5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note: Halfway through May, the state is tip-toeing back into normality, and non-COVID-related news is starting to resurface — like a Houston startup raising $17 million. However, top news still leaned coronavirus focused.
This week's Houston innovators to know include Megan Eddings and Amanda Cotler of Accel Lifestyle and Brad Burke of Rice Alliance. Photos courtesy
It seems like 2020 is the year of the pivot and taking what the world has thrown at you —from pandemics to oil gluts — and making something out of what you have. This week's innovators to know include a Houston startup flipping the switch on production to make face masks to the Rice Alliance re-envisioning an annual event that usually takes place at a global conference. Click here to keep reading.
Two researchers from Baylor College of Medicine are working on taking their work on a SARS vaccine and adjusting it to target COVID-19 — and they just got $1 million from Tito's Handmade Vodka to keep up their work. Photo via bcm.edu
A vodka distiller based in Austin is sending funds to a Houston research group that's working on a vaccine to fight the coronavirus.
Tito's Handmade Vodka — through its philanthropic arm Love, Tito's — has pledged to give Baylor College of Medicine a $1 million grant to accelerate research on a vaccine for the virus. Click here to continue reading.
The show had to go on at the annual Energy Tech Venture Day, which was put on virtually by the Rice Alliance on May 7. Zukiman Mohamad/Pexels
Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship's annual Energy Tech Venture Day is usually hosted as a part of the Offshore Technology Conference that takes over NRG Center each May. However, when OTC announced its cancelation, Rice Alliance made sure the show would go on.
"We had many startups and corporations reach out to us and ask us if we could go ahead with the event in a virtual format, so that's how we ended up where we are today," says Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance at the start of the event. Click here to keep reading.
COVID-19 antibody research coming out of the University of Texas stars an unlikely participant: A llama named Winter. University of Texas at Austin/Facebook
In the race to find a treatment for the novel coronavirus, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have announced a potential breakthrough — thanks to a llama.
Scientists from Texas' flagship university who have been collaborating with the National Institutes of Health and Ghent University in Belgium identified an antibody treatment that could potentially neutralize the virus that causes COVID-19. Click here to continue reading.
Two Houston venture capitalists weigh in on the state of startup investing in an economic climate recovering from the COVID-19 crisis. Getty Images
It's no secret that — in light of coronavirus-caused closures, market disruption, and historic unemployment — venture capitalist might be a little more hesitant to join in on a startup's investment round. Yet one Houston VC group has managed amidst the crisis — and even succeeded in closing its most recent fund.
Fitz Gate Ventures, which operates out of Houston but with the support of Princeton University, announced the closing of its Fund II on May 5. Focusing on seed and pre-seed rounds, co-founders and managing directors Mark Poag and Jim Cohen will be looking for startups across industries — usually with some revenue and customer base — to write around $500,000 checks to. Click here to continue reading.