The future energy system will be made up of countless new technologies that are actively being developed and scaled by climate and energy startups around the world. Photo via Getty Images

The global energy landscape is undergoing unprecedented challenges, influenced by post-pandemic work trends, geopolitical events like the Ukraine crisis, and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions.

To achieve net-zero goals by 2050 and address climate change, a significant investment of $5 trillion by 2030 to USD $4.5 trillion by 2050 is required, necessitating a rapid transformation in traditional energy production, distribution, storage, and consumption methods.

High-tech energy and climate startups are pivotal for a robust economy, driving innovation, economic growth, and enhanced productivity. These startups foster healthy competition, attract crucial investments, and contribute significantly to job creation, outpacing larger companies in terms of employment generation. The U.S., a startup leader, generated over 3.7 million new jobs in 2022, showcasing the adaptability of startups to market trends. Globally, India, with the third-largest startup ecosystem, has contributed to the creation of860,000 jobs since the stand-up of Startup India, emphasizing the importance of nurturing startups for sustained economic dynamism and innovation.

The future energy system will be made up of countless new technologies that are actively being developed and scaled by climate and energy startups around the world. These founding teams require access to scaling resources to accelerate and amplify their impact. Human talent, financial investment, demonstration opportunities and physical facilities are scaling resources that often require significant time and capital to build from scratch. This inefficient resource deployment can be particularly pronounced for hard-tech entrepreneurs. Startup community participants are organized around providing entrepreneurs with the needed access to these resources.

"Our mission is to enable hydrogen adoption by solving the key challenges in hydrogen storage and transportation," says Ayrton CEO, Natasha Kostenuk. "With Halliburton's strategic engineering and manufacturing support, we can scale our technology, execute pilot demonstrations and accelerate towards commercialization."

Halliburton Labs, is highlighted for its diverse team and the support it provides to global entrepreneurs in sustainable ventures. The future energy system is envisioned to be composed of numerous new technologies developed and scaled by climate and energy startups worldwide. These startups require access to scaling resources mentioned above, where Halliburton Labs serves as a conduit between established practitioners and startup entrepreneurs, accelerating the latter's impact by providing access to these critical resources.

Infosys launched the Infosys Innovation Fund to invest in entrepreneurial ventures around the world. Their investment philosophy is geared toward supporting innovation and purposeful solutions that are relevant to the strategic priorities of their clients. This differentiates the Infosys Innovation Fund from most other venture capital institutions, in that they have a strong motivation to create long term value for the end users of the technology and to the companies building these solutions.

Infosys actively collaborates with emerging technology startups through its Infosys Innovation Fund. Employing a Desirability, Feasibility, Viability (DFV) framework, Infosys strategically selects startups and offers advantages such as market, financial and technical scale. The Infosys Innovation Fund stands out for its motivation to create long-term value for end users and the companies building innovative solutions. Infosys also operates an incubation center called ‘Infosys Center for Emerging Technology Solutions’ (iCETS), focusing on NextGen services and offerings through collaboration with clients, startup partnerships, university collaborations, and more.

Startups working with Infosys benefit from accessing the company's know-how, market knowledge, and strategic advisors from the consulting arm of business, Infosys Consulting, who are focused on creating business value through technology innovation. The combined expertise guides entrepreneurs from idea to qualification, proof-of-concept, prototype, minimum viable product (MVP), scale, and continuous discovery and delivery.

Open innovation and trusted partnerships in the energy transition era

In the energy transition era, open innovation and trusted partnerships are becoming essential components of amplifying success for startups. Collaborative cultures and trusted partnerships with companies like Infosys and Halliburton Labs are crucial for supporting and scaling startups in this rapidly evolving energy landscape. This shift towards ‘open innovation’ reflects a broader trend in the industry toward collaboration and shared expertise as key drivers for success to accelerate and achieve global energy transition aspirations.

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Scott Gale is the executive director of Halliburton Labs. Jason Till is partner of Experience Transformation & Innovation at Infosys Consulting. Rima Thakkar is principal - Americas Energy Transition at Infosys Consulting. Laura Sacchi, Mandar Joshi, and Sonali Sakhare of Infosys Consulting contributed to this article.

This article originally ran on EnergyCapital.

Introducing: Houston Energy and Climate Startup Week, a collaborative initiative that will showcase Houston's ecosystem of energy tech innovators. Photo via Getty Images

Houston organizations team up to bring inaugural climate startup week

mark your calendars

Three organizations are teaming up to put on a week of programming and events focused on energy and climate startups.

