Houston Accelerators that Every Startup Needs to Know About


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19 min read

Houston accelerators are one of the best ways to get your startup business off the ground.

Texas has such a thriving business community, so it’s no surprise that professionals from the east and west coast are moving to major cities such as Austin and Houston.

There are unrivaled opportunities in these cities to expand your business and connect with like-minded individuals. Plus, with lots of fancy bars, cafes, and a bustling nightlife scene, it’s a very attractive place to be.

For any startup looking to make an impact, there’s no better way to accelerate your growth than by joining an accelerator program.

Providing much needed support and mentorship, it’s a great way for new businesses to fast track their growth.

Assuming you have a viable product or service, with evidence that customers have a need for it, then these programs can be very beneficial.

Perhaps you’re interested in joining a Houston accelerator program, but don’t know where to start?

In this post, we’ve put together your list of Houston accelerators that will help propel your business forward.

green founder institute logo
Credit to Founder Institute

Founder Institute HTX

Founded in 2009 by Adeo Ressi and Jonathan Greechan, Founder Institute HTX has helped over 5,000 businesses across over 200 cities to launch their business. In total, they’ve helped businesses raise over $1.5 billion in funding by turning their ideas into reality.

This makes it the largest pre-seed startup accelerator in the world, and their mission is to empower customers to succeed all across the globe.

When setting up the company, the founders realized that most startups lacked the necessary support, structure, feedback, and network that it needed to be successful.

Also, the high demand for accelerator programs helped the Founder Institute grow rapidly across hundreds of cities. Originally there were no plans to expand the programme beyond its base in Silicon Valley.

However, after receiving lots of interest to launch the program in other locations, the Founder Institute took the decision to expand. Today, the program operates across 200 cities and is localized into 9 languages.

They also have over 25,000 mentors across six continents, including some of the world’s most renowned entrepreneurs and investors. Therefore, you can be sure you’re receiving the very best support to guide you in the right direction on your business journey.

Find out more about this Houston Accelerator program here.

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Credit to Texas Medical Center

Texas Medical Center Healthcare Accelerator

Formerly known as TMCx, Texas Medical Center’s Healthcare Accelerator is a leading accelerator program for upcoming digital health and medical device startups.

For healthcare startup businesses, this program is a fantastic opportunity to build your business with the support of top medical experts by your side.

Hundreds of medical startups from around the world join this accelerator programme to foster important relationships and to achieve key clinical milestones.

You’ll also have dedicated access to top-tier hospitals and seasoned advisors who will prepare you for clinical validation, funding, and deployment into the world’s largest medical city – the Texas Medical Center.

Each company who joins this Houston Accelerator will experience a customized journey that is tailored to their specific needs. The program is designed for businesses who have at least demonstrated proof of concept and are ready for enterprise-level conversations.

Find out more about this Houston Accelerator program here.

members of owlspark accelerator program
Credit to OwlSpark


Founded in 2012, OwlSpark is an accelerator program aimed at Rice University students, staff, faculty, and alumni within five years after they’ve graduated.

With the help of the OwlSpark accelerator program, the Rice community can receive a range of entrepreneurial assistance to help them establish their business concept.

This accelerator program is dedicated to creating a family-like community of like-minded thinkers and doers who want to make a difference. To help businesses achieve their vision, OwlSpark created a roadmap that outlines how they can progress from innovation to commercialization.

Aside from the accelerator program, partnerships with university and community organizations create an environment that encourages entrepreneurs from an early age to share their ideas, and experience the value of collaboration.

The impact of OwlSpark has built an ecosystem for entrepreneurs to connect with one another and launch their business.

Find out more about this Houston Accelerator program here.

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Credit to Fruition Technology Labs

Fruition Technology Labs

Located in the heart of Houston, Fruition Technology Labs began in 2013.

The accelerator provides entrepreneurs with a five-step program, cleverly titled the “5 Steps to Fruition”, which includes the stages of unlocking, exploring, planning, building, and launching.

The program aims to help companies achieve substantial growth through a group of startups known as the Life Impact Innovations.

They want to ensure that no entrepreneur ever feels alone on their journey, as starting your own business is not only brave, but also quite isolating.

That’s where Fruition Technology labs come in.

