Houston podcasters aim to showcase promising local energy tech startups
Houston has a bit of a perception problem, according to Jason Ethier, a long-time energy tech innovator and new podcast host.
"Houston isn't viewed as a cool place to build a company if you don't know how good it is to be here," he says on the Houston Innovators Podcast.
Ethier, who serves as senior director of membership at Greentown Labs, set out to fix that when he launched the EnergyTech Startups podcast last fall with co-host Lara Cottingham, the vice president of strategy, policy, and climate impact at Greentown Labs. To date, the show has introduced listeners to over 20 energy founders and is continuing to do so on a biweekly basis.
"As an entrepreneur, sometimes you feel a gap in the market in your bones and you just have to do something about it," Ethier explains on the origin of the show.
Jason Ethier and Lara Cottingham co-host the EnergyTech Startups podcast. Photos courtesy
With his background in the Northeast, Ethier has seen first hand how Houstonians are just different — they tackle tough challenges and are heads-down focused on these innovations.
"Houston has a lot going for it as a place to build a business, and we're not going to do it the Silicon Valley. We do things the Houston way — we build new technologies, we build big projects," Ethier says. "The funny thing about Houstonians I find is that they are very understated with what they achieve and accomplish like it's no big deal. But it is a big deal."
That's where Ethier and the podcast can help shine a spotlight on the unique innovation these startup founders are in the process of commercializing.
"The premise of EnergyTech Startups is that we're building an energy ecosystem here, and energy and climate are two sides of the same coin," he says. "People working on these energy technologies made the choice to come to Houston — they made the choice not to go to Silicon Valley or Boston."
The goal is twofold — give these startups the platform to tell their story and showcase Houston as the hub for energy innovation.
"How do we tell this Houston story so that whenever folks look at the map and say, 'where do I want to build my business?' they look at Houston and see it as a place they should end up," he says.
Listen to the full episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast with Jason Ethier.