Greentown Labs, Halliburton Labs, and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship have announced Houston Energy and Climate Startup Week 2024 taking place September 9 to 13.

“These organizations will execute events that will serve as a launching pad for an Energy and Climate Startup Week in Houston, showcasing the city as a national hub for the energy future,” Brad Burke, executive director of the Rice Alliance, says in the release. “We welcome the community to bring other energy and climate events to the week, which we’ll cross-promote as the dates approach.”

The week will assemble investors, industry leaders, and startups from across the energy industry and from around the world to showcase Houston's growing sustainable, low-carbon energy future.

The initiative is in collaboration with the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, or HETI, an initiative of the Greater Houston Partnership, as well as Activate, Digital Wildcatters, Renewable Energy Alliance Houston, and TEX-E.

“As the energy capital and one of the most diverse cities in the world, Houston stands as a center point for these solutions. The region is welcoming, diverse and has the know-how to play a critical role in building an energy abundant, low-carbon future," Jane Stricker, executive director of HETI and senior vice president at GHP, says in the release. "We welcome all who want to be part of the solution to join for this exciting, inaugural week of events.”

Attendees can expect tech and startup showcases, panels, pitches, discussions, and networking events to be hosted across Houston and at the Ion, Rice's innovation hub in Midtown. More details on the events will be added to the Ion's website as they become available.

“We look forward to the opportunity to highlight talented founders and connect them with investors, industry practitioners and university resources to help accelerate energy innovation,” Dale Winger, managing director of Halliburton Labs, says in the release. “The collaboration to launch Energy and Climate Startup Week reflects how Houston works together to scale solutions."

Halliburton has named its latest cohort. Photo via Getty Images

7 energy startups tapped for Houston incubator program

ready to grow

Seven companies from around the world have been invited to join Halliburton Labs, the company announced today.

Halliburton Labs is an incubator program that helps early-stage energy tech companies through connections, access to facilities, and more.

"We are pleased to welcome these promising energy startups and provide customized support to help them achieve their specific priorities, accelerate commercialization, and increase valuation," says Dale Winger, managing director of the program, in a news release. "Our experienced practitioners and network will help these companies use their time and capital efficiently."

The next Halliburton Labs Finalists Pitch Day, which will feature the ongoing cohort, is planned for Thursday, March 14, in New Orleans in coordination with New Orleans Entrepreneur Week and 3rd Coast Venture Summit. Applications for the program are open until Friday, February 9.

The newest additions to Halliburton Labs are as follows.

One of three Israel-based companies in the cohort, Airovation Technologies is advancing carbon capture and utilization solutions through helping hard-to-abate industries that achieve emissions reduction targets through its proprietary carbon mineralization technology. Through transforming point-source CO2 emissions into circular chemicals and building materials, Airovation is developing a scalable pathway for industrial emitters to decarbonize with multiple revenue streams.

“Industrial emitters are seeking economic ways to decarbonize,” Marat Maayan, founder and CEO at Airovation Technologies, says. “We are excited to accelerate our commercialization in the United States with Halliburton Labs, leveraging their expertise, capabilities and network."

Ayrton Energy, based in Calgary, is developing liquid organic hydrogen carrier storage technology to enable the large-scale, efficient transportation of hydrogen over extended distances without hydrogen loss and pipeline corrosion. This storage technology provides a high-density hydrogen storage medium without the need for cryogenics or high-pressure systems, which differs from the existing technology out there. This improves the safety and efficiency of hydrogen storage while enabling the use of existing fuel infrastructure for transportation, including tanks, transport trucks, and pipelines.

“Our mission is to enable hydrogen adoption by solving the key challenges in hydrogen storage and transportation,” Ayrton CEO Natasha Kostenuk says.

Cache Energy, based out of the University of Illinois Research Park, is developing a new long duration energy storage solution, which scales to interseasonal durations, through a low-cost solid fuel. Once charged, the storage material stores energy at room temperature, with near zero loss in time and can be safely stored and transported anywhere energy is needed.

“We are strong believers of leveraging existing infrastructure and expertise to fast track decarbonization goals,” Arpit Dwivedi, founder and, says CEO of Cache Energy. “We look forward to this collaboration and learning from Halliburton's manufacturing and operational expertise, as we scale our technology.”

From Be'er Sheva City in Israel, CENS develops enhanced dry dispersion technology based on dry-treated carbon nanotubes that enable high energy density, high power, and outstanding cycle performance in Li-ion batteries. The technology is differentiated because it can be applied to any type of lithim-ion battery and its implementation can be seamlessly integrated into the production line.

