San Francisco may be the land of unicorns and angels, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only tech scene turning fantastical ideas into reality. In fact, if you head south to Houston, you’ll find a similarly thriving community of entrepreneurs and startups shooting for the stars and beyond, quite literally. Home of the NASA Mission Control Station, Houston has always been a center of gravity for unprecedented frontiers in tech, and with support from incubators like RED Labs and Station Houston, there are thousands of startups flocking to the birthplace for space travel to pursue everything from automated robotics to satellite design.
Not many other cities can lay claim to powering the entire country, but Houston, with its focus on powerhouse industries like healthcare, defense, and energy, stands tall beside its fellow Texan neighbors. In fact, it is the latter which has made Houston a national focal point. Houston’s Energy Corridor is world renowned, hosting 300 companies including Citgo and Shell, and employing nearly 100,000 energy professionals and engineers.
Such an impressive list of accolades may be intimidating, but wherever there are industry giants maintaining their empires, you can always find startups and early-stage companies building their foundations in their footprints. Check out these 14 startups writing the next chapter in Houston’s incredible history.
Houston Startups To Know
- Podcast Reserve
- Abagy Robotics Systems
What they’re about: Companies across the globe have been turning their sights toward space exploration, particularly in satellite development. Cognitive Space is joining the fold in the satellite industry by implementing AI technology in their satellite designs, in order to help companies at the forefront of the aerospace sector take control over their space assets and forge new frontiers in how satellites can enhance life on Earth. Cognitive Space aims to develop satellites that are fully autonomous, making it easier to deploy and rely on their operating capabilities without having to worry about maintenance.
What they’re about: MAJORITY is an online digital financial service specifically designed to serve migrant users across the globe, with banking and payment management solutions built to make the processes of travel and immigration easier. With a services suite that includes direct deposit, money transfer, and international calling solutions, MAJORITY aims to build links between the international migrant community to help maintain the safety of their finances during their move and keep them connected with family in other countries.
What they’re about: Ease is an automated platform that healthcare organizations can use to manage their practice and connect with patients digitally, reducing the need for traditional management operations and giving providers more autonomy over their practices. Ease's SaaS program supports doctors looking to set up their own private practices, empowering them to take advantage of e-commerce technology to manage online and in-person consultations with no overhead.
Focus: IT Automation
What they do: Liongard allows IT teams to multiply their output by implementing an automation platform that seamlessly connects internet domains, SQL servers and all other systems in the IT stack. The platform creates impact across the entire business, facilitating everything from faster onboarding to robust account management by way of rapid data access, automated documentation, and proactive security assessments — leading to faster, more organized enterprises.
Focus: Events, Social Media
What they’re about: ComeClosely is a social networking platform designed around connecting users with events and entertainment in their area, encouraging users to build relationships with their community and meet new people. Their platform gives users the opportunity to get rewards for participating in or hosting events, and offers the option to organize videos or photos into “memories” folders which they can revisit or share with friends.
What they’re about: In order to combat the high cost of most robotics products, Abagy Robotics Systems builds small, cost-efficient automated machines for use in industrial manufacturing. One of the defining features of Abagy's products is that they can integrate with any pre-existing technology or operational requirements, helping manufacturers get to work immediately without having to invest any additional engineering time.
Focus: Sports, Social Media
What they’re about: The developers of Sportlo seek to provide parents of children involved in sports the chance to get connected with fellow parents so that they can share recommendations, discuss topics, and figure out logistics such as carpooling and fundraiser organizing. Sportlo's interface allows users to share photos with their community and form discussion groups specific to their community. Coaches or mentors can even create profiles with more information about their instruction classes and pricing.
Focus: Hospitality, Real Estate
What they’re about: Lodgeur is a digital hospitality platform that guests can use to get connected with properties and vacation rentals for short term and extended stays. The company partners with homeowners looking to make a supplementary income from their properties through rental, helping them make postings about their properties as an alternative to hotels. Apartment owners can also lease their properties to Lodgeur, who will collaborate with interior designers to decorate properties and rent them out through sites like Booking.com and Airbnb.
Focus: IoT, Child Care
What they’re about: GiantLeap helps parents foster their children's growth through an online assessment platform that offers tests and courses that can determine and track their developmental trajectory. Their testing interface offers gamified quizzes designed to keep children engaged, and provides parents with an analytics dashboard to gain perspective on their child's abilities and struggle areas.
What they’re about: Companies in the energy industry need to be able to train their teams on the latest developments in engineering and data, so Daytum works to meet those needs by delivering a data science education platform capable of supporting self-paced learning for people at all stages in their careers. Daytum offers online workshops in topics like machine learning and coding, as well as a range of other educational solutions, and their educational products are implemented by companies like ConocoPhillips, BP and Equinor to train their teams.
Focus: Human Resources
What they’re about: Macorva offers companies a platform for collecting and evaluating employee feedback, making it easier for businesses to respond to worker concerns and cultivate a more supportive and enjoyable workplace experience. Their platform turns employee feedback into actionable data that employers can use to understand engagement and identify opportunities for improvement.
What they’re about: Companies in the energy sector can enlist the help of Nesh's conversational AI technology to organize and simplify their essential data and streamline their workflows. Nesh’s technology is built for use in the oil and gas industry, and is designed to be capable of tasks such as mapping sites, collecting market data, tracking both physical and digital activity and finding answers to technical issues. Their platform is built for both desktop and mobile, so that their smart technology can be accessed anywhere.
Focus: Enterprise Software
What they’re about: Quickline Credit gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to strengthen their assets and increase their capital flow by making the most of their business data. Combining a range of technologies including AI, blockchain and data visualization, Quickline Credit helps small business owners discover new avenues for capital acquisition and pursue more financing options. Quickline Credit seeks to put more financial power in the hands of small businesses across the world, growing from a small scale merchant financing organization to an international company serving the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
Focus: Real Estate
What they’re about: Conducting property inspections can be a time consuming and unwieldy process, so Bees360 takes advantage of the power of AI and digital imaging technology to help conduct inspections and file claims digitally. Enlisting the help of drones, Bees360 is capable of drafting fully customized reports and underwriting independently for both commercial and residential properties. Their virtual and drone assisted inspection services help both property managers and homeowners save money and quickly tackle any problems with their homes.