Houston Exponential's tech rodeo returns revamped and re-energized
It's that time of year, Houston innovators. The third annual Houston Tech Rodeo starts next week, and the format is going to look different from its initial pre-COVID version as well as the last two years of virtual programming.
HTR, hosted by Houston Exponential, kicks off Sunday, February 27, with the bulk of the programming taking place during the work week, before it concluding Saturday, March 5. The full schedule is available online upon registration, which is free.
Serafina Lalany, executive director of HX, shares what attendees can expect from this year's events.
InnovationMap: HTR has a whole new format this year. What led to the evolution of the event and what are the most significant changes?
Serafina Lalany: This year's event series is concentrated along the METRO Red Line and we have two to three "Saloons" each day around thematic focus areas such as HealthTech, ClimaTech, CPG, and moree. This year, we were seeking to drive more density — with 20 events (versus 170 in previous years) all centralized downtown. It will look and feel a lot like SXSW. Our goal was to optimize for more engineered serendipity.
IM: Who should attend HTR?
SL: Tech Rodeo Roadshow is our annual event for all Houstonians who are seeking to get plugged into the startup community — whether you are an entrepreneur, investor, talent — or have ambitions to launch and scale a startup this event seeks to lower the barrier of entry.
IM: What are the central topics/industries that HTR is organized around and how did y’all decide on what these topics/industries would be?
SL: The thematic focus areas are related to Houston's core strengths and emerging startup areas: HealthTech, ClimaTech, AeroSpace, CPG, Industry 4.0, Esports, and B2B Saas.
IM: HTR returns in the fall for a summit. What can you tell us about that event and how is it different from its spring counterpart?
SL: The Summit was born out of our findings from last year's event series. When we pivoted to the hybrid event model, we captured a global audience for the first time — 47 countries, to be exact.
The Summit will bring the global tech community to Houston. Leading entrepreneurs, executives, and investors will address and debate issues facing core industries in this current moment — all in the heart of America’s most diverse city. It's four tracks (HealthTech, ClimaTech, Aerospace, and DEI) across two days at the POST.