best of the rest

These Houston startups and companies clock in as the top employers in the U.S.

MD Anderson Cancer Center is a top place to work in the U.S. and Texas. Photo by F. Carter Smith/courtesy of MD Anderson

Whose boss is doing something right in Houston? Forbes set out to find out.

New rankings from Forbes identified the top employers in Houston and beyond, and that included both bigger companies and the country’s best startup employers. In Houston, the startups ranked as top employers are:

No. 120 — Imbuit
No. 310 — Code Ninjas (Pearland)
No. 353 — Axiom Space
No. 462 — Liongard

When it comes to more traditional businesses, Dr. Pete Pisters, CEO of MD Anderson Cancer Center, continues his reign. He was named a top boss in 2021. Now, the cancer treatment facility/research center he leads has been named one of the best employers in a new report.

MD Anderson Cancer Center ranked No. 10 among the country’s best large employers in the country. Staffing some 22,000 employees, the world-renowned cancer center also landed at No. 25 in Forbes list of America's Best Employers in 2021.

Other Houston-area companies on the list include: Houston Methodist (No. 37), Waste Management (No. 245), Sysco (No. 314), Shell Oil (no. 361), Halliburton (No. 389), Schlumberger (No. 403), ExxonMobil (No. 440), and BP (No. 487).

Other Texas employers ranked among the best large employers in the U.S. are:

  • No. 10 — MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • No. 37 — Houston Methodist, Houston
  • No. 38 — H-E-B, San Antonio
  • No. 135 — USAA, San Antonio
  • No. 140 — Keller Williams Realty, Austin
  • No. 143 — Dell Technologies, Round Rock
  • No. 214 — Texas Tech University, Lubbock
  • No. 245 — Waste Management, Houston
  • No. 279 — University of Texas at Austin
  • No. 314 — Sysco, Houston
  • No. 318 — Daikin Industries, Waller (North American operations hub for manufacturing, marketing, research, R&D, and customer support)
  • No. 324 — Whole Foods Market, Austin
  • No. 361 — Shell Oil, Houston
  • No. 389 — Halliburton, Houston
  • No. 403 — Schlumberger, Houston
  • No. 440 — ExxonMobil, Houston
  • No. 487 — BP, Houston (North American headquarters)

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas reigns as the capital of Texas when it comes to the best big and small employers, according to Forbes, which put University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas at No. 9 among the country’s best large employers in the country and Dallas-based life insurance platform Bestow at No. 16 among the country’s best startup employers.

UT Southwestern isn’t the only Dallas-Fort Worth employer to pop up on the Forbes list of the best large employers. Richardson-based software company RealPage sits at No. 49; Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, No. 56; Plano-based Toyota North America, No. 253; Plano-based Cinemark, No. 370; Dallas-based Jacobs, No. 375; Dallas-based Topgolf, No. 394; Dallas-based Primoris Services, No. 399; Irving-based Fluor, No. 422; Dallas-based CBRE, No. 423; Irving-based McKesson, No. 429; Fort Worth-based American Airlines, No. 446; and Plano-based Keurig Dr Pepper, No. 483.

Dallas-based software company Slync.io, holding the No. 290 spot for best startups.

What follows are the other Texas employers ranked among the best startup employers in the country.

Austin

No. 104 — Apty
No. 121 — Homeward
No. 169 — SparkCognition
No. 186 — Outdoor Voices
No. 255 — Outdoorsy
No. 323 — ICON
No. 324 — The Zebra
No. 330 — TrustRadius
No. 335 — Innovetive Petcare (Cedar Park)
No. 387 — AlertMedia
No. 400 — Iris Telehealth
No. 410 — Wheel
No. 455 — Billd
No. 460 — Aceable
No. 470 — Shipwell

Forbes teamed up with data and research company Statista to develop the rankings of the best large employers and best startup employers.

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Building Houston

 
 

Houston founders — these four programs have applications open now. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: It's safe to say 2023 has fully kicked off as Houston's startup and innovation ecosystem has switched into second gear. A handful of programs — local and national — have opened applications for accelerators and pitch competitions. Scroll through to find one that applies to your company or a startup you know of. Take careful note of the deadlines since they'll be here before you know it.

Is something missing? Email natalie@innovationmap.com for editorial consideration.

Carbon to Value Initiative

Greentown Labs announced its looking for innovative companies with carbon-related technology. Photo via GreentownLabs.com

Greentown Labs announced that its Carbon to Value (C2V) Initiative has opened applications for its third set of startups.

"Supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the C2V Initiative is a unique partnership among the Urban Future Lab at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Greentown Labs, and Fraunhofer USA that’s driving the creation of a thriving innovation ecosystem for the commercialization of carbontech—technologies that capture and convert CO₂ into valuable end products or services," reads the news release. "Since the C2V Initiative's inception in 2020, the program has supported 18 groundbreaking carbontech startups—chosen from an exceptional pool of more than 230 applications."

The program is looking for companies with technologies within carbon capture, management, removal, or conversion and between TRL 4 and TRL 7. Selected companies will receive a $10,000 stipend and participate in the six-month program.

Applications are due by the end of the day on March 31. For more information and to apply, click here.

MassChallenge accelerators

MassChallenge has two accelerators open for applications. Photo courtesy of MassChallenge

MassChallenge has two programs with open applications:

MassChallenge US Early Stage Accelerator (Deadline: March 3)

This three-month program is industry agnostic and provides intensive support, guidance, tools, and connectivity to the greater MassChallenge community. Around 200 startups are selected per cohort that range in stage from those currently engaged in customer discovery work to validating a technology or service. For more information and to apply, click here.

MassChallenge HealthTech Accelerator (Deadline: February 6)

The 2023 HealthTech Sprint is an eight-week program intended to work intensely with 20 to 25 startups to accelerate the tools and technologies that could transform healthcare. The HealthTech Sprint program is designed to support mid-stage companies that possess a product/solution ready for scaling. For more information and to apply, click here.

Houston Energy Transition Initiative's Energy Ventures Pitch Competition 

HETI is bringing back its CERAWeek pitch competition. Image via houston.org

The Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative, or HETI, is looking for participants for its Energy Ventures Pitch Competition at CERAWeek this year.

"This pitch competition brings together key members of the energy industry, investors, and startups to showcase the critical innovations and emerging technologies that create value from the world’s transition to low-carbon energy systems," reads the website.

HETI is looking for companies addressing challenges and opportunities in CCUS, hydrogen, energy storage, and the circular economy, are invited to present their well-developed business concepts to a world-class investor community.

Applications close February 9. For more information and to apply, click here.

Rice Business Plan Competition

The annual Rice Business Plan Competition has opened applications for student startups. Photo by Natalie Harms

Calling all student-founded startups — the largest and richest intercollegiate student startup competition, the Rice Business Plan Competition, has applications open. According to Rice, 784 RBPC alumni have raised $4.6 billion in funding and created over 5,500 jobs. This year's event is going to be held May 11 to 13.

The RBPC is open to all students from any university around the world. Teams must include at least one graduate-level student, and every team that is invited to compete in person at Rice University is guaranteed to take home at least one of the more that 60 expected cash prizes. For more information and to apply, click here.

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