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

Here's your one-stop shop for innovation events in Houston this month. Photo via Getty Images

It's a new month, which calls for a new round up of must-attend events. In this batch of in-person and online innovation events, you can check out details on a women-focused conference at Rice University, a pitch competition, educational workshops, and more.

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

Feb. 3 — The Realities of Raising Capital

WeWork and Republic will host an interactive panel discussion that's event is open to the public and features a discussion with local entrepreneurs and Mikaela Giani, senior investment associate at Republic on their experiences raising capital. This event is part of the newly launched “Let’s Talk Deals” event series from WeWork and Republic focusing on a 2-way conversation between start-up Founders and Venture Capital Investors to understand founders' funding experience, investors' expectations, and what areas need to be improved for both sides to capture foregone opportunities.

The event is on Thursday, February 3, at 4:30 pm. It's free and happening at WeWork (708 Main St, 10th Floor). Click here to register.

Feb. 8 — TEDxBaylorCollegeofMedicine: Reboot, Reframe, ReImagine

The Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy will host Baylor College of Medicine’s first ever TEDx event. TEDxBaylorCollegeofMedicine is dedicated to bringing together leading thinkers and doers to share ideas across many disciplines – technology, entertainment, design, science, humanities, business and development. Our aim is to build a meaningful connection between the work at Baylor and the people we serve in the community and share inspirational stories of how our community is improving health through science, scholarship and innovation.

The event is on Tuesday, February 8, at 7 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

Feb. 9 — Code for Houston's Open Project Night: Reduced Inequalities Edition

Impact Hub Houston invites you to connect and collaborate with passionate people who are working on projects, ventures, and collaborations to improve the City of Houston. Open Project Night has been hosted across the Impact Hub global network for a few years, and we are carrying the torch locally to support problem solvers, connectors, and leaders in their efforts to create the change they wish to see in the world.

The event is on Thursday, February 9, at 5:30 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

Feb. 10 — Digitization of Industrial Diagrams through AI & Computer Vision

DataSeer will introduce the problem of extracting data trapped in legacy technical diagrams and explain how recent technologies in computer vision and machine learning can help automate and accelerate manual effort that’s currently done today.

The event is on Thursday, February 10, at 9 am. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

Feb. 10 — IDDD Round Table Workshop: Developing Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Diseases

This workshop will feature presentations from Jim Ray, PhD, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Zachary Sweeney, PhD, CEO, Interline Therapeutics. You will have the opportunity on the registration site to submit questions in advance that may be addressed in the 30-minute round table discussion portion of the workshop. There is a virtual registration option if you prefer to join by zoom.

The event is on Thursday, February 10, at 3:30 pm. It's free and happening at Rice (6500 Main St, Room 1003). Click here to register.

Feb. 11 — Women in Leadership Conference

The 22nd annual conference has been a beacon of inspiration in the Houston community, empowering women to accomplish their career goals. In panel discussions and interactive workshops, attendees hear from leaders across different industries, explore various approaches to leadership, and discuss future opportunities for success.

The event is on Friday, February 11, from 8:15 am to 5 pm. Registration is $120 (code HOU22 for 10 percent off). It's happening at McNair Hall at Rice University. Click here to register.

Feb. 16 — Engage VC: Greycroft

Managing nearly $2B across 400 portfolio companies, including 25 unicorns, Greycroft is viewed as a top VC in the nation. And they are coming to Houston. Join HX Venture Fund at the Ion to hear Brentt Baltimore, principal at Greycroft, and Andrea Course, venture principal at Shell Ventures, discuss Greycroft's perspective on ESG, circular economy, sustainability, and how Houston fits in.

The event is on Wednesday, February 16, from 8:30 to 11 am. It's free and happening at The Ion (4501 Main St.). Click here to register.

Feb. 17 — Microsoft Excel Training with Docmo

Lee Gilley, founder of Docmo and member of The Cannon, is hosting an excel training in the classroom at The Cannon West Houston. Anyone can drop in at any time. In the first half of the event, Lee will cover a few Excel topics, and in the second half there will be a Q&A format so please bring a problem you’re currently working on.

The event is on Thursday, February 17, at 3:30 pm. It's free and happening at The Cannon West Houston Event Space (1334 Brittmoore Rd). Click here to register.

Feb. 17 — Transition on Tap: Reflections and Lessons From the Texas Freeze

In this year’s first Transition On Tap, Greentown Labs will sit down with Houston energy industry experts as they talk about their firsthand experience with the freeze, what steps have been taken in the last year to strengthen the grid, and the role climatetech innovation can play to create more resilient energy infrastructure.

The event is on Thursday, February 17, at 5 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

Feb. 23 — Houston Startup Showcase

The Houston Startup Showcase is a year-long series of monthly pitch competitions. Founders will pitch and compete for the grand prize package. Watch the startups pitch their company and see who the judges will name the champion of Houston Startup Showcase 2022.

