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Common Desk’s expansion at the Ion is now open for business

DALLAS (November 13, 2023) – Common Desk, a flex office and coworking provider based in Dallas, has increased its footprint at the Ion, Houston’s innovation hub, by nearly 50% this year.

Originally opened in August 2021, Common Desk – The Ion was the coworking company’s third location in the Houston market, occupying the entire second floor of the Ion building at 58,400 square feet. The expansion agreement, which brings Common Desk’s total footprint at the Ion to 86,400 square feet, commits Common Desk to ten years of additional space on the fourth floor. Tenants of the added space will have full access to the features and amenities that have made Common Desk – The Ion a success, including bottomless drip coffee and an espresso bar powered by Fiction Coffee (a workday brand of Common Desk), bookable conference rooms, expansive workspace, flexible terms, and eye-catching design. To learn more about the coworking and flex office operator, visit thecommondesk.com.

“The Ion team and Rice University have made Common Desk’s first two years at the Ion a dream, and we’re excited for ten more. This expansion of Common Desk at The Ion was designed specifically to complement the existing amenities and serve remote and hybrid work styles. There’s a variety of video conferencing room types—from multiple individual private rooms, to a large group presentation-style room—all equipped with state-of-the-art technology that is also user-friendly. We doubled down on outfitting our space with more art from local artists and creative works that reflect the community. Altogether, we’ve built a range of workspace solutions to fuel creativity and productivity. We’re confident that this addition to Common Desk – The Ion will effectively help us serve the innovative community of Houston.” – Austin Gauley, Head of Design at Common Desk

“Common Desk’s expansion at the Ion is a testament to the community and experience we’ve created here,” says Jan Odegard, Executive Director, Ion. “Accessibility to connections and an array of amenities and resources continues to drive traffic for us, and we are thrilled to welcome the anticipated growth of new like-minded individuals coming to the Ion daily.”

Common Desk has additional locations in the works in DFW, San Antonio, and Phoenix as they continue their expansion efforts across the country in selective assets.

ABOUT COMMON DESK

Common Desk operates a growing portfolio of experiential coworking locations across the United States, with additional offerings found through its landlord services. Through their unique operating approach, Common Desk has cultivated a thriving community of freelancers, small businesses, fast-growing tech companies and enterprise businesses since 2012. Common Desk’s portfolio also includes an award-winning coffee brand, Fiction Coffee. For more information, visit thecommondesk.com.

ABOUT ION

Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

Houston Methodist Opens Healthcare Innovation Tech Hub at the Ion

Ion, Houston’s innovation hub, today welcomes its first healthcare-centric partner, Houston Methodist, as it opens the doors to the Houston Methodist Tech Hub at Ion, a collaboration space for innovators and a living laboratory for digital health technology.

The 1,200-square-foot space includes simulated environments for an inpatient hospital room, an outpatient doctor’s clinic and patient home experience. The Tech Hub at Ion is modeled after the Center for Innovation Technology Hub located at Houston Methodist’s flagship location within the Texas Medical Center, which provides a complete laboratory environment for clinical staff to evaluate innovations and pilot technology such as remote monitoring, ambient intelligence, and autonomous technology to improve human performance and the patient experience.

“Houston Methodist’s space at the Ion opens up even more opportunities for our start-up and entrepreneur community to embed and gain exposure to the latest innovations in health care, health technology, and digital health,” said Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director of Ion. “This partnership and opportunity provided by Houston Methodist, a leading healthcare organization in the country, is a testament to the ecosystem we’re building and the talent within our building. Furthermore, Houston Methodist’s approach and appetite for cross-industry innovation and collaboration meshes seamlessly with the Ion’s ongoing plans to support Houston’s growing innovation community in industries and fields that will change the world.”

The Houston Methodist Tech Hub at Ion is part of the hospital’s Center for Innovation, a network embedded into every aspect of the hospital that focuses on promoting transformational growth through the adoption of leading-edge digital technology. Innovation has been a hallmark of Houston Methodist for over 100 years, and the Center of Innovation has allowed the healthcare organization to take a more coordinated and focused approach with its innovation efforts and hyperdrive many projects within the organization, including the development of the smart hospital of the future, the ninth location in the Greater Houston area and most technologically advanced location currently under construction. Some of the technology on display at the newly launched Houston Methodist Tech Hub at Ion is part of the smart hospital of the future that’s set to open in 2025.

