Nominations open for innovation awards, Houston gains unicorn, 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 the region's newest unicorn, newly opened nominations for innovation awards, and more.
Do you think you know the best of Houston's innovation community? Now's your chance to shine the spotlight on a deserving innovator. Photo via Getty Images
We're looking to highlight the best in Houston innovation — do you think you know who has what it takes?
For the third year, InnovationMap is hosting an awards program that will recognize the best of the rest in Houston's innovation ecosystem. Again collaborating with Houston Exponential, the awards program will be on Wednesday, November 8, at Silver Street Studios.Read more and nominate.
Axiom Space CEO Michael Suffredini (right) has announced the company's series C round with support from Aljazira Capital, led by CEO Naif AlMesned. Photo courtesy of Axiom Space
Houston has another unicorn — a company valued at $1 billion or more — thanks to a recent round of funding.
Axiom Space released the news this week that it's closed its series C round of funding to the tune of $350 million. While the company didn't release its valuation, it confirmed to Bloomberg that it's over the $1 billion threshold. Axiom reports that, according to available data, it's now raised the second-most funding of any private space company in 2023 behind SpaceX.
Saudi Arabia-based Aljazira Capital and South Korea-based Boryung Co. led the round. To date, Axiom has raised over $505 million with $2.2 billion in customer contracts, according to the company.
“We are honored to team with investors like Aljazira Capital, Boryung and others, who are committed to realizing the Axiom Space vision,” Axiom Space CEO and president Michael Suffredini says in a news release. “Together, we are working to serve innovators in medicine, materials science, and on-orbit infrastructure who represent billions of dollars in demand over the coming decade. Read more.
The Texas Heart Institute recently received its largest charitable donation in its history. Photo courtesy of THI
Leadership at The Texas Heart Institute has two major things to celebrate. First, it just received a $32 million donation from a patient — the largest charitable donation in its history.
Shortly after that news came out, the institute announced a new partnership with the University of Houston Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine that allows those UH medical students to join a clinical rotation at The Texas Heart Institute. The alliance means valuable insights and experience with both inpatient and outpatient cardiology for UH's future doctors.
"Students will have the chance to develop their skills in the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular conditions and will be taught by outstanding clinical educators,” said Dr. Joseph G. Rogers, president and CEO of The Texas Heart Institute and heart failure specialist at The Texas Heart Institute Center for Cardiovascular Care, in a press release announcing the news. Read more.
Texas A&M University will build a new facility near NASA's Johnson Space Center. Photo courtesy of JSC
Texas A&M University's board of regents voted to approve the construction of a new institute in Houston that hopes to contribute to maintaining the state's leadership within the aerospace sector.
This week, the Texas A&M Space Institute got the greenlight for its $200 million plan. The announcement follows a $350 million investment from the Texas Legislature. The institute is planned to be constructed next to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“The Texas A&M Space Institute will make sure the state expands its role as a leader in the new space economy,” John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System, says in a news release. “No university is better equipped for aeronautics and space projects than Texas A&M.” Read more.
In his new role, Adrian Trömel will oversee the creation of the Rice Nexus, an innovation hub within the Ion that aims to bridge the gap between the university and Houston's innovation ecosystem. Photo courtesy of Rice
Rice University’s Office of Innovation has named Houston materials scientist-turned-entrepreneur Adrian Trömel as its new assistant vice president for strategy and investments.
Trömel founded non-invasive neurostimulation medical device company CNX Medical at the Texas Medical Innovation Institute in 2019 and most recently served as chief growth officer for Hamilton Health Box, which brings an on-site care team to company offices.
In his new role, Trömel will oversee the creation of the Rice Nexus, an innovation hub within the Ion that aims to bridge the gap between the university and Houston's innovation ecosystem. He will also lead the creation of a translational research grant fund and a university-affiliated venture fund for Rice-affiliated entrepreneurs, according to the release. Read more.
- Nominations open for InnovationMap's 2023 Houston Innovation Awards ›
- Houston space tech startup raises $350M series C, clinches unicorn status ›
- University names Houston founder to leadership role to oversee new innovation hub ›
- Texas university to build $200M space institute in Houston ›
- Massive $32M gift from former patient, new UH deal pump big changes into Houston organization ›