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 new innovators to know, a roundup of new hires at local startups, the latest Houston Innovators Podcast, and more.
3 Houston innovators to know this week
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Philipp Sitter of RepeatMD, Abbey Donnell of Work & Mother, and Chris Howard of Softeq. 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 software— recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Click here to continue reading.
Interactive Houston innovation event pivots to virtual platform for engaging discussions
Digital Fight Club is making its triumphant Houston return next week. Have you gotten your virtual tickets? Photo by Emily Jaschke/InnovationMap
In 2019, Houston innovators went head to head for the first Houston Digital Fight Club. While COVID-19 postponed a repeat match-up, the organizers have teamed up to put on a virtual event like none other.
Dallas-based Digital Fight Club, which first premiered in 2016, was founded by Michael Pratt who wanted the event structure to be intentionally different from your run-of-the-mill tech networking events. In Digital Fight Club, two innovation specialists "fight" against one another, with a referee steering the conversation, and the audience is involved and votes in real time for the winner.
"We as Accenture are stoked to bring back Digital Fight club to our amazing city where provocative Houston topics will be debated by some of H-Town's most brilliant minds," says Accenture Houston Innovation Hub's Jessica Guerrero, who serves as the associate hub director. Click here to continue reading.
2 Houston startups announce new execs to their leadership
Cart.com and Topl — two growing Houston startups — have made strategic appointments. Photos courtesy
A pair of Houston tech startups have recently announced new appointments to their leadership staff. An e-commerce company has a new chief people officer and a blockchain company named a new president to lead commercialization. Click here to continue reading.
University of Houston engineer's research hopes to help detect cancer cells faster and easier
This UH engineer is hoping to make his mark on cancer detection. Photo via UH.edu
Early stage cancer is hard to detect, mostly because traditional diagnostic imaging cannot detect tumors smaller than a certain size. One Houston innovator is looking to change that.
Wei-Chuan Shih, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Houston's Cullen College of Engineering, recently published his findings in IEEE Sensors journal. According to a news release from UH, the cells around cancer tumors are small — ~30-150nm in diameter — and complex, and the precise detection of these exosome-carried biomarkers with molecular specificity has been elusive, until now.
"This work demonstrates, for the first time, that the strong synergy of arrayed radiative coupling and substrate undercut can enable high-performance biosensing in the visible light spectrum where high-quality, low-cost silicon detectors are readily available for point-of-care application," says Shih in the release. "The result is a remarkable sensitivity improvement, with a refractive index sensitivity increase from 207 nm/RIU to 578 nm/RIU." Click here to continue reading.
With $150M in VC raise, this Houston company is re-envisioning the future of e-commerce operations
Remington Tonar of Cart.com joins the Houston Innovators Podcast this week. Photo via Cart.com
If you're operating a business that sells a product online, you have several options for software to support your efforts and needs as a merchant. However, as one group of Houston entrepreneurs realized, there wasn't a streamlined, one-stop-shop for e-commerce software. That is until Cart.com launched just over a year ago.
And it's been a busy year. The startup is led by CEO Omair Tariq, Chief Commercial Officer Remington Tonar, who previously served in a few leadership roles at The Cannon, and a several other co-founders and C-level execs. Following strategic growth and several acquisitions, the Houston e-commerce software provider now employs over 300 people and has raised around $150 million in venture capital. The suite of software services includes everything a company needs — from managing a storefront to collecting important data and metrics.
"Our platform is really geared toward ambitious companies that have their foot in the door, have sales, and have product-market fit, and now need to level up," says Tonar on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "E-commerce as an industry is highly fragmented — you have so many players, but they don't play well together. Through our end-to-end offering, we are bringing all these things together." Click here to read more and stream the episode.