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

Check out these conferences, pitch competitions, networking, and more in the month of August. Photo via Getty Images

Houstonians are transitioning into a new summer month, and the city's business community is mixing in networking and conference events with family vacations and time off. Here's a rundown of what all to throw on your calendar for August when it comes to innovation-related events.

This article will be updated as more business and tech events are announced.


August 1 — Beyond Bias: Essentials for an Equitable Community

During this seminar, Tracie Jae, Founder of The Quiet Rebel, will share a paradigm shift designed to disrupt the current DEI model.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is the accepted workforce best practice. As organizations continue to find the mix of techniques for their particular culture, we began to see the addition of other words like Belonging, Justice, and Access. Meanwhile, the impact appears the same - a focus on making space for “others” rather than actively creating a welcoming environment of mutual respect and acknowledgement. We have chosen to modify rather than innovate.

The event is Monday, August 1, 10 am to noon, at The Ion. Click here to register.

August 3 — Bayou Startup Showcase

The showcase features 24 companies from four accelerators: RED Labs, OwlSpark, RED Launch and BlueLaunch. You will be able to engage with these businesses, sign up for pre-orders, and buy products at their booths. Teams have recorded their pitches for you to learn about them in advance, watch during the event, or review afterward.

The event is Wednesday, August 3, 5 to 8 pm, at Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Click here to register.

August 4 — National Cancer Institute | SBIR Funding Opportunities

The TMCi Accelerator is excited to partner with the National Cancer Institute for a discussion about small business funding opportunities.

The event is Thursday, August 4, 1 to 3 pm, online. Click here to register.

August 8 — Intro to Finance Automation

Understand the benefits of finance automation and how to identify meaningful automation opportunities in your business. Learn from firsthand experiences of FinOptimal’s Founder & CEO, Jesse Rubenfeld.

The event is Monday, August 8, 10 am to noon, at The Ion. Click here to register.

August 11 — Illuminate Houston: An Innovation Conversation

Illuminate Houston is an event series highlighting business leaders who challenge the way we think about the future, featuring dynamic formats where speakers and attendees discuss trends, technologies, and issues that define how we do business. The Partnership welcomes Roberta L. Schwartz, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Houston Methodist on Thursday, August 11.

The event is Thursday, August 11, 1 to 2:30 pm, at Partnership Tower. Click here to register.

August 11 — Summer in the City: UH Students' Showcase Day

Throughout the "Summer in the City" class, students from the University of Houston Honors College have learned about creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, and smart cities. Taking a mixed-media approach, and benefiting from guest lectures by Robert Cremins, Director of Creative Work: A Pre-Professional Program at UH, as well as panel discussions featuring entrepreneurs, innovators, and founder at the Ion, students have developed their design thinking and innovation skills and tackled problems experienced in Houston.

The event is Thursday, August 11, 5:30 to 7 pm, at the ion. Click here to register.

August 16 — Softeq Venture Studio Public Demo Day 

The Softeq Venture Studio invested $125,000 in cash and services in each of the fourteen early-stage startups to help them refine their business model, build their technology, and prepare them to scale. With 14 startups, the Q2 2022 cohort is the largest yet and brings the total portfolio to 27 companies. In this capstone event, founders have seven minutes each to present their pitch deck, demo their product, outline their ask, and answer questions.

The event is Tuesday, August 16, 5 to 7:30 pm, at The Ion. Click here to register.

August 16 — Enventure "Inspire" Seminar Series - Entrepreneurship

The "Inspire" Seminar Series was developed by Enventure to help students learn about the reality of working in the biotech and biomedical fields. The series consists of a number of events starring guest speakers coming from different areas in the biotech and biomedical industries. Dr. Lauren Cornell is an experienced research scientist with a strong history of military collaborations.

The event is Tuesday, August 16, 6 to 7:30 pm, online. Click here to register.

August 18 — Evolve Houston Relaunch Event

This past year, Evolve introduced a new logo and website to continue embarking on its mission to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through transportation electrification.

The event is Thursday, August 18, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, at George R. Brown Convention Center. Click here to register.

