5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note:Another week has come and gone, and it's time to round up the top headlines from the past few days. Trending Houston tech and startup news on InnovationMap included innovators to know, a C-level promotion for a local innovator, the TMC announced its latest cohort, and more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Stephanie Tsuru of SheSpace, Fareed Zein of Unytag, and Libby Covington of The Craig Group. Photos courtesy
Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from smart city tech to startup marketing — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Read more.
Juliana Garaizar is now the chief development and investment officer at Greentown Labs, as well as continuing to be head of the Houston incubator. Image courtesy of Greentown
The new year has brought some big news from Greentown Labs.
The Somerville, Massachusetts-based climatetech incubator with its second location at Greentown Houston named a new member to its C-suite, is seeking new Houston team members, and is in the process of transitioning into a nonprofit.
Juliana Garaizar, who originally joined Greentown as launch director ahead of the Houston opening in 2021, has been promoted from vice president of innovation to chief development and investment officer.
"I'm refocusing on the Greentown Labs level in a development role, which means fundraising for both locations and potentially new ones," Garaizar tells InnovationMap. "My role is not only development, but also investment. That's something I'm very glad to be pursuing with my investment hat. Access to capital is key for all our members, and I'm going to be in charge of refining and upgrading our investment program." Read more.
InformAI has three AI-based products geared at improving health care. Photo via Getty Images
In Houston, we’re lucky to have top-tier doctors in the Texas Medical Center, ready to treat us with the newest technology. But what about our family members who have to rely on rural hospitals? Thanks to one Houston company, doctors in smaller community hospitals may soon have new tools at their disposal that could improve outcomes for patients around the world.
Since InnovationMap last caught up with Jim Havelka, CEO of InformAI, two years ago, that hope has come far closer to a reality. InformAI is a VC-backed digital health company. Part of JLABS @ TMC innovation facilities, the company uses artificial intelligence to develop both diagnostic tools and clinical outcome predictors. And two of the company’s products will undergo FDA regulatory testing this year.
SinusAI, which helps to detect sinus-related diseases in CT scans, received its CE Mark — the European equivalent of FDA approval — last year and is being sold across the Atlantic today, says Havelka. He adds that in the United States alone, there are roughly 700,000 sinus surgeries that the product is positioned to support. Read more.
This month, TMCi is welcoming a slew of health tech and cancer innovators who will advance solutions in medicine over the next several months. Image via TMC.edu
The Texas Medical Center has announced the latest cohorts of its two health tech accelerators.
The Texas Medical Center Innovation has named eight companies that are in the Spring 2023 Accelerator for HealthTech cohort. TMCi also announced 21 participants are set to join the 2023 Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics cohort. Both programs connect the entrepreneurs and innovators to experts at TMC’s campuses to solve unmet clinical needs and reach the next business milestone.
“At TMC Innovation, we start with a promise of uniting cutting-edge innovators in science and medicine with the talent found at the Texas Medical Center," says Emily Reiser, associate director of TMC Innovation, in a news release. "Our 2023 cohort members are tackling some of the most critical issues we face today in healthcare.
"We are excited to welcome a new group of researchers and companies to the TMC Innovation Factory, and to work collaboratively with our new cohort members and our partners from across the Texas Medical Center," she continues. Read more.
With this new joint effort, Syzygy is one step closer to commercial scale of its decarbonization technology. Photo courtesy of Syzygy
A Houston tech company has joined forces with a nonprofit to test a new sustainable fuel production process.
The project is a joint effort from Houston-based Syzygy Plasmonics and nonprofit research institute RTI International and sponsored by Equinor Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas. Based in the RTI facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, the six-month pilot is testing a way to convert two potent greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) — into low-carbon-intensity fuels, which have the potential to replace petroleum-based jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline.
"This demonstration will be the first of its kind and represents a disruptive step in carbon utilization. The sustainable fuels produced are expected to quickly achieve cost parity with today's fossil fuels," says Syzygy CEO Trevor Best in a news release. "Integrating our technology with RTI's Fischer-Tropsch synthesis system has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of shipping, trucking, and aviation without requiring major fleet modifications." Read more.