Plenty of businesses met their new partners. Photo by Luis Alvarez/Getty

Earlier in August, participants from around the globe gathered online for HealthTech Beyond Borders, a virtual summit hosted by ProChile that's designed to match American and Chilean businesses looking to explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector.

During the four-day event, registrants sat in on more than 65 meetings — or an average of 2.5 meetings per hour — that tackled such topics as "Why Chile? Exploring Chilean Medical Innovations," "Dynamic Growth for Healthcare Innovators/Innovations (Venture Capital)," and "Harnessing Healthcare's Regional Resources: Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia."

"I was really impressed by the quality of groups and speakers for this event," says Torrey Adams, senior director of global life sciences at Greater Houston Partnership. "It was a very well put together with excellent networking and connecting opportunities. I gained a much better insight on the possibilities of collaborating with Chilean companies."

There were 37 registrants from Texas, which also contributed such strategic partners as Houston Methodist Hospital, the City of Houston, Houston Exponential, The Cannon, Greater Houston Partnership, MediaTech Ventures, Central Houston Inc., and InnovationMap (hello!).

A total of 35 Chilean companies participated, with such heavy-hitters as Cens (the national center for healthcare systems), ChileTech (a health providers association), Apis (medical devices), and CNL (the national labs board) joining the roster.

"It was a pleasure to moderate the HealthTech Beyond Borders session," says José F. Núñez, vice president of global development at Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services. "It is forums like these that foster the exchange of ideas and bring together individuals and organizations to further promote innovation in the health sciences space. Kudos to ProChile, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia for the resources they provide to entrepreneurs in facilitating these connections."

Though it's impossible to know the actual numbers — ProChile isn't privy to private negotiations — a survey taken by the attending companies estimates that $1 million in immediate business will be done as a direct result of the event. In the next 12 months, that figure is estimated to jump up to $2.9 million.

"We created an inclusive 'village' of innovation where entrepreneurs and startups from around the world come to solve humankind's boldest challenges," says Robert Pieroni, director of economic development for Central Houston, Inc. "Events like ProChile's HeathTech Beyond Borders demonstrate how the world is responding to what Houston has built. With Downtown Launchpad, TMC Innovation, the Ion, and others, we are clearly becoming a global center of gravity to inspire innovation and support entrepreneurship."

Find your next global match. Photo by Tone Fotografia/Getty

Final call for virtual global healthtech summit — and it's free to attend

Get Your Tickets

It's nearly time: The online international summit HealthTech Beyond Borders is about to explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector. A special focus on medical and healthcare developments and opportunities in Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia is the highlight this year's event.

The basics
HealthTech Beyond Borders is sponsored by ProChile and runs August 10-13, with four days of virtual programming. You can reserve your spot for free here.

The topics
A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

The summits
There are three summits on the docket., each beginning at 9:55 am Central. Day one's focus is "Why Chile? Exploring Chilean Medical Inventions," while day two will cover "Dynamic Growth for Healthcare Innovators/Innovations." Day three's focus is "Harnessing Healthcare's Regional Resources: Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia."

The speakers
Panelists include Matias Gutierrez, CEO of Genosur LLC; Alberto Rodríguez Navarro from Levita Magnetics, and such Chilean organizations as Asocciación de Clínicas, Asociación de Proveedores de la Industria de la Salud, Associación Nano Cámara Nacional de Laboratorios, ChileTec, Cobre, and Hospital Fundación Lopez Perez.

From the United States, presenting organizations include MEDIATECH Ventures, Houston Methodist, MATTER Health, the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, City of Houston, City of Philadelphia, Greater Houston Partnership, The Cannon, World Business Chicago, and Widener University Small Business Development Council.

The stats
A whopping 13 percent of Chile's startups are healthcare related (according to the Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation Ministry of Chile) and the growth rate of robotic surgeries done in Chile between 2010 and 2018 increased by 674 percent.

An estimated 93.7 percent of the Chilean population is covered by health insurance, and the county has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America.

Likewise, the United States is the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices, representing over 25 percent of the total Chilean exports in the sector.

The Free Trade Agreement of 2004 and the Duty-Free status between the two countries also make Chile an attractive and reliable trade partner. So much so, that the U.S. is the No. 1 investor in Chile, with $22 billion invested in projects in the last 7 years.

You won't want to miss this virtual gathering — RSVP for free here.

Connect globally without ever leaving the States. Photo by Leo Patrizi/Getty

It's almost time for the free global healthtech event you won't want to miss

Reserve Your Spot

Imagine a gathering of such healthtech heavy-hitters as Genosur, Levita, MEDIATECH Ventures, Houston Methodist, and MATTER Health, all in one (virtual) room.

Now imagine hearing not only from these companies, but from a dozen more representing both America and Chile in a four-day online event, held August 10-13 that's free to attend.