“Our new Tech Hub at Ion supports not only our commitment to the Houston innovation community but also to the rapidly shifting healthcare industry,” Michelle Stansbury, Vice President of Innovation and IT Applications at Houston Methodist. “We know we can’t solve the healthcare challenges of the future if we confine ourselves within our hospital walls or even within our own industry. We look forward to the collaborative space our new Tech Hub will provide and the future programming opportunities we can create together to inspire, challenge, and foster a spirit of innovation in our city.”

In addition to showcasing current technology being piloted at Houston Methodist, the space will also serve as an extension for community collaboration and a networking hub for entrepreneurs and ideators to break into the healthcare industry. The tech hub also will host educational events such as reverse pitch sessions to share problems and crowd-source solutions. If you’re interested in scheduling a time to view the space or connecting with the Houston Methodist innovation team, reach out here.

About Ion

Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward.

From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now? — welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

About Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist is one of the nation’s leading health systems and academic medical centers. The health system consists of eight hospitals: Houston Methodist Hospital, its flagship academic hospital in the Texas Medical Center, six community hospitals, and one long-term acute care hospital throughout the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Houston Methodist also includes a research institute; a comprehensive residency program; international patient services; freestanding comprehensive care, emergency care and imaging centers; and outpatient facilities. Houston Methodist employs nearly 30,000 people and had more than 1.9 million outpatient visits and more than 138,000 admissions in 2022. For more information on Houston Methodist, see houstonmethodist.org.

Ion District Welcomes New Tenants

Ion District today announces ten new tenants plus construction on a new lab at the Ion, Houston’s innovation hub. Combined, the tenants are leasing 35,000 square feet and will drive more cross collaboration across industries, from energy, to education, to healthcare technology, and venture capital. The 266,000 square foot building is now 86% leased. 

The companies joining the Ion include: 

  • Carbon Clean, a leading carbon capture company that opened its new Houston headquarters in response to a 64% leap in inquiries following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Cognite, a Norwegian software company for asset-heavy industries that turns industrial data into customer value. 
  • OpenStax, a nonprofit tech company improving educational access and learning through publishing openly licensed college textbooks that are free online and low cost in print.
  • Synopic, a startup building the next generation of depth-enabled cameras to improve visualization and decision making during medical procedures.
  • Motif Neurotech, a medical equipment manufacturing startup working to develop minimally invasive electronic solutions for mental health. 
  • RedSwan CRE, a crowdfunding-style investment platform and marketplace of tokenized commercial real estate.
  • Nauticus Robotics, which has created a highly sophisticated, ultra sustainable fleet of marine robotics — along with the intelligent software to power it.
  • Rice University’s Office of Innovation, designed to commercialize more Rice-developed research and technology in part by being close to tech-forward organizations that can utilize it, in addition to Rice’s Nexus Lab, which is under construction and designed for prototyping and scaling-up technologies. 

 

The new tenants join Ara Partners, a Houston-based, global private equity firm focused on investing in carbon decentralization technology, on the Ion’s third floor. The firm moved into the building last year and is already expanding its space to meet the demands of its growing organization. 

 

Additionally, this leasing and construction news comes on the heels of flexible workspace provider Common Desk announcing it would expand its space by nearly 50 percent at the Ion to accommodate a waitlist of entrepreneurs, startups, and corporates that are looking for flexible office solutions to connect and accelerate innovation. 

“Welcoming this amazing lineup of new tenants, across the breadth of sectors they represent, demonstrates that the Ion is the place to be and do business in Houston,” said Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director of the Ion. “By continuing to fill our space with new innovators across all these different offerings from all around the globe, we’ve become the home for collisions that will create solutions to the biggest problems facing our world today. We pride ourselves on advancing the diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that will propel our world forward. Our inspiring new tenants will do just that.” 

