Houston’s Surge Accelerator Debuts New Set of Cleantech Startups

About 400 people packed Underbelly restaurant in Houston’s trendy Montrose district Wednesday to meet the latest startups from the Surge Accelerator’s fourth class.

This year’s cohort is the program’s most mature group of startups, in terms of customers and funding already in-hand, since Surge’s founding in 2011. Many of the companies already earn at least $1 million in revenue.

The evening also become a reunion of sorts for Surge alumni, who caught up with each other noshing on crudités prepared by Chris Shepherd’s James Beard award-winning kitchen or sipping craft beer from Hay Merchant, Underbelly’s adjoining sister restaurant.

In a nod to the demo day that will close the Surge program in May, the entrepreneurs gave the assembled audience of energy venture capitalists and other investors their first company pitches—a formal coming out to the city’s oil and gas scene.

Half of the companies are already based in Houston, with one each from Canada, Colorado, Oklahoma, and London. Here is the full list:

CleanNG (Tulsa, OK): CleanNG has developed a novel storage system for fuel for natural gas vehicles.

Forerunner Research (Nova Scotia, Canada): The company makes devices that can measure gas, particularly carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere and trapped in soil.

Gnosys (Houston): Gnosys has software for authoring, administering, and automating electronic procedures using augmented reality.

Guard 1 Services (Houston): This company provides a data collection and reporting security service in oilfield sites.

In.Acuity (Houston): In.Acuity provides educational workshops on oil and gas topics for the energy industry.

NeoTreks (Colorado Springs, CO): The company has developed a geospatial app to operators in the oilfield working with multilayer maps.

Terrabotics (London): The company makes 3-D terrain maps and analytics of Earth from space imagery.

Vert Solar Finance (Houston): Vert is a solar acquisition platform for small to medium-sized utility projects in the United States.


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