HISTORY OF ACCELERATING IDEAS AND SUPPORTING INNOVATION

Since 1999, the Houston Technology Center has served as the epicenter of Houston’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Startups from the energy, information technology, life sciences, nanotechnology and space industries bring their ideas, technologies and aspirations and we provide the education, insight and positioning they need to move forward on the path to commercialization.

HTC is the brainchild of Robert Litke, former head of the City of Houston’s Planning & Development Department, who introduced the concept of a technology incubator in Midtown, Houston in 1996. Today, HTC is the preeminent business and technology accelerator in Houston.

HTC TIMELINE

1997

  • The city of Houston applies for a Federal grant to remodel a city-owned building for use as a non-profit business incubator.
  • Following public deliberation, the entity would serve as an autonomous organization focused on emerging companies in four technology sectors: energy, information technology, life sciences and NASA-originated technologies.
  • Non-profit received funding from IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin, the Greater Houston Partnership and the Johnson Space Center of NASA.

1998

  • After an 18 month-long development phase, the Houston Technology Center opens.

1999

  • HTC turns focus to accelerating the commercialization of emerging technologies in Life Sciences, IT, Energy, and NASA related applications, led by Founding CEO Mr. Paul Frison.
  • The inaugural “Technology Champions®” arrives, assembling Houston’s growing technology community, now a monthly event.

2002

  • HTC officially moves to the 410 Pierce building, now offering affordable executive offices and coworking space in the heart of Midtown.
  • HTC’s first tenant, BioHouston, moves into Midtown location.

2003

  • HTC officially receives 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

2004

  • The first “A Celebration of Entrepreneurs” Gala is held, honoring successful Houston Entrepreneurs.

2005

  • The Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) is launched by the Office of the Governor.
  • HTC named steward for the Texas Gulf Coast ETF program by the ETF Advisory Committee.
  • HTC University is established, an annual event offering the resources and knowledge needed to launch start-ups through a one day, comprehensive course.

2006

  • HTC expands its footprint to lease space at the 402 Pierce Street building.

2007

  • Walter Ulrich was elected as CEO and President of the Houston Technology Center.
  • “HTC Americas” program starts, led by Carlos Lara, extending HTC enrollment to international entrepreneurs.

2008

  • The Gulf Coast Innovation Conference launches, uniting leaders and innovators from the HTC community. Now called the Innovation Conference and Showcase, the event is the largest presentation of Texas Gulf Coast emerging technology companies.
  • HTC launches TechConnect –  the entrepreneurial HUB event for the Houston startup ecosystem.

2010

  • Forbes names HTC one of “Ten Technology Incubators Changing the World“.
  • HTC introduces HTC ASIA, offering the HTC acceleration program to foreign companies.
  • First Goradia Innovation Prize awarded at the Gulf Coast Innovation Conference and Showcase (later IC&S).

2011

  • HTC expands operations with Johnson Space Center (JSC) campus. HTC Incubation program launches, priming startups for entry into Acceleration program.
  • Houston named the Fast Company Fast City of the year, thanks in part to efforts GHP, HTC and the Houston mayor’s office.
  • JSC campus onboarded its first client, DreamSaver, to the incubation program.
  • Forbes names HTC as one of 12 Business Incubators Changing The World.
  • HTC JSC campus opens on the NASA Johnson Space Center campus.

2012

  • HTC unveils Ignition, a ten-week immersion program preparing tech startups for growth and funding.

2013

  • The inaugural meeting of the Community of Technology Entrepreneurship Organizations (CTEO) was held at the Houston Technology Center.
  • HTC-Asia launches as a private, for-profit venture focused on cross-promoting HTC-Asia and HTC-America clients and graduate companies with corporate sponsors.

2014

  • HTC and the Skolkovo Foundation, launches the HTC Global Relationship Outreach Houston program, bringing economically viable companies into the HTC Acceleration program.

2015

  • The McNair Group pledges commits $1M / year for three years to new HTC Clients, each receiving $25,000 with a 2.5% equity commitment.
  • HTC partners with the Houston Advanced Research Center to open HTC North located on the Lone Star College campus.

2016

  • Walter Ulrich, HTC President and CEO, announces his planned retirement for 2017.

2017

  • Lori Vetters is elected as HTC President and CEO upon the retirement of Walter Ulrich, Feb. 1, 2017.
  • HTC West location established to expand HTC’s services into the energy corridor.