Houston Technology Center Hits the Ground Running with SATOP

SATOP has formed Alliances with Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) to help market the program to small businesses.

For nearly a year the Houston Technology Center (HTC) has networked small businesses to talented NASA engineers through the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program. The HTC serves as one of Houston’s premier business accelerators, incubating emerging technology companies. In an effort to showcase its latest technologies to the aerospace industry in Bay Area Houston, the Houston Technology Center partnered with SATOP and held a technology showcase event at NASA Johnson Space Center’s Gilruth Center in the last quarter of 2003.

The event featured small, technology-related businesses in Houston that have not previously had access to Bay Area Houston’s major aerospace companies. Aerospace executives from NASA Johnson Space Center, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Barrios Technology, Cimarron, United Space Alliance, Wyle Laboratories, and other NASA contractors viewed the emerging technologies showcased and made contacts for future business opportunities. However, the event proved to be mutually beneficial to SATOP, which is administered by the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership.

“I’m glad we were able to open doors to the space industry for some of Houston’s small tech businesses,” said SATOP Executive Director Bob Mitchell. “Through this effort, SATOP has received several Requests for Technical Assistance from the businesses that were showcased. We are responding to those requests now.”

Speakers included NASA Johnson Space Center Deputy Director Randy Stone, NASA former astronaut and Vesalius Ventures President Bernard Harris, Dow Fuel Cell Operations Manager George Kelher and Office of the Governor Special Assistant for Technology Dustin Lanier.

The Houston Technology Center exhibited the latest in aerospace, IT, and energy technologies of 20 Houston companies including:

Air Options
Birdnest Software
CRG Medical Dicentral
Hanby Environmental
Laboratory Procedures
Idev Technologies
LithiumPower Technologies
Mongoose Technologies
Spin Diagnostics
Synthecon Telecare

At the event, NASA Executive on Loan Rob Kelso introduced FrogPad Technologies to the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. The partnership learned FrogPad Technologies was in need of engineering support for an industrial design of their product, a one-handed keypad that could revolutionize data entry. Displayed recently on ABCNews.com, the technology is gaining worldwide recognition. Since the HTC event, SATOP has met with FrogPad CEO & President Linda Marroquin — both times with intentions of submitting a Request for Technical Assistance to be supported by engineers at the Johnson Space Center. As a result, SATOP could play a pivotal role in revolutionizing this advanced data entry system.