Who are Houston’s Startup Development Organizations? Part I: The Hubs

Want to know which Startup Development Organizations (SDOs) are in the Houston ecosystem? Look no further. To keep track of which hubs* are available for Houston entrepreneurs to develop their companies and organizations, we’ve put together a living document (thanks, Internet!) that we’ll update as soon as new SDOs open or expand into the area. 

Did we miss one? Feel free to send over information to tips@houstonexponential.org so we can include them.

*Part II will be published soon, covering accelerators in the Houston ecosystem.


The Cannon

The Cannon Houston TX logo

In order to solve the sprawl of Houston, we need to have a multitude of startup and innovation spaces. We need to develop these hubs wherever there are significant population clusters throughout our city so that everyone can easily access the resources they need to succeed. We don’t have the luxury of adopting single hub models proven effective in other cities. Because of its size, Houston is a unique case and needs a unique approach. This is the approach we are taking at The Cannon.” – Lawson Gow, Founder of The Cannon

When it was founded:
2018

Who it’s for:
Organizations and individuals, it’s billed as a “campus for entrepreneurs.”

What stage of startup should apply/join?
No specific stages are specified.

Cost:
Open desks start at $250, dedicated desks at $350, private offices vary and community-only memberships are $30. 

Unique benefits:
Access to investment opportunities through Cannon Ventures, programming, corporate partnerships and much more.

Industries served:
No industries specified


Impact Hub
When it was founded:
Impact Hub was founded in 2005 in central London. It has since expanded globally, and that includes a Houston, Texas, location which launched in the spring of 2019.

Who it’s for:
Social change entrepreneurs, from single founders to small startups. 

How competitive is it?
Members must apply before being accepted to ensure they align with the vision and mission. Impact Hub Houston aims “to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues.”

Cost:
$35 a month for a community membership, which includes access to the global app, the ability to work up to three days per year at any global location of Impact Hub, discounts on resources, access to community events, pop-up space access.

Industries served:
No specific industries, though the common thread is entrepreneurs with businesses and organizations aiming to make a positive impact in the world.


Plug and Play Tech Center
When it was founded:
2006

Who it’s for:
Founders with different background and skillsets (technology, operation, business) / Full-time teams, not working on multiple projects / Have a minimum viable product, Alpha or Beta / Raised some capital

How competitive is it?
Very competitive; Plug and Play looks at several thousand companies every year, accelerates a few hundred and invests in a few in each vertical.

What stage of startup should apply/join?
Plug and Play is stage agnostic, encouraging startups before they apply to have at least a minimum viable product or have raised some seed round.

Cost:
Programs are free and have no equity requirement.

Unique benefits:
International footprint: Largest global presence / Capital: Most active early-stage investor / Corporate Relationships: biggest corporate innovation platform

Industries served:
Industrial IoT, Advanced Manufacturing, Predictive Analytics, Process Optimization, Cleantech etc.


Station Houston

When it was founded:
2016

Who it’s for:
Individuals, entrepreneurs and startups

How competitive is it?
Potential members must fill out an application and be accepted to join.

What stage of startup should apply/join?
Early-stage

Cost:
$30 per month for community members, and $200 per month for startup members, with various add-ons available

Unique benefits:
An active mentorship program, educational programming and events, corporate partners, AR/VR Lab onsite

Industries served:
Tech, AR/VR and beyond


TMCx+

When it was founded:
2014

Who it’s for: 
Ideally for early stage startups requiring resources and a space to continue to grow. TMC is “a co-working environment [that] provides pioneering health startups with the space and amenities to refine their solutions.”

How competitive is it?
Requires an application.

What stage of startup should apply/join?
Early-stage startups that may have received initial financing but are unable to afford market-rate rental prices. 

Cost:
Depends on the amount of space needed.

Unique benefits:
Access to the Texas Medical Center, JLABS, TMCx accelerator and AT&T Foundry for Connected Health

Industries served:
Healthcare and life science


TX/RX Labs

When it was founded:
2008-2009

Who it’s for: 
Founders and makers, but there are memberships open to everyone, including supporters. 

How competitive is it?
Studio and maker options require an application. 

Cost:

Non-Tool Membership:
TX/RX Supporter: $10 per month includes free access to Lab talks and events and access to email list.
Amigotron: $20 per month includes all of the above, plus a five percent discount on workshops, with coworking access to lab during business hours.

Interns/Table Membership:
Table Hacker: $145+ per month includes unrestricted access to TX/RX 7 days a week (during business hours), and a private work table for projects and storage.
Studio Resident: $800 per month includes all the benefits of a Table Hacker membership, plus a private climate-controlled studio/dedicated room with 24/7 access. Space is limited.

All-Access membership:
Tinkerer: $50 per month includes all the benefits of the Amigotron level membership, access to the TX/RX Labs private email list, a 10 percent discount on all workshops, and full access to tools and equipment on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (during business hours).
Hacker: $90 per month includes all the benefits of a Tinkerer level membership, plus unrestricted access to TX/RX seven days a week (during business hours).
Maker: $210 per month includes all the benefits of a hacker membership, for for-profit usage of lab equipment.

Unique benefits:
Access to lab, machinery and workshops

Industries served: 
Tech, artists, manufacturing


WeWork Labs

When it was founded:
Founded in 2011, it was recently relaunched this year (2019), with Houston’s location accepting members in the spring. 

Who it’s for:
Company founders, “early-stage startups” and “forward-thinking enterprise companies.”

What stage of startup should apply/join?
Early-stage

Cost:
Simply the cost of rent, which varies by market. In Houston, that’s $250 per person, which gets members access to the Labs area inside the 708 Main Street WeWork location, in addition to mentoring opportunities, access to programming, a dedicated Labs manager onsite, member exclusives and a global network. 

Industries served:
Not industry-specific

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