Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor
After hitting a number of new milestones, the fifth edition of the Rice Alliance Startup Roundup at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) proved that the upstream industry’s interest in young technology developers is far from waning.
This year’s event attracted more than 40 investment groups and corporate innovation teams that came to meet with a record high of 60 startups. Oil and gas companies that took part included Anadarko, Chevron, and BP. Major service providers including Baker Hughes, Schlumberger, and NOV also took part.
Almost half of the startups this year are headquartered outside of the US, encompassing 10 different countries, both of which are also new highs that reflect the international draw of both OTC and the startup roundup. An estimated 300 people took part in the event, which ended up drawing so much interest that overflow tables for face-to-face meetings were set up in the meeting room’s hallway—yet another first.
“It was the toughest competition we’ve had in order to get here to present,” said Brad Burke, the managing director of the Rice Alliance, the Rice University group that organizes the roundup. The event leans on the “speed-dating” model to give investors a quick taste of what the eager new firms are up to.
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