houston innovators podcast episode 123

Houston innovator: The future of decarbonization is data-driven decision making

Sujatha Kumar discusses her decarbonization data company on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. Photo via LinkedIn

Decarbonizing the energy industry would be a lot more successful if companies had the tools to more efficiently and accurately track their carbon footprint.

Sujatha Kumar has created that tool with her startup Dsider, a decision intelligence platform with a suite of software tools to equip energy businesses with the data they need to make informed decisions. Kumar, founder and CEO, has spent years consulting companies on finding operational success and now is using her Dsider platform to streamline results.

"When I looked at how companies made decisions — especially in the decarbonization world — I realized there was a big gap to be filled, and that's how Dsider was born," Kumar says on the Houston Innovators Podcast.

"We are creating transparency so that companies can have a digital footprint of how decarbonization can happen, and allowing them to make decisions along the way that are always going to be towards decarbonation and not forgetting that everything has an economic trade off," she continues.

Dsider, a Greentown Houston member company, is targeting the energy industry specifically — oil and gas, petrochemicals, utilities, etc. She says Dsider has the potential to bring decarbonization decision making to other industries as well. For now, Dsider has a few customers and is actively seeking out a few more.

"One of the first few things we want to do is get traction with a handful of customers," "We have the rigor and we are able to make sure the products we have brought to market are really something that is going to land well with customers. From that, we want to see the growth accelerator."

This year, Kumar hopes raise seed funding and grow her team and customer base. She still is working with companies as a consultant with her business, Ayatis LLC. She says the two roles go hand in hand — Dsider is a tool she can offer her consultancy clients.

"We live in that world today where a single role isn't enough for us," Kumar says. "The consulting angle has really helped me think through the customer journey. ... That has really created the Dsider and product journey. In order for me to grow Dsider, I can't balance the consulting that I used to do, so all of my consulting will be geared towards helping customers decarbonize and leveraging Dsider to do that."

Kumar shares more on Dsider's potential impact on decarbonization and how she has observed changes in Houston's innovation ecosystem on the podcast. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.


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Building Houston

 
 

VR training startup, HTX Labs, has raised funding from an outside investor for the first time. Courtesy of HTX Labs

HTX Labs, a Houston-based company that designs extended reality training for military and business purposes, announced last week that it has raised its first outside capital.

The company has received a $3.2 million investment from Cypress Growth Capital. Founded in 2017, HTX Labs — developer of the EMPACT Immersive Learning Platform — has been granted funding from the Department of Defense as well as grown its client base of commercial Enterprises. The platform uses virtual and extended reality that "enables organizations to rapidly create, deploy, measure, and sustain cost-effective, secure, and centralized immersive training programs, all within engaging, fully interactive virtual environments," per a news release.

“We have been looking to secure outside capital to accelerate the growth of our EMPACT platform and customer base but we hadn’t found the right partner who provided an investment vehicle that matched our needs,“ says HTX Labs CEO Scott Schneider in the release. “We found everything we were looking for in Cypress Growth Capital. They have a non-dilutive funding model that aligns with our capital expectations and have the level of experience that really makes this smart money.

"Cypress has a decade-long track record of success in helping emerging software and services companies achieve scale," he continues. "It is clear that the team’s collective entrepreneurial and operating experience will be of tremendous benefit to us as we focus on expanding our customer base in a very intentional way.”

The fresh funding will go toward growing and scaling the company's operations — both within the current Department of Defense and expansion opportunities into key commercial markets, like heavy industry, manufacturing, and higher education. Additionally, the funding will support increased customer adoption.

“Scott and his team have built an exceptional business that is poised for dramatic growth,” says Cypress Partner Pat McCaffrey in the release. “HTX Labs’ modern, immersive training solution provides clients with a force multiplier for modernizing training and an unmatched ROI.”

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