The Ion celebrated its grand opening in May of 2022. Its roster of tenants already includes Chevron, Microsoft, (Schlumberger) SLB Innovation Factori, and Houston Methodist. The Ion is the namesake centerpiece of the up-and-coming Ion District, home to more than 300 businesses, including corporates, small businesses, startups and restaurants, such as Greentown Labs and Stuff’d Wings

“Carbon Clean is experiencing a big uptick in demand for our innovative carbon capture solutions in North America, and we’re excited to be expanding in the U.S. from our new home in the Ion, located in Houston. It’s a great space for networking and collaboration, and we’re delighted to have already made the most of this by hosting a reception in the Ion that brought leaders in decarbonization technology and innovation together to celebrate our new base in Houston,” said Aniruddha Sharma, CEO of Carbon Clean.

In addition to the growing list of esteemed innovators, the Ion is home to best-in-class, innovative culinary talent, including Second Draught, The Lymbar, Common Bond On-The-Go, and soon-to-open Late August with Chef Dawn Burrell. 

“The Ion continues to see leasing demand from companies that understand the value of a creative and active work environment,” said Bryson Grover, Investment Manager of Real Estate Development, Rice Management Co. “Companies are choosing Ion District because it offers more than just a solution for space needs. Workers are given the opportunity to experience a sense of community that brings together like-minded individuals and those with different perspectives.” 

For more information on leasing opportunities, please email: leasing@iondistrict.com. Those interested in getting involved in the Ion ecosystem can learn more here

Rice Management Company Announces Common Desk Expansion at the Ion

Rice Management Company (RMC) and the Ion, Houston’s innovation hub, announced they have expanded their partnership with Texas-based flexible office space provider Common Desk to the Ion’s fourth floor. This adds another 28,000 square feet to Common Desk’s largest footprint and solves a need for Houston-Galveston area entrepreneurs and startups seeking flexible workspace.

Today’s work environment demands more flexible space. The Ion’s growing partnership with Common Desk is a testament to the collaborative, intentional, and creative environment the Ion and Common Desk have created for teams in Houston looking to scale and grow. The Ion’s flexible office space operated by Common Desk houses innovative companies from a diverse mix of industries and organizations of all sizes, including Liongard, Koda Health, Ampersand, BP Ventures, Dow, Houston Freedmen’s Town Conservancy, Haliburton, HX Venture Fund, Capital Factory, BikeHouston, and SLB Innovation Factori.

“When people work in an inspiring place that fosters community, going into work is exciting. The Ion’s experience with Common Desk proves it,” said Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director of the Ion. “This rapid expansion signals that the Ion is the place to be for growing organizations, and we will soon be releasing new programs that expand our value proposition for startups, investors, corporations, academic institutions, and the community.”

Since it opened in the Ion in August 2021, the largest of Common Desk’s flexible work spaces has also become the company’s best-performing property. The space has reached full occupancy in less than one year and now is managing a waiting list. This new combined space spans 86,400 square feet, with more office suites sized for Houston’s rapidly growing start-up ecosystem.

Accessible design, flexible office solutions, and extensive amenities like an in-house Fiction Coffee bar and conference rooms make returning to the office more attractive. But what distinguishes this space from other flexible work spaces is proximity to the Ion’s roster of worldleading innovators Chevron Technology Ventures, NASA, Microsoft, Houston Methodist, and others, plus a host of free programming for entrepreneurs and start-ups provided by the Ion team and its partners. Flexibility for teams to expand seamlessly into larger suites or longerterm leases within the Ion or to future buildings in the Ion District also contributed to the space’s success.

“The Ion and Common Desk have created a truly unique and dynamic environment for entrepreneurs, startups, and corporations of all sizes,” said Joe Alapat, CEO and Founder of Liongard. “The flexible space has become an important hub of Houston’s booming innovation ecosystem, and we’re thrilled to see new members participating in regular events and rich programming. I’m glad to be a member of this community and look forward to leveraging the expanding footprint.”

Head of Real Estate for Common Desk, Dawson Williams, credited RMC for trusting the flexible work space provider to “build a vibrant space that fuels collaboration, innovation, and community. With RMC’s support, we created a thoughtful design, along with the amenities and memberships offered,” he said. “One year later, this space in the Ion is a game-changer for Houston’s innovators. It’s exciting that we’re already expanding because so many rapidly growing companies want to be inside the Ion and experience everything it has to offer.”

