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Digital Technology

As the home of NASA’s human space program and headquarters to the global energy industry, Houston has long been known for its engineering prowess. Although most of Houston's technology talent is embedded in some of the area's largest industries such as energy and health care, sub-sectors such as software development, programming and database management are also growing. In recent years, the region has seen one of the largest overall increases in tech talent in the nation. Now Houston is experiencing a surge in innovation incubators and accelerators to help foster new startups in areas such as cleantech and software. 

Business Climate

The Houston region is home to over 8,200 tech-related firms, including more than 500 venture-backed startups. The nonprofit Houston Exponential (HX) was formed in 2017 to help grow the city’s digital startup ecosystem. 

Houston companies have received over $1.9 billion in venture capital funding across 522 deals since 2014, according to the funding database PitchBook. Nearly half the funding has been routed to life science and health-related technology companies, an emerging sector in Houston’s innovation ecosystem. Through its $25 million HX Venture Fund of Funds, the HX organization plans to make investments that will foster digital innovation in Houston and bolster the region’s tech sector.

A strong network of more than 30 incubators, accelerators, makerspaces and coworking spaces has helped strengthen the ecosystem in recent years. These hubs of innovation have created momentum and a critical mass of support for more startups.

VC funding received in ’19
$544 million
Tech-related firms
8,200
Workers employed in tech
223,000
Tech-sector impact on the economy
$1.6 billion
Incubators, accelerators, makerspaces and coworking spaces
30+

Houston’s Innovation Corridor is at the center of an extraordinarily powerful social and economic convergence. The four-mile-long Corridor is linked by light-rail, bike lanes, and sidewalks and offers easy access to key industry and institutional players along with an unparalleled array of amenities.

Anchored on the south by the world’s largest medical complex, the Texas Medical Center, along with top-ranked universities, the Corridor runs north along Houston’s light-rail line through the 700-acre Hermann Park, and Museum District. It continues past the eclectic Montrose neighborhood and through Midtown, home to a millennial-friendly mix
of housing, dining and recreational options. The Corridor reaches its northern limit in Downtown, the nexus of corporate headquarters, financial institutions and professional service firms, and a wide variety of cultural and recreational amenities.

In 2019, Rice University broke ground on the South Main Innovation District at the core of the corridor in Midtown Houston. An anchor coworking and collaboration space, The Ion, will open in 2020 to serve as the central hub of the district. The 270,000-square-foot project will bring together entrepreneurs, corporations and academic institutions to collaborate under one roof.

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5G

Houston was the first to receive residential 5G broadband service. 

25,000+

Local workforce of Houston's top 100 digital tech companies

16.9 percent

Part of Houston's digital tech firms that specialize in health care

Need more information about Innovation and Technology Industry? Your dedicated team member can help:

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Bethany Miller
Vice President, Regional Economic Development
Economic Development
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millerb@houston.org
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713-844-3650
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Have someone from our Economic Development Team contact you:

"Houston has a huge amount of raw ingredients needed to launch a startup -- top tier universities, affordable cost of living, tremendous wealth, large corporations -- so the creation of a startup hub in Houston has just been about aligning all these elements under one roof that provides entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed."


Lawson Gow
Founder & CEO, The Cannon

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