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Overheard: 5 powerful quotes from Houstonians speaking at the Houston Open Innovation Conference
When it comes to Houston's innovation ecosystem, there's a lot to discuss. From accelerator programs to role of educational institutes, the third annual Houston Open Innovation Conference covered it all on Thursday, March 28.
I had the pleasure of attending the full-day conference, which was a meeting of the minds of Houston innovation. To catch you up and rid you of your fear of missing out, check out these five overheard quotes from the day.
“I’ve charged my board on Houston Exponential, and I say to them, ‘What good is it for us to be the most diverse city in the country if we’re not solving the challenges that impact diverse communities.’”
— Amanda Edwards, Houston City Council Member in At-Large Position 4, in her keynote presentation calling for Houston to lead the charge in solving inequalities in innovation.
“Competition is good. I would rather have an abundance of an ecosystem than just one (accelerator). I think each different group — whether it’s MassChallenge, Station Houston, or The Cannon or any other current or future accelerator — all has their own value proposition.”
— Brian Richards, managing director, Accenture Houston Innovation Hub, during the panel about startups and entrepreneurs. The quote was in response to an audience question about competition within Houston accelerators and programs.
“If we don’t create this ecosystem, others will tap into the resources we have, and we lose or we fall short.”
— Mayor Sylvester Turner, in his keynote presentation, explaining why the city is focused on developing the city's ecosystem now — before it's too late.
“I think the more emphasis on incubators and accelerators has addressed the need for community. You have people who are like minded … and you have a community that cares about something more deep rather than just being in the same physical space together.”
— Grace Rodriguez, CEO and executive director of Impact Hub Houston, on the panel about accelerators and incubators. The panel question was regarding how some coworking spaces have evolved to be accelerator or incubator programs.
“This is such a uniquely positioned city because of its corporate base, because of the strength of its university structure, and because of the combination of that and the ability to collaborate within those two is a different kind of runway or opportunity.”
— Susan Davenport, senior vice president, economic development at the Greater Houston Partnership, during the "Houston Innovation Ecosystem" panel.