Nonprofit doles out $28M, a cool new tool from a Houston startup, and more trending news
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 top The Welch Foundation's latest grants, a beverage-cooling device dreamt up by a Houston couple, and more.
The Welch Foundation, a Houston-based nonprofit, has doled out fresh funding to research organizations, with over a third being deployed to Houston-area institutions. Photo via Getty Images
Five schools in the Houston area have landed $10.8 million in research grants from the Houston-based Welch Foundation.
The 36 grants were awarded to Rice University, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, the Baylor College of Medicine, and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
In all, the foundation announced nearly $28 million in Texas research grants for 2023. All of the money — in the form of 91 grants for 15 Texas colleges and universities — goes toward chemical research. This year’s total for grant funding matches last year’s total.
“The Welch Foundation continues to emphasize the creative pursuit of basic chemical research,” Adam Kuspa, the foundation’s president and a former dean at the Baylor College of Medicine, says in a news release. “Our funding allows investigators throughout the state to follow their curiosity and explore the foundations chemical processes.” Continue reading.
An innovative, Houston-created tool instantly chills wine and spirits. Photo via thecoldcork.com
Great inventions reveal their value within due course, but there are those creations that tell their worth almost immediately, with a first look, image, or mere mention.
The Cold Cork, a malleable pouring device that instantly chills wine and spirits, falls into that category.
It seems like such a simple idea, but that’s the thing about inventions, isn’t it? Anyone can come up with an idea, but it’s the ones that can execute that idea that make it to the finish line and etch their names in the annals of creative glory.
“I had come home from the grocery store, right at the onset of COVID, and I wanted to have a glass of wine that I bought, but it was already room temperature, and I didn't want to put ice in it,” says wine-lover and former healthcare worker Michelle Kurkiewicz. “So, we started doing some research and came up with the idea for Cold Cork.” Continue reading.
Rosarium Health, a member of the Texas Medical Center's 2023 Accelerator for HealthTech cohort, has raised pre-seed funding. Photo courtesy of TMC
A health tech startup that just collected $1.7 million in pre-seed funding aims to eventually plant its headquarters in Houston.
The startup, Rosarium Health, currently has no headquarters; its 10 employees work remotely from various locations. However, co-founder and CEO Cameron Carter — who lives in the Denver area — says the company is eyeing a future headquarters in Houston.
“We believe Houston is the best city to launch a health care startup, given the Texas Medical Center, diverse talent across health and technology, affordable living, and a city with supportive and progressive communities,” Carter tells InnovationMap. “We feel Houston offers meaningful attributes that can enable a high-growth startup to succeed and for its employees to feel safe.” Continue reading.
Amid international VC decline, here's what Houston startups received investment, grant funding last quarter
It's not been the easiest year to raise funding, but Houston startup founders managed to secure over $160 million in VC or grant funding last quarter. Photo via Getty Images
The second quarter of 2023 looked a lot like the first when it came to venture capital funding for Houston companies. The whole country — affected by inflation, geopolitical instability, and other factors — has seen a trying time for investment opportunities.
Houston's performance is far from unique. Globally, VC funding is down — a reported 18 percent from Q1 to Q2, per Crunchbase. Year over year, that's a 49 percent decrease from 2022's Q2.
According to InnovationMap reporting, 10 Houston-based, Houston-founded, or soon-to-be Houston-headquartered companies announced VC or grant funding between April and June. Continue reading.
Sepsis has been the No. 1 killer hospitals, but this Houston startup has a tech to help mitigate the risk. Photo via Getty Images
Anyone can die of sepsis. The number one killer in hospitals has a reputation for felling the infirm and elderly, but while the immunocompromised are at highest risk, sepsis isn’t that selective.
Take 12-year-old Rory Staunton. In 2012, the healthy boy scratched his arm diving for a ball in gym class at his school in Jackson Heights, NY. Bacteria entered his arm through the cut and he died days later of septic shock.
His story is not unique. Physician Sarma Velamuri saw this firsthand in his internal medicine practice at St. Luke’s Health Center and his residency at Baylor, both in Houston. But it really struck home when he watched helplessly as a friend’s 22-year-old daughter lost her life to sepsis. He had to tell his friend that she would not be coming home.
“There are 300,000-plus people a year who die of sepsis,” says Velamuri. “It’s important that people understand it’s not just those who are most susceptible to infections.”
This fact is not only unfortunate, but preventable. And that’s why Velamuri, who describes himself as “a recovering hospitalist,” co-founded Luminare in 2014. A full-time CEO since 2017, Velamuri, who runs the company with co-founder and CTO Marcus Rydberg, is based in the TMC Innovation Factory. Continue reading.
- Houston startup taps into AI to help prevent leading cause in hospital death ›
- Houston organization announces nearly $28M in Texas research grant funding ›
- Innovative Houston couple designs wine-cooling device ›
- Health tech startup raises $1.7M, plans Houston HQ ›
- Houston startup trending news includes funding, M&A updates - InnovationMap ›
- University of Houston announces Welch Center for Advanced Bioactive Materials Crystallization - InnovationMap ›