HOUSTON INNOVATORS PODCAST EPISODE 94
Startup founder on how Houston has evolved as a software hub — and why there's no better place to be
It's no understatement to say that Will Womble is incredibly proud to be a Houstonian. The former actor and lawyer first got involved in the startup world by way of Austin — but he always advocated for his hometown.
"Houston is always third in line when it comes to the 'cool kid' in Texas," Womble says on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "But when you look at what's here, there's not a city outside of New York City with as many Fortune 500 companies. ... I just wanted to go prove that Houston has some really talented software developers just clamoring for the opportunity to show the talent."
An early hire at Chaotic Moon — later acquired by Accenture, Womble co-founded Austin-based Hypergiant before founding his latest venture, Umbrage. The company, which publicly launched earlier this year, supports companies large and small with their software design, development, and more.
The company, which Womble describes as a service-focused, crafts-based digital studio, works with its clients to design, develop, and deliver enterprise software that's cutting edge and scalable. The other thing? Umbrage is fiercely loyal to Houston. Womble says he saw a void in Houston for this type of company, and he's attempting to fill it.
"What makes us different is speed to market — we're all onshore. We're all Houston-based, with the exception of five of our 40 employees," Womble says. "Houston was our focus and mission."
Womble has seen Houston evolve as an innovation ecosystem over the years, and now the game has changed — especially when it comes to hiring, which has gotten very competitive.
"You see all of these great companies that aren't just bootstrapping but raising significant venture funding," Womble says. "It's awesome, but it's also making the landscape from the talent perspective very competitive. It was hard enough for a lot of industrial enterprise to attract talent before all of these startups were infused with capital to build their own teams."
These types of challenges aren't a deterrant for Womble — it's exciting for him.
"It's a really awesome time to be called a Houstonian," he says.
Womble shares more on his circuitous career and how he's seen the Houston innovation ecosystem evolve on the podcast. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.