2022 in review
Editor's note: As 2022 comes to a close, InnovationMap is looking back at the year's top stories in Houston innovation. In the energy capital of the world, there were dozens of energy tech stories, from most-promising energy tech startups to new cohorts of energy accelerators. Here are five Houston energy tech-focused articles that stood out to readers this year — be sure to click through to read the full story.
The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship handed out awards to the founders of the most promising companies that pitched. Photo courtesy of Slyworks Photography/Rice Alliance
Nearly 100 energy tech startups pitched at the 19th annual Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Forum this week — and over a third of those companies are based in the Houston area.
At the conclusion of the event — which took place on Thursday, September 15, at Rice University, and included a day full of company pitches, panels, and thought leadership — 10 startups were deemed the most promising among their peers. The group was voted on by investors attending office hours ahead of the event.
The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship facilitated nearly 700 meetings between 70 investor groups and 90 ventures, according to the organization. The group of presenting companies included participants from Rice's Clean Energy Accelerator's first two cohorts. Read more.
Moji Karimi joins InnovationMap to discuss how Cemvita Factory has deployed its recent investment funding and what's next for the company and Houston as a whole when it comes to biomanufacturing. Photo courtesy of Cemvita
Moji Karimi and his sister Tara had the idea for a company that could transform carbon emissions and mitigate new damage to the environment. Only, it seems, they were a bit ahead of their time.
Houston-based Cemvita Factory, founded in 2017, uses synthetic biology and take carbon emissions and transform them into industrial chemicals. However, it's only been since recently that the conversation on climate change mitigation has focused on carbon utilization.
"I think people are realizing more about the importance of really focusing on carbon capture and utilization because fossil fuels are gonna be here, whether we like it or not, for a long time, so the best thing we could do is to find ways to decarbonize them," Moji Karimi, co-founder and CEO, tells InnovationMap. "There's been this focus around carbon capture and storage, and I think the next awakening is going to be utilization." Read more.
Halliburton Labs has announced its next set of clean energy tech companies. Photo courtesy of Halliburton
Three businesses have just joined Halliburton Labs, a Houston-based accelerator for clean energy startups.
The new members of Halliburton Labs are A-W Energy, a Finland-based startup whose technology converts ocean waves into energy; RedShift Energy, a Pennsylvania-based startup whose technology recovers hydrogen; and Renkube, an India-based startup whose technology aims to lower the cost of producing solar power.
Halliburton Labs says its participants enjoy access to technical expertise, mentorships, and other benefits.
“These new companies reflect our view that numerous innovations at scale are important in the evolution of energy systems. … We are eager to collaborate with these companies to help them achieve their strategic, operational, and financial milestones,” Dale Winger, managing director of Halliburton Labs, says in a news release. Read more.
Oxy is working on a direct air carbon capture facility in the Permian Basin — and is committing to up to a $1 billion price tag for the project. Rendering via 1pointfive.com
Ramping up its investment in clean energy, Houston-based Occidental Petroleum plans to spend up to $1 billion on a facility in the Permian Basin that will pull carbon dioxide from the air.
During a March 23 investor update, executives at Occidental laid out their strategy for developing direct air carbon capture plants and carbon sequestration hubs.
Executives said Occidental’s first direct air capture facility is set to be built in the Permian Basin, a massive oil-producing region in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The industrial-scale facility, with an estimated price tag of $800 million to $1 billion, is on track to open in late 2024. Construction is supposed to start later this year. Read more.
Greentown Houston's Juliana Garaizar and Emily Reichert look back on the climatetech incubator's first year. Photos via greentownlabs.com
This Thursday, Greentown Houston officially celebrates the completion of its first year in town, as well as the impact its made in just the 365 days since its grand opening.
Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs, officially cut the ribbon on the organization's first location outside of the Boston area last Earth Day. Reichert, along with Juliana Garaizar, head of the Houston incubator and vice president of innovation, joined InnovationMap for a Q&A looking back on this past year — including what surprised them most and where members are moving in from. Read more.