August 18 — Transition on Tap

Transition On Tap is Greentown Labs' monthly networking event devoted to fostering conversations and connections among the climate and energy transition ecosystem in Houston and beyond. Entrepreneurs, investors, students, and friends of climatetech are invited to attend, meet colleagues, discuss solutions, and engage with our growing community. I

The event is Thursday, August 18, 5 to 7 pm, at Greentown Houston. Click here to register.

August 22 — Startup-Inside-a-Business 102: How to Find SIB Without Spending Any Money

Founders will learn how to look at their companies differently, to see how the capabilities and systems they’ve already created can be reconfigured to multiply growth, value, and valuation. Learn a step-by-step approach to finding the best potential startup inside and insights for estimating the potential value that’s waiting to be unlocked.

This workshop is the second in a series of three Startup-Inside-a-Business Workshops.

The event is Monday, August 22, 10 to 11:30 am, at The Ion. Click here to register.

August 29 — Startup-Inside-a-Business 103: Build One w/out Disrupting Existing Business

Founders will learn how getting investors involved early can end the need for founder cash investments while simultaneously establishing a higher company valuation. They’ll also learn how to manage the tradeoff between cost, risk, and reward by using proven techniques to gain proof before scaling up.

This workshop is the last in a series of three Startup-Inside-a-Business Workshops.

    The event is Monday, August 29, 10 to 11:30 am, at The Ion. Click here to register.

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    Check out these conferences, pitch competitions, networking, and more all happening in September. Photo via Getty Images

    From networking meetups to pitch competitions, September has a smorgasbord of 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.

    Mark your calendars for November 8 for the annual Houston Innovation Awards, and nominate your company or another deserving business by September 19.

    September 5 — Tech + Tequila Talk: Houston Innovation

    Natara Branch, CEO of Houston Exponential, will delve into the most recent developments within the Houston Innovation Community, shedding light on Houston Exponential's latest initiatives. She will also provide insights into upcoming events, including the highly-anticipated Tech Rodeo and the forthcoming Innovation Awards Gala. After all of that education and conversation, unwind with an authentic tequila tasting and network with tech industry peers.

    The agenda:

    5:50 pm - 6 pm: Sign-in/Registration

    6 pm - 6:30 pm: Tequila tasting

    6:30 pm - 7 pm: Tech talk

    7 pm - 8 pm: Networking & Tequilas

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

    September 7 — Venture Houston 2023

    Venture Houston 2023 is a major event for entrepreneurs, venture investors and ecosystem builders to plug into what is happening in Houston. Come learn how you can decarbonize in a digital world, connect with Houston's best founders, corporate leaders and top tier investors, and develop meaningful relationships.

    The agenda:

    7 am - 8:45 am: Registration

    8:45 am - 12:30 pm: General Programming

    12:30 pm - 1:45 pm: Networking Lunch

    2:00 pm - 4:15 pm: General Programming

    4:15 pm - 6 pm: Networking Cocktail Reception

    This event is Thursday, September 7, from 7 am to 6 pm at Stude Concert Hall. Click here to register.

    September 8 — Inspire & Transform: Celebrating Women In Data

    Hosted by the Houston Chapter of Women in Data and Solidatus, this event will feature influential women who have made significant contributions to the field of data from the City of Houston, Exxon, EY, Google, Houston Methodist and more. The event will discuss and debate "The Intersection of Data, AI and Sustainability" and "What Does Good Look Like" through insightful panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Price of admission is $10.

    The agenda:

    9 am - Check-in and Network

    9:15 am - Welcome

    9:20 am - Panel 1: The Intersection of Data, AI & Sustainability

    10 am - Networking Break

    10:10am - Panel 2: "What Does Good Look Like"

    10:45am - Scholarships Awarded

    11am - End of event + Networking Opportunities

    This event is Friday, September 8, from 9 am to 11 am at 200 Park Place. Click here to register.

    September 9 — Revolutionizing Your Work: Eight Innovative Ways Entrepreneurs Can Leverage ChatGPT & AI to Scale, Grow & Succeed

    Discover how successful entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and ChatGPT to drive their businesses forward. At this event, you'll gain valuable insights from industry experts who have leveraged AI and ChatGPT to grow, scale, and succeed. Learn how these technologies can enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and drive innovation in your own entrepreneurial journey.

