Ideas for Helping the Startup Ecosystem after Hurricane Harvey

By: Marianne Hudson, ACA Executive Director

I’ve been glued to media coverage of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation the storm and floods have caused in Texas and Louisiana, with thoughts of everyone in that region.  The photos and videos are so full of unbelievable stories and damage.  As I see the storm finally moving to other parts of the country, I think we angels should start using our innovative minds to supporting the region’s entrepreneurs, the innovation ecosystem, and indeed, some of our member investors.

The Angel Capital Association has something like 1,000 member investors from Corpus Christi, TX to Lake Charles, LA, mostly in angel groups.  I’ve heard from a few of our members that they are safe and dry, but don’t know much about the struggles of many at this time.

I also know that some conditions are improving.  For instance, I heard today from the team of the venue for our upcoming Leadership Workshop in Houston, the TMC Innovation Institute accelerator (TMCx for short).  They are back at work and looking forward to hosting our November 13-14 event.  The description of the area and travel is improving with every tweet, with public transport, roads and facilities open again. 

With this good news, I have a feeling we will be updating the agenda for the Leadership Workshop to interact with and support the Houston innovation ecosystem.  We’ll get to learn about fantastic initiatives in place to start and grow innovative businesses in Houston and throughout Texas, but this will be a great time for ACA members to have real, productive ways to support this city.  Brainstorming is starting now – but let me know if you have ideas.

In the meantime, there are a number of ways you can help victims of Harvey.  Here are a few I’ve liked so far:

  • Donations and volunteers to victims – This is a comprehensive list of organizations from the entire area damaged by the hurricane and floods, with practical ideas on how to give or help.

  • If you have special assets that can support startups directly, do it!  For example, Austin co-working spaces have offered free space to homeless Houston entrepreneurs, as have multiple spaces across Texas and Louisiana.. 

More and more ways to help will come out.  Let’s make sure the economic engine of the Harvey area – startups and entrepreneurs – get what they need!