Who's who

3 Houston innovators to know this week

While each of this week's three innovators has years of experience under their belts, they are each starting something new. Courtesy photos

Common ingredients among entrepreneurs is a great idea, plenty of hard work, and a whole lot of luck. And, if they are lucky, they've got some experience under their belts too. These three innovators this week are all in the process of starting something — a venture fund, an app, an investment platform — but lucky for them, they know what they're doing.

Allison Lami Sawyer, partner at The League of Worthwhile Ventures

Courtesy of Allison Lami Sawer

Allison Lami Sawyer's story has stuck with me since I first heard it a few weeks ago. Primarily because she's a fantastic storyteller paired with, well, a great story. She's from Alabama and didn't really meet a female entrepreneur until she was one. She started Rebellion Photonics and ran it for several years before recently leaving to start something new: a seed fund called The League of Worthwhile Ventures. Sawyer isn't afraid to start something new and cherishes her role inspiring or advising other women entrepreneurs by being a role model for innovation — something she didn't have as a kid. Read the full story here.

Chris Staffel, COO at Patients We Share

Courtesy of Chris Staffel

While relatively new to the health care business, Chris Staffel has tons of business experience from both coasts. She brings those skills to Patients We Share, an app aiming to enhance and improve doctor referrals. The idea originated from two doctors here in Houston, but as it started to take off, they invested in business professionals like Staffel to make their dream a reality. Read the full story here.

Rashad Kurbanov, CEO and co-founder of iownit.us

Courtesy of iownit.us

I'm bending the rules a little bit here because, unfortunately, Houston cannot claim Rashad Kurbanov. However, the New Yorker is betting on Houston for his new company, iownit.us. The website is a platform for private securities investors and fund-raising companies to connect and make deals — without any red tape. Kurbanov has years of financial experience, but has never done anything like this before because well, no one has. Read the full story here.

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From enlightening talks to networking opportunities, here's where you need to be in October. Photo via Getty Images

From networking meetups to pitch competitions, October is lined with opportunities for Houston innovators.

Here's a roundup of events you won't want to miss out on so mark your calendars and register accordingly.

Note: This post might be updated to add more events.

Additionally, mark your calendars for November 8 for the annual Houston Innovation Awards.

October 6 — Texas Venture Crawl

Head over to the Ion for pre-panel networking, an engaging Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) investor panel, followed by a happy hour for networking. Panelists include Grace Chan, Principal at bp Ventures; Jason Ethier, Founder of Lambda Catalyzer; Alex Gras, Associate at Mercury Fund; and Billy Grandy, Chief Innovation Officer and Managing Partner at Softeq Venture Fund.

This event is Friday, October 6, from 5 to 8 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

October 7 — Ideation Competition

The Pearland Innovation Hub is hosting it's first Ideation Competition. Participants will get an opportunity to have mentors guide them through Design Thinking and other methodologies to help generate ideas to solve local civic issues.

This event is Saturday, October 7, from 9:30 am to 3 pm at Pearland Innovation Hub. Click here to register.

October 11 — Emerging Tech: Revolutionizing the Industry Panel

From artificial intelligence and blockchain to virtual reality, this panel will explore the impact of these innovations on businesses and society. Whether you are a tech enthusiast, a professional in the industry, or simply curious about the future of technology, this event will have valuable networking opportunities.

This event is Wednesday, October 11, from 1 to 2 pm at HCC West Loop Campus. Click here to register.

October 13 — Web3, Blockchain, & Crypto...Oh My!

Expert speakers will unravel the mysteries of Web3, showcasing its potential to revolutionize industries like finance, gaming, and more. Learn about the power of Blockchain technology and how it ensures transparency, security, and trust in various sectors. Explore the endless possibilities of Cryptocurrencies and their impact on the global economy.

This event is Friday, October 13, at the Cannon. Click here to register.

October 16 — Health & MedTech Mingle

Pumps & Pipes is hosting a night of industry mingles occurring simultaneously at the Ion featuring FinTech, EdTech, Food Tech, and more. This month's featured speaker is Dr. Alan Lumsden, Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery and Chair of the DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center at Houston Methodist.

This event is Monday, October 16, at the Ion. Click here to register.

October 19 — UH Energy Symposium Series - The Future of Mobility Promises & Bottlenecks

The latest installment of UH Energy's Critical Issues in Energy Symposium Series tackles the obstacles facing a transition to a circular economy.

Panelists to include: Dave Mullaney – Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute; Varuna Singh – Deputy District Engineer TxDOT; Erika Myers – Executive Director, CharIN, e.V.; Matt Peterson – President and CEO, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator; Catherine McCreight – Director of Transportation Planning, TxDOT; Funda Sahin – Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, University of Houston (Moderator).

This event is Thursday, October 19, at the University of Houston. Click here to register.

October 25 — Houston Startup Ecosystem Summit

The Houston Startup Ecosystem Summit is an opportunity for innovators, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts to come together and push the boundaries of what's possible. This event features a lineup of panelists, diverse breakout session tracks, and a competitive startup pitch showcase.

This event is Wednesday, October 25, at the Cannon. Click here to register.

October 25  — TMC Startup Symposium

The Symposium will include 1:1 time with subject matter experts, industry networking events, educational presentations, and thought leader panel discussions. The following topics will be covered: intellectual property, voice of customer, regulatory reimbursement, clinical commercialization strategy, angel investing, venture capital investing, and serial entrepreneurship. Startup registration is $250 for a ticket.

This event starts Wednesday, October 25, from 8 am to 5 pm at TMCi. Click here to register.

October 26 — Unleash the Power of AI and ChatGPT

Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with a panel of industry experts, and network with like-minded individuals. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting your AI journey, this event is designed to inspire and educate. Discover how AI is revolutionizing various industries and learn how to leverage its power to drive innovation in your own projects.

This event is Thursday, October 26, from 6 to 8:30 pm at the Cannon. Click here to register.

October 27 — SHINE: The Conference on Culture

Shine is a half day conference focused on the organizational structures of workplaces. Attendees can expect to hear from a range of speakers who will share their wisdom gained from industries, from breweries to public relations.

This event is Friday, October 27, from 8 am to 1 pm at Stages. Click here to register.

October 30-31 — Fuze

This energy conference is a must-attend event for executives, investors, and founders serious about solving the energy crisis and boosting company efficiency. Featuring keynotes, expert panels, tech showcases, and networking, Fuze has a variety of activities planned for energy industry professionals. Price of admission ranges from $299-$799.

This event starts on Monday, October 30, from 8 am to 7 pm at 713 Music Hall. Click here to register.

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