They are committed to providing startups with the stability, guidance, and support that it required when you’re first starting out.

In terms of services, they specialize in 4 main areas which are explored in more detail below:

  • Startup development – A proven process to transform a tech idea into a business.
  • Strategic business growth – Achieve a stronger competitive strength by creating a unique business concept.
  • COO, CTO, and CMO – Solidifying a business model that develops the type of strategies that will promote success.
  • Build tech – Developing your product in the right way by an economically conscious team.
  • Find out more about this Houston Accelerator program here.

    ion smart hub logo
    Credit to Ion Smart Cities

    Ion Smart Cities Accelerator

    This accelerator program supports technology throughout the city of Houston.

    The startup businesses are categorized into three different cohorts ranging from transportation to sustainability, and the idea behind the program is to better accommodate the Houston population.

    Launched in September 2019, the program addresses the needs of Houston and other cities throughout America by deploying technology into existing civic infrastructure.

    Selected startup businesses will take on sustainability solutions, ranging from a compost selection service to waste emissions and a pollutants-reduction lab.

    Across the 12-week program, participants will have the opportunity to build key relationships ​​with mentors, corporate networks, decision-makers, and stakeholder partners, to gain exposure in the Houston region.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator here.

    divinc website banner
    Credit to DivInc


    With their 12-week, intensive accelerator program, DivInc helps brands get their product to market – and quickly.

    Co-founded by Preston L. James II in 2016, DivInc is a Texas-based accelerator with reach in both Austin and Houston.

    The Houston program is focused on tech startups with innovative solutions that leverage 5G technology, such as IoT, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, enterprise software, or e-commerce.

    Diversity is one of DivInc’s core values and is something they take very seriously. According to their website, they want to build programs and infrastructure that remove barriers to entrepreneurship, which is why they support underrepresented founders.

    As a result, you can only be part of this program if the founder of your company is a person of color or a woman entrepreneur.

    Their programme ‘start up sistas’, is a huge part of their culture, and helps women build successful, high growth

    DivInc’s Houston accelerator is based out of The Ion alongside the Smart Cities and Aerospace accelerators.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator program here.

    blue mass challenge logo
    Credit to MassChallenge

    MassChallenge Texas in Houston

    MassChallenge Texas was founded in 2017, and has since raised $74 million in funding, generating over $31 million in revenue which has helped over 180 startups.

    Located in various areas across Texas including Houston, Austin, Boston, and Rhode Island, this program is committed to creating meaningful change for new businesses.

    They have already made a huge impact on how high-growth companies manage challenges across the startup scene, as issues are inevitable when you’re first finding your feet.

    All of their organizations equip businesses with the tools and resources they need to set roots and grow, which is why they have attracted talent from across the globe. They want to bring people together to solve issues, and shape a stronger future through collaborative innovation.

    There are various benefits of joining this program including connections to thought leaders and field experts, a deep network of investors, and scholarships from partner organizations.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator here.

    outside of greentown labs building
    Credit to Greentown Labs

    Greentown Labs Houston

    According to their website, Greentown Labs is ‘accelerating the clean energy transition in the energy capital of the world.’

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that our economy has ten years to make significant changes to the way we live in order to decrease the effects of climate change and global warming.

    However, CEO Emily Reichert believes that Greentown Labs can help reduce these damaging effects by supporting climate-tech startups in Houston that focus on energy, transportation, and manufacturing.

    Greentown Labs is located in the Innovation District, and currently has 60 startup members.

    They are accepting applications for startup membership and providing entrepreneurs with the community, resources, connections, equipment, and lab space they need to succeed.

    Diversity is an area they are passionate about, and they are keen to maintain an inclusive community culture and a more sustainable planet. They actively welcome applications from founders and teams of all backgrounds, regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or whether or not they have a disability.

    There are various benefits to joining Greentown Labs as they provide flexible meeting room space, conference rooms, an outdoor courtyard, and bike storage.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator here.

    windmills in a green field
    Credit to Rice Alliance Clean Energy

    Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator

    The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator launched on June 28, 2021 and provides startup companies with a 12-week programme.

    This covers everything from fundraising, to connecting with mentors and partners, so that businesses have all the tools they need to get set up.With an engaged support network and personalized mentor relationships, they help bridge the gap between ideas and business success.