Ryan LeVasseur, Managing Director of Direct Real Estate at RMC, said together with Common Desk, the Ion has created an appealing “ecosystem within an ecosystem” fueling the growth of Ion District. “We look forward to more exciting developments in Ion District next year, and we are grateful for partners like Common Desk President Nick Clark and Dawson Williams. They both share our vision for a more collaboration-fostering and human-engaging built environment,” he said. “The Ion is Houston’s home of innovation, and it is the catalyst for RMC’s further investment in building out the Ion District,” LeVasseur added.

According to Barbara Burger, Corporate Graduate, Energy Director, Innovator and Advisor, “People from firms of all sizes respond positively to physical spaces designed to promote connection and collaboration; they are integral to advancing toward a more diverse and inclusive workplace. So much of a firm’s strategy rests on its talent – as individuals and of the collective — there is much to be gained by being part of an innovative community in the center of the most diverse city in the United States.”

In addition to the Ion’s growing list of esteemed innovators, the Ion is home to best-in-class, innovative culinary talent, including Second Draught, The Lymbar, Common Bond On The Go, and soon to open Late August.

Those interested in joining the Ion ecosystem can learn more here.

About Rice Management Company: Rice Management Company (RMC) is responsible for stewardship of Rice University’s endowment and was established to provide a perpetual source of revenue for current operations and certain capital needs. Rice University serves its mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor. RMC’s teams bring decades of investment management expertise across diversified industries and financial specialties. https://www.rice.edu/

About the Ion

Ion: Where ideas go to grow. Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

About Common Desk: Common Desk has been crafting an original workday experience for its members since 2012. It currently serves thousands of professionals across its network of flexible office locations, cultivating a thriving community of freelancers, small businesses, fast-growing tech companies and enterprise businesses. Common Desk’s workday brand portfolio also includes Fiction Coffee, adding to the customized amenities that enhance workdays for members and guests alike. Common Desk was acquired by WeWork in 2022, becoming the first coworking brand bought by the global company. For more information, visit thecommondesk.com.

Ion and Houston Methodist to Open Health Care Innovation Tech Hub

Houston Methodist joins the Ion as its first healthcare-centric partner in its growing innovation hub. The hospital will build out a space at the Ion modeled after Houston Methodist’s Center for Innovation Technology Hub located at its flagship hospital in the Texas Medical Center to showcase the latest in healthcare innovation.

“Partnering with Houston Methodist’s Center for Innovation is exciting. This also will advance the Ion’s ability to support entrepreneurs and innovators that are already at the Ion as we embark on a new focus in health care innovation,” said Jan Odegard, Executive Director of the Ion.

Expected to open later this year, the Tech Hub at the Ion will occupy an approximately 1,200-square-foot space which will first be used for informational and educational programming, networking with fellow tenants and entrepreneurs, participating in on-site mentoring and pitch competitions, and hosting open houses for the community to see how Houston Methodist is shaping patient-centered health care of the future.

Houston Methodist’s presence at the Ion advances its vision to foster more collaboration across industries, joining aerospace, energy, and oil and gas companies already embedded in the innovation hub. Through this partnership, Houston Methodist expands the work of its Center for Innovation and its Technology Hub, which opened in early 2020 to provide a living laboratory environment to experience the latest innovations in patient-centered health care technology, including remote monitoring, ambient intelligence, and virtual reality. The space at the Ion will be a smaller replica, a twin of the original space within the hospital, and will demonstrate how current and future technology work together in the hospital setting.

“We are advancing the evolution of the hospital’s role in health care through digital transformation,” said Michelle Stansbury, VP of Innovation and IT Applications at Houston Methodist. “Having a footprint at the Ion will not only provide the Ion’s network and Houston community with a window into what we are doing for patients, consumers, and providers but also gives the Ion community and rising innovators an opportunity to bring its own ingenuity and ideas to life with ours.”

