new digs

Aerospace company opens new $30M Houston Spaceport location, plans to move in

Collins Aerospace celebrated the opening of its new facility this week. Image courtesy of Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace has cut the ribbon on its new 120,000 square-foot facility located at the Houston Spaceport in Houston — all that's left for the global aerospace and defense company is to move in.

“Collins’ long history of innovating, developing and delivering the critical systems that have played an integral role in humankind’s exploration of space takes yet another step forward with the opening of this state-of-the-art facility at the Houston Spaceport,” says Phil Jasper, president of Collins Aerospace’s Mission Systems business, in a news release.

“This strategic location and our strong local partnerships are driving the next-generation technologies that will enable humankind to live, work and play in space,” he continues.

The new, $30 million facility for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Collins Aerospace, will feature 10,000 square feet dedicated to an incubator supporting aerospace startups.

The unique spaceflight incubator, which was announced to receive up to $25.6 million in financing from Houston Airports for capital improvements, be a place where startups, universities and industry professionals can collaborate using robotics, medicine, additive manufacturing, and more to solve complex space technology challenges.

“The expansion of Collins Aerospace at the Houston Spaceport is a crucial next step in the city’s journey to be the country’s premier next-generation aerospace and technical hub,” says Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in the release.

“The innovative technologies created at this facility will also serve as the critical systems to support humankind’s future space exploration and habitation. We look forward to fueling the future of aerospace right here in Houston,” he continues.

Collins, which has had a presence in Houston for around 40 years, announced the new facility after reaching capacity at its other location. The expanded operations will add an additional 300 jobs in the coming years.

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Building Houston

 
 

With Clutch, connecting brands with creators has never been easier and more inclusive. Photo courtesy of Clutch

An app that originally launched on Houston college campuses has announced it's now live nationwide.

Clutch founders Madison Long and Simone May set out to make it easier for the younger generation to earn money with their skill sets. After launching a beta at local universities last fall, Clutch's digital marketplace is now live for others to join in.

The platform connects brands to its network of creators for reliable and authentic work — everything from social media management, video creation, video editing, content creation, graphic design projects, and more. With weekly payments to creators and an inclusive platform for users on both sides of the equation, Clutch aims to make digital collaboration easier and more reliable for everyone.

“We’re thrilled to bring our product to market to make sustainable, authentic lifestyles available to everyone through the creator economy," says May, CTO and co-founder of Clutch. "We’re honored to be part of the thriving innovation community here in Houston and get to bring more on-your-own-terms work opportunities to all creators and businesses through our platform.”

In its beta, Clutch facilitated collaborations for over 200 student creators and 50 brands — such as DIGITS and nama. The company is founded with a mission of "democratizing access to information and technology and elevating the next generation for all people," according to a news release from Clutch. In the beta, 75 percent of the creators were people of color and around half of the businesses were owned by women and people of color.

“As a Clutch Creator, I set my own pricing, schedule and services when collaborating on projects for brands,” says Cathy Syfert, a creator through Clutch. “Clutch Creators embrace the benefits of being a brand ambassador as we create content about the products we love, but do it on behalf of the brands to help the brands grow authentically."

The newly launched product has the following features:

  • Creator profile, where users can share their services, pricing, and skills and review inquiries from brands.
  • Curated matching from the Clutch admin team.
  • Collab initiation, where users can accept or reject incoming collab requests with brands.
  • Collab management — communication, timing, review cycles — all within the platform.
  • In-app payments with a weekly amount selected by the creators themselves.
  • Seamless cancellation for both brands and creators.
Clutch raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Precursor Ventures, Capital Factory, HearstLab, and more. Clutch was originally founded as Campus Concierge in 2021 and has gone through the DivInc Houston program at the Ion.

Madison Long, left, and Simone May co-founded Clutch. Photo courtesy of Clutch

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