5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note: Houston innovators, a new coworking space, and more trended on InnovationMap this week. Plus, what a non-Houston-based venture capitalist does and learns on his first visit to town.
3 Houston innovators to know this week
Marc Nathan, Meredith Wheeler, and Maggie Segrich are this week's Houston innovators to know. Courtesy photos
Passion is usually the motivator for starting a business, and this week's innovators to know have an undeniable passion for what they are doing.
Marc Nathan is passionate about Texas startups — it's why he started and still maintains a comprehensive newsletter of Texas innovation news. Meanwhile, Maggie Segrich and Meredith Wheeler are passionate about bringing together a community of women with Sesh Coworking.
2 startups win big at Accenture's Houston-based health tech competition
For the first time, Accenture hosted its HealthTech Innovation Challenge finals at the Texas Medical Center's Innovation Institute. Photo courtesy of Accenture
Two health tech companies walked away from Accenture's HealthTech Innovation Challenge with awards. Regionals took place in Boston and San Francisco, and Houston was selected to host the finals last week.
New York-based Capital Rx was selected as the 2020 Innovation Champion of the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge, and Minneapolis-based Carrot Health was given the second-place award for Top Innovator. The program, which was first launched in 2016, aims to pair startups with health organizations to drive innovative solutions to real challenges in health care.
"The submissions we received this year demonstrate the momentum of discovery and digital innovation in healthcare," says Brian Kalis, managing director of digital health and innovation at Accenture, in a news release. "Healthcare organizations continue to advance their digital transformation agendas — enhancing access, affordability, quality and experience to drive innovation that improves the lives of consumers and clinicians. We look forward to working with these companies and others to continue to help advance solutions that address the industry's toughest challenges."
First female-focused coworking space opens in Houston
Sesh Coworking is committed to providing quality coworking space for women and by women. Photo courtesy of Sesh
For so long, women have been influenced on how to behave professionally at work and expected to leave home life at home. But two female entrepreneurs are flipping the switch on that way of thinking with their new coworking space.
"We as women show up in our work lives as a whole person. We don't compartmentalize and forget about all the other things happening in our lives," says Meredith Wheeler, co-founder and chief creative officer of Sesh Coworking. "We wanted a space that reflected that and embraced it."
Sesh officially opened its doors this week at its new 2,000-square-foot space in Montrose (1210 W Clay St #18). Wheeler co-founded the company with Maggie Segrich after hosting coffee and coworking meetups for women around Houston for over two years.
Former Station Houston CEO says Capital Factory merger was about taking the organization 'back to its roots'
Gabriella Rowe has transitioned from CEO of Station Houston into her role as executive director of The Ion following Station's merger with Austin-based Capital Factory. Courtesy of Station Houston
Among the top news for Houston's innovation ecosystem for the year so far has been the announcement that Austin-based Capital Factory has merged with Station Houston.
The merger is officially completed, and how the combined startup development organization will interact with Houston's entrepreneurs is clear for Gabriella Rowe: It's about bringing Station Houston's mission back to why it was founded in the first place.
Here's how a visiting venture capitalist explores Houston's startup ecosystem for the first time
Pat Matthews of Active Capital visited Houston with a collaboration with the HX Venture Fund. Photo courtesy of Active Capital
When Houston Exponential established the HX Venture Fund, the goal was to bring out-of-town capital and investors into the city of Houston. The fund of funds invests in a portfolio of venture capital funds with the hope that those funds find a way back into the Houston startup ecosystem.
After a little over a year, HXVF has invested in five funds: Boston-based .406 Ventures, Austin-based Next Coast Ventures, Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners, Washington D.C.-based Updata Partners, and Austin-based LiveOak Venture Partners.