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Ion's leadership changes, fintech exit, and more trending Houston innovation news from the week

The Ion restructures its team — and more trending news from the week. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note:Let's roundup the top Houston innovation news from the week. Trending Houston tech and startup articles on InnovationMap included big changes at the Ion, a rebrand for a data science firm, and more.

Houston innovation hub restructures, pulls in more Rice resources

Rice University is in the process of restructuring operations at the Ion. Photo courtesy of the Ion

Rice University is leaning in on the Ion by restructuring the innovation hub's team and increasing the university's presence at the hub.

Paul Cherukuri, vice president for innovation, tells InnovationMap that the changes being made at the Ion — Rice's Midtown innovation hub — are a reflection of Rice President Reginald DesRoches's vision for the hub and for the university as a leader of innovation.

"We're embracing the community even further by what we've done with this restructuring," Cherukuri says. "The restructuring is really a result of Reggie's vision of us wanting to move forward with helping the community to grow innovation across Houston, throughout Texas, if not the world."

He adds that the university is "putting resources from Rice Alliance and amping up what's happening at the Ion." Continue reading.

Houston fintech startup acquired by California unicorn

Four-year-old Brassica has been acquired. Photo via

A Houston fintech innovator is celebrating his latest startup's exit.

Brassica Technologies Inc., a fintech infrastructure company that's provides a platform for alternative assets, has been acquired by BitGo, a Palo Alto, California-based tech company with digital asset services. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Joining forces with BitGo is a significant step towards Brassica's ultimate vision of building the financial infrastructure of the future," Youngro Lee, founder and CEO of Brassica, says in a news release. "Our strength lies in our 'one stop shop' approach of providing API-enabled infrastructure for the alternative assets industry." Continue reading.

Houston data science firm rebrands to focus on the intersection of AI and life science

Mercury Data Science has officially rebranded as OmniScience. Photo via Getty Images

A Houston organization established to provide critical data science support to its clients has rebranded and entered into its latest era.

Mercury Data Science has officially rebranded as OmniScience. Founded in 2017 as a spin off of Mercury, a local venture capital group, the data science-focused software company is led by CEO Angela Holmes, who was named to the position in 2022.

"OmniScience signifies our commitment to being a force of innovation in data science and life sciences," Holmes says in the release. "The new brand mirrors our vision for the future, where data science is a driving force for positive change in life sciences."Continue reading.

Houston organizations team up to bring inaugural climate startup week

Introducing: Houston Energy and Climate Startup Week, a collaborative initiative that will showcase Houston's ecosystem of energy tech innovators. Photo via Getty Images

Three organizations are teaming up to put on a week of programming and events focused on energy and climate startups.

Greentown Labs, Halliburton Labs, and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship have announced Houston Energy and Climate Startup Week 2024 taking place September 9 to 13.

“These organizations will execute events that will serve as a launching pad for an Energy and Climate Startup Week in Houston, showcasing the city as a national hub for the energy future,” Brad Burke, executive director of the Rice Alliance, says in the release. “We welcome the community to bring other energy and climate events to the week, which we’ll cross-promote as the dates approach.”Continue reading.

Houston mobile ordering company partners with robotic kitchen

Mobile ordering technology for hospital employees just got a major tech upgrade. Photo courtesy of Rivalry Tech

Houston-based Rivalry Tech announced that it has partnered up with Canadian RoboEatz to bring hospital employees on-demand meals 24/7.

RoboEatz is known for its autonomous robotic kitchen system, which prepares high-quality dishes efficiently and consistently for health care organizations, businesses, higher education institutions and quick-service restaurants.

Rivalry Tech will couple RoboEatz's system with its user interface, known as myEATZ, that's currently in use at several Houston Methodist Hospitals, the TMC Innovation Factory, and in the hospitality industry, according to the company's website.

"At Rivalry Tech, we're dedicated to pushing our boundaries into cutting-edge technologies with innovative partners like RoboEatz," Aaron Knape, CEO of Rivalry Tech, says in a statement. "Partnering with RoboEatz allows us to take this commitment a step further by providing an interface that gives users complete control over their dining choices and preferences." Continue reading.

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