The University of Houston's startup accelerator and home for tech-based entrepreneurship

RED Labs is the University of Houston's coworking space, startup accelerator, and technology entrepreneurship program. Supported by the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, we work with UH-affiliated founders (faculty, students, and recent alumni of the past 6 months) to turn their technology startup ideas into high growth ventures by providing free co-working space, access to mentors and resources in the startup community, and customized startup curriculum. We are non-profit and take no equity.

During the summer, our accelerator accepts up to ten companies and runs them through a full-time, three-month intensive program with curriculum, mentorship, and more.

Since 2013, 64 founders have launched 24 companies at RED Labs.

What is a tech startup?

Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator, describes startups as "companies designed to scale very quickly". These companies also operate "under conditions of extreme uncertainty", as Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, suggests. By our definition, a tech startup is a new company with both of these characteristics, and which can scale using technology. This definition would include companies that are producing a new software, a new drug or medical device, an end-to-end internet of things system, and so on. Because the level of uncertainty when launching these startups is so high, they generally requires different techniques and resources than other entrepreneurial ventures.

Startup accelerators

As the name implies, accelerators are institutions designed to rapidly accelerate a startup company's growth. Generally speaking, accelerator programs last 3 to 4 months, and offer a number of invaluable resources during that time frame to aid in the startup's launch. Private accelerators—such as Y Combinator and TechStars—will invest a small amount of capital into a startup, but in return will take an equity stake in the company. Conversely, public accelerators, such as RED Labs, offer little-to-no investment, but also don't take an equity position in their participating startups.

Learn about the RED Labs accelerator.

Kelly McCormick

Kelly McCormick is the Managing Director of the University of Houston’s Technology Entrepreneurship Program, RED Labs. Kelly has helped develop the curriculum, establish mentor relationships and provide resources for UH-affiliated students and faculty who want to launch tech startups. The highlight of the program is the startup accelerator – a three month, intensive and immersive experience that offers extensive support to teams as they launch tech startups. Additionally, she teaches an Introduction to Technology Entrepreneurship class that provides a basic outline of entrepreneurship methodologies, and challenges students to solve problems with creative and innovative solutions. Kelly also co-teaches an Introduction to Engineering class for all disciplines of engineering students who are interested in learning about entrepreneurship and leadership.

Kelly has a B.S. in Finance from Miami University (in Ohio, not Florida), and a law degree from Tulane University Law School.