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, fresh funding from a Houston software startup, a new sports tech scale-up program, and more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Armand Paradis of ComboCurve, Matthew Nojoomi of Ictero Medical, and Ryan McCord of McCord Development. Courtesy photos
In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from health tech to energy software — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Click here to continue reading.
Calling all sports tech startups ready to scale. Photo via Getty Images
Familiar names within Houston innovation have teamed up to launch a program for sports tech startups ready to scale.
Pokatok Labs announced five companies that make up its inaugural cohort. Pokatok is founded by Lawson Gow, founder of The Cannon; Chris Buckner, founder of Mainline; and Alex Gras, former chief commercial officer of The Cannon. (Note: Lawson Gow is the son of David Gow, the CEO of InnovationMap's parent company, Gow Media.)
The new program is targeting growing seed and series A startups across the scope of sports technology — health tech, gaming, fan experience, and more. The nine-week program is free to its cohort member and will run twice a year. Participating companies receive access to a network of organizations, advisors, investors, and subject matter experts within sports tech.
“Houston has a huge potential to emerge as a global leader in sports innovation, and the launch of this program is an important step in that direction,” says Gow, who serves as Pokatok's CEO. Click here to continue reading.
Growing Houston-based WizeHire tripled its headcount last year and plans to grow even more as it scales up. Photo courtesy of WizeHire
A Houston software company has closed its latest funding round to the tune of $30 million.
WizeHire, a tech-enabled hiring solution for small businesses, announced the closing of its series B round, bringing its total funding to $37.5 million and its valuation to $250 million, according to the news release. The round was led by Tiger Global with participation from prior Houston-based investors Amplo and Mercury.
The pandemic has greatly impacted businesses ability to hire new employees. Founded in 2014, WizeHire launched a free version of its optimized hiring solution at the height of COVID-19. The company also helped small businesses find and apply for refundable tax credits and Payment Protection Program loans to keep their doors open.
“The pandemic was an incredibly tough time for Main Street, and we were right there with them," says Sid Upadhyay, CEO of WizeHire, in the release. "We’re constantly amazed by the depth of our clients’ trust in us and in response, have stepped up to serve them as a trusted advisor in their business growth. We plan to build a marketplace for small businesses to have access to the resources they need to succeed.” Click here to continue reading.
OURS is re-imagining and de-stigmatizing couples therapy. Photo by Mikhail Nilov/Pexels
A Houston startup that's re-imagining mental health treatment and counseling has emerged from stealth, announcing financial support from seed investors including tennis legend and venture capital investor Serena Williams.
Targeting the $5 trillion health and wellness market, OURS is founded by family therapist and author Liz Earnshaw, as well as Adam Putterman and Jessica Holton.
“We’re excited to take this first step in shifting the way we think about relationship health. We are building for a world that treats relationship health with equal importance as physical, mental and emotional health. We want working on your relationships to be an everyday experience, accessible to all,” says Holton, who serves as co-CEO, in a news release. Click here to continue reading.
When it comes to the SECURE Act 2.0's affect on businesses, here are six areas leaders of startups should consider. Photo via Pexels
In an effort to encourage more workers to save for retirement, the federal government passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act that went into effect in December 2019, benefiting employers that established retirement plans with tax credits and providing employees with an avenue to save for retirement.
To build upon this retirement savings legislation, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill entitled, Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022, by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. This bill has been nicknamed SECURE Act 2.0 because it builds on the original SECURE Act. Although the SECURE Act 2.0 is not yet a law and requires consideration by the U.S. Senate, its powerful appeal in the U.S. House of Representatives is a strong indicator of further developments to retirement savings legislation in the not-so-distant future.
While the SECURE Act 2.0 affects all businesses, it appears that startups and small businesses may have the most to gain from the legislation in its current state. Below are six areas leaders of startups and small businesses should consider. Click here to continue reading.