HOUSTON — (Realty News Report) – MassChallenge, a startup accelerator that will nurture and launch inventors and entrepreneurial ventures, is opening a facility in GreenStreet, a mixed-used property in downtown Houston.
The MassChallenge location at GreenStreet will represent the northern point of Houston’s new Innovation Corridor, a four-mile stretch of Houston from downtown to the Texas Medical Center.
MassChallenge, which opened in Austin last year, also has locations in Israel, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, has led to the creation of thousands of jobs. The organizations entry into Houston was announced at a press conference Wednesday at GreenStreet.
“MassChallenge is a perfect fit for GreenStreet,” said Jonathan Brinsden, CEO of Midway, owner and operator of GreenStreet with partner Lionstone Investments. “We are creating the new model of urban lifestyle at GreenStreet, a place in Downtown for business people in a wide range of industries to collaborate and find inspiration. Houston’s welcoming, can-do spirit nurtures start-ups and fast-growth companies, and makes our city ideal for established firms on the leading edge.”
MassChallenge, based in Boston, is an organization that screens and selects innovators and scientists that will work at the MassChallenge space in Houston to develop and advance their innovations, working with mentors and startup experts for many weeks. When the winning innovators are selected they typically attract venture capitalists ready to finance the startup, said John Harthorne, CEO of MassChallenge.
MassChallenge is a non-profit organization that takes no equity in the startups. Harthorne explained the process thusly:
“Essentially we will open for applications in April. Anybody can enter from anywhere in the world from any sort of industry,” Harthorne said. “It could be a non-profit, could be a pharmaceutical, it could be aerospace, could be tech, web software, mobil, it doesn’t matter at all. The criteria for judging is we are looking for startups with the highest potential for significant impact on humanity.”
The chosen participants are given office space, training, mentoring, lab space and other assistance for several months, until the most promising concepts are selected.
To date, 1,900 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $4 billion in funding, generated more than $2 billion in revenue, and created over 120,000 total jobs.
“MassChallenge is an opportunity that we pursued in earnest,” said Bob Eury, president of Central Houston and the Downtown Redevelopment Authority. “The Downtown Redevelopment Authority has approved an agreement with MassChallenge for an economic development grant to operate this program within Downtown, an investment that we believe will garner long-term results for the GreenStreet development, Downtown and the Houston region.”
The amount of the grant is not to exceed $2,500,000 to be paid over a five-year period.