5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note: Major accelerator news hit the headlines this week. MassChallenge Texas is wrapping up its inaugural Houston cohort — just as the new Ion Smart Cities Accelerator is launching. Meanwhile, on the heels of the second anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, a Houston startup has a solution to prevent flood damage.
The Ion Smart Cities Accelerator — named for its to-be home, The Ion — announced the 10 companies selected for the first cohort. Courtesy of Rice University
The Ion Smart Cities Accelerator launched earlier this year with a goal of engaging startups from around the world to solve some of Houston's most prevalent challenges. Backed by Intel and Microsoft and partnered with the city of Houston and Station Houston, the program has developed a curriculum and selected its first cohort.
Ten startups from around the world — half of which from right here in Houston — were selected to be a part of the program. And narrowing down to 10 was tough for the program's judges, says Christine Galib, director of the Ion Smart Cities Accelerator.
"Selecting the participants for our first cohort was difficult, due to this amazing pool of talent — that's always the problem you want to have," she tells InnovationMap.
From oil and gas deals to finance-focused initiatives, this week's innovators are ones to watch. Courtesy photos
As Houstonians head back to work or school following a fun summer break, we know two things for sure.
The first is that traffic will get back to its headache inducing craziness and that Houston startup news will only get more frequent. This week's innovators to know include oil and gas entrepreneurs with big deals on the line plus a finance-savvy woman who wants to encourage others to take control of their personal finance.
MassChallenge Texas names top startups from its inaugural Houston cohort to move on to the final round
MassChallenge Texas named six companies, which will each pitch at a final competition on September 5. Photo via greenstreetdowntown.com
MassChallenge Texas revealed the cream of the crop from its first Houston cohort. The top six startups will now be judged in one final pitch competition on September 5.
"Each of the 25 startups in our first cohort have made incredible progress during this short program and are now better prepared to make impact in Houston, Texas, and beyond," says Jon Nordby, managing director of MassChallenge Texas in Houston, in a release. "It is our goal to strengthen the local ecosystem through a collaborative community that will attract innovators from around the world to Houston, and the Lone Star State."
Texas doctors and researchers received millions for their transformational work in cancer prevention and treatment. Getty Images
Researchers at medical institutions across the state have something to celebrate. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has made 71 grants this week to cancer-fighting organizations that total a near $136 million.
"CPRIT's priorities of pediatric cancer research and cancers of significance to Texans highlight this large slate of awards," says Wayne Roberts, CPRIT CEO, in a release. "Investments are made across the cancer research and prevention continuum in Texas unlike any other state in the country."
New to the awards this time around is the Collaborative Action Program for Liver Cancer, which has been claimed by Baylor College of Medicine's Hashem B. El-Serag.
A Houston entrepreneur has brought in a technology to prevent major flood damage. Photo courtesy of HAR
Tasha Nielsen was on a trip to Denmark when she came across a Danish company making strides in flood prevention techniques.
"We were visiting family one day when we turn on the news and see FloodFrame's brand launch," Nielsen says. "The inventors live in Denmark, and they've done installations in Denmark, Germany and England, and they've been very successful."
That company partnered with the Danish Technological Institute and the Danish Hydraulic Institute and worked for years perfecting their flood prevention system. After Nielsen asked whether she could contract FloodFrame to install their system at her home back in Houston, she learned the founders weren't interested in coming over themselves to expand their business to the United States.