Connecting Houston’s Startup Community

Houston’s startup community has blossomed over the last thirteen years since the inception of the Houston Technology Center. The community has evolved and grown in response to the challenges and needs of Houston’s entrepreneurs…resulting in an emergence of numerous entrepreneurial focused organizations and positioning itself to be a buzzing ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs.

On February 4th, 18 organizations spoke to over 160 people and share their plans and opportunities for the startup community to get involved in 2014. The event, presented by Oracle and co-sponsored by the Greater Houston Partnership, was a culmination of the Community of Technology Entrepreneurship Organizations (started in January of 2013). If you are a new entrepreneur, a mentor, a VC, or just someone looking to get involved, here is a quick recap of what you can expect from these organizations and how you can get involved:

Open Houston: Community group of software developers, designers, policy makers, & public sector employees who want to make government more efficient. Open Houston aims to grow the business-to-government (B2G) startup community! Learn about upcoming events:

BioHouston: Texas Life Science forum is the annual life science gathering in Texas showcasing over 50 emerging companies, technologies and scientific developments to an audience of over 500 investors, industry executives, entrepreneurs and researches from across the state! Check their website to see how it went, on February 20, 2014:

Brightwork CoResearch: A new concept designed to facilitate more independent researchers and science entrepreneurs to pursue their work full time. They provide affordable access to equipment, funding, publishing and collaboration. Check out the membership options:

C2CREATE: A non-profit organization dedicated to fostering innovation, creative community, and sustainable local economic development. Among lots of things, they are working on COHOUSTON @ SXSW, startup resource map, Launchbox workshops for first time entrepreneurs, Houston Innovation Meetups, and TEDxYouth and TEDxHouston. Learn more:

enventure: A non profit for medical entrepreneurs, helping entrepreneurs translate new health innovations into clinical solutions. All events are open and free to the community. Upcoming Events: Ignite Conference (March 5-8), Life Science Entreprenurship MGMT/BIOE 633 (March 11), Commercialization Strategies (March 27), BYOBrainstorm (April 10). Learn more:

Greater Houston Partnership: GHP is interested in helping to get you plugged into the community. The Greater Houston Partnership’s mission is to make the Houston region the best place to live, work and build a business. Visit their website for upcoming events:

START: Technology coworking space with over 40+ people working out of their office. START aims to provide a professional and fun space for designers, developers, freelancers, entrepreneurs, employees and thought leaders to collaborate together in the technology space. Check out what it is all about at their Demo Days held once a month. Register for DEMO day:

GCRCIC: The Gulf Coast RCIC is currently accepting applications for Texas Emerging Technology Fund Commercialization Award applications from qualified companies located in the program’s Gulf Coast (southeast Texas, including the greater Houston area) and North Texas (including Dallas/Fort Worth) regions of the state. Commercialization Awards are typically in the range of $1,000,000 to $2,500,000. Last month, Governor Perry announced the latest TETF award to the region, $1.5M of assistance to the NASA Johnson Space Center for development of their new Valkyrie humanoid robot, with assistance provided by the University of Texas and Texas A&M.  For more information, please visit the RCIC’s website – or contact Bob Prochnow (

Houston Angel Network: The Houston Angel Network (HAN) is the oldest and most active angel network in Texas: Its members have invested more than $45.8M in 135 deals since its inception in 2001. In 2013, HAN members invested $8.7M in 33 deals. The typical HAN member is an SEC-accredited investor seriously interested in providing capital to early stage Texas companies. More information:

Health2.0 Houston: Health 2.0 Houston (H20H) is the local expression of the International Health 2.0 community of professionals who want to revolutionize healthcare through technology. They host speakers, hack-a-thons, happy hours, etc. to promote collaboration and showcase Houston health-related technologies. Check out upcoming events here:

MIT Enterprise Forum: A non profit organization of business professionals is committed to fostering the growth of innovation technology-oriented enterprises through New Venture Clicnics and illuminating programs that educate, connect, and inspire the area’s leaders.Check out their next upcoming flagship program on Regenerative Medicine on April 16th:

Red Labs: RED Labs is the University of Houston’s startup accelerator, housed in the Bauer College of Business and supported by the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship. RedLabs gives students the opportunity to work on their ideas! More information:

Society of Physician Entrepreneurs: SoPe is a global biomedical and healthcare innovation network, missioned to make a better world through healthcare. Coming to Houston only 6 months ago, SoPE is here to help physician entrepreneurs and their professional service partners by providing the network to encourage, educate, and connect them so that new ideas get a chance!

TiE: Mission is to help foster entrepreneurship in the local communities. TiE host many events including the TiE Texas Funding Forum, Angel Investing Webinar Series, TiE Mentoring Program, Keynote Speaker Series and TiE Golf Networking Events. Register for these events here:

Tx/RxLabs: Established in 2008, Tx/Rx Labs is a non-profit hackerspace for the greater Houston area. The goal is to educate the public about technology and show how seemingly complex techniques can be used by anyone. They offer community classes and are currently focusing on expansion of Makerspaces within Houston:

UH Small Business Development Center: The SBDC can help you if you are starting or expanding your business. They offer consulting, workshops and seminars, specialty programs and more. For a list of upcoming workshops visit

Society for Information Management (SIM) Houston’s CIO Charity Golf Tournament: Tournament on Saturday, April 26, 2014.Their goal for the event is to have a fun venue to meet and socialize with other SIM members and attract new members while we raise money for local educational and nonprofit institutions. All proceeds of the tournament will benefit Genesys Works, Houston Technology Center (HTC), AITP and the University of Houston. More information:

Along with the numerous CTEO presenters we also had three HTC client companies present from the IT, Energy,and Life Science Sectors. Below is some information about how they are changing the world we live in:

Orbital Traction: Companies across the globe are being driven to reduce power consumption, increase efficiency, and lower their carbon footprint.

At Orbital Traction, they make compact automatic transmissions (CVT’s) that enable rotating systems to operate more efficiently with improved performance, resulting in lower power consumption, lower emissions. The company is a startup seeking to commercialize its products based on its patented technology and to scale operations.

QukkuAt Qukku, they’re building the world’s best crowdsourcing platform to allow key stakeholders to voice, rate and elevate their ideas so that the best ones bubble to the top. This web-based platform enables Qukku’s enterprise clients to optimally crowdsource customer engagement, employee development and product innovation directly from customers, employees or partners through enterprise-wide idea networks. Qukku is able to map and measure the convergence and divergence of ideas to accelerate idea formation, documentation, collaboration and execution.

Further, their platform’s emphasis on transparency combined with protecting all contributors’ IP facilitates peer-to-peer authentic engagement, reduces collaboration friction and increases overall participation. These are all key elements in bringing the best ideas forward to be implemented more quickly than has ever been achieved.

Houston Medical RoboticsHouston Medical Robotics, Inc. (“HMR”) is developing & commercializing revolutionary image guided hand-held medical robotics for use in various therapeutic applications. Their devices provide safer, cheaper, and more effective procedural alternatives, thereby increasing caregiver efficiency, hospital/clinic revenue, and overall patient satisfaction.  Houston Medical Robotics, Inc. raised an additional $2.2 million from CitareTx Investment Partners I, LP in a Series A Preferred Stock financing.