HOUSTON, (September 20, 2019), Station Houston (“Station”), Houston’s accelerator for startup technology companies, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, announced today that its Ion Smart Cities Accelerator will open its first office space and prototyping lab on September 23. The Accelerator, backed by Microsoft and Intel with programming and benefits provided by Station, TX/RX, a nonprofit makerspace, and the City of Houston, launched in September.
The space, at 1301 Fannin St, opens just after the Accelerator announced its first Cohort, to tackle Houston’s transportation, resiliency, and other needs, including flow of information, data analysis and engagement, and infrastructure. The Accelerator’s inaugural cohort has already started working with City of Houston decision makers, mentors and other experts to develop and refine their solutions for these needs. Startups are also engaging with the Near Northside Complete Community to more deeply understand and address community members’ specific needs. The program will culminate in a Demo Day in December 2019.
The new space includes several unique design features and capabilities including:
- An on-site prototyping lab and makerspace, staffed by engineering experts who supervise the design and creation of hardware and models, support startups and their prototyping needs, and host programming and classes for the cohort, students and community members
- An XR Lab, which features state-of-the-art virtual reality simulations and experiences to inform and engage the Smart Cities cohort and corporations seeking XR-based solutions, attract and support startup talent through connections and product development services, and host community outreach events and initiatives to develop and train Houston’s local XR community
- A “design-thought” flexible learning and co-working space for collaboration or quiet-working that features classrooms in close proximity to the makerspace so the Smart Cities cohort, students, and community members can enjoy increased access to equipment, capabilities, and workforce and technology education programs
- The inclusion of General Assembly, a global leader in education, which will offer robust programming focused on tech, data, design, and business, so the Smart Cities cohort, students, and community members will also be able to leverage this programming
“The purpose of the Ion Smart Cities Accelerator is to address the needs of the Houston community by developing and deploying technology to enhance the civic fabric that makes Houston so innovative,” explains Christine Galib, Director of the Ion Smart Cities Accelerator. “It was imperative to create a space that represents the intersections of collaboration, innovation, and technology and makes these intersections accessible.”
Through providing expertise and programming support, Station and TX/RX were invaluable in creating this space. Netrality’s, D.I.V.A. Built’s, and CORT’s operational, design, and construction-related guidance also enabled an on-time completion for our space.
An official ribbon cutting ceremony, at which the Mayor will be present, will take place on Monday, September 23 at 4:30 p.m. at the Accelerator’s new office and prototyping lab. Guests will have the opportunity to visit and engage with demos and simulations in its makerspace and XR Labs, as well as meet the Accelerator’s first cohort. To register, visit: https://bit.ly/2me2xeP.
About Station Houston
Station Houston's vision is to transform Houston into a world-leading hub for technology innovation and entrepreneurship. This vision unfolds as a vibrant community where people live, work and play, with Station serving as the connective tissue fostering our culture of innovation. Station launched in March 2016 and now serves over 200 startups, 400 members, 130 mentors, and dozens of high-impact strategic partnerships with corporations and service providers that represent the key industries serving the Houston economy.