The Houston Technology Center (HTC) Launches the groHouston program initially with the Skolkovo Foundation

Beginning July 1st Houston Technology Center will officially engage with the Skolkovo Foundation in Russia to assist in commercializing energy related technologies, with the goal for those companies to launch in Houston and grow here in Texas. This program is the first step in HTC’s Global Relationship Outreach Houston (groHouston) program aimed at furthering our mission by encouraging international technologies to choose Houston as their United States home base. The program is designed to bring the most disruptive and economically viable companies into the HTC Acceleration program. 

The partnership between Skolkovo and the Houston Technology Center began in late 2013. In mid June members of the HTC team traveled to Russia to screen and engage with the applicant companies entering into the program, “After meeting with these companies while in Russia, we believe these innovation-based companies are creating cutting-edge energy technologies that will have a significant impact on the industry here in Houston and around the world,” said Maryanne Maldonado. HTC’s relationship with Skolkovo, and their technology startups, is a result of HTC’s ongoing efforts through similar programs, such as HTC America and HTC Asia, and we look forward to introducing these revolutionary technologies to the energy industry.  Vasily Belov, Senior Vice-president, Innovation management, start-up incubation, Ecosystem development commented, “We are thrilled to start wide-scale cooperation with Houston Technology Center. I am sure that this will be a wonderful opportunity for Skolkovo startups in energy sector to broaden their markets beyond Russia and to find new partners as well as new clients in the US via the outstanding capabilities of HTC, its distinguished mentors and partner energy companies.”

This innovative initiative will not only help to grow Houston’s economy, but has spurred the growth of the Houston Technology Center team as well. Mr. Ruben Derderian joined the Houston Technology Center as an Acceleration Director, who will work closely with HTC Clients to commercialize their technologies. Ruben Derderian is an accomplished corporate leader and entrepreneur with more than 35 years of executive-level business experience. His expertise give him a rich skill set with which to assist companies in all phases ranging from concept development, business plan development, funding, and sustainable profitable growth. Along with the addition of an Acceleration Director, the team welcomed Nick Tillman as the Director of Acceleration for Energy in May. Over the summer the Houston Technology Center has welcomed a team of interns to assist not only with the Skolkovo partnership, but to engage with and grow the Acceleration program.

The Skolkovo foundation works with the most disruptive technologies in their region, and this opportunity to bring these technologies to Houston can further establish Houston as an expanding technology hub.  The groHouston program at HTC will create an economic engine for Houston through the successful planting of international companies in this region. Their growth will create more jobs and more growth opportunities locally. We hope that this will attract international investors to Houston and aid in solidifying our economy’s broad industrial base in the energy, aeronautics, and technology industries.

Walter Ulrich, President and CEO of the Houston Technology Center, comments, “Our partnership with the innovative Skolkovo foundation represents a terrific opportunity to ensure that the finest new technologies out of Russia find homes in Houston rather than other parts of North America. We are inspired by the individuals who have embraced entrepreneurship and are bringing disruptive new energy technologies to Houston and the United States.”

The companies who are accepted into the program will be mentored by HTC energy champions who will work with them to further develop their business, particularly with respect to consumer perspective and needs. The Energy Champions meet weekly at the Houston Technology Center to review, mentor and onboard incoming HTC technology companies.