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5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week

Greentown Labs opens in Houston, short stories on innovation, Houston innovators to know, and more trending innovation news from this week. Photo by Lee Bond/Greentown Labs

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, photos and overheard moments from Greentown Houston's opening, and more.

3 Houston innovators to know this week

This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Alfredo Arvide of Slalom Consulting, Allison Post of the Texas Heart Institute, and Jeff Price of Pronto Pay. Courtesy photos

In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — tech consulting, health care, and fintech — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Continue reading.

Photos: Greentown Labs opens its doors in Houston

Mayor Sylvester Turner, Greentown Labs CEO Emily Reichert, and other guests celebrated the grand opening of Greentown Houston on Earth Day. Photo by Lee Bond/Greentown Labs

On a day that was years in the making, Greentown Labs opened the doors to its new Houston outpost in Midtown yesterday on Earth Day.

The Greentown Houston grand opening event, which was steamed online with limited in-person and outdoor attendance, celebrated the organization's first location outside Somerville, Massachusetts.

"This is a tremendous, tangible milestone not only for Greentown Labs but also for the City of Houston and the energy transition," says Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs, in a news release. "Five years ago, climate change wasn't a topic among many conversations in Houston. Things have changed." Continue reading.

Houston startup grows C-suite, Deloitte opens awards apps, SDO names leader, and more innovation news

In the latest round up of Houston innovation news you may have missed, applications open for fast-growing tech awards, energy startups join latest cohort, and more. Photo via Getty Images

The Houston innovation ecosystem has been especially busy this year, and for this reason, local startup and tech news may have fallen through some of the cracks.

In this roundup of short stories within Houston innovation, local organizations announce new innovators, Deloitte opens apps for its annual tech awards, Houston Tech Rodeo prepares for its annual events, and more. Continue reading.

Overheard: Houston's energy sector welcomes Greentown Labs

Greentown Labs CEO Emily Reichert called on members of Houston's energy community to speak at Greentown Houston's grand opening. Photo by Lee Bond/Greentown Labs

Greentown Houston is officially open for business, and it's safe to say the energy innovation community is excited about it. The 40,000-square-foot space is expecting to move its inaugural 30 companies in throughout the summer.

The grand opening event, which was streamed online with an outdoor invite-only event, took place on Earth Day and featured speakers from across the energy sector. The speakers represented some of the almost 30 corporate partners Greentown Houston has announced. Continue reading.

New innovation hub grows with the addition of 6 Houston startups

Six Houston startups — from health tech to aerospace — have moved into the new East End Maker Hub. Image courtesy of East End Maker Hub

The East End Maker Hub in Houston's East End District is growing with the recent addition of six startups.

"All of these companies cite the East End Maker Hub's physical innovation infrastructure, customizable spaces, strategic location, and potential collaborators as motivations for moving their operations into the hub," Patrick Ezzell, president of Urban Partnerships Community Development Corp., one of the hub's creators, says in an April 26 news release. "All are in the process of growing their teams and view Houston and, more specifically, the East End as a key resource for human capital heading into the future." Continue reading.

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Amazon Dash Cart is now available at a Whole Foods in Texas. Courtesy Amazon

If being more efficient with your time is one of your new year's goals, a faster way to shop is on the horizon in 2023.

Amazon Dash Cart just arrived at one local San Antonio Whole Foods Market, allowing shoppers to skip the checkout line altogether.

Located at 18403 Blanco Road, the Vineyard Whole Foods Market store is one of the first three locations in the country to make Amazon Dash Carts available to customers.

The smart grocery carts lets you scan items as you go, place them directly into your grocery bags, and head straight to the car when you're done shopping. Shoppers log in through a QR code in the Whole Foods Market app, which prompts a quick sign in process before you can begin using the cart.

As you scan each item while shipping, the Amazon Dash Cart’s screen shows a real-time receipt of all items in the cart. When ready to check out, shoppers can skip the checkout line, exiting the store through the designated Amazon Dash Cart lane. Payment is then processed using the credit card associated with the shopper's Amazon account, and an automated receipt arrives at the associated email account after exiting the store.

While the carts have been in Amazon Fresh Stores across the country since 2020, they are now available in select Whole Foods Markets. Several 2022 updates included doubled capacity in the carts, new shelves for delicates and oversized items alike, weather-resistant features, and extended all-day batter life.

"As many of our customers return to their in-store grocery shopping routines, it's exciting to introduce new and unique ways for them to shop our stores," says Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer for Whole Foods Market, in the 2022 announcement about the carts' new features.

Customers can find more detailed information on the technology here, along with a number of FAQs.

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This article previously ran on CultureMap.

Shop smarter with these tech-enabled carts. Image via Amazon

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