Off campus

Growing Houston coworking space announces plans for new Galleria-area satellite

The Cannon – Post Oak will open on January 21, which is well ahead of its new space in West Houston that's currently under construction. Pictured is a rendering for the West Houston space. Courtesy of The Cannon

While The Cannon is currently in the midst of construction on its 120,000-square-foot space in West Houston, the coworking space has announced a new office that will open ahead its main campus.

The Cannon – Post Oak, located at 675 Bering Drive (near the Woodway Drive intersection), will open on January 21. The Cannon partnered with Houston-based commercial real estate group Griffin Partners to open the new location just west of The Galleria.

"The size and scale of Houston can create challenges for entrepreneurs and small businesses to make the trip out to our main campus, so we've recognized that it's increasingly important for us to grow our presence across the city and create more accessible solutions for Houston's entrepreneurs," says Founder and CEO Lawson Gow, son of David Gow, owner of InnovationMap's parent company Gow Media.

"We're especially thrilled to partner with an innovative group like Griffin Partners who shares our entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to Houston."

Griffin Partners has a portfolio of 4.5 million square feet Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Texas valued at over $750 million. The team is similarly excited, as the partnership marks the company's first foray into coworking space.

"We are excited to work with The Cannon and expand our offerings to include coworking space, allowing us to reach a brand new population and create new opportunities for Houston's entrepreneurs, small businesses and startups," says Edward Griffin, the company's president and CEO.

Community members from the off-campus site will be a part of The Cannon's overall community and will have access to Cannon events and can even have access to the main campus for a few days a month. The Cannon has various membership options.

The floor plan shows 16 offices available for renting, as well as both open and dedicated desks in a shared area. There's also a kitchen, one conference room, and two smaller meeting rooms in the floor plan. According to the website, members will have 24/7 access, a gaming room, and unlimited coffee and tea.


Via thecannonhouston.com

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Building Houston

 
 

SurgWise is giving surgical teams the right support for hiring. Photo via Getty Images

A surgeon spends over a decade in school and residency perfecting their medical skills, but that education doesn't usually include human resources training. Yet, when it comes to placing candidates into surgical programs, the hiring responsibilities fell on the shoulders of surgeons.

Aimee Gardner, who has her PhD in organized psychology, saw this inefficiency first hand.

"I worked in a large surgery department in Dallas right out of graduate school and quickly learned how folks are selected into residency and fellowship programs and all the time that goes into it — time spent by physicians reviewing piles and piles of like paper applications and spending lots and lots and of hours interviewing like hundreds of candidates," Gardner tells InnovationMap. "I was just really shocked by the inefficiencies from just a business and workforce perspective."

And things have only gotten worse. There are more applicants hitting the scene every year and they are applying to more hospitals and programs. Future surgeons used to apply for 20 or so programs — now it’s more like 65 on average. According to her research, Gardner says reviewing these applications cost lots of time and money, specifically $100,000 to fill five spots annually just up to the interviewing phase of the process.

Five years ago, Gardner came up with a solution to this “application fever,” as she describes, and all the inefficiencies, and founded SurgWise Consulting, where she serves as president and CEO.

"We help provide assessments to help screen competencies and attributes that people care about," Gardner says. "(Those) are really hard to assess, but really differentiate people who really thrive in training in their careers and people who don't."

Aimee Gardner is the CEO and president of Houston-based SurgWise. Photo via surgwise.com

These are the non-technical skills, like the professionalism, interpersonal skills, and communication. While SurgWise began as a service-oriented consulting company, the company is now ready to tap technology to expand upon its solution. The work started out of Houston Methodist, and SurgWise is still working with surgery teams there. She says they've accumulated tons of data that can be leveraged and streamlined.

"We're now pivoting from a very intimate client approach to a more scalable offering. Every year we assess essentially around 80 percent of all the people applying to be future surgeons — those in pediatric surgery, vascular surgery, and more,” Gardner says. “We’ve used kind of the last five years of data and experiences to create a more scalable, easy-to-integrate, and off-the-shelf solution.”

Gardner says her solution is critical for providing more equity in the hiring process.

“One of our goals was to create more equitable opportunities and platforms to assess folks because many of the traditional tools and processes that most people use in this space have lots of opportunity for bias and a high potential for disadvantaging individuals from underrepresented groups," she says. "For example, letters of recommendation are often a very insider status. If you went to some Ivy League or your parents were in health care and they know someone, you have that step up from a networking and socioeconomic status standpoint."

Personal statements and test scores are also inequitable, because they tend to be better submissions if people have money for coaching.

SurgWise hopes to lower the number of programs future surgeons apply to too to further streamline the process. She hopes to do this through an app and web tool that can matchmake people to the right program.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a platform for applicants to obtain a lot more information about the various places to which they apply to empower them to make more informed decisions, so that they don't have to apply to a hundred places," Gardner says. "We want to essentially create a match-style app that allows them to input some data and tell us 'here's what I'm looking for here are my career goals and any preferences I have.'”

While that tool is down the road, Gardner says SurgWise is full speed ahead toward launching the data-driven hiring platform. The bootstrapped company hopes to raise early venture funding this summer in order to hire and grow its team.

“As we continue to consider this app that I talked about and some of the other opportunities to scale to other specialties we're gonna start looking for a series A funding later this summer.”

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