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5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week

Trending this week on InnovationMap is news about a new electric vehicle initiative from the mayor's office, three Houston innovators to know, and more. Photo by PeopleImages

Editor's note: If you zoned out of Houston innovation news this week — perhaps distracted by baseball post-season games — we've got you covered. Some of the highlights include a new electric vehicle initiative from the mayor's office, updates from The Ion, and the Houstonians with the deepest pockets.

3 Houston innovators to know this week

Samantha Lewis, Tilman Fertitta, and Tiffany Masterson are this week's innovators to know in Houston. Courtesy images

Houston entrepreneurs never cease to impress, leaving a mark on the city for their business minds, creativity, and overall gumption. This week's three innovators to know are no exception.

From a startup venture capitalist and Houston's most recognizable billionaire to a local mom that created — and now sold — a skincare line with a cult following, these are this week's innovative Houstonians to keep an eye on. Continue reading.

Station Houston CEO to lead operations at The Ion

The Rice Management Company has created a new operations organization for The Ion and has selected Gabriella Rowe to lead it. Courtesy of Rice University

A Houston innovation leader is switching sides of the table to support on a highly anticipated entrepreneurial hub.

Rice Management Company has created an operating organization for The Ion and has named Gabriella Rowe as the executive director. Rowe has served as CEO of Station Houston since August 2018. The Ion, which broke ground on the site of the Midtown Sears building in July, is expected to deliver early 2021. Continue reading.

Houston billionaires named to Forbes' list of richest Americans for 2019

Pipeline mogul and Memorial Park benefactor Richard Kinder (pictured with his wife, Nancy) leads the Houston billionaires. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group

Who's the richest person in Texas? That title once again goes to Walmart heiress Alice Walton, of Fort Worth, according to the newly released Forbes 400 ranking. But seven very wealthy Houstonians also appear on the list of the 400 richest people in the country right now.

The top Houstonian on the list is Houston pipeline mogul Richard Kinder, who is tied with another Walmart heiress, Ann Walton Kroenke, for sixth place in Texas and No. 67 nationally. Forbes estimates they're each worth $7.5 billion. Continue reading.

Mayor announces major effort to reduce emissions on Houston's roadways

Through increasing awareness, affordability, and accessibility, the city of Houston hopes to grow the number of electric vehicles on Houston roads by 2030. Courtesy of EVolve Houston

The city of Houston has taken a major step toward reducing carbon emissions caused by its estimated 1.3 million vehicles that drive the city's streets daily.

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a new partnership between the government, local businesses, and academic leaders that has created EVolve Houston. The coalition is aimed at boosting electric vehicle sales to 30 percent of new car sales in Houston by 2030. Continue reading.

A Houston entrepreneur is thinking out of the box with smart lockers for food and personal items

Dommonic Nelson wants to make sure everyone's lunches are safe. Photo via cleverboxcompany.com

Someone kept taking Dommonic Nelson's lunch. A Texas Southern University student living at home and commuting from Greenspoint, Nelson only had a few minutes to scarf down his lunches between studying Maritime Transportation. But regularly, he'd reach into the community refrigerator on campus, only to find, well, nothing.

One night, Nelson was in the shower, wondering why his lunch had been taken again, and the long journey to Clever Box Co. began. He barged into his grandfather's room — it was 2:40 in the morning — and told him he had an idea for a series of high-tech boxes designed for storing various things. The boxes could keep personal items (the Stash Box) and packages (the Happy Box) in large companies and coworking spaces, and for people to quickly pick up their food from restaurants without having to wait in line (the Yummy Box). If Nelson couldn't get his lunches back, he was going to make an entire business on making sure no one got stolen from again. Continue reading.

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Building Houston

 
 

SXSW announced its 2023 featured sessions, including keynote from Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert. Photo by Daniel Cavazos

For Texans — especially Austinites — if there's one major milestone that truly puts the pandemic behind us, it's the in-person return of SXSW. We got a taste of it this year with the hybrid online/in-person format, but 2023 will likely be the first festival that truly feels like a "return to normal." And the newly released lineup is definitely something to look forward to.

On Tuesday, November 15, SXSW announced the first keynote for the 37th festival, taking place March 10-19, 2023. The 2023 conference will include a keynote address from Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert.

Also announced were featured speakers, including New York Times bestselling author David Chang; New York Magazine editor-at-large and podcast host Kara Swisher; and Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalistValerie June.

“At SXSW, we thrive on creative ideas that lead to bold action when it comes to addressing society’s biggest challenges,” said SXSW's chief programming officer, Hugh Forrest. “Our first announced keynote speaker, Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert, is a true leader in the world of business who is unafraid of pursuing the systemic reform needed to protect our planet in the face of climate change.”

Organized into 25 programming tracks presented in a variety of session formats, SXSW celebrates the convergence of technology, film, television, and music. Tracks include civic engagement, climate change, design, film and TV, psychedelics, sports, travel, and more.

Other newly announced speakers joining the 2023 lineup are:

  • Chemistry professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Kate Biberdorf
  • Founder of Royal and DJ, Justin Blau, aka 3LAU
  • Gonzo journalist and creator of Channel 5, Andrew Callaghan
  • Professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and author, Dolly Chugh
  • Director and screenwriter, Julia Ducournau
  • Emmy and Tony Award-winning producer, co-founder and managing partner of Get Lifted Film Co., and fellow and professional-in-residence at the University of Texas’ Moody College of Communication, Mike Jackson
  • CEO of Luminate, Rob Jonas
  • Founder and CEO of KORA Organics, entrepreneur, and supermodel, Miranda Kerr
  • Actor, director, writer, comedian, and musician, Cheech Marin
  • New York Times bestselling author, Heather McGhee
  • Psychotherapist, New York Times bestselling author, and podcast host, Esther Perel
  • Author and former chairman, president, and CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty
  • Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, Boyan Slat
  • Mycologist, entrepreneur, author, and inventor, Paul Stamets
  • Associate professor of environmental politics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Leah Stokes
  • Founder and CEO of Strangeworks, whurley
  • Co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, Anne Wojcicki

This announcement comes on the heels of SXSW and Rolling Stone magazine announcing an inaugural emerging artists showcase taking place during the music portion of the festival in March 2023. For a full lineup and more information on featured sessions, visit SXSW.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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