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 Houston making the lists of top emerging startup hubs and life science research, a home-grown tech company has raised funding, and more.
A venture capital firm specializing in the life science sector revealed its plans to move into Houston. Rendering courtesy of TMC
A Chicago-based life science investment firm has announced its expansion into Houston.
Portal Innovations released the news today that it will move into 30,000 square feet of lab and oﬃce space in Texas Medical Center's new Helix Park complex's Collaborative Building. Helix Park is a 37-acre mixed-use campus currently under construction. The firm is expected to make the move in the secord quarter of next year.
Portal, along with its capital partners Beacon Capital and ZoE Life Sciences, is expanding into Houston to tap into the more than 4,800 biotech companies that are associated with TMC, per a news release. Read more.
Houston fell on the international list of emerging startup hubs, but — when it comes to North America — Houston still ranks favorably. Photo via Getty Images
The evolution of Houston’s startup scene continues: A new report awards the region a No. 1 ranking for the robustness of early-stage funding among North America’s emerging startup ecosystems.
Policy advisory and research firm Startup Genome reports that startups in the Houston area attracted $884 billion in early-stage funding from the second half of 2020 to the end of 2022. Early-stage funding generally refers to a startup’s seed and series A rounds.
The $884 million figure puts Houston at No. 1 for early-stage funding among emerging startup ecosystems in North America and at No. 9 globally. Istanbul, Turkey, grabs the top global spot. Startup Genome characterizes the funding meccas in this ranking category as “Strong Starters.” Read more.
The 11 executives now will move on to national Entrepreneur Of The Year program. National winners will be named in November. Photos courtesy
Eleven Houston-based executives have been crowned regional winners in the Entrepreneur Of The Year program, run by professional services firm EY.
The 11 executives now will move on to national Entrepreneur Of The Year program. National winners will be named in November.
“Every year, we are completely blown away by the accomplishments of our Entrepreneur Of The Year Regional Award winners, and 2023 is no different,” AJ Jordan, director of the Entrepreneur Of The Year program for EY Americas, says in a news release. “They are change-makers and champions of business and community, and we are so proud to be honoring them. We can’t wait to see how these leaders will continue to improve lives and disrupt industries.”Read more.
Cart.com has secured its unicorn status at a $1.2B valuation with latest round of venture capital funding. Image via Cart.com
A Houston-founded software company —officially a unicorn company, valued at $1 billion or more — has announced the details of its latest fundraise.
Cart.com, which provides a suite of software solutions for commerce and logistics enablement, closed its $60 million series C equity funding round with a $1.2 billion valuation. Investors in the round included B. Riley Venture Capital, Kingfisher Investment Advisors, Snowflake Ventures, Prosperity7 Ventures, Legacy Knight, and more.
According to a news announcement from the company, Cart.com will use the funding for international expansion, continued product development, and to meet increased client demand.
“We are proud to partner with this prestigious group of investors to accelerate our growth and continue to deliver best-in-class solutions to our customers,” says Omair Tariq, CEO and co-founder of Cart.com, in a statement. “As a leading commerce software and services provider, we are focused on enabling our customers to compete and win across every channel through digital tools and digitally driven logistics capabilities. We will continue to invest in our industry-leading commerce data capabilities, which are built to address the specific inventory, channel and supply chain challenges facing enterprises.” Read more.
From 2016 to 2021, the Houston area saw the third largest jump in students earning degrees in biology and biomedicine. Photo via Getty Images
Houston is a rising star when it comes to developing homegrown talent in life sciences research.
From 2016 to 2021, the Houston area saw the third largest jump in students earning degrees in biology and biomedicine among 25 major life sciences markets, according to a new report from commercial real estate services company CBRE.
Houston saw a 38 percent spike in the number of degrees granted during the five-year span, according to the report. Only Phoenix (91 percent) and Riverside-San Bernardino, California (47 percent) bested Houston in this category.
The report shows Houston produced the 20th largest number of graduates and certificate holders (1,832) in biological and biomedical sciences in 2021. Read more.