HealthTech Beyond Borders, sponsored by ProChile, helps facilitate matchmaking opportunities between medical and healthcare organizations from both countries. Not only can they learn from one another, but hopefully these meetings will set the stage for future global collaborations.

The international summit will also explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector. A special focus on medical and healthcare developments and opportunities in Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia is the highlight this year's event.

"We are proud to produce this event and bring so many innovative and leading healthcare organizations and associations together," says Sylas Bailey-Kelly, Chilean Trade Commissioner US Midwest. "Medical and healthcare innovation is an area where Chile and the United States can excel and continue to collaborate to benefit citizens in both countries, and around the world."

As the top investor in Chile, with $22 billion devoted to Chilean projects in the last seven years, the United States is the largest stakeholder in Chilean business developments and the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices.

Likewise, an estimated 93.7 percent of the population in Chile is covered by health insurance, and the country has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America. Chile currently spends nearly 9.14 percent of its GDP on health as compared to the United States, where we only spend 13 percent on healthcare.

Some helpful logistics about the event: Its matchmaking platform allows participants to customize meeting times to fit their own schedules. Attendees can pick and choose which days and times they want to attend and can have one-to-one meetings (25 minutes per meeting) with Chilean participants from research centers, universities, hospitals, healthcare solution providers, and other key Chilean institutions.

The schedule for panel discussions will be posted in advance of the meeting. Presentations on partnering with Chile and the economic opportunities available, along with conversations on geographic hot spots in the U.S. and access to capital, will also be topics highlighted throughout the event.

A more detailed list of the participants includes Chilean organizations Asocciación de Clínicas, Asociación de Proveedores de la Industria de la Salud, Associación Nano Cámara Nacional de Laboratorios, ChileTec, Cobre, and Hospital Fundación Lopez Perez. From the United States, presenting organizations include the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, City of Houston, City of Philadelphia, Greater Houston Partnership, The Cannon, World Business Chicago, and Widener University Small Business Development Council.

If your company develops and sells healthcare products and services, medical devices, and equipment, or is a hospital supply manufacturer, you should attend this unique event.

Registration for HealthTech Beyond Borders is free — reserve your spot now.

Connect globally for free. Photo by AJ Watt/Getty

Get a glimpse at the schedule and speakers for global healthtech event

Itinerary Time

HealthTech Beyond Borders is coming up August 10-13, 2021, where American healthtech companies can find their perfect match with Chilean collaborators. But what exactly can you expect from the free, virtual event?

Besides answering the question "why Chile?," the seminars will touch on everything from software solutions and medical facility management to healthcare products and services, and even venture capital opportunities.

A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

The first day includes such panelists as Matias Gutierrez, CEO of Genosur LLC, and Alberto Rodríguez Navarro from Levita Magnetics.

A discussion on the current healthcare innovation ecosystem in Chile and the region's strengths, as well as developments for key sub-sectors are also on tap.

Day two kicks off with everything you'd want to know about venture capital, and why the U.S. has been the largest for Chilean startups.

Find answers to questions like what do early stage companies need to consider and what steps do they need to take to best prepare themselves to receive funding, as well as what are the important tools for companies to reach VC on each territory?

Day three examines the question "Why the U.S.?" What have Houston, Chicago, and Philadelphia done to become key healthcare hubs in the world, and what role do international partners play in these efforts? Representatives from each city are participating.

Likewise, why do international healthcare companies prioritize your respective markets, and how do these cities support expansion? Learn how the global U.S. private healthcare sector can reach Latin America, and how ProChile — the event's sponsor — can help make these connections.

Registration is now open, so get your free tickets here.

Great collaboration doesn't abide by borders. Photo by Blue Images/Getty

Free virtual event helps healthtech companies go global

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

In the growing healthtech sector, two is better than one — two partners, that is. If you've ever been curious what collaborating with an international company would be like, HealthTech Beyond Borders can provide answers.

The free virtual event, sponsored by ProChile and set for August 10-13, 2021, was created to offer matchmaking opportunities and set the scene for global collaborations focused on innovative medical technology between companies from Chile and the United States.

A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

You can explore everything from software solutions and medical facility management to healthcare products and services, and even venture capital opportunities.

And if you're wondering "why Chile?" there are some pretty compelling stats.

A whopping 13 percent of Chile's startups are healthcare related (according to the Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation Ministry of Chile) and the growth rate of robotic surgeries done in Chile between 2010 and 2018 increased by 674 percent.

An estimated 93.7 percent of the Chilean population is covered by health insurance, and the county has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America.

Likewise, the United States is the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices, representing over 25 percent of the total Chilean exports in the sector.

The Free Trade Agreement of 2004 and the Duty-Free status between the two countries also make Chile an attractive and reliable trade partner. So much so, that the U.S. is the No. 1 investor in Chile, with $22 billion invested in projects in the last 7 years.

