5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note: Another week is in the book. Trending Houston tech and startup news on InnovationMap included a new grant to The Ion, innovators to know, a new space-themed office for a local startio, and more.
This week's innovators to know in Houston includes Kyle Judah of Rice University, and Devin and Peter Licata of Headquarters. Photos courtesy
This week's Houston innovators to know are each looking to positively affect Houston's startup and innovation ecosystem. From making innovation more representative starting with on campus to looking to help companies most affected by COVID-19, here's what these innovators are up to. Continue reading.
Overheard: Local innovation leaders share what they see has changed in Houston for venture investing
"There's something magical happening in Houston, and [VCs] want a piece of it." Photo via Getty Images
Houston's seen a growth in startup and venture investment — even amid the pandemic — and a group of Houston innovators sat down for a virtual event to discuss what's lead to this evolution.
The Greater Houston Partnership hosted an installment of its Houston Industry Series focused on Digital Tech on Thursday, September 24. The panel of experts, moderated by Krisha Tracy of Google Cloud, discussed how they've observed the paradigm shift that's occurred in Houston over the past few years — and why. Continue reading.
A Houston-based company that's on a mission to the moon has a new control center. Photo via Jesus Motto/Savills
A space tech startup based in Clear Lake, just outside of Houston, has a new office that's going to help them take their technology out of this world.
Intuitive Machines, an engineering firm specializing in automation and aerospace, has upgraded its Houston-area control center. The company has moved into a 22,300-square-foot space on the sixth floor of a building located at 3700 Bay Area Road. The lease was executed last fall. London-based Savills had a Houston team to represent the tenant and oversee project management of the buildout.
"I was proud to work on the build-out for Intuitive Machines during such an exciting time in its history," says Savills associate director, David Finklea, in a news release. "As Intuitive is a leader in the aerospace space field, we created an environment that is far from the industry standard and complements its innovative endeavors. The design is bright and contemporary, with a relaxing and airy feel that imitates the illusion of being in space." Continue reading.
These are the 10 finalists heading to MassChallenge's virtual awards program next month. Photo courtesy of MassChallenge
Boston-based MassChallenge has named its top picks from its second Houston cohort ahead of its awards event. This year's programming, due to the pandemic, was held completely online.
"Great entrepreneurs don't let a crisis go to waste: this cohort was assembled from virtually every industry across 13 different countries and through the twists and turns, their passion became a beacon for the future," says Jon Nordby, managing director of MassChallenge Texas in Houston. "These top startups represent the best qualities of all of us: resilient, ingenious, and able to push ourselves further than we think we are capable. They embody the entrepreneurial spirit that brings hope and progress to society."
The 10 companies — which represent the top 18 percent of the cohort — will now compete in a final round of judging for up to $250,000 in equity-free cash prizes. The winners will be revealed at the 2020 MassChallenge Virtual U.S. Awards, which will be held online. Continue reading.
The Ion has fresh funds to commit to its accelerator programs. Courtesy of Rice University
The Ion — a rising hub for innovation being developed in Midtown by Rice Management Company — has received a $1.5 million grant to go toward supporting its startup accelerator programs.
The grant from the Economic Development Administration is a part of the organization's Build to Scale (B2S) program and will also benefit three accelerators: the Ion Smart and Resilient Cities Accelerator, the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, and DivInc Accelerator.
"Receiving this grant is a big win for our city — furthering the Ion's opportunity to bring together leading minds to solve some of our toughest challenges," says Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance, in a news release from Rice. "We believe that it's a fully collaborative approach that will lead to accelerating energy innovation and sustainable solutions." Continue reading.