Innovation surrounds us, from the B2B startups designing software solutions for huge oil and gas corporations to a fitness app that allows users to safely and efficiently book private trainers.
During 2019, InnovationMap published stories on these startups, burgeoning mixed-use spaces, innovative sustainable stores, and more. Here’s which of those stories readers flocked to.
Houston hangover pill startup seen on Shark Tank rebrands following multimillion-dollar raise
On his failed investor attempt on Shark Tank, Brooks Powell couldn’t secure a shark investment for $400,000. Now, he just closed on $2.1 million for his startup. Courtesy of Cheers
When Brooks Powell’s Houston-based startup got passed over by the investors on Shark Tank last year, he didn’t let it deter him. Instead, the Houston entrepreneur buckled down and started seeking investments off the screen.
It paid off, and Cheers (née Thrive+) recently closed a $2.1 million seed round. The round was lead by NextView Ventures, which has the likes of TaskRabbit, threadUP, and Letgo among its portfolio.
With the new investment, Brooks says the company is rebranding from Thrive, its original moniker, to Cheers.
“Thrive+ doesn’t really say anything about what we did or who we are about,” Powell says. “We knew we needed something fitting for the alcohol industry but at the same time has the connotation of fun, responsibility, and health.”
Massive mixed-use project to bring creative office and coworking space to the Houston Heights
The MKT expects to revolutionize the live-work-play model with everything from retail and restaurant to office and coworking space. Courtesy of The MKT
On a stroll or a spin down the Heights Hike and Bike Trail, you might not notice a complete transformation is eminent. The MKT — a mixed-use renovation and build out project — is getting ready to break ground.
The five-building, 200,000-square-foot project will bring 30 retail and restaurant concepts, and 100,000 square feet of office space together along with four acres of green space, parking, and an outdoor venue alongside 1,000 linear feet of the trail between North Shepherd Drive and Herkimer Street. The MKT name comes from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad — later known as the Katy Railroad — that was transformed into the Heights Hike and Bike Trail.
5 Houston lifestyle startups changing the way you live, work, and play
From restaurant finding apps to a healthy food startup — these are the lifestyle startups to watch in Houston. Getty Images
While sometimes it seems like a lot of the Houston innovation landscape is energy and medical tech companies, there are several lifestyle-focused startups that fly under the radar. Whether it’s a fizzle cocktail creator — or a cure for a hangover from said fizzy cocktail — these five Houston startups are ones to watch.
Houston nonprofit that’s upcycling textiles and clothing opens new store
Magpies & Peacocks has prevented over 220,000 pounds of textiles in landfills by upcycling fabrics for new fashion items. The nonprofit now has a new store to keep up with demand. Magpies & Peacocks/Instagram
Magpies & Peacocks, the nation’s only nonprofit design house that collects and reuses post consumer textiles, clothing, and accessories, opens their first permanent retail space in Houston on Saturday, June 1. The Co:Lab Marketplace will be located inside the organization’s current warehouse space in Houston’s East End.
The 6,000-square-foot space holds luxury upcycled sustainable clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home decor, along with partner sustainable and ethical brands. There will also be a bar offering cocktails and coffee, a lounge area, and a capsule gallery featuring the work of local artists.
Sustainability and avoiding unnecessary waste — coupled with fashion — are the goals of the nonprofit, which is also a part of the United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion.
4 fitness-focused Houston startups changing the industry
From what you wear to where you go, here are some Houston fitness startups changing the game. Courtesy of Accel Lifestyle
Houston has developed into a city full of boutique fitness studios and updated parks, and now the city is seeing fitness startups popping up as well. From creating a smell-free fabric to engaging NASA technology into training, these Houston fitness startups are working out innovative ideas into the exercise industry.