Loretta McCarthy, managing partner, Golden SeedsOctober 23, 2018
Houston is the nation’s fourth most populous city with bragging rights in many areas. It hosts the largest medical complex on the planet, The Texas Medical Center, is the energy capital of the world, and home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Recently, WalletHub named Houston the most favorable city in the U.S. for STEM workers. In life science and biotech, it boasts nearly 1,800 companies, hospitals and health facilities. It also has a major ecosystem of nearly 150 rapidly developing tech companies, accounting for $1.3 billion in venture funding.
That’s just the start of why Golden Seeds is thrilled to have added a new Houston chapter.
Golden Seeds has been watching Houston’s business climate for a while and strongly felt it was time to take things to the next level. We are confident it offers attractive conditions for women entrepreneurs and angel investors, and statistics and initiatives back that up.
According to the Center for Urban Future, women-owned businesses in Houston grew as much as 62 percent between 2007 and 2016 — eclipsing a 27 percent national average. That earned it the fourth spot among the top 25 U.S. cities, a ranking it equaled for growth in female entrepreneurs. An American Express study also places Texas second in women-owned firms, and tied for first in their economic clout.
Further, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner are working together to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in Texas.
Houston is enhancing its innovation community, too, creating districts to support startups with space, resources and access to capital. These include: The Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Institute, with more than 150 startups; JLABS, located within the TMCx Accelerator, hosting more than 50 startups; Station Houston, with more than 184 startups; and The Cannon with 70+ startups.
Dr. Tom Luby, Head of JLABS Texas, said, “At JLABS, our commitment to fostering women and minority entrepreneurs is a part of our DNA. Across our global network, 26 percent of our residents are led by women, compared to just 1 percent industrywide. Houston continues to grow as a place where healthcare startups can access differentiated resources that contribute to their success, no matter their background.”
With the recent announcement of Houston Exponential (HX), which is focused on driving the region to become a top 10 startup ecosystem, more companies and advancements will emerge.
Golden Seeds is proud to partner with the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce (GHWCC) in launching our new Houston chapter. The GHWCC provides valuable mentors, advisors and resources for women-led startups. With more than 1,100 member businesses, it’s the fastest growing women’s chamber in the U.S.
“Houston’s women entrepreneurs are increasingly driving growth across traditional and new industries,” said Suzan Deison, founder and CEO of the GHWCC. “We want to cultivate an environment and resources that will continue this success. As such, we’re always on the lookout for new opportunities and partnerships, and our research led us to Golden Seeds, which is a perfect fit.”
We, too, have been delighted to connect with the GHWCC, which now hosts Golden Seeds’ monthly meetings in Houston and helps us make valuable local connections. We’ve had an active group in Dallas for seven years, and considering all we heard about Houston — and the willingness of dynamic groups like the GHWCC to collaborate — a chapter in Houston was a natural next step.
As noted by Managing Director of Golden Seeds and member of the Houston chapter, Sonia Mathur, a longtime angel investor: “Women, given equal opportunity and by supporting each other, turn possibility into progress. We are stronger together — this is the right business climate.
“It’s happening in Houston and we’ve all got a very strong future to look forward to here.”
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