Greentown Labs launches cross-collaboration with startups and universities to jump-start innovations

Greentown Labs continues to show its support for advancing energy innovation in Houston as the city aims to lead the global energy transition. Startup incubator climatetech launched the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy (TEX-E) to help students develop next-generation innovations.

The collaborative initiative includes the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT, a research and education center that provides expertise, support and connections to MIT students, and five Texas universities, including Rice University, the University of Houston, Texas A&M University, Prairie View A&M University, and the University of Texas.

“Houston has long been known as the energy capital of the world, but to lead the global energy transition, the city must create a strong and vibrant innovation ecosystem to support the next generation of entrepreneurs and energy companies,” said said Lara Cottingham, Chief of Staff of Greentown Labs, in a press release.
Students participating in the program will have access to mentorship with Greentown Labs entrepreneurs, networking events, career opportunities, and cross-learning with MIT. The initiative will help continue to pave the way for Houston to solidify its role as a leader in the global energy transition.

“The TEX-E collaboration will provide valuable opportunities for our students, and Houston is a natural place to create such an ecosystem,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, vice president for energy and innovation at the University of Houston, in a press release. “Training new talent and supporting their pursuit of innovative ideas is key to meeting the growing global need for affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable energy.”

Greentown Houston had a successful first year, attracting more than 60 startups, many of which relocated from outside the United States, proof that Houston is where energy 2.0 companies want to be. From 2017 to 2021, venture capital funding in the Houston energy space totaled more than $327 million. More than 4,700 energy-related businesses are located in Metro Houston.

“Boston and Houston may seem like an odd couple, but they complement each other wonderfully,” said Ben Soltoff, ecosystem builder and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Despite Boston’s strong climate innovation ecosystem, startups looking to scale are “looking to Texas, where they can find talent, space and industry know-how in spades. Together, these two regions are unstoppable,” Soltoff said.

TEX-E is also aligned with the partnership’s Houston Energy Transition Initiative, which aims to position Houston to lead the global energy transition toward a more efficient and sustainable, low-carbon future by deploying key strategies, including including the startup of emerging technologies.

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