Countdown to Houston 2035: Startups Predict City’s Innovation Trends

Xconomy Texas — 

To get the best view of the innovation taking place in a city, it helps to get down to the bottom, the foundation of each community’s ecosystem: the entrepreneurs themselves.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, Xconomy has been able to provide complimentary tickets for a number of startups for the Houston 2035 conference on May 21 at the Texas Medical Center’s TMCx. In exchange, the entrepreneurs shared their predictions for how the innovative Houston in the decades to come might look like.

Some of those predictions follow. And if you are a startup, we still have a few of those free tickets to give away. To reserve your complimentary ticket, simply email with the following information:

—Name, Title, Company

—A brief description of what you think Houston will look like in 2035

Remember, these tickets are reserved for companies less than three years old with 20 or fewer employees, and are for new registrations—if you already have a ticket, it cannot be exchanged for a free one, but hopefully you have a friend or colleague who can snag one with this offer. And, given the limited number of tickets, we ask that if you claim a ticket, please use it or let us know if you can’t.

It’s going to be a great day of stimulating conversation on how Houston’s strengths in energy, life sciences, education, and more, can result in the city being an innovative leader in the decades to come. We have brought together a number of Houston voices, including former astronaut and University of Houston professor Bonnie Dunbar, Blair Garrou at the Mercury Fund, and John Holcomb at UT Health.

And there will be perspective from the outside, too, with Bill Aulet of the MIT Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, and Andrew Salkin, who leads the 100 Resilient Cities Initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation.

In the meantime, here are a few of those entrepreneur predictions. I’ll share more next week.

Sarah Worthy, CEO and Founder, Door Space

Houston has tremendous opportunity to become the place where people are trained to work and live in space, and by 2035, I believe people won’t think I’m so crazy for saying we’re going to be the epicenter of aerospace engineering, space mining and space exploration.


—Three spaceports on their way or already here in Texas, along with two international airports and room to expand for more people to live and work here.
—Johnson Space Center is the best-equipped place to get astronaut training, with facilities and expertise unavailable anywhere else in the world.
—The Texas Medical Center is a leader in advanced healthcare and will have the ability to provide medical training and innovation that makes it safer to work in space.
—The energy sector is going to run out of options on earth, and with Houston as the home for most major oil and gas/energy companies, they’ll provide additional funding and support to begin mining resources and building solar and other unthought-of yet sustainable energy technologies in space.

Anu Saha, Principal Product Manager, Bazaarvoice

I believe Houston will be home to many more B2E (business-to-enterprise) startups that will give enterprise companies access to the latest innovations while maintaining the security, compliance, and stability they are required to have.

Katie Brittain, CEO, Vertelogics

It is clear that the healthcare industry has started the shift from a fee for service model to a value-based/outcomes driven model. It is expected that by 2035 healthcare, inclusive of diagnostics, treatment, and payment models, will look nothing like it does today. I expect to see Houston thriving in the new healthcare model. [The city] is home to thinkers, academics, entrepreneurs, and drivers all interested in preparing for, achieving, and surpassing the standards laid out before us. Other health care economies will fail to transition while Houston continues on in its role as an industry leader.

Michele Price, founder, Pitch Different

Houston has come together to find their own unique ways to connect their global businesses with their local startups, producing leading-edge solutions that are adopted around the world. Life sciences unexpectedly led the energy sector to find new avenues to deliver value for consumers. Houston is seen for its preeminent entrepreneurial leadership, creating answers that help citizens around the world.