Entrepreneur group expanding into Fort Bend County | Fort Bend Economic Development Council

A Houston-based entrepreneurial program is expanding to Fort Bend County, with plans to tap into the area’s potential for startup companies, according to the company’s new owner.

The Fort Bend Economic Development Council (FBEDC) has reached an agreement with Houston Exponential to expand into the county, according to a news release. Through a partnership, Houston Exponential will share office space with the economic development council and institute programming meant to support local founders and innovators, according to the release.

“We could not be more thrilled to bring Houston Exponential to Fort Bend County,” said Rachelle Kanak, executive vice president of marketing and operations for the FBEDC. “Our county is ripe for an explosion of innovation and entrepreneurialism and we are excited HX will help support and grow our innovation community.”

Houston Exponential was formed several years ago after Houston failed to recruit Amazon’s big second headquarters to the region, according to Lawson Gow, the company’s new owner.

The organization was initially founded as a nonprofit and helped expand Houston’s reputation as a startup destination, according to an InnovationMap article.

Gow is a Houston native who started a company called The Cannon in 2017 to provide workspaces and other resources for Houston-area startups, he said.

After several years running The Cannon, Gow took a step back and started a holding company, called Gow Companies, that recently acquired Houston Exponential.

While Houston Exponential was founded as a nonprofit, Gow now plans to turn it into a business, he said.

And Fort Bend County is central to his plans, he said.

“Fort Bend County is full of families with high average incomes, high education attainment and an entrepreneurial spirit,” Gow said. “Every day, there are people in Fort Bend County that are driving up to the Cannon’s location at I-10 and the Beltway. They’re leaving the county.”

Houston Exponential will slowly ramp up programming in Fort Bend County in coming months, developing a calendar of events for those interested in startups to attend, he said. At its height, Houston Exponential will provide a bevy of resources and contacts needed to expand the county’s startup community.

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