are using venture capital as a conduit for early access to innovation and to build a pipeline of innovation for Chevron."

Chevron's last fund was a $100 million fund in June of 2018 called the Future Energy Fund, according to a release. The goals of that fund were to find solutions regarding lower carbon emissions and cleaner energy, the release states.

Chevron's venture arm has made 90 investments over its 20 years of existence and has fostered innovation inside the corporation and within the energy landscape as a whole. The firm boasts of being the longest-running continuously operating oil and gas corporate venture capital group.

According to its website, CTV's portfolio includes projects in both of its upstream and downstream businesses — including startups focusing on communications, information technologies, alternative energy, and more.

In January, CTV entered into a partnership with The Cannon to further develop the entities commitment to Houston innovation and startups.


Barbara Burger is the president of Chevron Technology Ventures.Courtesy of Chevron

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Building Houston

 
 

Moonflower Farms grows lettuce hydroponically. Courtesy of Moonflower Farms

A Houston urban farm has earned national recognition for its innovative approach to water conservation. Moonflower Farms won the American Heart Association's Foodscape Innovation Excellence Award, which recognizes positive changes in the foodscape, a term for all of the places where food is produced, purchased, or consumed.

The Heart Association selected Moonflower's submission, titled "Sustainable Farming Through Water Conservation," from 26 entries. Dallas' Restorative Farms earns the Foodscape Innovation Consumer Choice Award.

"These two innovations demonstrate a way of producing food that promotes affordability and equitable access, and the American Heart Association is proud to recognize these efforts," AHA chief medical officer for prevention Eduardo Sanchez said in a release.

Located in a 20,000-square-foot greenhouse south of downtown, Moonflower operates what it describes as Houston's first vertical indoor farm. The method both reduces the amount of space needed to grow the farm's microgreens, lettuces, herbs and edible flowers and it eliminates the disruptions caused by adverse weather conditions, which allows the farm to produce year round.

Moonflower uses a closed-loop system for capturing rainwater to feed its crops. The water is treated and oxygenated so that it can be reused. Not having to pay for water from the City of Houston allows the farm to operate more economically and sell its produce at an affordable price to restaurants and individuals.

"Our hydroponic farm uses 90-percent less water than conventional farms," Moonflower founder and CEO Federico Marques said in a statement. "We provide year-round produce to residents in historically underserved communities and donate produce to local charitable food systems."

One of those charities is Houston non-profit Second Servings, which "rescues" food from restaurants and events and distributes it to food pantries and other resources.

"The donations we receive from Moonflower Farms are incredible," Second Servings founder and president Barbara Bronstein said. "Their hydroponically grown greens are so appreciated by the needy Houstonians we serve, who lack affordable, convenient access to fresh produce."

Recently, Moonflower introduced a SupaGreens subscription box that allows customers to purchase greens weekly, bimonthly, or monthly. The box is delivered directly to consumers.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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