“Our goal is to develop ground-breaking technologies that will become disruptive technologies to market at a massive scale,” says CEO Moshe Johary. “With the help and vast experience of Halliburton Labs' team, we could achieve advancements in production capabilities while extending our footprint in the market.”

Casper, Wyoming-based Disa Technologiesprovides solutions to the mining and remediation industries. Disa utilizes patented minerals liberation technology to more efficiently isolate target minerals and mitigate environmental impacts to its users. Disa platforms treat a wide array of critical minerals that are essential to the economy and our way of life.

“We are excited to have Halliburton's support as we scale-up our technology and deliver innovative minerals processing solutions that disrupt industry best practices, enhance global resource utilization, and benefit the environment and the communities we serve," Greyson Buckingham, Disa's CEO and president, says.

Marel Power Solutions, headquartered from Michigan, is innovating electrification through its novel powerstack technology. These materials-efficient, quickly deployable, and scalable power-stacks, encapsulating advanced cooling technology, redefine power conversion in mobility, industrial, and renewables spaces.

“We're thrilled to contribute to global climate sustainability. Our collaboration with Halliburton will accelerate the electrification transition across industries. Marel's technology not only maximizes heat evacuation from densely packed power semiconductors but, more importantly, offers substantial savings in cost, weight, size, and time, making it transformative in the evolving landscape of electrification,” Marel CEO Amrit Vivekanand says.

And lastly, XtraLit is an Israeli company that develops a technology for direct lithium extraction from brines. The technology enables efficient and economically justified processing of brines even with relatively low lithium concentrations. Application of the extraction technology will allow mineral providers to unlock new significant sources of lithium that are critical to meet growing demand.

“Oil and gas industry produced waters might become a substantial resource for lithium production,” says XtraLit CEO, Simon Litsyn. “XtraLit will cooperate with Halliburton on optimization of produced water treatment for further increasing the efficiency of the lithium extraction process.”

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This article originally ran on EnergyCapital.

NanoTech closed an oversubscribed round of funding, the company announced this week. Photo courtesy of NanoTech

Houston climate-tech startup adds new investors in oversubscribed funding round

cap table additions

A Houston startup that has developed an innovative coating material that can reduce energy consumption has raised fresh funding for its cross-country expansion.

NanoTech Inc. announced its latest funding news — an oversubscribed funding round that brings onboard a handful of new investors. The details of the round were not disclosed, but NanoTech did release that the round included participation from three institutional investors, two corporate-strategic investors, and seven family offices. These entities join initial investor, Austin-based Ecliptic Capital.

NanoTech's flagship product is a waterproof thermal coating, called the Nano Shield Cool Roof Coat, which began rolling out across the country this year. Not only does the product reduce energy costs for the building owner, but it reduces emissions as well.

"It's crucial to recalibrate the sustainability narrative – environmental responsibility and financial return can go hand in hand," says Mike Francis, CEO and co-founder of NanoTech, in a news release. “We’ve transformed the roof from a cost center to a savings source by reducing energy expenditures while also significantly shrinking the building's carbon footprint.”

"The substantial decline in CO2 emissions and energy costs resulting from reduced reliance on HVAC systems is far more than a fringe benefit — it forms the cornerstone of our long-term strategy to lead the climate-resilient materials market. Beyond corporate objectives, it's a personal source of immense pride to foster a healthier planet for generations to come," Francis continues.

As the first selected company in Houston-based Halliburton Labs, NanoTech continues to benefit from the incubator's industrial scaling resources. Francis and Chief Commercial Officer Carrie Horazeck recently joined the Houston Innovators Podcast to discuss the impact their product is making as they roll out nationwide.

"It's just a coating that can go on top of existing structure — any type of commercial roof," Horazeck says on the show. "We have a pretty good amount of data from 2022 showcasing that we can reduce HVAC consumption within the building by about 30 to 40 percent.

"Our clients really see a immediate benefit in their energy bill, and, of course, if you reduce the HVAC consumption, that automatically translates to a decrease in your scope one emissions," she continues.


At its annual Activation Festival, the Ion hosted a conversation about the relationship between corporates and startups. Photo courtesy of Shannon O'Hara/the Ion

Overheard: What Houston corporates are looking for from startups

eavesdropping at the ion

Hundreds of innovators from Houston and beyond flocked to the Ion's annual Activation Festival, and one of the topics discussed at the series of programming was the relationship between corporates and startups.

