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10 can't-miss events from Houston-based SpaceCom's virtual conference

SpaceCom is taking place online this year for free. Here's what you need to sign up for. Photo courtesy of SpaceCom

Today marks the first day in SpaceCom's two-week online conference featuring space entrepreneurs, NASA executives, government experts, and more.

Usually a must-attend event hosted at George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, SpaceCom is free and virtual this year. Register to attend and check out this curated list of 10 can't-miss discussions.

Click here for the full schedule. (All times have been updated to reflect CDT times)

Tuesday, October 20 — General Session: Whole of Government

Greg Autry, director at SoCal Commercial Spaceflight Initiative, will moderate a discussion with Kevin O'Connell, director at the Office of Space Commerce Department of Commerce, and Scott Pace, executive secretary at the National Space Council. The panel will discuss how they will work together on policies and actions they need to take to enable the trillion-dollar space economy.

This virtual panel takes place online on Tuesday, October 20, from 10 to 10:45 am. Learn more.

Tuesday, October 20 — Carbon Footprint and Emissions Monitoring

Satellite data can give governments and industry the ability to monitor and reduce the carbon footprint. In this panel, experts will discuss the companies that operate and use satellite data to monitor, manage and profit from satellites that monitor the planet's carbon footprint.

  • Lou Zacharilla, director of Innovation Space & Satellite Professionals International (moderator)
  • Sebastien Biraud, staff scientist and Climate Sciences Department Head at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Steve Hamburg, chief scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund
  • Yotam Ariel, CEO of Bluefield Technologies
This virtual panel takes place online on Tuesday, October 20, from 12 to 12:45 pm. Learn more.

Thursday, October 22 — Keynote: Industry Applications

This general session features how Amazon Web Services helps terrestrial industries take advantage of space enabled services already in place at competitive pricing. Speaker Clint Crosier from Amazon Web Services and moderator Douglas Terrier, chief technology officer at NASA.

This virtual panel takes place online on Thursday, October 22, from 10 to 10:45 am. Learn more.

Monday, October 26 — Keynote: International Space Station

The new head of NASA's International Space Station program, Joel Montalbano, who is based in Houston's Johnson Space Center, provides a status of and exciting new industry applications for the ISS as well as insight into the future of ISS.

This virtual panel takes place online on Monday, October 26, from 10 to 10:45 am. Learn more.

Monday, October 26 — NASA Session: Transferring NASA Technology

NASA's treasure trove of technology is available to American industry and entrepreneurs to apply in profitable ways. In this session, NASA technology transfer leaders — Daniel Lockney, Kimberly Minafra, and Krista Jensen — will discuss the many ways the private sector can tap into the accumulated knowledge NASA has to share.

This virtual panel takes place online on Monday, October 26, from 11 to 11:45 am. Learn more.

Tuesday, October 27 — Space Tourism: The Excitement and Expectations

A panel of industry experts will discuss the space tourism industry, taking a deep dive into what the future holds, constraints for the industry's ability to address the market for many years to come and how some of these projects will be executed from a business, technology and execution perspective.

  • Amir Blachman, chief business officer of Houston-based Axiom Space
  • Jane Poynter, founder and co-CEO of Space Perspective
  • Sudhir Pai, CEO of Autonomous Energy Ventures
  • Richard Garriott, private astronaut (moderator)

This virtual panel takes place online on Tuesday, October 27, from 11 to 11:45 am. Learn more.

Tuesday, October 27 — Spaceports as the Innovation Hub for Regions

Spaceports around the world can, and in many cases are, serving as regional innovation centers for high tech activities and creating positive economic development opportunities. Speakers Cherie Matthew, project manager at Corgan, and Pam Underwood, director at the FAA Office of Spaceports, review what the future looks like for spaceports and what funding will be necessary with moderator George Nield, president of Commercial Space Technologies LLC.

This virtual panel takes place online on Tuesday, October 27, from 12 to 12:45 pm. Learn more.

