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3 Houston innovators to know this week

This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Dan Purvis of Velentium, Tony Sanchez of OneNexus Environmental, and Kevin Doffing of Energy Capital of the Future. Courtesy photos

Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from medical device development to fintech — recently making headlines in Houston innovation.

Dan Purvis, CEO and founder Velentium

Dan Purvis joined the Houston Innovators Podcast to share how he is leading his growing company with culture in mind. Photo courtesy of Velentium

Technology is constantly evolving, and it affects every industry's ability to innovate new solutions. For Dan Purvis, he wanted to support innovators within medical device innovation amidst this revolving door of new technologies. So, that's what he did when he founded Velentium almost a decade ago.

"Our dream from day one was to create a one-stop shop here in Houston where new startups with IP can come to us and know that start to finish they would have their commercial device ready for approval with the FDA and that we were going to handle everything," Purvis explains on the most recent episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast.

On the podcast, Purvis explains how he's set up his company with a culture-forward focus to keep up with the industry. Click here to read more and stream the episode.

Tony Sanchez, founder of OneNexus Environmental

This new Houston startup is tackling the increasingly dangerous problem of methane-emitting inactive oil and gas wells. Photo courtesy of OneNexus

Tony Sanchez, a veteran of the energy business, has launched OneNexus Environmental, a new fintech company that aims to help oil and gas exploration and production operators decommission orphaned wells and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. It's "the equivalent of a universal life insurance policy for their oil & gas wells," according to a statement.

Through OneNexus's model, operators will be able to transfer the title of their wells over to OneNexus, thus absolving all Asset Retirement Obligations (AROs) related to decommissioning inactive wells that are known to release dangerous levels of methane. OneNexus will then assume the financial and operation obligations around properly plugging the wells in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective manner.

"The drastic decline in energy demand that arose from the pandemic forced many operators to walk away from their wells," Sanchez said in a statement. "When orphaned wells started multiplying around the world overnight, what was previously the so-called elephant in the oilfield could no longer be ignored."

Kevin Doffing, president of Energy Capital of the Future

Houston has the the second largest veteran community in America — and the energy industry is vets' top employer. Photo courtesy

Kevin Doffing is passionate about getting the word out about Houston's large population of veterans — and the impact they are making on the city's economy.

"Many people living in Houston don't realize that the veteran community is taking an increasing leadership role in the energy transition," writes Doffing in a guest column for InnovationMap. "The greater Houston area is the second largest veteran community in America with over 5,500 new veterans and their families coming to Houston annually. We are the fastest growing city in America for veterans as well." Click here to read more.


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Building Houston

 
 

Two Houston entrepreneurs have launched an app that makes transfering funds to Africa seamless and safe. Screenshot via AiDEMONEY's Facebook page

Africans living abroad send over $40 billion back to their home country annually — yet the process continues to be expensive, fraud-ridden, and complicated. A new Houston-area startup has a solution.

AiDEMONEY, based in Katy, has launched a money transfer app for mobile devices. The app enables digital transfers from the United States to five African countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria

"International remittance has always been about people living in diaspora wanting to share their success with people back home," says Uzoma Eze, AiDEMONEY co-founder and CEO, in a news release. "By replacing profit as the point of the spear, we're helping Africans fund Africa and, ultimately, rewriting our motherland's story."

Eze co-founded the company with Felix Akompi, a fellow member of Houston's African diaspora community and the company's COO

The app, which is already available on the App Store and Google Play, focuses on blockchain-powered security and instant transfers. The company also designed the platform with a "give back" model that builds a stronger Africa.

With every transaction fee, users are funding progress in Africa. A portion of customer transaction fees to nonprofits in education and literacy, women's empowerment, and healthcare. Currently, AiDEMONEY partners with the Lagos Food Bank Initiative, Shalom Sickle Cell Foundation, Sharing Smiles Initiative, and Jenny Uzo Foundation.

"We're creating a superhighway for tens of billions in USD to flow from one part of the world to another," Eze says. "When you have the right people with the right vision, that capital tills the ground—tilling out profit, social advancement and a stronger Africa."

Doing Money Remittance Better | AiDEMONEY, The African Diaspora's Money Transfer App www.youtube.com

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