One of Houston's points of pride is having the third most Fortune 500 companies headquartered here, but how can the city's innovation ecosystem take advantage of that market? And, on the other side of it, how can corporates make the most of Houston innovators?

At a panel on May 17 entitled "Corporate-Startup Partnerships: How to Build Them, Sustain Them, and How They’re Key to Fast-Tracking Innovation and Growth," three corporate leaders explained how they navigate relationships with startups and how cultivating these opportunities is key to the future of business.

Here are a few of the discussion's highlights.

“Investing in the startup community generally, you’re never going to have a line of sight of where that value is going to come back. You can expect it — I’m not saying it’s altruism, it just comes back in forms that you might not appreciate.”

Scott Gale, executive director of Halliburton Labs says, explaining that corporate contribution doesn't just have to be financial.

“Ask for advice, don’t ask for money. Show up. Be curious. If you think a corporate is the right potential customer for you, spend the time to try to understand what the people are, who the champions are, what motivates them, and what they need to do to be successful.” 

Tom Luby, director of TMC Innovation says, noting that it's tried-and-true advice, but still important to remember.

“The person who takes the most risk is the lead adopter — the lead user. That person puts their assets and their name on the line.”

Nazeer Bhore, global manager, tech scouting, innovation and ventures at ExxonMobil Technology and Engineering, says. “What we bring to the table for startups is all the resources we have — technical resources, assets, use cases, testing facilities, and, of course, funding. Irrespective of what stage you’re in, or how many adjacencies you are, we’re always happy to engage with you," he explains. "The key is for us is to be a lead user.”

“The opportunity for us is to be generalists across a lot of different spaces and then work with our specialists to take a deeper dive. We listen to the market and try to find things our corporate partners or entrepreneurs are interested in and then surround them with the type of things they need to be successful. In many case, talent and expertise are top of that list.”

Luby says, explaining the nature of the TMC's various programs, from creating startup tech directly and supporting them through their accelerators and even seeding them through the TMC Venture Fund.

“What startups bring is a lot of different ideas — but startups are temporary organizations that’s looking for a scalable and repeatable business model. And we’re not just interested in just the technology, but the business model.”

Bhore says about what ExxonMobil looks for.

“The flywheel is spinning here in the city of Houston. The next five years are going to be incredibly exciting.”

Gale says, explaining how much has changed in the past few years in Houston's innovation ecosystem.

Halliburton Labs has added three energy tech startups to its program. Photo via Getty Images

Houston energy tech accelerator names 3 startups, announces first out-of-state pitch day

onboarding biz

Halliburton Labs has announced its latest cohort — and revealed details about its next pitch day.

The program, housed at Halliburton's facilities in Houston, added FuelX, LiNa Energy, and Solaires Entreprises to the clean energy accelerator. The companies will receive support from mentors from within Halliburton's workforce and network, as well as go through the accelerator's programming.

“We’re excited to support FuelX, LiNa Energy, and Solaires with the tools they need to achieve their goals,” says Halliburton Labs Managing Director Dale Winger in a news release. “Each participant company receives customized support to enable efficient use of their time and capital by engaging Halliburton’s scaling experience and capabilities.”

The next Halliburton Labs will not take place in Houston. The program is going on the road to host its next Halliburton Labs Finalists Pitch Day on Thursday, September 21, in Denver. The event will be a part of the inaugural Energy Tech Day at Denver Startup Week and will include pitches from innovative, early-stage energy tech companies.

FuelX

FuelX, which has a production plant in the Houston area, manufactures hydrogen storage materials and fuel cell power systems with alane solid state hydrogen fuel.

“Participation in the Halliburton Labs program accelerates our ability to scale to meet existing military and commercial project milestones,” says Greg Jarvie, co-founder and CEO of FuelX.

LiNa Energy

Headquartered in Lancaster, England, LiNa Energy develops and provides low-cost, solid-state sodium batteries.

"LiNa is delighted to be selected for Halliburton Labs – the support and investment will accelerate LiNa's growth on a scale found only in the energy industry,” says Chief Commercial Officer Will Tope. “Halliburton Labs is a cornerstone of our strategy, as we scale up manufacturing to deliver bigger energy storage systems to our partners around the world."

Solaires Entreprises

Solaires Entreprises, based in Victoria, British Columbia, is developing lightweight, flexible, efficient, and transparent solar cells.

