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 two Houston startups raising funding, a new DEI initiative from Greentown Labs, and more.
InnovationMap, HX reveal winners from Houston Innovation Awards Gala
The 2022 Houston Innovation Awards revealed its big winners across 11 categories. Photos courtesy
That's a wrap on the Houston Innovation Awards Gala. InnovationMap and Houston Exponential announced the winners of the 2022 awards that celebrated Houston's booming innovation ecosystem, and 11 startups and individuals walked away with the awards. Click here to read more.
Houston SaaS company raises $15M series B, announces latest release
Houston-based GoCo.io has raised fresh funding and launched the latest version of its platform. Courtesy of GoCo
A Houston startup that is optimizing human resource operations for small businesses has raised fresh funding from an Austin-based venture capital investor.
GoCo.io raised $15 million in September in a funding round led by ATX Venture Partners. Founded in 2015, the company has raised $27.5 million to date, including its $7 million series A in 2019.
The fresh funding will be used to continue expanding on the company's software services operations and upgrades to its product, which is is modernizing HR, benefits, and payroll.
“We believe that GoCo is the company best positioned to provide HR departments at SMBs with the most flexible employee management software,” says Chris Shonk, general partner at ATX Venture Partners, in a news release. “In a crowded marketplace, GoCo clearly rises to the top with its ease-of-use, flexibility and unparalleled customization." Click here to continue reading.
Greentown Houston announces co-located accelerator for energy innovators of color
Greentown Labs announced its latest accelerator program — this one is focused on DEI in clean energy innovation. Photo via GreentownLabs.com
Greentown Labs has announced its latest accelerator program that will be co-located in both its Houston and Boston-area spaces.
In partnership with Browning the Green Space, Greentown Labs has officially launched the Advancing Climatetech and Clean Energy Leaders Program, or ACCEL, and is seeking applications from climatetech entrepreneurs who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color.
The startups accepted into the year-long program will receive a curated curriculum, incubation at one of the Greentown locations, and mentorship from its large network of energy professionals. Each participant will also receive a non-dilutive $25,000 grant. Applications for ACCEL are open now and are due by Dec. 23
“We need all hands on deck to solve the climate crisis and foster a just energy transition,” says Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs, in a news release. “We are proud to partner with Browning the Green Space on this important program, and are eager to support more underrepresented founders through ACCEL to help build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable climatetech industry.” Click here to continue reading.
Houston startups named most promising in the life science space at annual event
Eight of the 10 most-promising life science startups named at BioHouston and the Rice Alliance's event are based in Houston. Photo courtesy of Rice Alliance
For the second time this year, Houston life science leaders and startup founders gathered to discuss the future of health care in Houston.
The annual Texas Life Science Forum hosted by BioHouston and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship was usually held during the fall before the pandemic pushed it off schedule. In February, the two organizations hosted the previous forum, but as of this month, the annual event is back on track.
The day included panels and networking, plus over 50 companies — about half of which are based in Houston — pitched their solutions across medical device, therapeutics, pharmaceuticals, and more to the crowd.
Houston-based Bairitone Health won the Michael E. DeBakey Memorial Life Science Award, established by BioHouston in honor of the groundbreaking Houston cardiovascular surgeon. The company is creating a wearable technology that takes a more innovative approach to sleep apnea and snoring with its SOMNAR platform that detects tissue-born sounds, identifies obstructions, and more. The award was presented by Ann Tanabe, CEO of BioHouston. Click here to continue reading.
Houston tech startup raises $3.5M following industry expansion
Rivalry Tech's co-founders — Marshall Law and Aaron Knape — share news of the company's latest round of investment. Photo courtesy of Rivalry Tech
A Houston-based company that optimizes mobile ordering for large venues has closed its latest round of funding.
Rivalry Tech, originally founded as sEATz and tackling mobile ordering in sports venues, has raised $3.5 million following expanding with a new product, myEATz, that targets the health care, leisure, and business industries. The round was led by Houston-based Sightcast, with participation from Houston-based Softeq Venture Studio, Rice University’s Valhalla Investment Group, and more.
“Sightcast Capital Partners looks to invest in strong, founder-led companies that bring a forward-thinking solution to everyday problems," says Neal Simpson, managing partner of Sightcast Capital Partners, in a news release. "In Rivalry Tech, we saw a team that recognized an opportunity to streamline the way in which food and beverage transactions occur in the healthcare, leisure, sports, and entertainment markets. Their two-sided approach of using technology as a tool to increase vendor profitability and also positively influence consumer experience is what immediately attracted us to this opportunity." Click here to continue reading.