Houston 2035: Startups Predict the Innovative Houston in Two Decades

Xconomy Texas — 

We’re seven days out from Houston 2035, a look at the innovative city of the future. This week we have been featuring predictions from some of the entrepreneurs who are attending our daylong conference on May 21.

On tap: discussions on how Houston can leverage its strengths in healthcare, energy, education, and other sectors to be an urban leader in the decades to come. We’ve brought together voices from Rice University, Shell, the Houston mayor’s office, and others, as well as outside perspective such as from the MIT Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship.

To register for this event and to learn more, visit our event site. Also, our special playoffs rate—the Houston Rockets are is Los Angeles tonight battling the Clippers in a must-win game—ends today. Register before midnight on Thursday to save $120 on regular registration.

If you are a startup, we still have a few of those free tickets to give away. To reserve your complimentary ticket, simply e-mail [email protected] 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.

Here are additional predictions from our startups:

Bala Raja, co-founder and CEO, Luminostics

—Houston, by 2035, will have fulfilled its much-touted potential as the “third coast” in innovation and technology commercialization. J-Labs, TMCx, and other such initiatives will have fostered a handful of “home run” startups, adding to the city’s allure for life science and digital health entrepreneurs. Houston can be expected to be among the latest adopters of electric cars; 2035 will probably see them finally rival F-150s in popularity. The University of Houston will have a fledgling medical school that will slowly help establish the university as a core arm of the Texas Medical Center. Sadly, though, the much-detested rush hour Houston traffic can only be expected to worsen.

Hussain Ali, founder and CEO, Houston Dynamic Displays

—Houston is well positioned to be the next global city and to meet the challenges because of its strong healthcare, energy, and manufacturing sectors, but we need to invest rapidly in education to produce more college graduates and also to invest in the skilled labor development.

John Jenkins, strategic development, Layers Design & Media

Freddy Castillo, creative director, Layers Design & Media

—We believe that the layoffs that the city is currently experiencing from the E&P sector are creating a new talent pool from which startups will be able to pull. This in turn will strengthen our city’s startup sector, and by 2035, our city will have a more diverse economy in regard to the industries we serve and the scale of businesses that drive our economy. Couple this with the climate issues of the east coast and the drought issues on the west coast and Houston is primed to become the second or third largest city.

Jonathan Woolf, founder, The Spliff

—I hope that Houston will one day be the center of startups in America and around the world. I have seen our startup scene grow year after year, and hope that one day companies will flock to Houston.

Dan Munoz, managing director, My Personal MD

—As for how Houston will look in 2035, all I can say is regardless of what any of us think the future looks like, we will most likely be wrong. We live in an age of such revolutionary innovators that predicting what anything will be like in 20 years is at best a wild guess. Personally, I hope we will have solved the traffic issue. This alone robs us of hours every day of productivity and time with our families.

One of our great strengths is that we have a vibrant and rich multicultural mix of people, and I hope that never changes. I hope by 2035 the Texans would have won a few Super Bowls. I hope that by 2035, Houston will be known as the world leader for medical innovation/treatment, clean and abundant energy, and that we will have created a city of architectural marvels. I hope we continue to have the level of arts that rival the finest in the world.

Franny Oxford, CEO, Do The Work

—By 2035, the generations of recent immigrants Houston has been lucky enough to absorb over the last 10 years will be much better integrated into the larger community, on their own terms. The startup businesses they began, in order to make a living here, will mature into multigenerational family-owned small- and medium-sized businesses, directly contributing to the larger Houston area and to the state of Texas.

Again, if you are a startup, write to us to claim a free ticket. If you aren’t a startup but are interested in the innovation future of Houston, grab your ticket here. The Rockets special ends today.