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As Tech Startups Increasingly Move to Texas, Baker Botts Forms Strategic Alliance with The Ion and Becomes Founding Supporter of Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator


HOUSTON, March 16, 2021 – Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international energy, technology and life sciences law firm, announced today that it has extended its alliance with The Ion, a 266,000-square-foot, mixed-use structure designed to bring Houston’s entrepreneurial, corporate and academic communities together into collaborative spaces and programs. The firm will also become a founding supporter of the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator.

“Given our market-leading strengths in Houston, these are exciting opportunities for the firm,” said John Martin, Managing Partner of Baker Botts. “Our participation with The Ion and the Rice Alliance brings together lawyers across our emerging companies and venture capital, corporate venture capital, energy tech, IP and other practices to work closely with a range of cutting-edge companies at the heart of the Texas startup ecosystem.”

As a “Founding Partner” of The Ion, Baker Botts will frequently be on site to provide programming for the tech community, support initiatives for diverse entrepreneurs and mentor emerging companies. By linking attorneys with entrepreneurs and fellow corporate partners, Baker Botts will use its deep bench in technology and innovation to support the development of Houston’s tech innovation ecosystem, which is benefitting from Houston’s deep talent pool and the growth of startups and venture capital activities beyond Silicon Valley.

“Baker Botts has been a trusted advisor and engaged supporter of The Ion since its inception,” said Dr. Jan E. Odegard, Interim Executive Director of The Ion. “Today’s announcement not only solidifies its investment in The Ion and the programs we are activating, but represents a commitment to growing Houston’s innovation ecosystem. Baker Botts’ work with The Ion has already helped countless entrepreneurs launch their projects, and we are excited to have their support as we continue to accelerate innovation and connect communities to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Houston.”

Building on its recognized 20-year track record of supporting tech startups, the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) will launch its new Clean Energy Accelerator in 2021 to increase the likelihood of success for early stage energy startups building solutions for a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable future. These startups will benefit from the Rice Alliance’s extensive network of industry and investor contacts to refine their business strategies, raise funding, and accelerate the adoption of their technologies.

“We are pleased to be able to bring Baker Botts’ deep experience in energy to the new Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator,” said Brad Burke, managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. “Baker Botts will bring critical knowledge to the clean energy startups that participate in the accelerator to help ensure that Houston continues to retain the title of energy capital of the world.”

The Ion will anchor a 16-acre innovation district and is destined to become the epicenter for Houston's innovation ecosystem as an inclusive, dynamic, vibrant and dense hub focusing on quality collaborations between entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, corporations, academics and the Houston community. It will open its doors to the public later this year.

“Baker Botts has long had extensive experience in energy, energy tech, and helping our clients navigate the energy transition. Our lawyers have the key technical and legal perspective necessary to help companies successfully bring energy innovations to market. We are eager to bring these strengths to the Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator, The Ion, and the innovation district,” said Houston-based intellectual property partner Natalie Gonzales of Baker Botts, who co-leads the firm’s participation in these initiatives.

In 2019, Baker Botts leveraged its startup and venture capital experience in Silicon Valley to collaborate with some of the most innovative technology accelerators in Texas by forming strategic ties with Station Houston and Capital Factory.

For more than 124 years, Baker Botts has been connected to Rice University, starting with the firm’s representation of William Marsh Rice in 1896. Given this historic relationship, the firm is pleased to see the innovation avenues being supported by Rice as the energy transition and innovation ecosystem continue to grow in Houston.

Baker Botts advises technology and other emerging growth companies from formation through rounds of venture capital or other private equity financing, initial public offering, sale or merger and beyond. In addition to handling corporate and transactional matters, Baker Botts’ emerging company lawyers work closely with their colleagues from intellectual property and other practices to deliver creative and specialized solutions for their clients’ needs. This experience is combined with Baker Botts’ market-leading energy practices to support the innovation in technology that is at the heart of the transition to a lower carbon energy future.

Baker Botts is an international law firm whose lawyers practice throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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