ready to accelerate

Texas climate accelerator names Houston company to latest cohort

SeisWave specializes in cost-effective, cloud-based seismic data processing. Photo via Getty Images

An Austin-based climate accelerator announced its 2023 cohort, which includes a Houston cleantech startup.

StudioX named seven startups to its 2023 cohort, and SeisWave Corp., a seismic service company, will join the program that aims to help the world reach net-zero targets by 2050. The group comprises Studio X's third cohort since the company launched in 2020.

SeisWave specializes in cost-effective, cloud-based seismic data processing.

Other companies in the cohort include:

  • AI Technology & Systems: A NASA iTech company that provides compressed AI models and software
  • Austere Environmental: An environmental remediation solution that extracts chemical contaminants in soil, drill cuttings, and tailings
  • Economical Energy: A long-duration energy storage solution company
  • Flexergy: A developing highly efficient hydrogen gas compression, storage and distribution system
  • Onvol: An IoT power solutions tech company with applications in wind energy, transport, and mining
  • Project Geminae: A Midland, Texas-based AI-powered portfolio optimization platform advancing predictive modeling across industries

The companies will participate in a 16-week program and mentorship through the cohort, along with investment opportunities.

“Our accelerator program helps to close that gap through bringing together an engaged community that grows these companies at a faster rate, ultimately driving innovation, and helping to evolve global energy solutions,” Jeff Allyn, CEO of Studio X, says in a statement.

Studio X is fully-owned and incubated by Shell and aims to "break down the silos of traditional R&D," according to its website. Click here to view some of the accelerator's past participants.

The company will host an Accelerator Showcase Event Friday, Nov. 10, where companies will pitch their concepts and offer a Q&A session. Register here.

Another Shell-backed accelerator announced its cohort earlier this week. In partnership with Greentown Labs, the organizations announced the cohort for Greentown Go Make 2023, which aims to accelerate partnerships between startups and corporations to advance carbon utilization, storage, and traceability solutions. The cohort includes six companies from around the world, from the Netherlands and Canada to Massachusetts and Washington state.

Additionally, The Goodwill Clean Tech Accelerator will launch in Houston next year to help advance clean tech jobs. According to Accenture and Goodwill, which are partners in the accelerator, said it plans to grow the program to 20 cities in the next seven years and train an estimated 7,000 job seekers.

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A View From HETI

HEXASpec was founded by Rice Ph.D. candidates Tianshu Zhai and Chen-Yang Lin, who are a part of Lilie’s 2024 Innovation Fellows program. Photo courtesy of Rice

A group of Rice University student-founded companies shared $100,000 of cash prizes at an annual startup competition — and three of those winning companies are focused on sustainable solutions.

Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's H. Albert Napier Rice Launch Challenge, hosted by Rice earlier this month, named its winners for 2024. HEXASpec, a company that's created a new material to improve heat management for the semiconductor industry, won the top prize and $50,000 cash.

Founded by Rice Ph.D. candidates Tianshu Zhai and Chen-Yang Lin, who are a part of Lilie’s 2024 Innovation Fellows program, HEXASpec is improving efficiency and sustainability within the semiconductor industry, which usually consumes millions of gallons of water used to cool data centers. According to Rice's news release, HEXASpec's "next-generation chip packaging offer 20 times higher thermal conductivity and improved protection performance, cooling the chips faster and reducing the operational surface temperature."

A few other sustainability-focused startups won prizes, too. CoFlux Purification, a company that has a technology that breaks down PFAS using a novel absorbent for chemical-free water, won second place and $25,000, as well as the Audience Choice Award, which came with an additional $2,000.

Solidec, a company that's working on a platform to produce chemicals from captured carbon, and HEXASpec won Outstanding Achievement in Climate Solutions Prizes, which came with $1,000.

The NRLC, open to Rice students, is Lilie's hallmark event. Last year's winner was fashion tech startup, Goldie.

“We are the home of everything entrepreneurship, innovation and research commercialization for the entire Rice student, faculty and alumni communities,” Kyle Judah, executive director at Lilie, says in a news release. “We’re a place for you to immerse yourself in a problem you care about, to experiment, to try and fail and keep trying and trying and trying again amongst a community of fellow rebels, coloring outside the lines of convention."

This year, the competition started with 100 student venture teams before being whittled down to the final five at the championship. The program is supported by Lilie’s mentor team, Frank Liu and the Liu Family Foundation, Rice Business, Rice’s Office of Innovation, and other donors

“The heart and soul of what we’re doing to really take it to the next level with entrepreneurship here at Rice is this fantastic team,” Peter Rodriguez, dean of Rice Business, adds. “And they’re doing an outstanding job every year, reaching further, bringing in more students. My understanding is we had more than 100 teams submit applications. It’s an extraordinarily high number. It tells you a lot about what we have at Rice and what this team has been cooking and making happen here at Rice for a long, long time.”

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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