Partnering with Houston Methodist and welcoming them to the Ion, developed by Rice Management Company on behalf of Rice University, builds on the legacies of two of the state’s leading institutions, said Rice University President Reggie DesRoches.

“Building new relationships and resources can expand digital innovation in health care,” DesRoches said. “Rice is thrilled to play its part, and we celebrate our shared commitment to meaningful community engagement.”

Houston Methodist and Rice University have a history of collaborations, including the Houston Methodist – Rice University Center for Human Performance, a premier center under construction on Rice’s main campus. The space is intended to bring physicians, academic researchers, and university students together to work side by side with student-athletes, trainers, and coaches to advance research and education in human performance. Houston Methodist and Rice University also are collaborating on the Center for Translational Neural Prosthetics and Interfaces to bring together scientists, clinicians, engineers, and surgeons to solve clinical problems with neurorobotics.

Bryson Grover, Investment Manager of Real Estate Development, Rice Management Company, said, “By enhancing opportunities for our network of academics, businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators to collaborate across the Ion District and globally, we’re creating a more resilient future economy for our region.”

About the Ion

Ion: Where ideas go to grow. Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way. For more information, visit https://ionhouston.com/.

About Houston Methodist: Houston Methodist is one of the nation’s leading health systems and academic medical centers. The health system consists of eight hospitals: Houston Methodist Hospital, its flagship academic hospital in the Texas Medical Center, six community hospitals, and one long-term acute care hospital throughout the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Houston Methodist also includes a research institute; a comprehensive residency program; international patient services; freestanding comprehensive care, emergency care and imaging centers; and outpatient facilities. Houston Methodist employs more than 27,000 people and had more than 1.6 million outpatient visits and more than 132,000 admissions in 2021. For more information on Houston Methodist, see houstonmethodist.org.

TXRX Labs Named Partner and Operator of The Ion Prototyping Lab

The Ion, a 266,000 square-foot innovation hub, today announced TXRX Labs, a Houston-based non-profit ideation, innovation, and training provider, will serve as the operator of The Ion Prototyping Lab. Officially named The Ion Prototyping Lab (IPL) powered by TXRX, the IPL is an innovation center that will allow startups and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and industries access to equipment and technical support. Officially open today, it is the only space of this type in Houston that provides physical innovation capabilities in a collaborative and centralized hub open to the public.

TXRX’s services at the IPL will provide the Houston community with support, equipment, and hands-on training to jumpstart the activity of entrepreneurs, corporations, and researchers, such as scaling ideas or developing a physical model of a product. TXRX’s workforce development training and classes will focus on makers, equipment operation, and CAD/CAM. TXRX also offers ideation services, which include coaching, consulting, and prototyping to address startups’ challenges. Technical support and engineering resources will be provided through a staff of ideation, engineering, and fabrication experts.

Current programming guided by TXRX includes:

● Hands-on training classes in critical digital and manual skills such as SolidWorks, Mastercam, soldering, and embedded development.

● A Lunch and Learn event series that touches on emerging technologies like additive manufacturing, generative design, and IoT development.

● An internship program connecting startups and entrepreneurs with emerging engineering talent from Houston’s many universities.

“The Houston community’s growing need for these services has led to our growth from a small community organization to a partnership with Houston’s leading center for innovation, The Ion,” said Roland von Kurnatowski, President of TXRX Labs. “With our presence at The Ion and in its Prototyping Lab, we are able to join together innovative ideas and technology to create a social and collaborative space to support tomorrow’s entrepreneurs’ needs and challenges. You think it, we make it.”

The IPL’s 6,500 square-foot space was designed by the Houston office of global architecture and design firm Gensler, and is the largest open corporate and startup-aligned prototyping space in Houston. The IPL’s equipment and engineering resources are provided by TXRX and The Ion, which includes prototyping and small-batch manufacturing tools, such as laser cutters, CNC mills and lathes, electronics assembly equipment, and 3D printers. The space also has onsite access to engineers and advanced technicians in industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, additive manufacturing, welding, machining, and laser cutting.

