Get the best seat in the house. Photo courtesy of Luxe

There's watching a Houston Texans game at NRG Stadium, and then there's watching the game from one of the very posh, very exclusive, very worth it Texans Luxe suites.

But this isn't your typical suite experience — Luxe memberships go beyond just fancy seats for 10 home games each year.

Your membership is not confined to gameday, though you'll definitely want to be there during kickoff. There are also private, Luxe member-only outings that the general public can't access.

Here's a breakdown of what it's like cheering on the Texans from a Houston Texans suite, and what other perks come with the oh-so-coveted Luxe membership:

Woman kicking field goal

See what it feels like to be part of the team. Photo courtesy of Luxe

The Suite Life
Get ready for an unparalleled gameday experience that starts with valet parking options, a private red-carpet entrance to NRG Stadium, and ends on the field with the BMW Postgame Experience.

A personal suite attendant is on hand to serve drinks and food while also tidying up. Members can cater mouthwatering snacks and meals that source as many ingredients locally as possible, and can accommodate all dietary preferences.

There are even collaborations with some of Houston’s finest chefs and restaurants, including James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd, local barbecue legend Ronnie Killen, six-time James Beard Award finalist Hugo Ortega, local favorite Goode Company, and eatery Anthonie’s Market Grill. You'll only find these one-of-a-kind menu items at NRG Stadium.

Worried about over-ordering drinks? Each suite comes with a locking liquor cabinet to store any leftover drinks until the next game.

Look to TV screens equipped with NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone to catch all the action. Texans cheerleaders can also stop by for a visit.

Take a virtual walk-through of Suite 233 here.

Members Only
Luxe Members gain invites year-round to other exclusive events and opportunities you won’t find anywhere else.

Imagine traveling in style to a Texans road game as a guest on the team plane, watching Texans training camp from a private tent, or receiving a post-draft recap from general manager Nick Caserio.

Members get the opportunity to enjoy the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo from the Founder’s Suite, as well as an invite to the Business Partner Invitational Golf Tournament at Bluejack National.

Another eagerly anticipated event is Texans Luxe Minicamp, where members get an overview of all their benefits and learn about new menu options.

Finally, you’ll want to clear your schedule for the Luxe Dinner series, held at the most esteemed restaurants with a Texans Luxe Chef twist.

Members can also host their own private event at NRG Stadium on a non-game day. Choose from your suite, a Texans boardroom, or anywhere around NRG Park.

And, of course, incredible networking opportunities abound among the more than 150 Luxe members, many of whom are Houston's most influential business leaders. Each member is assigned a Texans Luxe Partnership Service Coordinator, who acts as your point person and helps facilitate meetings and introductions. You might just form your new best partnership!

All the Options
Single-game suites are also available — you can even purchase them through BitWallet, the official digital currency wallet of the Houston Texans — but keep in mind you'll be missing out on all the cool bonuses listed above.

Options are available now for the 2022-23 NFL season, and you won't want to miss out on the chance to join the Texans Luxe family. Please fill out this form to be contacted for more information. You can also call Andrew Vitale at 713-724-7732 or email him at Andrew.Vitale@HoustonTexans.com to schedule a meeting.

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Houston ecommerce scale-up company acquires Amazon advertising partner

all aboard

A Houston tech company has tapped an Amazon partner in a strategic acquisition and is bringing the company's full team on board.

Cart.com acquired Ohio-based Amify, a company that provides optimization and advertising solutions. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but Cart.com will on board Amify’s entire employee base, including its founder Ethan McAfee, CEO Chris Mehrabi, and COO Christine McCambridge.

As chief delivery officer, Mehrabi will take the helm of Cart.com’s professional services business and McCambridge will lead Cart.com’s marketplace services team as vice president of marketplace services operations.

“I’m happy to welcome the entire Amify team to Cart.com and have industry veterans Chris Mehrabi and Christine McCambridge join our leadership team,” Cart.com Founder and CEO Omair Tariq says in a news release. “Amify has been widely recognized for their expertise and technology and we’re excited to leverage their experience to help our customers maximize their potential across channels.”

Cart.com's membership will have access to Amify's proprietary technology platform, including advertising, creative content, supply chain strategy, and analytics. The company, which was founded in 2011, currently supports over 50 global brands and manages approximately $1 billion in gross merchandise value. According to LinkedIn, Amify has over 50 employees.

