Where to be

10+ can't-miss Houston business and innovation events for March

From startup competitions to thought-provoking panels, here's where you need to be in March. Getty Images

Rodeo has kicked off and spring break is around the corner, which can only mean one thing: March in Houston. The month is chock full of business, entrepreneurial, and innovation-focused events, but we've plucked out over 10 to highlight this month.

If you know of innovation-focused events for February, email me at natalie@innovationmap.com with the details.

March 5 — Unlock Team's Creativity - Innovative Management Tools

Learn new teamwork tools and applications and hear about how companies have changed their organization and manage innovation, creativity, and teamwork.

Details: The event is from 5:30 to 7 pm on Tuesday, March 5, at Station Houston (1301 Fannin St., Suite 2440). Learn more here.

March 5 — Women Who Code Houston Launch

Women Who Code is bringing its network and resources to Houston. Celebrate the launch and network with like-minded, tech-savvy women.

Details: The event is from 6 to 8:30 pm on Tuesday, March 5, at AIG Building's Lobby (2727 Allen Pkwy). Learn more here.

March 6 — From ICOs to STOs: The Nuts & Bolts of Security Token Offerings

New to the innovation scene, Houston Blockchain Alliance, a networking group of blockchain professionals, has its first learning event. This STO Primer Course will provide an introduction to STOs, the applicable rules and regulations governing STOs, fundraising options and the process, timeline and estimated costs to launch a compliant STO.

Details: The event is from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday, March 6, at Ranch Office (1220 Blalock Rd). Learn more here.

March 6 — Case Study: Digital Transformation in Energy Fortune 500

Who's down for pizza, beer, and talking about the digital transformation process of a Fortune 500 company with the Houston Industrial Digital Transformation & Connected Work meetup group? Dimitri Karastamatis, board adviser of operations at PowerIn Energy will lead the discussion.

Details: The meetup is from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday, March 6, at ChaiOne HQ (9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 850). Learn more here.

March 7 — Entrepreneurship Education Series: Building a Startup Sales Team

Sales can be tough for entrepreneurs and innovators, so getting a good team in place is crucial. Neal Benedict, president and Founder of Silver Brick Sales Solutions, weighs in on the best steps to take when building your sales team.

Details: The event is from noon to 1:30 pm on Thursday, March 7, at Station Houston (1301 Fannin St., Suite 2440). Learn more here.

March 7 — French American Innovation Day 2019

Promoting innovation collaboration between the United States and France, the conference is organized by the Office for Science & Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States in collaboration with the TMC Innovation in Houston, the French American Chamber of Commerce in Houston and the French Foreign Trade Advisors.

Details: The event is from 7 am to 7 pm on Thursday, March 7, at TMC Innovation Institute (2450 Holcombe Blvd., Suite X). Learn more here.

March 7 — Selling Innovation and Creative Digital Cities

What can we learn from other digital cities? This discussion lead by three different experts will analyze and ideate new ways of innovation.

Details: The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, March 7, at Techspace - Houston (2101 CityWest Blvd.) Learn more here.

March 8 — Startup Pains: What I Wish I Knew

This monthly series hosted by the University of Houston lets you learn from someone else's mistakes and successes. This month's speaker is Seamus Curran, Ph.D, who is a professor of physics at UH and the CEO of Integricote.

Details: The event is from 4 to 5 pm on Friday, March 8, at the UH Technology Bridge (Innovation Center, building 4, floor 2, 5000 Gulf Fwy). Learn more here.

March 11 — HATCH Pitch Summit 2019 Livestream

Houston-based HATCH Pitch is headed for Austin with its four finalists focused on startups making the world a better place. Read more about the competition here.

Details: The free stream is from 10 am to noon on Monday, March 11, and available here.

March 12 - Info Session: Techstars Energy Accelerator

Energy acceleration can be tough in the industry, but Audun Abelsnes, managing director of Techstars Energy Accelerator, is at your disposal for all your questions.

    Details: The event is from noon to 2:30 pm on Tuesday, March 12, at Station Houston (1301 Fannin St., Suite 2440). Learn more here.

    March 14 — eMan Lunch n' Learn: Boosting Safety & Productivity in O&G by Leveraging IoT

    Every startup can learn from industrial innovation, and eMan works alongside Fortune 500 companies doing just that. Hear from the company's execs about their services, clients, and how they are enabling emerging tech in the industrial space.

    Details: The event is from 11:30 am to 1 pm on Thursday, March 14, at The Cannon (1336 Brittmoore Road). Learn more here.

    March 21 — Visionaries panel: The present is female.

    Forget this "future" stuff. Get ready for b8ta Houston's next Founders Series is all about the ladies in honor of International Women's Month. Four female leaders will take the stage to talk about the challenges they face and obstacles they've overcome.

    Details: The panel is at 6:30 pm on Thursday, March 21, at b8ta Houston in the Galleria (5115 Westheimer Road, #c3575). Learn more here.

    March 26 — WeWork Labs Houston Launch Party

    Houston has a new space for startups to incubate, accelerate, and receive mentorship thanks to WeWork and Alice. Read all about the new WeWork Labs location here. To celebrate, the organization is hosting a little shindig.

    Details: The celebration starts at 6 pm on Tuesday, March 26, at WeWork Downtown Houston (708 Main Street, 10th Floor). Learn more here.

    March 28 — 2019 H. Albert Napier Rice Launch Challenge - Startup Competition

    Ten Rice University-affiliated teams — from students to recent alumni — are competing for $60,000 and other prizes. Click here to learn more about the finalists and the judging panel.

