houston innovators podcast episode 28

Editor's Picks: 7 favorite Houston interviews of 2022

The ultimate who's who of 2022 — favorite Houston Innovators Podcast guests of last year. Photos courtesy

Editor's note: In 2022, I recorded over 50 episodes of the Houston Innovators Podcast — a weekly discussion with a Houston innovator, startup founder, investor, and more. I've rounded up seven podcast episodes that stood out for me looking back at the year of recordings. Scroll through to see whom I selected and stream their individual episodes, and tune into the last episode of the year where I explain why I selected each guest.



Veronica Wu, founder of First Bight Ventures — Episode 119

Veronica Wu is the founder of First Bight Ventures, a VC firm focused on funding early-stage synthetic biology companies. Wu relocated from Silicon Valley to Houston to start her firm. She’s held tech positions at Apple, Tesla, and Motorola, and she says she’s not afraid to dive headfirst into a new technology she sees as promising — and that’s exactly what she’s doing in the SynBio space now and she’s betting on Houston to be a hub for it. Read more.

Armand Paradis, founder and CEO of ComboCurve — Episode 132

Houston startups saw some major funding rounds this year, and one startup that was in the midst of deploying new capital into their plans of growing and scaling was ComboCurve. Founder Armand Paradis closed a $50 million series B round earlier this year. The company has built a software platform for various verticals within the energy industry, and Paradis describes how he wants his technology to have an impact the energy transition. Read more.

John "JR" Reale, entrepreneur in residence at the Texas Medical Center — Episode 136 and 137

In June, John Reale was a guest on two episodes. He discussed his role at the Texas Medical Center’s innovation institute as well as his own early-stage venture capital firm. Reale has been a major player within the Houston Innovation ecosystem since its early days, and he has a unique perspective on Houston’s early innovation activity, including the founding of Station Houston and the rejection from Amazon for its second HQ. Read more.


Allie Danziger, founder of Ampersand — Episode 126

In March, Allie Danziger dove into the generational divide within the workforce and the Great Resignation. She founded Ampersand, a professional development tech platform that onboards interns, and upskills them on how to be successful in the workplace. Danziger is so passionate about making sure both companies and the future of the workforce are prepared to be on the same page.Read more.

Benjamin Foster, founder of Nursify — Episode 148

Benjamin Foster founded Nursery, a platform that helps connect nurses with the health care facilities that need them. While he is proud of the tool he created to help nurses find work, he strives to make the platform inclusive, educational, and supportive for these health care professionals who are burnt out from the pandemic. Read more.

Joanna Nathan, CEO of Prana Thoracic — Episode 149

Joanna Nathan is an individual who transitioned from supporting startups at Johnson and Johnson's Center for Device Innovation, to leading a startup of her own. She shares how she came to become CEO of Prana Thoracic, a company tackling early-stage lung cancer diagnostics. She also shared her story of her own personal loss — her young son, Lionel — and how this loss drives her every day. Read more.

Natara Branch, CEO of Houston Exponential — Episode 158

Natara Branch, the new CEO of Houston Exponential, joined HX in November and jumped into the role headfirst. She is passionate about Houston, and took it upon herself to meet the Houston innovation community — and to make sure they know we're all in it together. Read more.

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Building Houston

 
 

Check out this curated list of innovation events in Houston for February. Photo via Getty Images

It's time to look at what's on the agenda for February for Houston innovators — from pitch competitions to networking events.

Here's a roundup of events not to miss this month. Mark your calendars and register accordingly.

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

Feb. 8 — Digital Marketing Luncheon

Join Insperity, a partner of The Cannon, and digital marketing expert, Danny Gavin, at The Cannon Downtown for a lunch and learn.

The event is Wednesday, February 8, at noon, at The Cannon Downtown. Click here to register.

Feb. 9 — Innovation on Tap: Fred Higgs, Engineering at Rice University

Discuss research in the speaker’s engineering lab at Rice University on key Industry 4.0 technologies, namely additive manufacturing.

The event is Thursday, February 9, at 4 pm, at the Ion. Click here to register.

February 10 — Women in Leadership Conference 

The 23rd annual Women in Leadership Conference will be held in-person at Rice University. The 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 Friday, February 10, at 8 am, at McNair Hall at Rice University. Click here to register.

Feb. 15 — Real Talk from Real VCs

Join this event for a candid fireside chat on venture capital and its role in supporting and growing innovative startups.

The event is Wednesday, February 15, at 5:30 pm, at the Ion. Click here to register.

Feb. 16 — Engage VC: Lerer Hippeau

Lerer Hippeau is an early-stage venture capital firm founded and operated in New York City. Since 2010, they have invested in entrepreneurs who embody audacity, endurance, and winning mindset – good people with great ideas who aren't afraid to do hard things. Join the HX Venture Fund to hear Caitlin Strandberg, Partner at Lerer Hippeau discuss her perspective on how to build and scale a great company, what early-stage investors are looking for, why Houston, and market trends among other topics.

The event is Thursday, February 16, at 8:30 am, at the Ion. Click here to register.

Feb. 16 — Female Founders and Funders

Calling all rockstar female founders and investors in the Houston area. Mark your calendars for this month's Female Founders and Funders meetup. Coffee and breakfast is provided and the event is free to attend.

The event is Thursday, February 16, at 9 am, at Sesh Coworking. Click here to register.

Feb. 21 — Web3 & HOU: Demystifying the Web3 Space Panel I

Join us to learn more about Web3 and its numerous applications.

The event is Tuesday, February 21, at 6 pm, at the Ion. Click here to register.

Feb. 22 — The Trailblazer’s Guide to Cultivating Authenticity

In this fun and interactive workshop presented by Erica D’Eramo of Two Peirs Consulting, we’ll look at how to foster a leadership style that works for you, even in the absence of role models.

The event is Wednesday, February 22, at 2 pm, at Sesh Coworking. Click here to register.

Feb. 22 — Houston Startup Showcase

The Houston Startup Showcase is a year-long series of monthly pitch competitions. Founders will pitch at the Ion and compete for the grand prize package. Watch the startups pitch their company and see who the judges will name the champion of the Houston Startup Showcase 2023.

The event is Wednesday, February 22, at 6 pm, at the Ion. Click here to register.

Feb. 23 — Navigating Innovation in the Corporate World

Join us for a fireside chat with leaders from Houston's largest employers, including Microsoft and Chevron to discuss how they have navigated successful careers in technology and innovation.

The event is Thursday, February 23, at 11:30 am, at the Ion. Click here to register.

Feb. 27-March 2 — Houston Tech Rodeo

The Houston Tech Rodeo is a conference showcasing the best and brightest of the Houston startup community in the region and beyond by putting investors, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and creative minds in a room to talk about the biggest innovations and the future of tech sandwiched by some happy hours and friendly competition.

The events run Monday, February 27, through Thursday, March 2, at various locations in Houston. Click here to register.

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


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