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Houston named 4th best metro for women in tech by a new study

Houston has been deemed the fourth best city for women in technology, according to a SmartAsset report. Christina Morillo/Pexels

If you're a woman in the technology industry here in Houston, you're in the right place. Houston was recognized as the 4th best city in the United States for women in technology jobs, according to a report from SmartAsset.

The study took into consideration four key factors; gender pay gap, income after housing, and percentage of tech jobs filled by women were all double weighted, while four-year employment growth was factored in. Using data from the U.S. Census, SmartAsset only looked at cities with populations of 200,000 residents or more that had reliable data, which left the study with 58 cities across the country.

Houston's tech pay is what stood out for the city. The average female tech worker in the Bayou City has $60,600 left from her salary after paying for a home, and Houston ranks eighth overall in this metric. With a ratio of 99 percent, Houston's wage gap when it comes to tech jobs ranked the city No. 3 for smallest wage gap. However, at 26 percent, Houston has a somewhat low percentage of women in tech positions.

No other Texas cities appeared on the list, though it's unclear if they were among the 58 cities evaluated as a part of the study. Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia ranked ahead of Houston. California's major tech players — such as San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland — all ranked in the middle of the pack or worse.

The studied compared the cities against the national average. The full list of the top 15 cities, seen below, all ranked higher than the national average, based on the study's index.

This isn't the first time this year that Texas has been recognized as a good place for women in business. In January, a study found that the Lone Star State was No. 1 for female entrepreneurs. However, when it comes to STEM jobs, another report found Houston to be less desirable of a metro. But, as the SmartAsset study found, affordability is important, and Houston was deemed one of the most affordable cities to live in this year.

Via SmartAsset

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Building Houston

 
 

Cloudbreak Enterprises is getting in on the ground level with software startups — quickly helping them take an idea to market. Photo via Getty Images

Lauren Bahorich is in the business of supporting businesses. In February 2020, she launched Cloudbreak Enterprises — B-to-B SaaS-focused, early-stage venture studio — with plans to onboard, invest in, and support around three new scalable companies a year. And, despite launching right ahead of a global pandemic, that's exactly what she did.

Bahorich, who previously worked at Golden Section Ventures, wanted to branch off on her own to create a venture studio to get in on the ground level of startups — to be a co-founder to entrepreneurs and provide a slew of in-house resources and support from development and sales to marketing and administration.

"We start at zero with just an idea, and we partner with out co-founders to build the idea they have and the domain expertise and the industry connections to take that idea and built a product and a company," Bahorich says.

Bahorich adds that there aren't a lot of venture studios in the United States — especially in Houston. While people might be more familiar with the incubator or accelerator-style of support for startups, the venture studio set up is much more intimate.

"We truly see ourselves as co-founders, so our deals are structured with co-founder equity," Bahorich says, explaining that Cloudbreak is closer to a zero-stage venture capital fund than to any incubator. "We are equally as incentivized as our co-founders to de-risk this riskiest stage of startups because we are so heavily invested and involved with our companies."

Cloudbreak now has three portfolio companies, and is looking to onboard another three more throughout the rest of the year. Bahorich runs a team of 15 professionals, all focused on supporting the portfolio. While creating the studio amid the chaos of 2020 wasn't the plan, there were some silver linings including being able to start with part-time developers and transition them to full-time employees as the companies grew.

"Within the first month, we were in shutdown here in Houston," Bahorich says. "But it's been a great opportunity for us. Where a lot of companies were pivoting and reassessing, we were actually able to grow because we were just starting at zero ourselves."

Cloudbreak's inaugural companies are in various stages and industries, but the first company to be onboarded a year ago — Relay Construction Solutions, a bid leveling software for the construction industry — joined the venture studio as just an idea and is already close to first revenue and potentially new investors. Cloudgate is also creating a commercial real estate data management software and an offshore logistics platform. All three fall into a SaaS sweet spot that Bahorich hopes to continue to grow.

"We are looking to replace legacy workflows that are still performed in Excel or by email or phone," Bahorich says. "It's amazing how many opportunities there are that fit into that bucket — these high-dollar, error-prone workflows that are still done like it's 1985."

Given the hands-on support, Bahorich assumed she'd attract mostly first-time entrepreneurs who don't have experience with all the steps needed to launch the business. However, she says she's gotten interest from serial entrepreneurs who recognized how valuable the in-house support can be for expediting the early-stage startup process.

"What I'm realizing is a selling point is our in-house expertise. These founders are looking for technical co-founders," Bahorich says. "We can both provide that role and be capital partners."

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