5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
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 announcement of a huge sportstech festival, innovators to know, and more.
A new sports festival is headed to Houston next year. Rendering courtesy of Pokatok
A Houston team announced their plans to bring the “world’s fair for sports” to downtown Houston in April 2024.
Pokatok, the four-day festival, will feature a sports tech expo, a film festival, speakers and panels, live music, pitch competitions, and more. The venue will be George R. Brown Convention Center, Discovery Green, and various nearby hotels, according to the release.
Gow Companies, founded by Lawson Gow (who is the son of David Gow, InnovationMap's parent company's CEO), announced that the team has secured support from Houston First, the Greater Houston Partnership, and the Harris County Houston Sports Authority to put on the event, which is slated to take place April 4-7, 2024. The company also owns Houston Exponential and a sports accelerator called Pokatok Labs.
“Pokatok will not only be the largest gathering of the entire sports tech ecosystem, it will also be a true fan festival for sports enthusiasts,” says Gow in the news release. “Everyone speaks the language of sport, it’s an incredibly powerful unifier of our society, and this festival will bring together people from around the world to experience hundreds of events revolving around the new and the next in sport.” Read more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Isabella Schmitt of Proxima Clinical Research, Rob Schapiro of Microsoft, and Lara Cottingham of Greentown Labs. Photos courtesy
In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from medical device innovation to energy tech— recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Read more.
Greentown Labs has announced a new accelerator that's dual located in its Houston and Boston-area locations. Photo via GreentownLabs.com
A climatetech incubator with locations in Houston and Somerville, Massachusetts, has announced an accelerator program with a corporate partner.
Greentown Labs andSaint-Gobain, a multinational manufacturer and distributor of high-performance materials, have opened applications for Greentown Go Build 2023. The program intends to support and accelerate startup-corporate partnerships to advance climatetech, specifically focused on circularity and decarbonizing the built environment per a news release from Greentown.
It's the third Greentown Go Build program the incubator has hosted. Applications, which are open online, are due by August 31.
“The Greentown Go Build program is an opportunity for innovative startups to share how they are disrupting the construction market with innovative and sustainable solutions that address the need for circularity and sustainability and that align with our mission of making the world a better home,” says Minas Apelian, vice president of external and internal venturing at Saint-Gobain. “Through this program, we are eager to identify companies dedicated to reducing our reliance on raw materials and associated supply chain risk to ensure circular solutions result in profitable, sustainable growth for business and sustainable construction solutions for our industries.” Read more.
The Texas Medical Center Innovation Factory has named the 16 companies making up the inaugural cohort in the Innovate UK Global Incubator Programme. Photo via tmc.edu
Sixteen digital health and medical device startups founded in the United Kingdom have been selected for a customized accelerator at the Texas Medical Center's Innovation Factory.
In partnership with Innovate UK, TMCi created the Innovate UK Global Incubator Programme, a new accelerator that supports UK businesses as they build their United States go-to-market plan. The program builds the BioBridge relationship between TMC and the UK that was originally established five years ago.
“The TMC UK BioBridge program was launched with the UK Department for Business and Trade in 2018 to serve as a gateway for advancing life sciences and foster innovation and research between our two countries," says Ashley McPhail, chief external affairs and administration officer for TMC, in a news release. "We saw an opportunity to work with Innovate UK to develop a larger program with the UK after the success of the 11 companies that previously participated in our health tech accelerator." Read more.
A team of students from Rice University won Accenture’s 2023 Innovation Challenge with extended reality project. Photo via accenture.com
A team of students from Rice University may see their award-winning idea incorporated into programming from the nonprofit Smithsonian Institution — the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex.
Rice’s Team Night Owls, made up of four undergraduates, recently won Accenture’s 2023 Innovation Challenge. The team’s winning concept: a three-month, six-town mobile bus exhibit designed to expose the Smithsonian to residents of rural areas in the U.S. One of the highlights of the exhibit would be an augmented reality/virtual reality feature.
The Rice team competed against more than 1,100 applicants. Participants were asked to “envision ways to deliver the spirit and wonder of in-person visits” at the Smithsonian to rural communities nationwide.
“Our biggest takeaway from the challenge was learning how to generate innovative ideas and then combine the best aspects from each one to include into one coherent solution,” says one of the team members, Sean Bishop. Read more.