The event is on Wednesday, February 23, at 6 pm. It's free and happening at Ion Houston (4201 Main St). Click here to register.

Feb. 24 — Texas Life Science Forum

Join Rice Alliance and BioHouston for the 10th Annual Texas Life Science Forum on to hear from luminaries in the life science innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship community. The day-long conference is an opportunity to see promising life science companies, meet investors and venture capitalists, learn about the latest developments in the Texas life science entrepreneurial ecosystem and research institutions, attend the educational symposium, and network with the community.

The event is on Thursday, February 24, from 8:30 am to 5 pm. Registration is $225, and the event happening at Rice University (6100 Main St). Click here to register.

Feb. 24 — EnergyTech University Prize Collegiate Competition

Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions at the U.S. Department of Energy, the EnergyTech University Prize is a collegiate competition challenging multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages lab-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. Student teams compete for a total of $250,000 in cash prizes as they explore business opportunities for lab-developed or other high-potential energy technologies, assess commercialization opportunities through market analysis, and present a viable business plan to industry judges. Throughout the competition, they receive mentorship and materials to help them succeed.

The event is on Thursday, February 24, at 3 pm. It's free and happening at Greentown Labs (4200 San Jacinto St). Click here to register.

Feb. 27 to March 5 — Houston Tech Rodeo Roadshow

Houston Tech Rodeo is back — and this time it's a roadshow. The week of events will set up saloons down Main Street and each day will host two 3-4 hour sessions on various innovation topics, as well as coffee networking in the mornings and evening happy hours for further connecting opportunities.

The week of events begins Sunday, February 27, and goes through Saturday, March 5. It's free and happening in downtown Houston. Click here to register.

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Building Houston

 
 

Sieve Health is an AI cloud-based SaaS platform designed to automate and accelerate matching patients with clinical trials. Photo via Getty Images

On many occasions in her early career, Dr. Arti Bhosale, co-founder and CEO of Sieve Health, found herself frustrated with having to manually sift through thousands of digital files.

The documents, each containing the medical records of a patient seeking advanced treatment through a clinical trial, were always there to review — and there were always more to read.

Despite the tediousness of prescreening, which could take years, the idea of missing a patient and not giving them the opportunity to go through a potentially life-altering trial is what kept her going. The one she didn’t read could have slipped through the cracks and potentially not given someone care they needed.

“Those stories have stayed with me,” she says. “That’s why we developed Sieve.”

When standard health care is not an option, advances in medical treatment could be offered through clinical trials. But matching patients to those trials is one of the longest standing problems in the health care industry. Now with the use of new technology as of 2018, the solution to the bottleneck may be a new automated approach.

“Across the globe, more than 30 percent of clinical trials shut down as a result of not enrolling enough patients,” says Bhosale. “The remaining 80 percent never end up reaching their target enrollment and are shut down by the FDA.”

In 2020, Bhosale and her team developed Sieve Health, an AI cloud-based SaaS platform designed to automate and accelerate matching patients with clinical trials and increase access to clinical trials.

Sieve’s main goal is to reduce the administrative burden involved in matching enrollments, which in turn will accelerate the trial execution. They provide the matching for physicians, study sponsors and research sites to enhance operations for faster enrollment of the trials.

The technology mimics but automates the traditional enrollment process — reading medical notes and reviewing in the same way a human would.

“I would have loved to use something like this when I was on the front lines,” Bhosale says, who worked in clinical research for over 12 years. “Can you imagine going through 10,000 records manually? Some of the bigger hospitals have upwards of 100,000 records and you still have to manually review those charts to make sure that the patient is eligible for the trial. That process is called prescreening. It is painful.”

Because physicians wear many hats and have many clinical efforts on their plates, research tends to fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Finding 10-20 patients can take the research team on average 15-20 months to find those people — five of which end up unenrolling, she says.

“We have designed the platform so that the magic can happen in the background, and it allows the physician and research team to get a jumpstart,” she says.” They don’t have to worry about reviewing 10,000 records — they know what their efforts are going to be and will ensure that the entire database has been scanned.”

With Sieve, the team was able to help some commercial pilot programs have a curated data pool for their trials – cutting the administrative burden and time spent searching to less than a week.

Sieve is in early-stage start up mode and the commercial platform has been rolled out. Currently, the team is conducting commercial projects with different research sites and hospitals.

“Our focus now is seeing how many providers we can connect into this,” she says. “There’s a bigger pool out there who want to participate in research but don’t know where to start. That’s where Sieve is stepping in and enabling them to do this — partnering with those and other groups in the ecosystem to bring trials to wherever the physicians and the patients are.”

Arti Bhosale is the co-founder and CEO of Sieve Health. Photo courtesy of Sieve

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