“Our company is purpose-driven toward what our technology can achieve: a more affordable and reliable alternative within solar energy and photovoltaics and where renewables become a bigger portion of the world power mix,” says Solaires Co-founder and Chief Science Officer Sahar Sam.

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Annual student startup competition in Houston names teams for 2024

ready to pitch

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship announced the 42 student-led teams worldwide that will compete in the highly competitive Rice Business Plan Competition this spring.

The annual competition, known as one of the world’s largest and richest intercollegiate student startup competitions, will take place April 4 to 6 in Houston. Teams in this year's competition represent 35 universities from four countries, including two teams from Houston and four others from Texas.

Teams, made up of graduate students from a college or university anywhere in the world, will present their plans before 350 angel, venture capital, and corporate investors to compete for more than $1 million in prizes. Last year, teams were awarded $3.4 million in investment and in-kind prizes, the largest total awarded thus far in the decades-old competition after some investors doubled — or even tripled — down on investment awards.

The 2024 RBPC will focus on five categories: Energy, Cleantech and Sustainability; Hard Tech; Life Sciences and Healthcare Solutions; Digital Enterprise; Consumer Products and Services.

Invitees include:

  • AIRS ML, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
  • Blaze Power, UCLA
  • ChiChi Foods, Washington University in St. Louis
  • CureWave Sciences, Rutgers University
  • CurveAssure, Johns Hopkins University
  • D.Sole, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dendritic Health AI, Northwestern University
  • Dialysis Innovations, University of Michigan
  • FlowCellutions, University of Pittsburgh
  • HEXAspec, Rice University
  • HydroPhos Solutions, University of New Hampshire
  • Icorium Engineering Company, University of Kansas
  • Informuta, Tulane University
  • Kiwi Charge, York University (Canada)
  • Korion Health, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Limitless Aeronautics, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  • LiQuidium, University of Houston
  • Malleous, University of Pittsburgh
  • MesaQuantum, Harvard University
  • MineMe, University of Pennsylvania
  • NaviAI, Cornell University
  • NutriAI, Tufts University
  • OSPHIM, RWTH Aachen University (Germany)
  • Overture Games, Northwestern University
  • OX SOX, University of Georgia
  • Oxylus Energy, Yale University
  • Palanquin Power, University of Texas at Austin
  • Paradigm Robotics, University of Texas at Austin
  • Particle-N, University of Connecticut
  • Poka Labs, Harvard University
  • Power2Polymer, RWTH Aachen University (Germany)
  • ProPika, University of Arkansas
  • Protein Pints, Michigan State University
  • Samtracs, Oklahoma State University
  • Sancorda Medical, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Side Coach Sports, Baylor University
  • Socian AI, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Somnair, Johns Hopkins University
  • TouchStone, University of California, Berkeley
  • Vita Innovations, Stanford University
  • WattShift, University of Chicago
  • ZebraMD, UCLA

The companies join more than 700 RBPC alumns that have collectively raised more than $5.5 billion in funding. More than 269 RBPC companies are in business or have made successful exits, according to the Rice Alliance's website.

Last year, Texas A&M-based team FluxWorks took home $350,000 and won the competition based on judges scores. The company's technology includes magnetic gears that are four times quieter than standard with 99 percent efficiency.

Sygne Solutions and TierraClimate, two Rice-led teams, won second and fourth places, respectively. Zaymo, from Brigham Young University, took home the most in investment dollars. Click here to see the full list of 2023 teams.

Texas is the No. 1 destination for Gen Zers on the move, study says

by the numbers

A new population analysis by real estate marketplace Zillow has pegged the Lone Star State as the No. 1 destination for adults born between 1996 and 2004 – also known as Gen Z.

Using data from the 2022 U.S. Census Bureau, the report identifies the Top 10 states to which Gen Zers are moving, and Texas was the runaway winner – far outranking No. 2 destination, California, with 76,805 Gen Z movers, versus California's 43,913.

Reasons for moving vary, but the report says young adults from 18 to 24 years old may prefer to live in states with high performing job markets, especially in a place like San Antonio where one of the nation's top employers resides. San Antonio is also a great place for remote work, according to estimations by Forbes.

Favorable weather also may play a factor in the high migration of Gen Z'ers, the report suggests. Texas' mostly year-round sunshine makes it more attractive to younger crowds who are looking for fun activities around the state, not to mention the advantageous impact on dating opportunities.

Other top states with high influx of Gen Z movers include Washington (No. 5), which added over 33,500 Gen Z movers in 2022, and Colorado (No. 6) with less than 31,000 new Gen Z residents.

