10 most promising companies named at Rice Alliance Energy, Clean Technology Venture Forum

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship announced the 10 most promising companies at the largest venture capital conference in the Southwest.

Courtesy of Rice Alliance

Companies showcased their new offerings at the 16th annual Energy and Clean Technology Venture Forum Sept. 13 in Houston. The forum attracted 650 attendees including investors, venture capitalists, industry representatives, business leaders, service providers and entrepreneurs.

The two-day event culminated in an announcement of the 10 most promising companies chosen from more than 225 startup applicants as judged by industry experts and investors. Nearly all the major energy companies were among the 75 investor groups that met with 90 startups the day before the forum. More than 50 companies presented their business pitches at the forum, with an additional 30 participating in the company showcase. This was the most startups to ever participate in the forum and showcase.

Half of the 10 most promising companies are based in the Houston area: Aerospec Technologies, Belmont Technology, DataGumbo, INNOWELL and Sensoleak Global. The other companies hail from both Texas and out-of-state: LaserStream, Humble, Texas; Factor Technology, Dripping Springs, Texas; Arix Technologies, Jackson, La.; LongPath Technologies, Boulder, Colo.; and OceanComm, Chicago.

“Every year the quality of companies improves,” said Rice Alliance Managing Director Brad Burke, who announced the winners of the Energy and Clean Technology Venture awards at the event. “Over the past 16 years, more than 2,000 companies have presented at Rice Alliance Technology Venture Forums. These companies have raised more than $5.4 billion in funding. This speaks to the quality of the companies and to the robust entrepreneurial ecosystem of investors that has been developed to support these companies. Despite the challenging economic environment over the past several years, good companies have been able to attract investors.”

The 10 most promising companies:

Aerospec Technologies, Houston:
Aerospec Technologies is a data analytics group that integrates the latest drone inspection technology with artificial intelligence to facilitate asset maintenance in the renewable energy industry and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy.

Arix Technologies, Jackson, La.:
Arix Technologies is developing robotics and data analytics to improve pipe-corrosion detection and asset management for the oil and gas industry.

Belmont Technology, Houston:
Belmont is developing the next-generation geoscience platform powered by ‘Sandy,’ a cognitive system to dramatically accelerate subsurface workflows.

DataGumbo, Houston:
Data Gumbo is a BaaS platform that executes smart contracts, which are computer protocols designed to automate the performance of contracts.

Factor Technology, Dripping Springs, Texas:
Factor Technology has developed the first fully computerized, autonomous geosteering system, which adapts the oil and gas well position to geology.

INNOWELL, Houston:
INNOWELL introduces the next-generation plug-and-perf solution with wireline multiset and release that enhances hydrocarbon recovery with pinpoint stage placement while reducing completion cost.

LaserStream, Humble, Texas:
LaserStream digitally profiles the inside of oilfield pipe with BEMIS laser-based inspection systems.

LongPath Technologies, Boulder, Colo.:
LongPath develops regional methane-detection networks that can identify, locate and measure methane leaks over areas as large as five square miles.

OceanComm, Chicago:
A University of Illinois spinoff developing the equivalent of WiFi for subsea.

Sensoleak Global, Houston:
Sensoleak Global combined AI, machine learning and “the internet of things” into software for leak prevention and detection.

The forum was supported by: Chevron, Shell, Mercury Fund, Wells Fargo, BP, GE, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Shearman TechnipFMC, Total, Anadarko, Altira, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Lime Rock Partners, EV Equity Investment, Energy Innovation Capital, Pioneer Energy, DCP Technology Ventures, Norton Rose Fulbright, PKF Texas, Winstead, Insperity, Hunton Andrews Kurth, Clovis Point Capital, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Energy Valley, Inc., Leyendecker Executive Search, Blackstone, Greater Houston Partnership, Canadian Consulate, ATI, CleanTech Open, Energy Valley, Inc., Houston Angel Network, the U.S. Department of Energy and Houston Exponential.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.