Pearland to open innovation-focused hub to support local entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs in the Pearland area have a new resource to help them grow their businesses.
The Pearland Economic Development Corp. has launched the Pearland Innovation Hub, aimed at connecting small businesses with programs and services that are designed to contribute to their success.
The Pearland Innovation Hub is managed through a partnership between the Pearland Economic Development Corp. and The Cannon, a Houston-area business networking community for entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate innovators. For now, the hub does not officially have a physical space. The hub is welcoming the local community to their launch party Thursday, May 19, at BAKFISH Brewing.
The Cannon hired Brandy Guidry to run the Pearland hub. She has more than 17 years of experience in business operations; engineering; technical marketing; innovation; and strategic planning, project, and program management.
Among the hub’s offerings are business-plan competitions, business coaching, networking, and programs.
Guidry’s office is at the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. “We can have small gatherings here,” she says. “Our focus is to have as many events at local venues to help promote and patronize the local business owners.”
Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole says in a news release that the hub will “serve to establish Pearland as a community known for innovation and entrepreneurship and where emerging companies want to locate.”
“The Pearland Innovation Hub is a groundbreaking initiative to support existing and aspiring small business owners,” Guidry adds.
A launch party for the Pearland Innovation Hub is scheduled for 5 pm May 19 at Pearland’s Bakfish Brewing Co., 1231 Broadway St.
Pearland Prosperity’s Community Strategic Plan recommended establishment of a hub for entrepreneurship and small business assistance. In April 2021, the economic development corporation’s board set in motion the creation of the hub. Seven months later, the Pearland City Council approved a three-year, $927,000 contract with The Cannon to operate the hub.
Members of the hub’s advisory board are:
- Matt Buchanan, president of the Pearland Economic Development Corp.
- Mona Chavarria, owner of A&A Cleaning.
- Bill Jackson, founder and CEO of Base Pair Biotechnologies.
- Jim Johnson, president and CEO of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce.
- Randeep Nambiar, a board member of the Pearland Economic Development Corp.
- HR consultant Ann Strouhal.
During the hub’s first year or two, it’ll be run through the economic development corporation. But the plan is to eventually transition the hub to its own nonprofit organization that will enter a contractual relationship with the economic development corporation.
Other than the Pearland Economic Development Corp. and The Cannon, the hub’s partners include the City of Pearland, the Pearland Chamber of Commerce, and San Jacinto Community College’s Small Business Development Center.
Brandy Guidry is the Pearland Navigator with The Cannon. Photo via pearlandinnovationhub.com