Innovation

Downtown’s Innovation District will continue to be the center of gravity for technology and entrepreneurship in the Houston region. Today, more than 250 early-stage software and digital technology companies are already a part of the Downtown innovation community. The collisions and culture that attract high value talent will drive billions of dollars of investment into the Innovation District. Strategically located within Houston, Downtown is uniquely positioned as the central node of a larger innovation corridor that can leverage distinct partnership advantages with UH-Downtown, Texas Southern University, University of Houston, Rice University and the Texas Medical Center in order to grow entrepreneurial activity and retain local talent. The Downtown Innovation District also leverages Downtown’s advantage in the energy sector by encouraging incubator, accelerator, and co-working spaces targeted at energy technology, manufacturing technology, alternative energy, and energy lifecycle companies, as well as the desired urban lifestyles of employees and company founders. Healthcare, cybersecurity, enterprise software development, climate resilience and adaptation, and autonomous vehicle innovation are all strong secondary sectors with innovation potential.

Houston Innovation Corridor

Houston’s Innovation Corridor is located at the center of an extraordinarily powerful social and economic convergence. Linked by light-rail, bike lanes and sidewalks to Houston’s four-mile-long Innovation Corridor, the campus offers easy access to key industry and institutional players and an unparalleled array of amenities. Anchored on the south by the world’s largest medical complex, the Texas Medical Center along with top-ranked Rice University, 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. The Corridor also features professional sports, countless museums, numerous parks and green spaces, one of the largest theater districts in the country and a highly-acclaimed restaurant and nightlife scene. With proximity to a wide range of housing options, the Corridor already attracts top talent from around the globe. It’s home to some of Houston’s largest companies along with an emerging startup scene.

Startup Ecosystem

While a center of corporate and institutional innovation in areas such as energy, space, and life sciences, Houston has lagged in VC-backed startup activity. Over the last few years, this paradigm has started to shift. Leveraging Houston’s large supply of young talent and our community’s entrepreneurial mindset, a host of accelerators and co-working spaces have launched including Station Houston, TMCx, JLABS @ TMC, AT&T Foundry, University of Houston’s RED Labs, Rice’s Owl Spark and Fannin Innovation Studio. These hubs of innovation are creating momentum and building density for more startups.

Key Rankings

#1 Best Metro area for STEM Jobs - WalletHub – January 2015

#2 Engineering City - Forbes – October 2015

#1 State for Startup Activity - Kauffman Index – 2016

#1 City for Minority Entrepreneurs - Entrepreneur Magazine - June 2017

Best entrepreneurship programs in the country.

#2 Undergraduate Program University of Houston, Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the C.T. Bauer College of Business

#2 Graduate Program Rice University, Jones Graduate School of Business

Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine’s Top 25 Undergrad & Grad Schools for Entrepreneurship Studies