A new group, known as Houston Exponential, is working to start things up in Houston:
As part of citywide efforts, the trio of non-profit groups are joining forces to build technology startups to Houston, reportedly helping to bring the Houston Technology Center and the Mayor’s Technology and Innovation Task Force together with the technology innovation roundtable of the Greater Houston Partnership.
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During an interview, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke on the new group and how it could meet the needs of the city’s future:
“Houston Technology Center, as it was established, met that existing need at that moment. But look at where we are right now. And, quite frankly, we’ve been losing ground. We’ve got to stop. We’ve got to reverse course. We’ve got to become innovative in our thinking.”
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The goals of the new collective reportedly include creating 10,000 new technology jobs and attracting $2 billion in venture capital for technology startups in the next five years; this includes $50 million in investments from Houston-based corporations as seed money for the venture capital effort.
“(Venture capitalists) will come to Houston because they want relationships with our corporations who will invest in the fund of funds,” Blair Garrou, managing director of Houston-based Mercury Fund, said in an interview.
A Rice University report shows Houston ranks 39th among major U.S. cities in venture capital investment and number of startups funded through venture capital.
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According to group representatives, another mission of Houston Exponential will be to develop an “innovation district,” reportedly meant to serve as a hub for technology startups to share information and facilities.
Some locations proposed for this new district include EaDo, Midtown and Montrose.
Turner reiterated his commitment to the start ups during his interview:
“We have the talent, we have the technology, we have the diversity, and there is no reason why we should not be in the top tier when it comes to startups.”
Come one, come all! Houston is ready.