Their least favorite destination was Michigan, and the Northeast also ranked poorly, with four New England states – Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine – all in the bottom 10.

State with a high cost-of-living like Washington, Colorado, and Virginia (No. 7) are places where young adults are more likely to have a bachelor's degree, work in tech, or serve in the military, according to Zillow principal population scientist Edward Berchick.

However, becoming a homeowner is much more difficult, as the report found 77 percent of the Gen Z workers in these states are renters.

"Gen Z movers are likely drawn to the job opportunities in these states, despite the higher costs of housing," Berchick explains. "They may also be in a stage of life where they're willing and able to be flexible in their standards of living while starting their careers."

The top 10 states for Gen Z movers are:

  • No. 1 – Texas
  • No. 2 – California
  • No. 3 – Florida
  • No. 4 – North Carolina
  • No. 5 – Washington
  • No. 6 – Colorado
  • No. 7 – Virginia
  • No. 8 – Illinois
  • No. 9 – Georgia
  • No. 10 – Arizona

The full report can be found on zillow.mediaroom.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Op-Ed: Black-owned businesses are making history in Texas, across America

guest column

In recent years, our small business community has weathered a global pandemic, persistent supply chain issues, sometimes volatile prices, and a tight labor market—and Black-owned businesses in our state have faced disproportionate impacts from these pandemic challenges.

Despite those headwinds, Black-owned businesses across Texas are fueling one of the largest and most diverse waves of new business creation America has ever seen—what President Biden calls America’s Small Business Boom.

As we mark America’s 48th national celebration of Black History Month, the SBA is highlighting Black-owned businesses’ achievements here in Texas and throughout the nation. The past three years have been the three strongest years of new business formation in American history.

The 16 million new business applications filed during this period show Americans starting businesses at nearly twice the rate—86 percent faster—compared to the pre-2021 average. During that time, U.S. small businesses have created more than 7.2 million net new jobs. And Black-owned businesses are responsible for some of the most significant gains.

The Invest in America agenda is powering the Biden Small Business Boom, and unlike many economic recoveries of the past, this one includes entrepreneurs of color. One of the reasons for that is the SBA’s Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP). This innovative hub-and-spoke partnership connected hundreds of community organizations around the country - like the U.S. Black Chambers of Commerce and the National Urban League - with entrepreneurs, helping them make the most of SBA resources. “The SBA CNPP allowed the

Houston Area Urban League Entrepreneurship Center to leverage existing partnerships with organizations that offered services to socially and economically disadvantaged business owners and women-owned businesses,” states Eric Goodie, Executive Vice President of the Houston Area Urban League. “Through the CNPP we provided comprehensive business planning and support, e-commerce technical assistance, financial and credit education, opportunities for business networking, access to capital and procurement opportunities,while providing assistance with obtaining various business certifications. We also found theSBA Lender match portal to be a critical resource in the capital acquisition process."

Under Administrator Isabel Guzman, the SBA has also delivered record-breaking government contracting for small businesses—including the most federal contracting dollars going to Black-owned businesses in history. And we’re addressing longstanding gaps in access to capital for Black entrepreneurs, more than doubling our small business loans toBlack-owned businesses since 2020.

These investments are making a big impact. Black business ownership is growing at the fastest pace in 30 years. The share of Black households owning a business doubled between 2019 and 2022. In 2023 alone, Census data showed Americans filed 5.5 million new business applications across the country, including over 500,000 here in Texas. That success is creating a rising tide. Black wealth is up a record 60 percent from before the pandemic, and Black unemployment has reached historic lows since 2021.

The SBA also understands that the work must continue. Black entrepreneurs and other historically underserved communities still face obstacles accessing capital. That's why President Biden and the SBA are committed to ensuring that anyone with a good idea can pursue that opportunity, and the Small Business Boom speaks to that success. We're helping more Americans than ever access the funds they need to realize their dreams of small business ownership – and that means more jobs, more goods and services, and more resilient communities, no matter the zip code.

To learn more about SBA resources, entrepreneurs are invited to join the SBA Houston District Office as it teams up with the Emancipation Economic Development Council and dynamic community organizations to celebrate Black History Month. The organizations will host the Resources to Empower Entrepreneurs event at the Emancipation Cultural Center on Wednesday, February 28, and will feature discussions surrounding resources, funding, and training available for small business owners.

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Mark Winchester is the SBA Houston District Office's acting district director.