Wednesday, October 28 — NASA Session: Industries of the Future

NASA technology is creating the underpinning for new industries of the future. NASA's work has already changed the world with advances in telecom and microprocessors. More is yet to come. This panel led by Douglas Terrier, NASA chief technologist will explore the industries on the horizon that will stem from NASA innovation.

This virtual panel takes place online on Wednesday, October 28, from 11 to 11:45 am. Learn more.

Thursday, October 29 — Keynote: Women of Space

NASA's head of human exploration, Kathy Lueders, based in Houston's Johnson Space Center, discusses the crucial role that women have, are, and will continue to provide in getting America back to the Moon, as well as in creating the trillion-dollar commercial space economy with moderator Vanessa Wyche, deputy director at JSC.

This virtual panel takes place online on Thursday, October 29, from 10 to 10:45 am. Learn more.

Thursday, October 29 — Zoom to the Moon

An international panel discussion with Orion Program Managers about progress toward launching NASA's first human-rated spacecraft to travel around the Moon since 1972.

  • Catherine Koerner, NASA Orion Program Manager NASA at JSC
  • Didier Radola, head of ORION ESM Programme Airbus
  • Nico Dettman, Lunar Exploration Group Leader for Lunar Exploration Development Projects European Space Agency
  • Tony Antonelli, Artemis II mission director Lockheed Martin

This virtual panel takes place online on Thursday, October 29, from 12 to 12:45 pm. Learn more.

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Building Houston

 
 

University of Houston and Rice University have again been recognized for their programs for entrepreneurship. Photo courtesy of UH.edu

Houston entrepreneurs, take note. Rice University and the University of Houston again are at the top of their class among the country’s best entrepreneurship programs.

Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business appears at No. 1 on a new list from The Princeton Review of the best graduate programs for entrepreneurs. Rice also lands at No. 5 in Poets and Quants’ new ranking of the best online MBA programs, up from seventh place last year.

Meanwhile, UH’s C.T. Bauer College of Business shows up at No. 1 in The Princeton Review’s ranking of the best undergraduate programs for entrepreneurs.

For both Rice and UH, this marks the fourth consecutive year for No. 1 rankings in the graduate and undergraduate categories, respectively, from The Princeton Review.

“Appearing in the number one spot for the fourth year running cements reputationally what our students know innately, that Rice’s comprehensive suite of programming and education provides true practical value for founders and innovators,” Yael Hochberg, head of Rice’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, says in a news release.

The Princeton Review notes that graduates of Rice’s entrepreneurship program have raised more than $1.2 billion in funding for their startups over the past five years. During the same timeframe, UH entrepreneurship alumni have launched 779 startups.

UH’s Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship “is the crown jewel of the Bauer College. But it is also a testament to the support we have received from the community,” Paul Pavlou, dean of the college, says in a news release. “In the last several years, we have been fortunate to receive numerous generous donations that are funding life-changing scholarships for our students, enabling us to recruit and train the next generation of successful entrepreneurs.”

Other Texas schools featured in The Princeton Review rankings include:

  • University of Texas at Austin, No. 5 for best graduate entrepreneurship program and No. 2 for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program
  • University of Texas at Dallas, No. 12 for best graduate entrepreneurship program and No. 25 for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program
  • Texas A&M University-College Station, No. 24 for best graduate entrepreneurship program and No. 36 for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program
  • Baylor University in Waco, No. 6 for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program
  • Texas Tech University in Lubbock, No. 12 for best undergraduate entrepreneurship program

“The rate of entrepreneurship and business creation has hit record highs in recent years,” says Jason Feifer, editor in chief of Entrepreneur magazine, which published The Princeton Review rankings. “We’re seeing more people seeking insight on how to become successful entrepreneurs. With this list of schools, aspiring entrepreneurs have a valuable reference for exploring schools that excel at helping young leaders expand their business skillsets and networks with an entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

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