best of the rest

7 Houston businesses land on Fortune’s list of most admired companies in the world

ConocoPhillips makes Fortune's list of the world's most admired companies. Photo courtesy of ConocoPhillips

Houstonians looking for a fulfilling place of employment have seven admirable options. National business publication Fortune magazine is saluting seven firms in its 2022 list of most-admired employers.

Houston-based ConocoPhillips leads the firms No. 117, followed by EOG Resources at No. 140, and Spring-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise at No. 164. KBR follows at No. 186. Further down the list is Houston-based Occidental Petroleum (No. 237), Quanta Services (No. 253), and finally, Waste Management (No. 318).

These ranking is based on the magazine’s poll of about 3,700 corporate executives, corporate directors, and business analysts.

ConocoPhillips, the top Houston performer employs some 9,900 staff. The publicly traded ( $6.07 per share) mining and crude oil production company earned $8.1 billion in 2021. As CultureMap reported, it was a named a best place to work in 2019.

As for the Lone Star State, 18 Texas-based companies appearing on Fortune’s new list of the world’s most admired companies. The others are:

  • San Antonio-based USAA, No. 25
  • Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, No. 28.
  • Westlake-based Charles Schwab, No. 47.
  • Dallas-based AECOM, No. 55.
  • Dallas-based AT&T, No. 77.
  • Dallas-based CBRE Group, No. 103.
  • Houston-based ConocoPhillips, No. 117.
  • Round Rock-based Dell Technologies, No. 125.
  • Houston-based EOG Resources, No. 140.
  • Spring-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise, No. 164.
  • Arlington-based D.R. Horton, No. 168.
  • Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group, No. 179.
  • Houston-based KBR, No. 186.
  • Irving-based McKesson, No. 214.
  • Houston-based Occidental Petroleum, No. 237.
  • Houston-based Quanta Services, No. 253.
  • Austin-based Tesla, No. 294.
  • Houston-based Waste Management, No. 318.
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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

Activate is planting its roots in Houston with a plan to have its first set of fellows next year. Photo via Getty Images

An organization that directs support to scientists developing impactful technology has decided on Houston for its fifth program.

Activate was founded in Berkeley, California, in 2015 to bridge the gap between the federal and public sectors to deploy capital and resources into the innovators creating transformative products. The nonprofit expanded its programs to Boston and New York before launching a virtual fellowship program — Activate Anywhere, which is for scientists 50 or more miles outside one of the three hubs.

"Our mission is to empower scientists to reinvent the world by bringing their research to market," Aimee Rose, executive managing director of Activate, tells InnovationMap. "There's so much technical talent that we educate in this country every year and so many amazing inventions that happen, that combining the two, which is the sort of inventor/entrepreneur, and giving them the support mechanisms they need to get on their feet and be successful, has the potential to unlock an incredible amount of value for the country, for the environment, and to address other social problems."

This year, Activate is planting seeds in Houston to grow a presence locally and have its first set of fellows in 2024. While Activate is industry agnostic, Rose says a big draw from Houston is the ability to impact the future of energy.

"We're super excited about Houston as an emerging ecosystem for the clean energy transition as being the energy capital of the world, as well as all the other emerging players there are across the landscape in Houston," Rose says. "I think we can move the needle in Houston because of our national footprint."

The first order of business, Rose says, is hiring a managing director for Activate Houston. The job, which is posted online, is suited for an individual who has already developed a hardtech business and has experience and connections within Houston's innovation ecosystem.

"We want to customize the program so that it makes the most sense for the community," Rose says about the position. "So, somebody that has the relationships and the knowledge of the ecosystem to be able to do that and somebody that's kind of a mentor at heart."

The program is for early-stage founders — who have raised less than $2 million in funding — working on high-impact technology. Rose explains that Activate has seen a number of microelectronics and new materials companies go through the program, and, while medical innovation is impactful, Activate doesn't focus on pharmaceutical or therapeutic industries since there are existing pathways for those products.

Ultimately, Activate is seeking innovators whose technologies fall through the cracks of existing innovation infrastructure.

"Not every business fits into the venture capital model in terms of what investors would expect to be eventual outcomes, but these these types of businesses can still have significant impact and make the world a better place," Rose says, explaining how Activate is different from an incubator or accelerator. "As opposed as compared to a traditional incubator, this is a very high touch program. You get a living stipend so you can take a big business technical risk without a personal risk. We give you a lot of hands on support and mentoring."

Each of the programs selects 10 fellows that join the program for two years. The fellows receive a living stipend, connections from Activate's robust network of mentors, and access to a curriculum specific to the program.

Since its inception, Activate has supported 104 companies and around 146 entrepreneurs associated with those companies. With the addition of Houston, Activate will be able to back 50 individuals a year.

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