Houston Innovator's Podcast Episode 1
Houston's MassChallenge leader talks Texas growth and what makes the accelerator different
Jon Nordby has watched the city of Houston as it pivoted from innovation being a distant idea to a growing ecosystem of many moving parts and major players — all the while becoming one himself.
Nordby worked his way from advising startups and shaping the innovation coming into Houston at the Greater houston Partnership and then at Houston Exponential to now serving as the local leader for MassChallenge Texas in Houston. In fact, Nordby was a part of the team that brought MassChallenge to Houston in the first place. When he was the director of strategy at HX, the organization was discussing MCTX's Houston program.
"I guess I did a good enough job there that they invited me to be a part of the program when it launched," Nordby says on the podcast.
Nordby also discusses the program and how the inaugural cohort met — and even exceeded — his expectations in the first episode of InnovationMap's new Houston Innovators Podcast. The cohort was a shortened, smaller program, but it surprised everyone at the grand finale of the program when the Houston Angel Network gave out an investment to Houston-based Sensytec. Nordby says that's the first time a MassChallenge cohort anywhere had that opportunity.
In the podcast, Nordby shares what the next cohort will look like, and even shared how there will be two new categories within the program. MCTX will be looking for startups in the sports tech and aerospace industries and will provide special mentorship and programming for those startups. He also mentions that MCTX is gearing up for growth for its office space to be able to accomodate 100 participants in a future cohort.
Check out the podcast below for more details of MCTX's plans to expand, Nordby's take on Houston innovation, and why he's pretty glad he didn't move to Austin a few years ago.