    Their aim is to increase the likelihood of success for early-stage energy startups who are creating solutions for a cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable future.

    With a particular focus on energy companies, this program wants to expand support of energy innovators while aligning their efforts with Houston’s energy transition initiatives.

    The 12-week program gives startups access to Rice Alliance’s network of energy corporations, investors, and advisors so that startups will be better positioned to attract capital and launch their products.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator program here.

    seed round houston logo
    Credit to Seed Round

    Seed Round

    Seed Round is a startup accelerator designed for new ventures across all industries. They are committed to helping companies who are open to guidance, and are at a stage where their company is primed and ready to expand.

    However, the program focuses solely on pre-seed and seed round businesses looking for funding and fundraising support.

    By joining the program, businesses have access to a substantial amount of funding, ranging from $25k to $150k. Seed Round also connects founders to Venture Capitalist firms and angel firms, who might provide even more funding to help businesses succeed.

    On top of this, companies receive mentorship from serial and seasoned entrepreneurs who can guide them in the right direction.

    Through a process of strategic mentorship, seed round links portfolio companies to subject matter experts. The portfolio companies receive guidance and assistance to build their confidence in decision-making – a huge responsibility for any entrepreneur.

    They also have access to personalized advice and support to enable them to develop their unique business ideas.

    Startup founders get the opportunity to interact with peers who can share their ideas, business knowledge, and expertise.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator program here.

    catapult website banner
    Credit to Catapult


    Catapult targets startup businesses within the energy sector (primarily oilfield service ventures), who are looking to up scale their business, and quickly.

    The clue is in the name – the program is designed to ‘catapult’ you to success so that you can get to market faster. Essentially, it fast-tracks your business growth instead of you having to follow the usual, slower path.

    The program aims to provide portfolio companies access to equity funding and management skills, which are essential when growing your own business.

    Through a combination of startup capital, consulting, and board-level strategic support, they help businesses to better utilize their time so they can concentrate on building a profitable company.

    Instead of spending your time on back-office formation, they enable business owners to really focus on the areas that matter most, such as value creation and delivering high quality customer service.

    Their approach follows six key principles:

    1. Rapid onboarding
    2. Well funded
    3. Generous earn-im
    4. Proven track record
    5. ”CEO-focus”
    6. Value Realization

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator program here.

    inside of the cannon hub
    Credit to The Cannon

    The Canon

    The Cannon is an accelerator program that connects entrepreneurs to mentors, service providers, and potential partners who can help their business grow.

    Unlike other accelerators, The Cannon is membership-based programs as startups must pay a monthly fee to access their services.

    Also, you should note that The Cannon doesn’t provide any funding.

    Instead, the program seeks to catalyze innovation by providing startups with the tools and resources required to succeed.

    Members of The Canon can enjoy access to the member-matching platform where startup businesses find subject matter experts who are best suited to support them.

    The program offers three specialty services:

    • The Cannon Investor Readiness Training – helps startups create a compelling pitch deck and presentation.
    • The Cannon Advisory Board program – provides startups with cross-functional expertise by connecting them with mentors and experts.
    • The Cannon Emergency Response Team – helps startups solve urgent problems and unpredictable challenges.

    What also makes this accelerator program unique is that they are expanding into both physical and virtual spaces in order to help innovators from all backgrounds and locations.

    Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, The Cannon connects you to the key resources – and people – you need.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator Program here.

    blue surge logo
    Credit to Surge

    Surge Accelerator

    This startup accelerator program focuses solely on the energy sector.

    Surge aims to be the best accelerator for energy company’s as their focus is to find the very best business leaders who can build great companies, solve corporate challenges, and contribute to a thriving industry.

    Their core purpose is to make the world a better place by finding solutions that create a better environment. To achieve this, they empower entrepreneurs to solve energy issues and give them access to world-class experts and capital sources.

    Through networking opportunities, businesses will also be able to find potential new partners or buyers for their innovative technology solutions.

    So far, SURGE has recruited over 150 of the world’s top scientists, engineers, executives, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and angel investors to serve as mentors. Therefore, startups can be sure they’re learning from the best people in the field.

