Editor's note: It's been a busy week in Houston for innovation. From important innovation events — and there's more to come this month — to a new accelerator entering the Houston market, there's plenty of popular news in innovation.
MassChallenge Texas named its top three startups of its inaugural Houston cohort and the Houston Angel Network made an unexpected investment. Courtesy of MassChallenge Texas
A new-to-Houston global accelerator program just concluded its inaugural cohort, naming three top startups and providing a platform for an unexpected prize — an investment.
MassChallenge Texas didn't originally intend to have monetary prizes for this first program, however, thanks to Houston Angel Network, one lucky startup is walking away from the program $40,000 richer.
HAN, one of Houston's oldest and most active group of angel investors, saw pitch decks from most of the companies in the cohort and then invited seven companies to pitch: Ask DOSS, Celise, DoBrain, NeuroRescue, Noleus Technologies, Sensytec, and Swoovy. Continue reading.
This week's batch of innovators have had to be pretty creative in their industries. Courtesy photos
The ability to innovate lives in one's ability to think outside of the box — no matter the industry. This week's Houston innovators to know have had to get creative and think of new ways of doing things, from retailing to creating greeting cards. Continue reading.
Exclusive: Houston-based stadium ordering app closes near $1.3 million Seed round with plans to scale
Houston-based sEATz has closed a funding round and plans to reach more fans than ever this football season. Courtesy of sEATz
Fans across the country are headed to football stadiums this weekend to cheer on their teams, but only a few will have the luxury of ordering food, beer, and even merchandise from the comfort of their seats.
Houston-based sEATz has created a platform where fans can order just about anything their stadium has from an app. Much like any other ordering app, once the order is placed, a runner will pick up the food and deliver it to the customer for a small fee and a tip.
The startup is now preparing to scale up from seven venues to 10 before the year is over as well as launching a new version of the app thanks to an oversubscribed near $1.3 million Seed round led by Houston-based Valedor Partners. Houston-based Starboard Star Venture Capital also contributed to the round. SEATz has plans to launch its Series A round before the new year. Continue reading.
Thomas Rubenak is senior principal of Accenture Ventures. Courtesy of Accenture
In most industries, there's a disconnect between startups and major corporations. The startups may have solutions for the big companies, but the two entities might not know how to connect with each other. That's something Accenture hopes to help with.
The company created Accenture Ventures to help connect the dots between emerging technology and big business. As the program has expanded, Thomas Rubenak was selected to serve the Southwest region as senior principal.
With a long career of working in tech, research and design, and startups, Rubenak hopes to use his experience to help grow Houston's blossoming innovation ecosystem. Continue reading.
Payal Patel, former director of business development at Station Houston, has joined Plug and Play as director of corporate partnerships. Courtesy of Payal Patel
Plug and Play Tech Center — a global powerhouse startup accelerator with its headquarters in Silicon Valley — has hired its first boots-on-the-ground team member for its Houston outpost.
Payal Patel, former director of business development at Station Houston, has joined Plug and Play as director of corporate partnerships. Plug and Play already has a handful of corporate partners in Houston, and Patel will be working with those organizations as well as growing the partnerships. These large companies are crucial to Plug and Play's process.
"The way we help startups advance is by helping them get connected to the largest corporations in the world so that they can run pilots with those big companies and eventually get them as customers," Patel tells InnovationMap. Continue reading.