“As part of Gensler’s contributions to the development of The Ion, we strategically designed the Prototyping Lab to function as a dedicated space for innovators and entrepreneurs to collaborate,” said Vincent Flickinger, Senior Associate and Design Director of Gensler Houston. “The Ion Prototyping Lab is equipped with tools for prototyping robotics and other energy-focused innovations and cultivates an entirely new way of doing business in a reimagined, historic building and with one of Houston’s fastest-growing innovators, TXRX. We look forward to introducing the IPL’s offerings to the public.”

“With every step forward, with each new partner added and ongoing input from the community, we are solidifying Houston’s position as the epicenter for innovation and technology,’ said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “There is a growing need for these services among Houston’s startup community. Having ideas is one thing. Being able to execute them is far more difficult, especially if you are a small organization without the financial resources of big corporations and research labs. With The Ion Prototyping Lab powered by TXRX, we are breaking down the barriers that too often prevent entrepreneurs from taking their discoveries from the drawing board to reality.’

“This is another big step forward in realizing the vision for The Ion. The addition of The Ion Prototyping Lab to the Ion District will further drive highly productive collaborations between entrepreneurs, corporations, academics, and the greater Houston community,” said David Leebron, President of Rice University. “We’re thrilled to be opening the IPL in The Ion as these collaborations will not only strengthen Houston’s economic resiliency and competitiveness but attract and retain innovative talent, companies, and institutions.”

With a low-cost membership, participants will be able to access the IPL. For individuals who may need financial assistance, the IPL also provides grant opportunities. Before using the space and its equipment, participants will need to complete a safety and skills training course. Open hours for the IPL are from 9 am to 5 pm CST.

About the Ion

Ion: Where ideas go to grow. Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

About TXRX Labs: Established in 2008, TXRX Labs is a non-profit innovation and job training provider for the greater Houston area. Housed in the East End District, TXRX offers engineering and fabrication services along with job training programs for in-demand careers, along with courses in and access to its rapid prototyping labs, woodshop, machine shop, electronics lab, and a wide variety of other tools for the public. Its goal is to make Houston the 21st-century manufacturing Hub of the United States to ensure a vibrant and equitable economy for all Houstonians.

About Gensler: Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 49 locations across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work, and play more inspiring, more resilient, and more impactful.

Rice Management Company and The Ion Announce Microsoft as a Tenant

HOUSTON – DECEMBER 17, 2020 – Rice Management Company (RMC) and The Ion, Houston’s innovation hub, today announced global technology leader Microsoft as a new tenant of the building. RMC is leasing space on The Ion’s fifth floor to Microsoft.

“Over the last several years, Microsoft has made it clear it is committed to Houston,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “With the work Microsoft is already doing with the City and The Ion to support entrepreneurs, workforce development and energy transition, it is only fitting its new home should be in our City’s hub for innovation. This news is an exciting next step in our partnership with Microsoft as we continue to grow Houston’s innovation ecosystem and become a leader in the global energy transition.”

“Having Microsoft as a major tenant is a huge step forward in realizing the vision for The Ion as a dynamic hub bringing together key elements of innovation in Houston,” Rice President David Leebron said. “We are very grateful to Microsoft and Mayor Turner for advancing this vision.”

In addition to leasing space for its own use within the building, Microsoft is an established partner of The Ion and a founding sponsor of its Smart and Resilient Cities Accelerator. In August, Microsoft announced it will invest in workforce development as part of an “accelerate” initiative and support Houston’s innovation district at The Ion. The Ion’s programs double down on smart and resilient city innovation and support social entrepreneurship and new-skilling to bridge the digital divide. Tenants and program partners advance The Ion’s mission to build an inclusive and dynamic workforce with local talent.

“As we look to the official opening of The Ion next year, we’re thrilled to welcome Microsoft to our community,” said Ryan LeVasseur, Managing Director of Direct Real Estate, Rice Management Company. “We’re working to ensure The Ion and the surrounding district become the premier destination for businesses and innovators to grow and collaborate. Microsoft will help us realize this vision with its longterm commitment as a tenant and programming partner.”

“The Ion is fast becoming a hub for Houston’s startup community and driving forward innovation in energy transition technologies,” said Ravi Krishnaswamy, Corporate Vice President, Azure Global Industry, Microsoft. “My team and I are excited to get to work there, supporting Microsoft’s vision of powering a sustainable future and accelerating energy transition with the expertise of partners, customers and industry.”

