Time for An Upgrade

These modern Houston office spaces pile on the perks in fab locations

Your own office space at 53 West comes with plenty of shared perks. Photo courtesy of Urban Office

Companies are doing a major rethink post-pandemic about their office spaces. It's no longer an option to offer employees a sub-par work space, and those signing the lease aren't willing to overpay for less-than-impressive amenities.

That's why Urban Office, from Braun Enterprises, has been debuting office options that are heavy on the perks, spot on with location, and versatile in layout, all at more affordable prices than their counterparts.

Take, for example, 53 West at 5373 W. Alabama St. Located just steps from The Galleria, the property is well positioned in a dense retail corridor with superior walkability and is neighbored by major national and local tenants, restaurants, bars, and hotels.

Or its newest, Spring Branch Village, which is officially opening in July. This office is surrounded by an ideal mix of affluent neighborhoods including Spring Branch East, Memorial/The Villages, and The Heights.

Both offer such shared amenities as free high-speed internet, snacks and coffee plus a full operating kitchen, shared conference spaces and private phone booths, and printing/scanning/copying equipment.

The onsite parking is free — a definite plus over congested (and pricy) downtown parking — and members have 24/7 access to the space.

The shared amenities and secure, private offices are a great solution for small businesses like lawyers, insurance agencies, marketing firms, Realtors, photographers, and other entrepreneurs, as there is a variety of office layouts that can accommodate a range of team sizes. Furnishings — including electric standing desks — are also available.

To further that feeling of flexibility, rental agreements typically run 12 months, with shorter agreements available. Existing Urban Office members can also upgrade to a larger space within their building or at another Urban Office location any time during their rental agreement.

Offices are going fast at 53 West, and similar excitement is expected at Spring Branch once it opens. To book a tour or learn more about Urban Office's Houston and San Antonio locations, visit the website.

53 West by Urban Office

It's just steps from The Galleria. Photo courtesy of Urban Office

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Houston-based medical device and biotech startup Steradian Technologies has been recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

A female-founded biotech startup has announced that it has received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Steradian Technologies has developed a breath-based collection device that can be used with diagnostic testing systems. Called RUMI, the device is non-invasive and fully portable and, according to a news release, costs the price of a latte.

“We are extremely honored to receive this award and be recognized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a leader in global health. This funding will propel our work in creating deep-tech diagnostics and products to close the equity gap in global public health," says Asma Mirza, CEO and co-founder of Steradian Technologies, in the release. “The RUMI will demonstrate that advanced technology can be delivered to all areas of the world, ensuring the Global South and economically exploited regions receive access to high-fidelity diagnostics instead of solutions that are ill-suited to the environment.”

RUMI uses novel photon-based detection to collect and diagnose infectious diseases in breath within 30-seconds, per the release, and will be the first human bio-aerosol specimen collector to convert breath into a fully sterile liquid sample and can be used for many applications in direct disease detection.

"As the healthcare industry continues to pursue less invasive diagnostics, we are very excited that the foundation has identified our approach to breath-based sample collection as a standout worthy of their support," says John Marino, chief of product development and co-founder. “We look forward to working with them to achieve our goals of better, faster, and safer diagnostics."

Founded in 2017, Steradian Technologies is funded and supported by XPRIZE, Johnson & Johnson’s Lung Cancer Initiative, JLABS TMCi, Capital Factory, Duke Institute of Global Health, and Johnson & Johnson’s Center for Device Innovation.

The amount granted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was not disclosed. The Seattle-based foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman and co-chaired by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gatess.

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