“We could not be more excited to join Cart.com and leverage the company’s resources and scale to deliver value to both our customers and employees,” Mehrabi says. “I’m honored to step into the role of Chief Delivery Officer and contribute to Cart.com’s incredible growth story and innovative reputation.”

Founded in Houston in 2020, Cart.com provides comprehensive physical and digital infrastructure for online merchants. The company raised a $60 million series C and grown its customer base to over 6,000 users. After making several acquisitions, the company also operates 14 fulfillment centers nationwide.

Earlier this year, Tariq sat down with the Houston Innovators Podcast to share a bit about how the company is currently in scale-up mode.

Houston health tech innovator collaborates on promising medical device funded by DOD

team work

The United States Department of Defense has awarded a grant that will allow the Texas Heart Institute and Rice University to continue to break ground on a novel left ventricular assist device (LVAD) that could be an alternative to current devices that prevent heart transplantation and are a long-term option in end-stage heart failure.

The grant is part of the DOD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). It was awarded to Georgia Institute of Technology, one of four collaborators on the project that will be designed and evaluated by the co-investigator Yaxin Wang. Wang is part of O.H. “Bud” Frazier’s team at Texas Heart Institute, where she is director of Innovative Device & Engineering Applications Lab. The other institution working on the new LVAD is North Carolina State University.

The project is funded by a four-year, $7.8 million grant. THI will use about $2.94 million of that to fund its part of the research. As Wang explained to us last year, an LVAD is a minimally invasive device that mechanically pumps a person’s own heart. Frazier claims to have performed more than 900 LVAD implantations, but the devices are far from perfect.

The team working on this new research seeks to minimize near-eventualities like blood clot formation, blood damage, and driveline complications such as infection and limitations in mobility. The four institutions will try to innovate with a device featuring new engineering designs, antithrombotic slippery hydrophilic coatings (SLIC), wireless power transfer systems, and magnetically levitated driving systems.

Wang and her team believe that the non-contact-bearing technology will help to decrease the risk of blood clotting and damage when implanting an LVAD. The IDEA Lab will test the efficacy and safety of the SLIC LVAD developed by the multi-institutional team with a lab-bench-based blood flow loop, but also in preclinical models.

“The Texas Heart Institute continues to be a leading center for innovation in mechanical circulatory support systems,” said Joseph G. Rogers, MD, the president and CEO of THI, in a press release.

“This award will further the development and testing of the SLIC LVAD, a device intended to provide an option for a vulnerable patient population and another tool in the armamentarium of the heart failure teams worldwide.”

If it works as hypothesized, the SLIC LVAD will improve upon current LVAD technology, which will boost quality of life for countless heart patients. But the innovation won’t stop there. Technologies that IDEA Lab is testing include wireless power transfer for medical devices and coatings to reduce blood clotting could find applications in many other technologies that could help patients live longer, healthier lives.

Houston investor on SaaS investing and cracking product-market fit

Houston innovators podcast episode 230

Aziz Gilani's career in tech dates back to when he'd ride his bike from Clear Lake High School to a local tech organization that was digitizing manuals from mission control. After years working on every side of the equation of software technology, he's in the driver's seat at a local venture capital firm deploying funding into innovative software businesses.

As managing director at Mercury, the firm he's been at since 2008, Gilani looks for promising startups within the software-as-a-service space — everything from cloud computing and data science and beyond.

"Once a year at Mercury, we sit down with our partners and talk about the next investment cycle and the focuses we have for what makes companies stand out," Gilani says on the Houston Innovators Podcast. "The current software investment cycle is very focused on companies that have truly achieved product-market fit and are showing large customer adoption."



An example of this type of company is Houston-based RepeatMD, which raised a $50 million series A round last November. Mercury's Fund V, which closed at an oversubscribed $160 million, contributed to RepeatMD's round.

"While looking at that investment, it really made me re-calibrate a lot of my thoughts in terms what product-market fit meant," Gilani says. "At RepeatMD, we had customers that were so eager for the service that they were literally buying into products while we were still making them."

Gilani says he's focused on finding more of these high-growth companies to add to Mercury's portfolio amidst what, admittedly, has been a tough time for venture capital. But 2024 has been looking better for those fundraising.

"We've some potential for improvement," Gilani says. "But overall, the environment is constrained, interest rates haven't budged, and we've seen some potential for IPO activity."

Gilani shares more insight into his investment thesis, what areas of tech he's been focused on recently, and how Houston has developed as an ecosystem on the podcast.