In addition to advancing its own business initiatives in its leased space, Microsoft will play a role in professional and workforce development through support of The Ion’s various community and start-up initiatives. In The Ion, Microsoft will host advancement opportunities such as a monthly executive forum and virtual symposiums, and support future accelerators for advanced manufacturing, digital skilling and smart and resilient city innovation.

“The Ion and Microsoft will provide the necessary tools and knowledge needed to become more resilient, strengthen our workforce and create new innovations to accelerate the energy transition,” said Jan E. Odegard, Interim Executive Director, The Ion. “We were delighted this summer when we announced Microsoft’s sponsorship of The Ion programming and are now even more ecstatic to welcome a division of Microsoft to its new home. My team and I look forward to showcasing our great programs that are enabled by corporate sponsors like Microsoft to the entrepreneurs, academics, corporations and community in Houston and around the world.”

About the Ion

Ion: Where ideas go to grow. Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

About Rice Management Company (RMC) is responsible for the stewardship of Rice University’s endowment. The endowment plays a vital role for Rice. The distributions generated provide approximately 40% of the University’s operating revenues, which makes it the single largest revenue source to the operating budget. The RMC team brings decades of investment management expertise across diversified industries and financial specialties. Through disciplined research and due diligence, we assess and pursue investment strategies that are aligned with the long-term risk/reward profile of the endowment. For more information, please visit investments.rice.edu.

For more information, please visit https://ionhouston.com/ or https://investments.rice.edu/. Press Contact: Taylor Trovillion, theion@finnpartners.com.

The Ion Welcomes Chevron as First Tenant and Program Partner

Rice Management Company and The Ion today announced global energy leader Chevron is the first tenant to sign a lease and the first program partner of The Ion’s new space at 4201 Main Street. Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8763551-the-ion-houston-welcomes-chevron/ The Ion’s LEED-certified building in midtown Houston is set to open in the Spring of 2021 with Chevron leasing space for collaboration among Chevron teams, startup companies, and community organizations contributing to Houston’s innovation ecosystem. Chevron’s space will be led by the Chevron Technology Ventures group and will be available for all Chevron employees for networking, professional development, and opportunities to collaborate with other innovation ecosystem players. The organization also plans to leverage The Ion community in its efforts to access and support local innovation.

“Our first tenant at The Ion is one of the most recognizable brands in the world,” said Ryan LeVasseur, Managing Director of Real Estate, Rice Management Company. “We’re thrilled to welcome Chevron into the Innovation District. They’ll be the first of many companies, local startups, and business owners who make a home at and around The Ion as we continue to develop this groundbreaking, mixed-use space.”

Barbara Burger, President of Chevron Technology Ventures, said, “We are thrilled to support The Ion as a key component of Houston’s growing innovation ecosystem. We have a long history in Houston with its role as the global energy capital. We believe The Ion will help to ensure that Houston retains that distinction and plays a leading role in the energy transition through innovation.”

As a founding program partner of The Ion, Chevron has long supported Houston’s innovation community. Since 2017, Chevron employees have mentored startups and entrepreneurs at The Ion’s current space, served as judges for The Ion’s innovation showcases, and sponsored programming for K-12 students.

“By becoming our first tenant and a founding program partner, Chevron has shown it is committed to ensuring The Ion is Houston’s premier destination for innovators, entrepreneurs, and academics to collaborate on workforce development, build tech-enabled businesses, and support the community,” said Jan E. Odegard, The Ion’s Interim Executive Director. “We’re grateful to welcome such an esteemed organization to our space with which we share the same mission and values.”

Chevron and all future tenants of The Ion will have access to the building’s cutting-edge amenities and resources, including its prototyping and immersive reality labs, 70,000 square feet of public and shared spaces for event programming, business incubation and acceleration, and curated connections. The Ion’s leasing operations are led by Drew Morris at Savills.

About the Ion

Ion: Where ideas go to grow. Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

For Leasing: Drew Morris, DMorris@savills.us Press Contact: theion@finnpartners.com, 312-329-3983