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 a feature on a sustainable fashion startup, innovators to know, a report on port activity, and more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Kelly Pracht of nVenue, Aimee Gardner of SurgWise, and Kelly Avant of Mercury. Courtesy photos
In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from sports tech to venture capital — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Click here to continue reading.
A Houston innovator found second-hand shopping time consuming. So, she designed a better experience. Image courtesy of Trendy Seconds
When the coronavirus pandemic started in 2020, people found themselves at home with a surplus of free time. Puzzles covered dining room tables, remnants of new hobbies were strewn across dens, TikTok dances were rehearsed, and television was binged. Maria Burgos found herself watching Netflix’s “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” which inspired her to clean out her closet. In practicing Kondo’s dogma of parting with items that don’t “spark joy,” Burgos uncovered a bigger issue to purge: America’s unsustainable fashion industry.
With piles of clothing ready for a new home, Burgos searched for reliable organizations to donate her possessions. Her research led her to learn more about the negative impact the fashion industry has on the environment. Click here to continue reading.
The new savings program will help customers “at a time when low rates, high inflation, and market volatility are top of mind.” Getty Images
Houston-based fintech startup Save has teamed up with Stamford, Connecticut-based Webster Bank to offer a high-yield savings program.
Through Save’s Savetech platform, customers will be able to open savings accounts from Webster Bank. Save expects the annual percentage yield (APY) for the savings accounts to range from 1.5 percent to 7.7 percent. Those rates aren’t guaranteed, though. As of mid-May, the typical interest rate for a U.S. savings account was 0.07 percent.
The new program is able to potentially surpass the national interest rate by investing customers’ money in a diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) representing stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities based on each customer’s investment strategy. Save is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Click here to continue reading.
The Softeq Venture Studio has named 14 startups — two from Houston — to its third cohort. Photo via Getty Images
A Houston-based tech company has named a new limited partner and 14 new startups to its venture arm.
Softeq Development Corporation announced its third group of early-stage startups to join theSofteq Venture Studio, which is geared at helping its resident startups quickly develop their technology and build their businesses. With 14 startups, the summer 2022 cohort is the largest yet and brings the total portfolio to 27 companies. Additionally, the $40 million Softeq Venture Fund welcomed Royal Eagle Capital Partners, a Houston-based investment firm, as a limited partner with its $3 million commitment.
“We are thrilled to see how much the Softeq Venture Studio has grown since 2021,” says Christopher A. Howard, founder and CEO of Softeq, in a news release. “We’re also pleased to welcome Royal Eagle Capital Partners as an investment partner in our Venture Fund, which allowed us to achieve more than 50 percent of our funding goal in just five months. We look forward to building on this partnership and growing Softeq in North America, Latin America, and beyond. Click here to continue reading.
According to a recent report from the Greater Houston Partnership, exports from the Houston area reached a record-breaking $140.8 billion last year. Photo via Pexels
Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Houston is demonstrating its might in the global economy.
In 2021, exports from the Houston area reached a record-breaking $140.8 billion, according to a report from the Greater Houston partnership. The previous record, set in 2019, was $128.7 billion. The Houston-Galveston Customs District, comprising eight ports, now handles more tonnage (over 351.5 million metric tons in 2021) than it did before the pandemic.
“COVID had a short-lived impact on Houston’s exports,” the report says.
The report suggests the region’s export activity supports more than 450,000 direct and indirect jobs here. Click here to continue reading.