Started in 2014 in Houston, The Next Seed, Inc. created the first online fundraising/investment platform where even non-accredited investors can find opportunities to support local businesses. With their growing team, founders Youngro Lee, Abe Chu, and Bob Dunton continue to develop new tools to fuel growth for entrepreneurs.
Luke Palder invented a new way to help people relocate. After completing an easy form, each customer gets quotes from multiple reputable moving services, and HoustonMovers.com donates to help someone fleeing domestic violence.
In an interview with Creative Houston, Luke shares his vision and inspiration.
We support people moving to change jobs, students starting at a new university, and families looking for a good place to raise their kids, whether they’re moving within or out of Houston. …
[Our social mission] makes a difference for employees. Knowing we’re helping people in need is motivating, and the more our business succeeds, the more we can help. It’s a win-win. …
We see unique and innovative businesses and ideas popping up all over the city, and it’s a big source of inspiration. We wanted to do our own thing in Houston, building on what Houston’s creative scene offers.Luke Palder, December 10, 2019
Mullenweg’s view of Houston:
I’ve been all over the world I think Houston is a really special city. It’s a great place to live. It’s a great place to raise a family. And I think that is important. If you look at the places that people are starting to flock to now – entrepreneurs are fleeing San Francisco and the Bay Area there – they’re going to places the great quality of life. And I would put Houston above Austin there.Houston Chronicle: WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg’s distributed company is neither here nor there – it’s everywhere, 2019-Mar-22 by Dwight Silverman
Houston’s a much more dynamic city [than Austin]. And now I think we have better food, better arts, better music. Austin is great but I think Houston is under-appreciated. And personally, I choose it.Ibid.
So I think if we continue to focus on making Houston just a great city, particularly as companies become more more distributed – meaning that people can work from anywhere – I think we’ll see more hiring happening in the Houston area. Hopefully, more companies can get started here as well.Ibid.
What Matt Mullenweg says about being creative in Houston:
“Some of the first money I made was building websites for musicians around [Houston],” he said…. Now, millions of musicians all over the world use WordPress to publish their own websites.Houston Chronicle: WordPress founder finds inspiration in his hometown of Houston, 2016-Sep-28 by Anita Hassan
“When you think of what open source is, it’s a community coming together to create something and then giving it away to the rest of the community,” he said. “Growing up, I saw so much of that in Houston.”Ibid.
“I think that power and creativity comes from diversity,” he said. “So having friends from all different walks of life who were at HSPVA, being surrounded by people who were passionate about things, all of that combined. The melting pot or the gumbo of Houston, I couldn’t imagine growing up in a better place, and that’s one of the things I love returning to.”Ibid.