Innovation

Innovation Station

Startups that originate at the University of Houston now have a full suite of offerings to help grow their companies


By Christine Hall | July 21, 2016

Three years ago, Casey McNeil, Cassandra Hoang and Susan Tran, all graduates of the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business with degrees in entrepreneurship, found technology from the university’s tech transfer office developed by Allan Jacobson, Ph.D., director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, and turned it into a company.

Jacobson developed a way to extract rare earth elements from electronic waste, such as cell phones and computer hard drives, to create a second supply of neodymium and dysprosium to be converted into clean energy.

In 2014, REEcycle took top honors at the National Clean Energy Business Plan Competition and set up its business in the UH Energy Research Park. Business has been good, and McNeil, CEO of REEcycle, said he has exceeded the laboratory space needed to perform more pilot projects.

His space needs were answered recently when the University of Houston stepped up its entrepreneurship game with the opening of a 30,000-square-foot wet laboratory facility with space designed to support chemical, materials and life-science startups.

“This is a great way to be able to collaborate with other entrepreneurs and to access students who can do the unique things that we need,” McNeil said. In addition to the workspace, REEcycle was also able to house its reactor on campus.

The lab features 28 fume hoods, 250 lab benches and competitive rental rates. Those who work in the lab will be able to participate in workshops and training, as well as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant development assistance.

There will also be an entrepreneur-in-residence so startups can bounce ideas off of him or her, set up office hours and network at monthly events.

Part of the school’s incubator program, the lab joins a nearby innovation working space, which opened last year in the UH Energy Research Park, and provides office space for startups that develop at the university or would like to work with it. Collectively, the area is known as “The Spur,” with the working space called Spur 4 and the wet lab called Spur 5, correlating to the numbered buildings within the research park.

“Like Casey, who found a place to business his commercial enterprise, our hope is the Innovation Lab and Innovation Center will open up opportunities for more startups from UH, bringing people in from all over to build an ecosystem that can take advantage of some of the smartest people in Houston that are no more than half a mile away,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Ph.D., interim vice chancellor and interim vice president for research and technology transfer for the UH System.

Some 20 companies have expressed interest in using the lab, where the average workspace is around 1,000 square feet, said Ryan Black, who has recently joined the incubator team to manage the lab.




Social Posts

profile_image

Houston Methodist

@MethodistHosp

4.26, noon-3 p.m.: @MethodistHosp San Jacinto Hospital Hiring Event for experienced RNs. Learn more: https://t.co/4v7r2jpdTP https://t.co/pVFG8AmsG4

7 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

RT @CancerFrontline: An @MDAndersonNews team developed a personalized vaccine that exposes evasive colorectal cancer to an immune attack ht…

8 hours ago
profile_image

Houston Methodist

houstonmethodist

Discover world-class career opportunities for experienced RNs at the Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital hiring event on 4.26 from noon-3 p.m. Bring several copies of your resume & park free in the visitor parking lot. Learn more: http://pxlme.me/1JA7A6zf

9 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @UHCougarMGolf: .@UHouston alum & @CBSSports broadcasting great Jim Nantz reacts to being named 2018 Ambassador of Golf CONGRATS, Jim,…

10 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

Sneezing, headaches and a stuffy nose always means you have allergies right? Wrong! https://t.co/wf8ti3TKVw

10 hours ago
profile_image

Baylor College of Medicine

BaylorCollegeOfMedicine

Congratulations to Dr. Yingbin Fu on earning the Helen Juanita Reed Award for Macular Degeneration from the BrightFocus Foundation.

10 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

New Mexico Veterans set sights on Golden Age Games competition - Volunteers needed for 32nd annual event in Albuquerque https://t.co/gS2J3VC4HZ via @Sports4Vets on #VAntagePoint

10 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Telehealth education is on the move in Colorado https://t.co/KgB6D7Xt37 via @KREX5_Fox4

11 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

It's a new day at your Manchester VA https://t.co/lDrYdgumuw via @seacoastonline

12 hours ago
profile_image

Rice University

RiceUniversity

How can you make the last day of class even better? Bring some cute animals to campus! 🐰

12 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

Did you know #stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and leading cause of disability in the U.S.? Come to our Stomp Out Stroke Festival from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Sat., April 28 @DiscoveryGreen to find out how to decrease your stroke risk. Register at https://t.co/PBNoFVY455. https://t.co/sYm9Ny734p

12 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @UTHealthSPA: FYI >>> NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices for April 20, 2018 https://t.co/VXvK9WVKy4 #grant #grants #research

12 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

RT @uthpsychiatry: The UTHealth Center of Excellence on Mood Disorders is conducting a new clinical research study for adults with schizoph…

12 hours ago
profile_image

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VeteransAffairs

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Navy Veteran Tammie Jo Shults. Tammie Jo served for 10 years as a pilot and earned the rank of lieutenant commander. Tammie Jo grew up on a New Mexico ranch near Holloman Air Force Base where she developed her interest in flying. She attended MidAmerica Nazarene University, graduating in 1983. A year after taking the Navy aviation exam, Tammie Jo found a recruiter who processed her application. She attended officer candidate school in Pensacola, Florida, and was assigned to a training squadron at Naval Air Station Chase Field in Beeville, Texas. Tammie Jo was an instructor pilot, teaching students how to fly the Navy T-2 trainer. She later flew the A-7 Corsair in Lemoore, California. Tammie Jo was among the first female fighter pilots for the Navy and was the first woman to fly an F/A-18 Hornet. In 1993, after 10 years of service, she left the Navy. Earlier this week, Tammie Jo completed the successful emergency landing of Southwest flight 1380 at the Philadelphia International Airport. The Boeing 737-700 lost an engine, causing shrapnel to strike a window. With 148 people on board, one woman died and seven were injured. Thank you for your service, Tammie Jo.

12 hours ago
profile_image

TAMU Health Sciences

@TAMHSC

We are proud to "Teal Out" in support of #StepInStandUp! Even one such incident is too many. https://t.co/NQdJ5UyHkA

13 hours ago