And with Houston being home to the largest hospital center in the world — Texas Medical Center, which served 13 million patients in 2020 — it only makes sense that healthtech companies here would be looking for ways to improve and expand. Reserve your free spot for the event here.

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Houston e-commerce unicorn secures $130M in financing

scaling up

Houston-based Cart.com, which operates a multichannel commerce platform, has secured $105 million in debt refinancing from investment manager BlackRock.

The debt refinancing follows a recent $25 million series C extension round, bringing Cart.com’s series C total to $85 million. The scaleup’s valuation now stands at $1.2 billion, making it one of the few $1 billion-plus “unicorns” in the Houston area.

“Scaleup” refers to a startup that has achieved tremendous growth and has maintained a stable workforce, among other positive milestones. Airbnb, Peloton, and Uber are prime examples of businesses that evolved from startup to scaleup.

Cart.com says the new term loan facility from BlackRock consolidates its venture debt into one package “at competitive terms.” Those terms weren’t disclosed.

The company says the refinancing will enable it to expand into new markets and improve its technology, including its Constellation OMS order management system.

“Cart.com is one of the fastest-growing providers of commerce and logistics solutions today, and I’m excited to partner with BlackRock as we continue to aggressively invest to help our customers operate more efficiently,” Omair Tariq, the company’s founder and CEO, says in a news release.

Through a network of 14 fulfillment centers, Cart.com supports over 6,000 customers and 75 million orders per year.

"BlackRock is pleased to support Cart.com as it advances its mission to unify digital and physical commerce infrastructure," says Keon Reed, a director at BlackRock. “This latest facility underscores our confidence in the company’s differentiated product offerings and financial strategy as it enters its next stage of growth.”

Elon Musk says he's moving SpaceX, X headquarters from California to Texas

cha-cha-changes

Billionaire Elon Musk says he's moving the headquarters of SpaceX and social media company X to Texas from California.

Musk posted on X Tuesday that he plans on moving SpaceX from Hawthorne, California, to the company's rocket launch site dubbed Starbase in Texas. X will move to Austin from San Francisco.

He called a new law signed Monday by California Gov. Gavin Newsom that bars school districts from requiring staff to notify parents of their child’s gender identification change the “final straw.”

“I did make it clear to Governor Newsom about a year ago that laws of this nature would force families and companies to leave California to protect their children,” Musk wrote.

Tesla, where Musk is CEO, moved its corporate headquarters to Austin from Palo Alto, California in 2021.

Musk has also said that he has moved his residence from California to Texas, where there is no state personal income tax.

SpaceX builds and launches its massive Starship rockets from the southern tip of Texas at Boca Chica Beach, near the Mexican border at a site called Starbase. The company’s smaller Falcon 9 rockets take off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Southern California.

It’s just below South Padre Island, and about 20 miles from Brownsville.

Play it back: This Houston innovator is on a mission to develop tech for the moon

HOUSTON INNOVATORS PODCAST EPISODE 244

Editor's note: This week on the Houston Innovators Podcast, we’re revisiting a conversation with Tim Crain, the co-founder and CTO at Intuitive Machines, that originally ran in October of 2023.

If you haven't noticed, the moon is having a bit of a moment — and Tim Crain of Intuitive Machines is here for it.

For the past five or so years, NASA and the federal government have introduced and strengthened initiatives to support innovation of technology to be used to get to and explore the moon.

NASA, which is currently focused on its Artemis program that's sending four missions to the moon, also launched the Commercial Lunar Payload Services that's working with several American companies, including Intuitive Machines, to deliver science and technology to the lunar surface.

"Around 2018 or 2019, the moon came back into favor as a destination for American space policy, and it came back in such a way that there's a directive at the national level — at a level above NASA — to explore and develop the moon as a national priority," Crain says in the episode.



On the show, Crain explains the history of Intuitive Machines, which has taken an indirect path to where it is today. The company was founded in 2013 by Crain and co-founders CEO Steve Altemus and Chairman Kamal Ghaffarian as a space-focused think tank. Crain says they learned how to run a business and meet customers' needs and expectations, but they never fell in love with any of the early technologies and ideas they developed — from long-range drones to precision drilling technologies.

But the company answered NASA's call for moon technology development, and Intuitive Machines won three of the NASA contracts so far, representing three missions for NASA.

"We dipped our toe in the 'let's develop the moon' river and promptly got pulled all the way in," Crain says. "We left our think tank, broad, multi-sector efforts behind, and really pivoted at that point to focus entirely on NASA's CLPS needs. ... The timing really could not have been any better."

Since recording the podcast, Intuitive Machines celebrated a historic mission that landed the first lunar lander on the surface of the moon in over 50 years — and the first commercially operated mission ever. The company is also working on a $30 million project for NASA to develop lunar lander technology.

This week, Intuitive Machines announced a successful test result for engine technology to be used in the lunar lander project.