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10+ can't-miss Houston business and innovation events in September

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

This month, Houstonians have yet another good batch of in-person and online innovation events, including the inaugural InnovationMap Awards, and you and your tech network need to know about them.

Here's a roundup of virtual events not to miss this month — like demo days, workshops, conventions, and more.

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

September 8 — The InnovationMap Awards presented by Techwave

Celebrate Houston innovation's movers and shakers at this inaugural event. Find out who of the 28 finalists — listed here — will take home a win and vote IN REAL TIME on this year's people's choice winner.

The event is on Wednesday, September 8, at 5:30 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

September 9 — Illuminate Houston: An Innovation Conversation

Illuminate Houston, presented by the Greater Houston Partnership, is an event series highlighting business leaders who challenge the way we think about the future. Illuminate Houston features dynamic formats where speakers and attendees discuss trends, technologies and issues that define how we do business. Following the keynote presentation by Caleb Deerinwater, Vice President – Fiber Sales & Distribution at AT&T, the audience will participate in an interactive fishbowl discussion. A fishbowl is a format fosters group participation in conversation and lets the content emerge from the group's comments and questions.

The event is on Thursday, September 9, at noon. It's free to members ($25 for non-members) and happening online. Click here to register.

September 11 — BioVentures Pitch Day

BioVentures is Enventure's 10-week accelerator program that supports budding entrepreneurs as they turn their ideas into a life science startup. This year, the group has four startups who will pitch their technology. Each team will be giving a 10-minute pitch followed by 20 minutes of Q&A. This event will be virtual through Zoom.

The event is on Saturday, September 11, at 1 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

September 15 — Building Better Teams by Fostering Equity in the Workplace

As an early-stage entrepreneur, you want to attract the most exceptional talent who will help your company grow. Developing and implementing an effective DEI strategy can be essential to your efforts to secure the very best people to help maintain your competitive advantage. Join this panel from JLABS featuring Fiona Mack, regional head of JLABS @ TMC.

The event is on Wednesday, September 15, at noon. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

September 16 — The State of Space

The Greater Houston Partnership is hosting its second annual State of Space event with featured speaker Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA's Johnson Space Center, and panelistsSteve Altemus, President and CEO, Intuitive Machines LLC and Tim Kopra, Vice President of Robotics and Space, MDA Ltd.

The event is on Thursday, September 16, at 10:30 am at Marriott Marquis (1777 Walker St.). It's $75 for members and $150 for non-members. Click here to register.

September 16 — Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator Demo Day

The Rice Alliance Clean Energy Accelerator is hosting its inaugural demo day celebrating its inaugural class. Register to hear from 12 startups and participate in audience Q&A. Prior to pitches, stroll through our virtual showcase to learn more about the startups and network or chat with your fellow attendees.

The event is on Thursday, September 16, at 1 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

September 16 — Rice Data Science Career Mixer

The Rice Data Science Career Mixer is an excellent opportunity for companies to network with the brightest students at Rice University and discuss potential career opportunities in computational and data science fields.

The event is on Thursday, September 16, at 5 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

September 18 — Houston Hackathon 2021

To celebrate the National Civic Day of Hacking, Impact Hub Houston invites all people who want to make a difference in our region to join them at the annual Houston Hackathon. This is a "civic" hackathon, focused on ideating, designing, and developing both policy-based and tech solutions to some of Houston's greatest challenges. Project stakeholders will be there from the city, local organizations, and Houston's impact community.

The event is on Saturday, September 18, at 11 am to 3 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

September 21 — Email Marketing: A How To

Join The Cannon's HubSpot for Startups partner for a fast-paced session covering the key elements of email marketing. In this workshop, we'll go over HubSpot's playbook for:

  • Creating a winning email marketing strategy
  • Generating traffic to your website and converting traffic into leads
  • Leveraging automation to nurture leads
  • Email marketing best practices and common mistakes to avoid

The event is on Tuesday, September 21, at 1 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

September 22 — Are You Ready to Fundraise?

Raising money for your new venture doesn't have to be a mystery. When it comes to fundraising, there are specific things to keep in mind. Catch The Cannon's next webinar with Founder's Compass.

  • Understand the timing of the process
  • Understand your target audience (investors) and the value proposition that will appeal to them
  • Understand the obligations, risks, and consequences (on both sides)
The event is on Wednesday, September 22, at 10 am. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

September 29 — Equity in Green Jobs

The projected growth of the climatetech industry and its ability to train and employ people means that there is abundant potential to create wealth and jobs, especially for low-income communities and communities of color. Greentown Labs invites you to hear from experts who will share how we can build toward a resilient, low-carbon future while simultaneously and rapidly expanding opportunities for women and people of color to economically benefit from and help drive the climatetech revolution.

The conversation will cover:

  • The current state of Houston's quickly evolving energy landscape
  • Skills applicable to the energy transition
  • Examples of comprehensive climatetech workforce development programs
  • Incorporating equity into green jobs

The event is on Wednesday, September 29, at 4 pm. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

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Building Houston

 
 

Future research may benefit from both analyzing and improving current decision making processes. Photo via Getty Images

Real options represent the decisions companies can make in the face of evolving risk. In the energy and commodity industries, real options are ubiquitous, including the extraction, processing and refinement, storage, and transportation of natural resources. These choices are influenced by ever-changing market and environmental conditions.

Because of these uncertainties, the energy industry has been a key focus of the operations literature on real options. Rice Business professor Nicola Secomandi, along with University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration professor Selvaprabu Nadajarah, were recently invited by the European Journal of Operational Research to conduct a review of the operations literature on real options in energy. Their review included 80 papers across 10 journals active in the field. The research was mostly conducted during Secomandi’s time at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

The review examined how often different types of energy and methods of studying related business processes appeared in the operations literature. Nearly a quarter of the papers considered natural gas, more often than any other energy type. Natural gas storage was the most studied process, while the transport and sale of natural gas were less discussed.

While only 10 percent of the papers focused on electricity by itself, mostly in the context of battery management, electricity was discussed alongside emissions and the environment in 22.5 percent of the papers—almost as often as natural gas. About 11 percent of the papers examined both electricity and natural gas.

Roughly 21 percent of the papers focused on crude oil and refined products. Exploration, development, and abandonment of crude oil fields were common topics, while work on crude oil refining and gasoline logistics was rarer.

The review looked at the frequency of use of five categories: real option types, valuation methodologies, model formulations, price risk dynamics, and optimization schemes. Timing options, which irreversibly change the status of an asset when exercised, and switching options, which involve reversible changes, appeared with about equal frequency. Of the valuation methodologies, risk neutral valuation was employed the most often, appearing in nearly 78 percent of the papers. Model formulations were divided mainly between Markov decision processes, which assume that decisions are made at set times, and stochastic optimal control models, which assume that decisions are made continuously. About 63 percent of the papers discussed Markov decision processes, but at nearly 34 percent, stochastic optimal control models haven’t been entirely left out of the literature. Almost 75 percent of the papers formulated models based on spot prices as opposed to futures prices, and over 80 percent adopted normal distribution models, either alone or in combination with other models. Approximate solution approaches dominated within optimization schemes, appearing in 71 percent of the papers.

While several energy sources and analysis tools have been discussed in the literature, the possibilities for future research remain broad. The transition to clean energy sources may increase the complexity of already intricate operations. Its modeling and analysis may require more advanced models than existing ones.

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This article originally ran on Rice Business Wisdom and was based on research from Nicola Secomandi, the Houston Endowment Professor of Management – Operations Management at Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.

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