    This event is Saturday, September 9, from 12:30 to 1:30pm at The R.O.C.K. - Broadway Campus. Click here to register.

    September 13 — Small Business Exchange

    The Small Business Exchange, powered by US SBA, is a lively and informative event designed to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs.

    At the Small Business Exchange, you'll have the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, share your experiences, and gain valuable insights from industry experts. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this event offers a unique chance to learn, grow, and collaborate.


    This event is Wednesday, September 13, from 11 am to 2 pm at SBDC Office. Click here to register.

    September 21 — 20th Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Forum

    The Energy Tech Venture Forum, hosted by The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, will showcase energy tech innovations to shift towards a more sustainable, reliable and lower carbon future across interactive panels, inspiring keynotes and over 50 dynamic venture pitches, leaders.

    At the 20th annual conference, discover more than 90 new technology ventures commercializing energy transition innovations and meet investors looking for disruptive energy technologies that can accelerate clean and renewable energy. Check to see if you are a Rice Alliance member or sponsor to confirm your free registration. Rice university faculty and staff can also attend for free. For non-Rice community members tickets are $245.

    This event is Thursday, September 21, from 7:30 am to 5:15 pm at Rice University. Click here to register.

    September 21 — UH Energy Symposium: Plastics, Chemicals, Circularity: What’s Next?

    Focusing on the multifaceted nature and enormity of the challenge, this discussion will focus on what circularity means for the future of production and consumption, meeting consumer demand, and creating and preserving utility across the value chain, while addressing emissions reduction and waste management through new technologies, standards, regulatory mechanisms like extended producer responsibility, and stakeholder engagement.

    This event is Thursday, September 21, from 6 to 7:30 pm at the University of Houston. Click here to register.

    September 23 — OPEN Houston 11th Annual Conference

    Head over to the OPEN Houston 11th annual conference which will focus on the important players building Houston’s emerging technology and startup ecosystem. Hear from and connect with the founders, executives, investors, and other leaders that are building Houston’s innovation economy. Admission is $25-$50.

    The agenda:

    9:00 AM - 10.00 AM - Registration

    10.00 AM - 10:30 AM - Mayor Sylvester Turner Welcoming

    10:30 AM - 11:30 AM - Keynote by Andrew Yang

    11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Founder’s Panel

    12:30 PM - 1:30 PM - Lunch

    1:30 PM - 3:30 PM - Business Pitch Competition

    3:30 PM - 3:45 PM - Award Ceremony

    3:45 PM - 4:00 PM - Happy Hour

    This event is Saturday, September 23, from 9 am to 4 pm at Moran Hotel. Click here to register.

    September 27 — Space IT UP: Demo Day

    Presented by ITA and ASI in collaboration with the Space Foundation, this event celebrates the journey of six Italian companies as they launch their groundbreaking space ventures from Houston's thriving space ecosystem. Following a five-week accelerator program, these companies will be pitching their innovative space solutions at this Demo Day.

    This event is Wednesday, September 27 , from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

    September 27 — Pearland Innovation Hub Grand Opening

    Come learn more about the Pearland Innovation Hub, tour the new space, and celebrate the expansion. Raffle prizes will be available for attendees and f ood and drinks will be provided for registered attendees.

    This event is Wednesday, September 27, from 6 to 8 pm at Pearland Innovation Hub. Click here to register.

    September 28 — Chevron Technology Ventures Pitch Competition

    Chevron is looking for novel technologies or approaches that can be applied to transform their operations. With the goal of removing people from hazardous environments (e.g., confined spaces, working at heights), reducing the environmental impact (e.g., leak detection, emissions monitoring), and increasing the operational efficiency (e.g., autonomous operations, advanced inspection capabilities, predictive asset health capabilities) of their facilities in the decades to come.

    Registered attendees will be able to take a tour of the Chevron workspaces within the Cannon West Houston, enjoy refreshments and network.

    This event is Thursday, September 28, from 4 to 7:30 pm at the Cannon. Click here to register.

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