5 Reasons Why Q1 of 2019 Has Been HUGE For Houston Innovation

Houston’s not what you’d call a flashy city. For the most part, we put our heads down. We make deals. And we get to work. But the beginning of 2019 is cause for celebration and, we think, some high-fives all around.

In case you missed it, here’s some huge announcements that came out in the first quarter (so far) of this year:

1. Station Houston Relaunch

Station Houston relaunched as a nonprofit organization and revealed “Station 3.0,” which features updated office spaces and studios, including a virtual reality lab for members. Mayor Turner gave some rousing remarks on the future of Houston’s innovation ecosystem, as did Station CEO, Gabby Rowe. Over 600 attendees packed the house to cheer on the continued momentum for Station and Houston as a city filled with innovators and motivated entrepreneurs.

2. Ion Plans Release

Plans for The Ion, the first phase in the development of Rice’s innovation district were released. Construction is set to begin this May on the 270,000-square-foot building in Midtown that will serve as a hub for the 16 acres of planned commercial development, housing and public spaces.

3. Mass Challenge Announcement

Mass Challenge announced it will open a Houston office DowntownThe global network of zero-equity startup accelerators will reside at the GreenStreet space and support up to 25 early-stage startups through a zero-equity, six-week bootcamp in the summer of 2019.

4. Eunike Ventures Launch

Entrepreneurs in the energy sector now have solid access to pilot programs thanks to the recently launched Houston-based Eunike Ventures. Co-founder and CEO Amy Henry and her team choose promising startups and, in exchange for equity, introduce them to an extensive network in the oil and gas field and a guaranteed pilot program.

5. Onit Funded

Houston-based Onit, a software company, recently secured $200 million from K1 Investment Management, with plans to use the funds to scale operations and increase its client base of Fortune 500 companies. This investment comes after the company more than tripled its revenue and customer base in two years, creating strong confidence in its ability to continue successfully at scale.