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Houston's Startup Ecosystem on National Stage in September

Published Aug 22, 2022 by Brina Morales

The Ion

Venture capitalists from across the nation will descend on Houston September 12 to explore the city’s startup and innovation ecosystem at Venture Houston 2022, a daylong forum hosted by HX Venture Fund at The Ion. HX Venture Fund, a fund investing in venture capital funds, was created in 2017 to serve as one of several catalysts  to transform the Houston region into a world-leading hub for innovation. The fund works to attracts risk capital of leading venture capital firms outside of Houston to the area.

Since 2017, Houston’s tech and innovation ecosystem has grown significantly. Houston is now considered the third-fastest growing tech ecosystem for early-stage companies in the country. Houston companies secured $2.02 billion in venture capital funding last year, a 420% increase over five years earlier. 

We spoke with HX Venture Fund’s Managing Director Sandy Guitar to discuss why Venture Houston 2022 is critical to Houston’s continued success.

Why is Venture Houston 2022 important to the region and what conversations should we anticipate? 

Venture Houston is a conference that showcases future innovation in Houston. We bring to the stage venture capitalists whose investment strategy is in line with the kinds of investments we offer in Houston, together with corporate innovation leaders in Houston, alongside some of Houston’s premier Founders. 

We will be hosting conversations along significant tech verticals that are pillars of strength in Houston: conversations that highlight best practices in enterprise and consumer-facing software, energy transition, life sciences, space and mobility and more.

The data shows us there is clear momentum in Houston. Since 2017, VC investment has grown from $423 million to $2.02 billion in 2021, a near five-fold increase and unprecedented 47.4% growth rate per year. How is Houston positioned to continue to be a top market for investment?  

We believe that innovative entrepreneurs are everywhere, and very much prevalent in Houston. Historically, we have been a flyover city for many sophisticated sources of venture capital. Today, experienced venture capitalists from the coasts are landing in Houston at our invitation and are excited about the investment opportunities here. We have entrepreneurs building category-changing companies that can disrupt some of the most potent areas for innovation in the world, and the venture capitalists are paying attention.

What can the Houston ecosystem do better to support and foster its innovation ecosystem and help startups increase their access to capital?

The venture capitalists with whom we partner see us as the “easy button” to investing in Houston. At HX Venture Fund, we are committed to bringing in the kind of capital that Houston needs to innovate. We commend the many ecosystem players that also have a role in making connections and add value in the private company process. Groups like the Cannon, Greentown Labs, Mass Challenge and many more are making a real difference as well. 

Anything else that you’d like to add or that you’d like people to know about HXVF and/or Venture Houston 2022?

We would like to thank the corporate innovators in Houston that help make all of this happen.  We could not do this work without the support of our Limited Partners, who are seeking to support innovation in their own global corporations by being customers, investors and acquirers of high growth, venture-backed tech companies, and who are great corporate neighbors supporting Houston. 

Learn more about Houston's innovation ecosystem

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