2015 HTC Management Letter
That was the year that was!
What strong headwinds, and yet the Houston Technology Center had a record year in support of our mission, vision, the start-up ecosystem and the community as a whole.
Houston Technology Center’s relevance and vital role in the community were never more evident as a record 30 new clients from energy, IT and life sciences were accepted into the program with the approval of our Board and Advisory Board. These companies were among the 168 attendees that attended Orientation and numerous others that we talked to individually. Each company made a conscious decision to pay it forward with meaningful equity donation and client fees. Our portfolio of client equity while not liquid is estimated at $970,000.
The demand and the need for the Houston Technology Center has never been greater.
The momentum continues to build. In January, 2016, we welcome the largest Ignition class in our history: 18 companies for this five-month program. The demand and the need for the Houston Technology Center has never been greater.
Houston is a unique place in that organizations that would be considered competitors in other cities are partners here in Houston. Last February, we joined with some dozen partner organizations to host Tech Connect and we are expecting even more partners this coming February. Our development directors and our community development manager are constantly reaching out and supporting our partners in the start-up ecosystem including BioHouston, Fruition Labs, Owl Spark, Red Labs, Start Houston, TMCx and many others. In our Orientation program, we explicitly describe the role of our partners and refer entrepreneurs to partners.
The year 2015 marked the creation of HTC North that expands our services to the energy sector, development of a well-funded program to serve the petrochemical and related industries in the Port of Houston, growth of HTC Global that supports tech commercialization in Houston, and thanks to the McNair Group, 2015 new clients enjoyed $450,000 in seed investments.
The year was financially challenging for many sponsors and our partners. Thanks to decisive action early in the year, Houston Technology Center was able to achieve an operating surplus in excess of our original budget. Special thanks to the McNair Group, Chevron, JPMorgan Chase, Shell, Skolkovo Foundation, Ric Campo and Camden Living, Ed Rachal Foundation, NRG, Verizon, AT&T, Cockrell Foundation, and the Medical Center Institutions for substantial contributions, and thanks to our Board and many friends for their generosity. Every dollar counts and every dollar is appreciated.
We value and thank you for your support. The year 2016 will be challenging for Houston’s energy sector and for our community. Your continued ambassadorship, participation and support is more important than ever.
Walter Ulrich & Maryanne Maldonado