top stories

Greentown scores federal funding, Houston startups win big, and more trending energy transition news

Three Houston energy tech startups win awards at local innovation event — and more top stories from the week. Photo by Emily Jaschke/InnovationMap

Editor's note: It's been a busy news week for energy transition in Houston, and some of this week's headlines resonated with EnergyCapital readers on social media and daily newsletter. Trending news included wins for Houston energy tech startups, federal funding for Greentown Houston, and more.

Canadian company secures Houston funding, relocates HQ

Ambyint has fresh funding and a new main office. Photo via Getty Images

An AI-powered energy tech company has raised additional funding and relocated it's main office to Canada.

Ambyint, a Canadian-founded company that's had a Houston presence for a few years, has announced its latest round of funding and new headquarters. The software company provides energy customers with its AI-powered production and artificial lift optimization platform.

The funding comes from existing investors, Houston-based Mercury and Montrose Lane, plus two new investors, BDC Capital and Accelerate Fund III. The undisclosed amount of funding will go toward customer growth, hiring, and new enhancements to the technology, including expanding emissions mitigation capabilities.

"We have the wind in our sails and are extremely proud to see this transaction close,” Benjamin Kemp, CEO of Ambyint, says in a news release. “This investment allows us to double down on the energy market and further our AI-enabled optimization platform. Validation from our customers, talented employees, and investors is most welcome as we continue to scale.” Read more.

3 Houston energy startups score awards at annual innovation event

Three energy tech startups secured wins at the Houston Innovation Awards. Photos courtesy

Three energy tech startups scored wins this week at the annual Houston Innovation Awards.

The awards program — hosted by EnergyCapital's sister site, InnovationMap, and Houston Exponential — named its winners on November 8 at the Houston Innovation Awards. The program was established to honor the best and brightest companies and individuals from the city's innovation community.

Eighteen Houston energy startups were named finalists last month across categories, and three won awards. Read more.

Greentown Houston selected for federal program that's accelerating tech entrepreneurship

Greentown Houston has received funding from the EDA. Photo via GreentownLabs.com

Sixty organizations across the country have received a grant from the United States Department of Commerce — and one recipient is based in Houston.

Greentown Labs, dual located in Houston and Somerville, Massachusetts, has received a grant from the 10th cohort of the Economic Development Administration's “Build to Scale” program for its Houston location. The $53 million of funding was awarded to 60 organizations across 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. All of the programs support technology entrepreneurs across industries.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is Investing in America to help create entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and put quality, 21st century job opportunities in people’s backyards,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo says in the press release. “The ‘Build to Scale’ program will unlock innovation potential in regions all over the nation, improving our economic competitiveness now, and for decades to come.” Read more.

Oxy subsidiary gets $550M boost to form new CCUS joint venture

Oxy, which broke ground on its DAC project Stratos earlier this year, has secured a $550 million commitment from a financial partner. Photo via 1pointfive.com

Occidental Petroleum’s direct air capture (DAC) initiative just got a more than half-a-billion-dollar investment from Blackrock, the world’s largest asset management company.

Houston-based Occidental announced November 7 that on behalf of its investment clients, BlackRock has agreed to pump $550 million into the DAC facility, called Stratos, that Oxy is building in the Midland-Odessa area. The investment will be carried out through a joint venture between BlackRock and Oxy subsidiary 1PointFive, which specializes in carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS).

A groundbreaking ceremony for Stratos — being billed as the world’s largest DAC operation — was held in April 2023. Construction is scheduled to be completed in mid-2025. The facility is expected to capture up to 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Read more.

Global corporation to open generative AI studio geared toward energy, chemicals industries in Houston

Accenture's Houston hub will introduce a new generative AI studio. Photo via Getty Images

Accenture has announced a new studio coming to Houston that will help its industrial clients with generative artificial intelligence.

The company announced that it will launch a network of studios across North America that will work with clients to explore generative AI applications in business. The initiative will support companies in navigating use cases, conducting AI pilots, and scaling programs. The studios will be in Accenture Innovation Hubs in Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, D.C.

“The studios are designed to help our clients move from interest to action to value, in a responsible way with clear business cases,” Manish Sharma, North America CEO of Accenture, says in the news release. “We are constantly refreshing our learnings from more than 3,000 client conversations on generative AI this year. We use these conversations as demand signals to understand the real-world challenges our clients face and invest in the areas of greatest need and opportunity.” Read more.

Trending News

A View From HETI

The four companies are among 24 semifinalists in the agency’s Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize program that were chosen to receive a total of $1.2 million for their commercial-scale CO2 removal technology.

Four Houston companies have received $50,000 each from the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop their carbon dioxide removal technology.

The four companies are among 24 semifinalists in the agency’s Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize program that were chosen to receive a total of $1.2 million for their commercial-scale CO2 removal technology.

The funding comes in the form of the Department of Energy’s purchase of CO2 removal credits.

“The Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Prize is a first-of-a-kind initiative to catalyze the market for high-quality CO2 removal credits, helping jumpstart a critical decarbonization tool,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says in a news release.

The Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize project will provide up to $35 million in cash awards. The 24 semifinalists will be whittled down to as many as 10 finalists that’ll receive up to $3 million each.

The four Houston companies that have been named semifinalists are:

  • Climate Robotics. The company’s mobile platform produces and applies biochar — organic waste material or biomass — to store CO2.
  • Mati Carbon. The companyremoves carbon dioxide and stores it in rocks to boost rice productivity in the U.S.
  • 1PointFive. The company, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, is building facility that will eventually capture up to 500,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
  • Vaulted Deep. The companyundertakes geologic storage of slurried organic waste for permanent removal of CO2.

Granholm says the DOE prize program and the Biden administration are giving the private sector the tools they need to make real contributions to our fight against the climate crisis and deliver real benefits to communities across the nation.”

Three of the companies selected — Vaulted Deep, Mati Carbon, and Climate Robotics — were also recently named finalists in Elon Musk's XPRIZE's four-year global competition is designed to combat climate change with innovative solutions.

Trending News