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 a roundup of December business events, an interview with the new leader of TMC's accelerator, and more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Zimri Hinshaw of BUCHA BIO, Kelly Klein of Easter Seals of Greater Houston, ad John Mooz of Hines. Photos courtesy
Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from esports to biomaterials — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Continue reading.
Devin Dunn leads TMC's HealthTech Accelerator, which is getting ready to welcome its next cohort in January. Photo via TMC.edu
For almost a decade the Texas Medical Center has been cultivating health tech innovation by accelerating life science startups. As it has evolved to meet the needs of both its early-stage companies and its member institutions, TMC Innovation has re-evaluated existing programming, introduced new initiatives, and on boarded leaders to represent the organization's mission — the latest of whom, is Devin Dunn.
Earlier this year, Dunn joined TMC Innovation as head of TMC's HealthTech Accelerator, a career move that represented Dunn's move to a different side of the startup world. As an early employee at London-based Huma, Dunn was instrumental in growing the health tech company from its early stages to international market expansion.
"I really like working with the dreamers and helping them work backwards to (figure out) what are the milestones we can work toward to make the grand vision come true in the future," Dunn says on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "The opportunity to work with different founders on that same journey that we had been through was really appealing." Continue reading.
Houston-based Quidnet Energy has secured funding from a Department of Energy program. Image via quidnetenergy.com
A Houston-based company that's got a solution to renewable energy storage has just secured funding from a federal entity.
The U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, is granting Quidnet Energy $10 million in funding, the Houston company announced this week. The funding is a part of the ARPA-E Seeding Critical Advances for Leading Energy technologies with Untapped Potential, the SCALEUP program. This initiative is aimed at providing funding to previous ARPA-E teams "that have been determined to be feasible for widespread deployment and commercialization domestically," per a news release.
“We’re honored that ARPA-E has selected Quidnet Energy as an awardee of the SCALEUP program,” says Joe Zhou, CEO of Quidnet Energy, in the release. Continue reading.
Here's your one-stop shop for innovation events in Houston for December. Photo via Getty Images
Houstonians have yet another good batch of in-person and online innovation events, and you and your tech network need to know about them.
Here's a roundup of virtual events not to miss this December — like pitch nights, workshops, conventions, and more. Continue reading.
Just after announcing an investment from United, NEXT Renewable Fuels Inc. scored a SPAC-based IPO. Photo via nextrenewables.com
It’s been a momentous month for Houston-based NEXT Renewable Fuels Inc.
On November 15, United Airlines Ventures announced an investment of up to $37.5 million in the next-generation, low-carbon fuel producing company.
Just a week later, the company revealed it’s going public through a SPAC merger with Industrial Tech Acquisitions II Inc. The deal, expected to close in the second quarter of 2023, assigns a $666 million equity value to NEXT. The publicly traded company will be named NXTCLEAN Fuels Inc.
NEXT, founded in 2016, produces low-carbon fuels from organic feedstock. The company plans to open a biofuel refinery in Port Westward, Oregon, that’s set to start production in 2026. The refinery could produce up to 50,000 barrels per day of sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel, and other renewable fuels. Continue reading.