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5 can't-miss events at Houston Tech Rodeo 2022

Houston Tech Rodeo returns with in-person events — here are the must-attend panels, networking opportunities, and more. Photo by Nijalon Dunn

Saddle up, Space City. Houston Exponential's Houston Tech Rodeo is back for its third year — and the innovation-focused programing returns with in-person events scattered in downtown and beyond.

The week-long event is organized by themes and hubs. For example, WeWork Downtown will host conversations on consumer packaged goods and food tech on Monday, while health tech programing will take place Thursday at Texas A&M's EnMed building. The full schedule is available online and registration is completely free, but if you'd like to attend some can't miss panels and events, look no further than this guide below.

Feb. 28 — Lasso The Moon

What do civil, commercial, and military players need from Houston’s innovation and academic communities to solve our most far-reaching challenges? Join the Space Force Association and TexSpace for a multi-disciplinary presentation and roundtable discussion with networking and tabletop exhibits that aim high. The event features SpaceForce, Limitless Space Institute, Axiom Space, Intuitive Machines, and more.

The event takes place on Monday, Feb. 28, from 1 to 5 pm at The Ion Houston (4201 Main St.)

March 1 — Investing in ClimateTech

This discussion will bring together local VCs to discuss sourcing, diligencing, and investing in climatetech solutions, as well as how Houston is perfectly positioned to benefit from this momentum.

Speakers:

  • Ernst Sack, Blue Bear Capital
  • Eric Rubenstein, Managing Partner, New Climate Ventures
  • Amy Henry, CEO/Co-Founder, Eunike Ventures
  • Moderated by Juliana Garaizar, VIP of Innovation and Head of Houston Incubator, Greentown Labs

The event takes place on Tuesday, March 1, from 1:30 to 2:30 pm at Greentown Houston (4200 San Jacinto St.)

March 2 — The Founder Institute Texas Showcase

It's Tech Rodeo time which means we've rounded up several strong local founders to pitch as well as recognized experts to judge and AMA panel. This year we'll be available in-person at Houston's Downtown Launchpad as well as live-streaming & replaying the pitches and an impactful AMA. Join for best-in-class startup networking afterwards.

The event takes place on Wednesday, March 2, from 12:30 to 3 pm at Downtown Launchpad (10th floor, 1801 Main St.)

March 3 — Four Fierce Females - Innovator, Igniter, Inventor, Investor

Talk about girl power. Four female panelists engage in a health tech conversation from their four points of view as an innovator, igniter, inventor, and investor. Houston Methodist is hosting the entire morning's conversations from 8:30 am to noon.

  • Michelle Stansbury – Houston Methodist
  • Ayse McCracken – Ignite Healthcare Network
  • Emma Fauss - Medical Informatics
  • Samantha Lewis - Mercury Fund

The event takes place on Thursday, March 3, from 9:30 to 10:15 am at Texas A&M EnMed building (1020 Holcombe Blvd.)

March 4 — Tech Rodeo Career Fair

HTX Talent and the University of Houston Downtown Career Centers (Main Career Center and the Marilyn Davies Career Center) has introduced the first Tech Rodeo Career Fair. Top tech companies will connect with talented job seekers from all over the Houston community and surrounding areas. Learn what type of positions employers are looking for, meet recruiters and companies that fit your job profile, and grow your network.

Register to attend here: https://bit.ly/3GtcKaR

Employer registration here: https://bit.ly/3Amo7zB

The event takes place on Friday, March 4, from 1 to 4 pm at The University of Houston - Downtown.

Bonus: Where to network at HTR

A huge portion of HTR is getting the community out and about to meet, network, and share ideas and energy. There are plenty of opportunities to do so, including the following events:

  • Swag pickup (Sunday, Feb. 27, from 1 to 4 pm.) at McIntyre's Downtown (901 Commerce St.)
  • Cup of Joey (Daily, from 7 to 8:45 am) at Finn Hall (712 Main St.). Note: Coffee networking takes place at Texas A&M's EnMed building on Thursday, March 3.
  • Happy Hour and Mini-Showcase at Greentown Labs (Tuesday, March 1, from 5 to 7 pm) at Greentown Labs (4200 San Jacinto St.)
  • Techqueria at the Tech Rodeo (Wednesday, March 4, from 3:30 to 8:30 pm) at West Houston Cannon Location (1334 Brittmoore Rd.)
  • What's Your Anthem? A Happy Hour hosted by Accenture & Hines (Wednesday, March 4, from 5 to 7 pm) at The Square by Hines (717 Texas St, Floor 12)
  • Inclusive Innovation Community Happy Hour (Thursday, March 3, from 5 to 7 pm) at Weights + Measures (2808 Caroline St.)
  • Tech Rodeo Block Party (Friday, March 4, from 7 to 9 pm) at Main Street 300 block (between Congress and Preston)

All of these events have more details on the HTR website, which can be accessed here once you are registered.


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Building Houston

 
 

With Clutch, connecting brands with creators has never been easier and more inclusive. Photo courtesy of Clutch

An app that originally launched on Houston college campuses has announced it's now live nationwide.

Clutch founders Madison Long and Simone May set out to make it easier for the younger generation to earn money with their skill sets. After launching a beta at local universities last fall, Clutch's digital marketplace is now live for others to join in.

The platform connects brands to its network of creators for reliable and authentic work — everything from social media management, video creation, video editing, content creation, graphic design projects, and more. With weekly payments to creators and an inclusive platform for users on both sides of the equation, Clutch aims to make digital collaboration easier and more reliable for everyone.

“We’re thrilled to bring our product to market to make sustainable, authentic lifestyles available to everyone through the creator economy," says May, CTO and co-founder of Clutch. "We’re honored to be part of the thriving innovation community here in Houston and get to bring more on-your-own-terms work opportunities to all creators and businesses through our platform.”

In its beta, Clutch facilitated collaborations for over 200 student creators and 50 brands — such as DIGITS and nama. The company is founded with a mission of "democratizing access to information and technology and elevating the next generation for all people," according to a news release from Clutch. In the beta, 75 percent of the creators were people of color and around half of the businesses were owned by women and people of color.

“As a Clutch Creator, I set my own pricing, schedule and services when collaborating on projects for brands,” says Cathy Syfert, a creator through Clutch. “Clutch Creators embrace the benefits of being a brand ambassador as we create content about the products we love, but do it on behalf of the brands to help the brands grow authentically."

The newly launched product has the following features:

  • Creator profile, where users can share their services, pricing, and skills and review inquiries from brands.
  • Curated matching from the Clutch admin team.
  • Collab initiation, where users can accept or reject incoming collab requests with brands.
  • Collab management — communication, timing, review cycles — all within the platform.
  • In-app payments with a weekly amount selected by the creators themselves.
  • Seamless cancellation for both brands and creators.
Clutch raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Precursor Ventures, Capital Factory, HearstLab, and more. Clutch was originally founded as Campus Concierge in 2021 and has gone through the DivInc Houston program at the Ion.

Madison Long, left, and Simone May co-founded Clutch. Photo courtesy of Clutch

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