Women in tech are making waves in Texas

It needs to be said: 2019 is the year of the woman, especially for women founding tech startups. There’s still a way to go before the male-female ratio is equal, but female-led startups are most definitely on the rise and pushing Texas towards a high-tech ecosystem.

Texas is a great state for females in business, with women making up nearly half of the state’s 12.4 million jobs. It’s also ranked second in the nation in the number of women-owned firms. In Houston specifically, 20 percent of founders are women, ranking 5th among 60 tech ecosystems for its share of female founders. 20 percent is still a small share, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Here’s some female-led companies that are impressively improving the tech industry:

Diligent Robotics 

Andrea Thomaz and Vivian Chu co-founded this company, with the hopes of using robotics to make the lives of healthcare workers easier. With a motto of “enhancing, not replacing, human jobs”, they created Moxi: a hospital robot assistant that performs routine, non-patient facing tasks such as gathering and moving supplies, delivering lab samples, and removing soiled linen bags.

The company’s robotic assistants, like Moxi, operate with ‘social robotics’. This is an AI framework that includes social intelligence (an expressive face), mobile manipulation (a moveable arm and hand, and a mobile base) and human-guided learning (AI technology that learns from human teachers). The company’s hope is that Moxi gives nurses more time to care for and connect with patients.


This Houston-based biomedical device company, led by CEO and co-founder Sinead Miller, combats sepsis – one of the biggest killers in our hospitals right now. After partnering with Alex Wieseler in 2017, Miller created a device that takes a five-millimeter blood sample and can diagnose bacterial infection from this. It then goes a step further to circulate the blood, remove bacteria – including drug-resistant strains – and cycle the clean blood back into the patient.

Miller’s own experience battling a serious brain injury motivated her to help others in the same situation. Her determination shows; the company won big at this year’s Fire Pitch Competition, taking home a new award that came with a $100,000 investment from the Texas Halo Fund.

Rebellion Photonics 

Allison Lami Sawyer is the co-owner and co-founder of Rebellion Photonics, a company that provides visual monitoring solutions that make the oil and gas industry safer, greener, and more profitable.

The company’s Gas Cloud Imaging (GCI) system uses specific imaging technology, both visible and infrared, to monitor, quantify, and display explosive, harmful gas leaks as they occur. The company’s AI driven software, Spectra, runs and monitors this GCI technology automatically. It can also be set with alarms at certain levels, for real-time results. Rebellion’s PEARL (Physics Enhanced Artificial Intelligence Real-time Logic) analytics uses data science, optical physics and AI to deliver valuable information to customers about their site. The machine learning means that this information will continue to add value as the facility runs and changes.

Any business woman will tell you there’s still a long way to go, but it’s clear to see that female-founded startups are doing incredible work and making waves in Texas.

Are you a woman creating a new business? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is Texas’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firm, offering tax credibility assessments, claim preparation, and advisory services. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program in Texas, from claim prep & audit compliance to claim disputes. 

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPA’s.  For more information please visit us at www.swansonreed.com/webinars or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

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