houston innovators podcast episode 28
Editor's Picks: 7 favorite Houston interviews of 2022
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.