driving into town

New startup deemed the ‘Airbnb of vehicle storage’ steers into Houston

Houstonians are getting a new way to make a passive income and/or store their vehicles. Image via Stow It/Facebook

A startup that bills itself as the "Airbnb of vehicle storage" is driving into Houston.

Fort Collins, Colorado-based Stow It connects people with extra space to those who need to store cars, boats, RVs, and other vehicles. It also offers long-term parking near airports. The company initially launched in the Denver area and announced last month that it’s expanding into the Lone Star State.

Stow It works with businesses and individuals to take advantage of unused or underused space at places like storage facilities, parking garages, parking lots, barns, home garages, driveways, and unoccupied land. In February, the company said more than 400 properties in the Denver area were earning more than $1,000 a year by renting out space through its program.

“Any individual or business that is looking to make passive income off their open space through vehicle storage can become a Stow It host,” the company says in a news release.

For hosts, the company handles tasks such as booking reservations and processing payments. The startup says one of the benefits for renters is that they’re not locked into long-term contracts.

“Many people looking for vehicle storage are making the switch from traditional storage facilities to Stow It,” the company says.

In February, Stow It announced its expansion into Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Atlanta, Orlando, and Phoenix markets.

Users can visit the website to browse storage options in their area. A current search of the Austin area brings up covered parking options at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, priced at $185 per month.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

Houston-based Melax Tech has developed multiple Natural language processing tools that are used by more than 650 health care and life science organizations. Photo via MelaxTech.com

Melax Tech Partners, a leader in natural language technology processing, announced a new partnership with the University of California at Irvine that will help researchers derive insights from the UCI Health Data Science Platform’s electronic health records system and improve patient care.

Melax will implement its signature text annotation tool LANN to pull information from clinical notes, and its CLAMP product to develop natural language processing customizations through the use of AI, according to a statement from the company.

“There has been a strong desire among UCI researchers to have the capability to analyze free-text clinical narrative data using cutting-edge NLP technologies," Kai Zheng, chief research information officer at UCI Health Affairs, says in a statement. "We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Melax Tech to deploy their AI-driven annotation and analytics tools to help our researchers advance their research agenda by leveraging the vast amount of free-text data that our health system has accumulated in the past two decades.”

Natural language processing, or NLP, allows organizations and healthcare groups to sift through and analyze massive amounts of data at a rapid rate through the use of machine learning and AI. Houston-based Melax Tech, founded in 2017, has developed multiple NLP tools that are used by more than 650 health care and life science organizations, according to its website.

In addition to the recent partnership with UC Irvine, Melax has also recently partnered with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Western Pennsylvania on similar clinical projects.

Melax has also used its platforms to pull vital information from datasets relating to COVID-19, in both medical and social settings.

In March 2022, it was awarded a Phase 1 NIH Award, valued at $300,000, to develop informatics tools based on COVID-19 datasets with the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego. The tool aims to help researchers better understand vast amounts of virus-related data and connect findings with other similar results.

In August, Melax also received another $300,000 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop NLP-based algorithms that will "model, extract and synthesize vaccine misinformation from multiple popular social media sources," according to a statement. Melax will also develop a visualization that presents its findings on the misinformation into a compressible format.

"This is a very real topic affecting culture at present," Andre Pontin, CEO at Melax Tech, says in a statement. "And shows that we as a collective business and group of experts continue to be on the cutting-edge of science in the NLP and AI domain."

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