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More major manufacturing companies are moving to Pearland

Tool-Flo Manufacturing chose Pearland for its approachability. Photo courtesy of PEDC

You may already be familiar with why major life sciences companies are putting down roots in Pearland's Lower Kirby, but did you know that manufacturing companies are also following suit?

Current manufacturing companies in Lower Kirby include Tool-Flo Manufacturing, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Compressor International Corporation, and Dover Energy, along with life science manufacturers Lonza, Merit Medical, and Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.

Tool-Flo Manufacturing produces tools and products for the oil and gas, automotive, aerospace, and medical industries. When the team at Tool-Flo was searching for a location, the approachability of Pearland’s Lower Kirby stood out.

“We spent a lot of time searching for property and when we drove into Pearland on Kirby Drive, it immediately felt like we were at home,” says former Tool-Flo president Dennis Flolo.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Compressor International Corporation (MHI) also selected Lower Kirby for its office, manufacturing, and service facility, and the first U.S.-based manufacturing and service location for the Japanese-owned company.

The 180,000-square-foot facility located on Kirby Drive houses packaging and assembly, vertical and horizontal rotor storage, repair and maintenance services, administrative offices, and a training center. MHI also constructed a 49,500-square-foot warehouse facility.

Dover Energy is the energy division of diversified global manufacturer Dover Corporation, and a manufacturer of specialized products and valves. Dover Energy opened a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing and operations facility in Pearland’s Lower Kirby with a facility that consolidated multiple Texas locations into one regional location that's home to over 200 employees.

“Dover was looking to consolidate the manufacturing and operations of several stand-alone businesses into one site that was convenient and would best position it for future growth, and we found a great location for them that will suit all of their needs in a modern business park environment,” says executive vice president Jarrett Venghaus, regional director at Jones Lang LaSalle (which represented Dover in its purchase of the land).

Merit Medical Systems, Inc. serves hospitals worldwide by manufacturing more than 2,000 proprietary, disposable medical devices used in diagnostic and interventional cardiology and radiology procedures.

Merit Medical chose Lower Kirby as the site for its new research and development and manufacturing facility due to an educated workforce and proximity to Houston. Approximately 400 of Merit’s 6,000 employees work out of the company’s 120,000-square-foot facility.

“Merit was looking for a large growing workforce, an educated community, an array of services immediately around the facility for the employees, and the proximity to the Greater Houston area,” says Merit Medical Systems managing director Richard Jepson.

Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI), a leading medical device manufacturer of innovative interventional treatment systems for vascular disease, selected Lower Kirby as the home of its second manufacturing facility in the U.S. CSI manufactures a minimally invasive medical device.

Lower Kirby is a 1,200-acre mixed-use development in northwest Pearland, at the intersection of South Beltway 8 and State Highway 288, that is home to office, retail, commercial, and industrial projects and is continuing to expand. In addition to manufacturing, Lower Kirby is also the location for several biotech and energy companies.

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Building Houston

 
 

The latest cohort from gBETA Houston has been announced and is currently underway at the Downtown Launchpad. Photo courtesy

A national startup accelerator has announced its fifth local cohort, which includes five Houston companies participating in the spring 2022 class.

Madison, Wisconsin-based gener8tor has announced today the five participating startups in gBETA Houston. The program will be led by Muriel Foster, the newly named director of gBETA Houston, which originally launched in Houston in 2020 thanks to a grant from from the Downtown Redevelopment Authority.

The program, which is designed to help guide early-stage startups find early customer traction, connect with mentors, and more, is based in the Downtown Launchpad, and is free and does not take equity in the participating companies. The cohort kicked off on April 21 and concludes on June 10.

The new cohort includes:

  • Founded by CEO Steffie Thomson a year ago, Getaway Sticks has designed a shoe that gives women the painless support they need using athletic foam to create a shoe that gives women the painless support they need. Getaway Sticks provides the solutions to women’s #1 wardrobe complaint of high heel pain. Since launch, the company has earned over $35,000 in revenue from over 150 customers.
  • Through a combination of software and hardware technology, LocBox is rethinking the shopping experience for online and local purchases. If you shop, ship, or have food delivered to your house, LocBox will make your life easier. Led by CEO Sterling Sansing, LocBox has previously participated in the Texas A&M MBA Venture Challenge.
  • SpeakHaus is focused on equipping young professionals and entrepreneurs with public speaking skills through its on-demand training platform and group coaching program. Since launching in October 2021, SpeakHaus has facilitated 6 corporate trainings and coached 61 business leaders generating over $49,000 in revenue. The company is led by CEO Christa Clarke.
  • Led by CEO LaGina Harris, The Us Space is creating spaces intentionally for women of color, women-led businesses, and women-centric organizations. Since launching in June 2021, The Us Space has created partnerships with more than a dozen community organizations, sustainable businesses, and organizations creating positive economic impact in the City of Houston.
  • Founded in August 2021, Urban Eatz Delivery is a food delivery service app that caters to the overlooked and underrepresented restaurants, food trucks, and home-based food vendors. Urban Eatz Delivery has earned over $88,000 in revenue, delivered to over 2,000 users, and worked with 36 restaurant and food vendors on the app. The company is led by CEO D’Andre Good.

“The five companies selected for the Spring 2022 cohort tackle unique problems that have propelled them to create a business that solves the issues they once faced," Foster says in a news release. "From public speaking, apparel comfort, and food delivery from underrepresented restaurant owners, these founders have found their niche and are ready to continue to make an enormous impact on the Houston ecosystem."

it's Foster's first cohort at the helm of the program. A Houston native, she has her master’s in public administration from Texas Southern University and a bachelor’s in marketing from Oklahoma State University. Her background includes work in the nonprofit sector and international business consulting in Cape Town, South Africa, and she's worked within programming at organizations such as MassChallenge, BLCK VC, and now gener8tor.

The program is housed at the Downtown Launchpad. The five startups will have access to the space to meet with mentors, attend events, and run their companies.

"Creating (the hub) was a little like a moonshot, but it’s paying off and contributing enormous impact to the city’s economy. The five startups selected for the gBETA Houston Spring cohort will continue that legacy,” says Robert Pieroni, director of economic development at Central Houston Inc., in the release. “As these entrepreneurs chase their dreams and create something epic, they will know Downtown Houston is standing behind them. I am so proud of what Downtown Launchpad is already, and what it will become.”

Muriel Foster, a native Houstonian, is the new director of gBETA Houston. Image via LinkedIn

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