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 in ’19
Workers Employed in Tech
Tech-Sector Impact on the Economy
Incubators, Accelerators, Makerspaces and Coworking Spaces
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.
The Partnership's Josh Pherigo takes a data-driven look at the current trends in the startup space and the Houston region's momentum in building a thriving innovation ecosystem.
Jan Odegard of The Ion and Ashley DeWalt of DivInc Houston talk about the power of diversity within innovation.
Fiona Mack of JLABS at TMC discusses how Houston is quickly emerging as a hub for life sciences innovation.
"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."
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