    Details: The event is from 6 to 9 pm on Thursday, March 28, at Rice University (Liu Idea Lab For Innovation & Entrepreneurship — Cambridge Office Building). Learn more here.

    March 28 — Houston Open Innovation Conference

    The third annual Houston Open Innovation Conference is a full day conference where businesses, government entities and academic representatives can collaborate to spark more development, collaboration and dialogue for the city.

    Details: The conference is from 8:30 am to 4 p.m on Thursday, March 28, at Houston Exponential (410 Pierce St.). Learn more.

    Trending News

    Building Houston

     
     

    Auburn University's SwiftSku took first place in this year's virtually held Rice Business Plan Competition, but it was the second place company that went home with over half a million in cash and investment prizes. Photo via rice.edu

    In its 21st year, the Rice Business Plan Competition hosted 54 student-founded startups from all over the world — its largest batch of companies to date — and doled out over $1.4 million in cash and investment prizes at the week-long virtual competition.

    RBPC, which is put on by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, took place Tuesday, April 6, to Friday, April 9 this year. Just like 2020, RBPC was virtually held. The competition announced the 54 participating startups last month, and coordinated the annual elevator pitches, a semi-finals round, wildcard round and live final pitches. The contestants also received virtual networking and mentoring.

    Earlier this week, Rice Alliance announced the seven student-led startups that then competed in the finals. From this pack, the judges awarded the top prizes. Here's how the finalists placed and what won:

    • SwiftSku from Auburn University, point of sales technology for convenience stores that allows for real time analytics, won first place and claimed the $350,000 grand prize from Goose Capital. The company also won the $50,000 Business Angel Minority Association Prize, the $500 Best Digital Elevator Pitch Prize from Mercury Fund, and the $500 Third Place Anbarci Family People's Choice prize, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $401,000. The company also won the CFO Consulting Prize, a $25,000 in-kind award.
    • AgZen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a pesticide alternative spray and formulation technology company, won the second place $100,000 investment prize (awarded by Finger Interests, Anderson Family Fund, Greg Novak, and Tracy Druce). The startup also won a $300,000 Owl Investment Prize, the $100,000 Houston Angel Network Prize, the $500 Best Energy Elevator Pitch Prize from Mercury Fund, and the $1,500 Third Place Anbarci Family People's Choice prize, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $502,000. The company also won the $30,000 in-kind Polsinelli Energy Prize.
    • FibreCoat GmbH from RWTH Aachen University, a startup with patented spinning technology for the production of inexpensive high-performance composite fibers, won the third place $50,000 investment prize (also awarded by Finger Interests, Anderson Family Fund, Greg Novak, and Tracy Druce). The company also won the $100,000 TiE Houston Angels Prize and the $500 Best Hard Tech Elevator Pitch Prize from Mercury Fund, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $150,500.
    • Candelytics from Harvard University, a startup building the digital infrastructure for 3-D data, won the fourth place $5,000 prize.
    • OYA FEMTECH Apparel from UCLA, an athletic wear company that designs feminine health-focused clothing, won the fifth place $5,000 prize. The company also won the $5,000 Eagle Investors Prize, the $25,000 Urban Capital Network Prize, and the $1,000 Second Place Anbarci Family People's Choice prize, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $36,000.
    • LFAnt Medical from McGill University , an innovative and tech-backed STI testing company, won the sixth place $5,000 prize and the $20,000 Johnson and Johnson Innovation Prize, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $25,000.
    • SimpL from the University of Pittsburgh, an AI-backed fitness software company, won the seventh place $5,000 prize. The company also won the $25,000 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Prize from the Pearland Economic Development Corp., bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $30,000.

    Some of the competition's participating startups outside of the seven finalists won monetary and in-kind prizes. Here's a list of those.

    • Mercury Fund's Elevator Pitch Prizes also included:
      • Best Life Science $500 Prize to Blue Comet Medical Solutions from Northwestern University
      • Best Consumer $500 Prize to EasyFlo from the University of New Mexico
      • Best Overall $1,000 prize to Anthro Energy from Stanford University
    • The Palo Alto Software Outstanding LivePlan Pitch $3,000 Prize went to LiRA Inc. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • The OFW Law FDA Regulatory Strategy Prize, a $20,000 in-kind award went to Paldara Inc. from Oklahoma State University.
    • The Silver Fox Mentoring Prize, which included $20,000 in kind prizes to three winners selected Ai-Ris from Texas A&M University, BruxAway from the University of Texas, and Karkinex from Rice University as recipients.
    • The first, second, and third place winners also each received the legal service prize from Baker Botts for a total of $20,000 in-kind award.
    • The Courageous Women Entrepreneurship Prize from nCourage — a $50,000 investment prize — went to Shelly Xu Design from Harvard University.
    • The SWPDC Pediatric Device Prize — usually a $50,000 investment divided its prize to two winners to receive $25,000 each
      • Blue Comet Medical Solutions from Northwestern University
      • Neurava from Purdue University
    • TMC Innovation Healthcare Prize awarded a $100,000 investment prize and admission into its accelerator to ArchGuard from Duke University
    • The Artemis Fund awarded its $100,000 investment prize to Kit Switch from Stanford University
    The awards program concluded with a plan to host the 22nd annual awards in 2022 in person.

    If you missed the virtual programming, each event was hosted live on YouTube and the videos are now available on the Rice Alliance's page.

    Trending News