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 startup pitch winners from CERAWeek, a diversity-focused panel recap from SXSW, and more.
Twelve startups pitched at this annual Houston energy conference — and one went home with a golden ticket into Chevron Technology Ventures' catalyst program. Photo by Natalie Harms/InnovationMap
CERAWeek by S&P Global wrapped up last week after five days of energy transition panels, leadership talks, emerging tech showcases, endless networking and so much more.
While dozens of Houston energy innovators and investors bopped around the Agora innovation section of the conference in George R. Brown Convention Center, the highest concentration of startups had to be at the Energy Transition Ventures Day pitch competition hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative and in collaboration with Halliburton Labs, Greentown Houston, The Ion, and more.
Twelve startups across four categories — carbon capture, use and storage, hydrogen solutions, energy storage, and circular economy — pitched to a panel of investors who then selected one winner per category. Additionally, Chevron Technology Ventures selected one lucky startup from the pitches to be a part of its catalyst program. Click here to continue reading.
This major sporting event doesn't just have to disrupt your team. Photo via Getty Images
For sports enthusiasts, one of the most popular competitions that attracts tens of millions of viewers is here – March Madness, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. As fans gear up for three weeks of action, employers are also excited, but for very different reasons.
March Madness can be a distraction in the workplace that hinders productivity. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., lost productivity during the tournament can cost employers over $13 billion, with nearly 50 percent of workers spending more than six hours of work time on March Madness activities. With an increase in hybrid/remote workers, the stage is set for more employees to view games during the workday, leading to higher levels of productivity losses.
Although these numbers are staggering, savvy employers can leverage March Madness to promote team building and boost employee engagement, which can have a positive impact on long-term success. Click here to continue reading.
Three Houston innovators discussed the strides the city is making in terms of equitable funding opportunities. Photos courtesy
Houston has consistently been recognized as one of the most diverse cities in the country — but is that translating into equitable funding opportunities for diverse founders? A panel at SXSW this year discussed whether or not Houston's playing field is level for people of color within the innovation ecosystem.
"People do business with who they know — and who they like," says Felix Chevalier, co-founder of Urban Capital Network, when the panel was asked where the disconnect is with funding diverse founders. "I think it boils down to a lack of exposure and a lack of relationships."
Chevalier was joined by Jesse Martinez of Resolved Ventures and VamosVentures and Denise Hamilton of WatchHerWork, who moderated the discussion, which was hosted in the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston House on Sunday, March 13, at SXSW in Austin. Click here to continue reading.
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.
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. Click here to continue reading.
Rice University and the University of Houston have opened applications for its inaugural cohort for a new small business accelerators. Photo by Hero Images
After years of supporting university-affiliated tech startups, two Houston colleges are launching a new program to support small businesses.
University of Houston and Rice University have announced two new programs — RED Launch and BlueLaunch, respectively — to run alongside its tech startup programs. While RED Labs and OwlSpark are geared toward technology startups, RED Launch and BlueLaunch focus on small businesses. The programs are open to University of Houston and Rice University affiliates who are interested in starting or growing a small business.
"Since inception, RED Labs programming focused mostly on tech entrepreneurship," says Kelly McCormick, managing director of RED Labs. "A few years ago, we began to build out course offerings at the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship for students interested in small businesses. Click here to continue reading.