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 news out of the Houston Spaceport, innovators to know, innovators within energy transition, and more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Thomas Vassiliades of BiVACOR, Katie Mehnert of ALLY Energy, and Don Whaley of OhmConnect Texas. Courtesy photos
In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know — the first of this new year — I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from health care innovation to energy — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Click here to continue
Catch up on two big pieces of news landing at the Houston Spaceport. Image via fly2houston.com
The Space City is starting 2022 off strong with news launching out of the Houston Spaceport — a 400-acre development in Southeast Houston.
The two big headlines include a unicorn company releasing the latest details of its earthbound project and fresh funds from the state to support the space ecosystem in Texas. Click here to continue reading.
Four climatetech-focused individuals have been named to Greentown Lab's board. Photo via greentownlabs.com
Greentown Labs, a Massachusetts-based climatetech startup incubator with its secondary location in Houston, has appointed four new board members.
Of the new appointees, two community board members have been named in order to act as liaisons between startups and Greentown Labs. Greentown Houston's appointed representation is Nisha Desai, founder and CEO of Intention, and community member. The other new board members are Gilda A. Barabino, president of Olin College of Engineering and professor of biomedical and chemical engineering; Nidhi Thakar, senior director of resource and regulatory strategy and external engagement for Portland General Electric; and Leah Ellis, co-founder and CEO of Sublime Systems, who is the Sommerville location's community board member).
"It is important for a startup incubator to have leadership and insight from stakeholders including the public and private sector, academic and university communities," says Greentown Labs CEO Dr. Emily Reichert in a news release. "These leaders bring a wealth of knowledge relevant to not only climatetech but to our continued growth as an organization. Their voices will be important to have at the table as Greentown charts its course for the next decade of climate action." Click here to continue reading.
Contributing to Texas’ better showing on this year's ranking is an increase in female-focused VC investments. Photo via Getty Images
A more than 120 percent surge in female-focused venture capital investments helped push up Texas’ ranking in an annual study of the best states for women-led startups.
In Merchant Maverick’s 2021 report on the best states for women-led startups, Texas lands at No. 2, up from No. 6 the previous year. Colorado retains its No. 1 ranking from last year. Merchant Maverick judged each state based on several gender-specific metrics, such as VC funding. Click here to continue reading.
Moji Karimi joins InnovationMap to discuss how Cemvita Factory has deployed its recent investment funding and what's next for the company and Houston as a whole when it comes to biomanufacturing. Photo courtesy of Cemvita
Moji Karimi and his sister Tara had the idea for a company that could transform carbon emissions and mitigate new damage to the environment. Only, it seems, they were a bit ahead of their time.
Houston-based Cemvita Factory, founded in 2017, uses synthetic biology and take carbon emissions and transform them into industrial chemicals. However, it's only been since recently that the conversation on climate change mitigation has focused on carbon utilization.
"I think people are realizing more about the importance of really focusing on carbon capture and utilization because fossil fuels are gonna be here, whether we like it or not, for a long time, so the best thing we could do is to find ways to decarbonize them," Moji Karimi, co-founder and CEO, tells InnovationMap. "There's been this focus around carbon capture and storage, and I think the next awakening is going to be utilization." Click here to continue reading.