    Surge offers a 4-month program designed to put businesses in the position they need to thrive and scale up.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator here.

    black kiwi tech banner
    Credit to KiWi Tech

    KiWi Tech

    KiWi tech was founded by two successful entrepreneurs who set up a company called Aptara, and scaled it into a market leading publishing services firm with over 5,000 employees globally.

    This is the team that is now leveraging decades of process, technology and capital sourcing expertise to selectively partner with startups and help them realize their vision.

    Since they began, this accelerator program has established itself among the top software development companies in the US, and has built a leading ecosystem of over 500 portfolio startups, 3,000+ investors, and 200+ mentors.

    KiwiTech also boasts of serving leading global companies such as McKinsey, Accenture, P&G, World Bank, Lockton, HomeVestors, Elsevier, and Springer – just to name a few!

    Essentially, they support talented entrepreneurs turn their ideas into sustainable businesses and disrupt the ‘norm’ in their industry.

    They also deliver pitch events aimed to provide entrepreneurs with a networking platform whereby they can engage potential investors.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator here.

    redhouse website banner
    Credit to Redhouse


    Redhouse is an accelerator program that provides strategic support to talented individuals to help them build their business.

    They work with startups in the technology sector to help them accelerate their growth. By working closely with Rehouse advisors, entrepreneurs will be able to build their business strategy, develop product roadmaps, and receive advice about raising capital, acquisitions, and strategic exits.

    All of which are key pieces of information in the world of business.

    Founded by a team of proven advisors, Redhouse works with innovative founders that are building groundbreaking new companies. Over the last decade, they have led and invested in more than 30 startup companies.

    Whilst they do not provide direct venture funding through RedHouse Associates, they can assist businesses in targeting and gaining access to seed and venture investments. Their advisors have already made numerous, private small-seed investments in technology startups and can advise you on capital financing transactions.

    This helps you promote your business to venture capital partners for larger seed investments or later stage Series A/B rounds.

    Find out more about this Houston Accelerator here.

    Houston Accelerators: What Are the Benefits?

    Now that we’ve explored the different accelerator programs available in Houston, we thought it would be helpful to wrap up some of the key benefits.

    Perhaps you’ve never been part of an accelerator program before and are curious about what this can do for your business.

    As well as providing key mentorship and support, there are lots of advantages to joining an accelerator program, especially in the early stages of your business.

    This includes:

    • Wealth of networking opportunities as you can connect with a range of like-minded professionals and influencers in your field.
    • Dedicated guidance from serial founders and investors. Accelerator programs work with angel investors, venture capitalists, seasoned founders, who might end up investing in startup businesses when the program comes to an end.
    • Opportunities to collaborate and partner with other startups who are facing the same issues as you. As such, you can work closely with them and learn how to overcome these challenges together.
    • Investment capital as most accelerator programs give startups between $20,000 and $80,000.
    • Increases your motivation as you’re working with other businesses who are on the same journey as you. This can push you to work even harder to achieve your goals.

    As you can see from the list above, there’s a multitude of reasons why accelerator programs are beneficial for your business.

    When you’re first finding your feet, it can be overwhelming and confusing.

    You’ve got so much to consider, and that’s without mentioning the importance of funding to get your business up and running.

    Houston Accelerators that Every Startup Needs to Know About

    Houston accelerators provide businesses with much-needed support, mentorship, and expertise, to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to get your business off the ground.

    Starting your own business can be a daunting prospect, and there’s no need for you to muster through the process on your own.

    This is where accelerator programs come into play as they can help you define your business idea, launch new products, secure vital resources, and recruit new employees. Essentially, accelerator programs are your helping hand.

    And even better, they can accelerate your growth in a fraction of the time – hence the name! The programs are designed to be intense, rapid, and immersive to accelerate the life cycle of young companies, condensing years’ worth of learning into just a few months.

    No start up business should feel isolated when launching their idea for the first time.

    At Canny, our team of experts have worked with business professionals across the globe to provide vital support, direction, and strategy. We get inside of your business, and provide the support you need to hit the ground running.

    We’re people’s people, and we understand how difficult it can be starting your own business for the first time. After all, we’ve been there ourselves! We provide genuine help to all of our clients, and explain the process in a clear and easy to understand way.

    Simply get in touch with our team of experts to find out more about how we can help.