Check out these conferences, pitch competitions, networking, and more in the month of August. Photo via Getty Images

Houstonians are transitioning into a new summer month, and the city's business community is mixing in networking and conference events with family vacations and time off. Here's a rundown of what all to throw on your calendar for August when it comes to innovation-related events.

This article will be updated as more business and tech events are announced.


August 1 — Beyond Bias: Essentials for an Equitable Community

During this seminar, Tracie Jae, Founder of The Quiet Rebel, will share a paradigm shift designed to disrupt the current DEI model.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is the accepted workforce best practice. As organizations continue to find the mix of techniques for their particular culture, we began to see the addition of other words like Belonging, Justice, and Access. Meanwhile, the impact appears the same - a focus on making space for “others” rather than actively creating a welcoming environment of mutual respect and acknowledgement. We have chosen to modify rather than innovate.

The event is Monday, August 1, 10 am to noon, at The Ion. Click here to register.

August 3 — Bayou Startup Showcase

The showcase features 24 companies from four accelerators: RED Labs, OwlSpark, RED Launch and BlueLaunch. You will be able to engage with these businesses, sign up for pre-orders, and buy products at their booths. Teams have recorded their pitches for you to learn about them in advance, watch during the event, or review afterward.

The event is Wednesday, August 3, 5 to 8 pm, at Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Click here to register.

August 4 — National Cancer Institute | SBIR Funding Opportunities

The TMCi Accelerator is excited to partner with the National Cancer Institute for a discussion about small business funding opportunities.

The event is Thursday, August 4, 1 to 3 pm, online. Click here to register.

August 8 — Intro to Finance Automation

Understand the benefits of finance automation and how to identify meaningful automation opportunities in your business. Learn from firsthand experiences of FinOptimal’s Founder & CEO, Jesse Rubenfeld.

The event is Monday, August 8, 10 am to noon, at The Ion. Click here to register.

August 11 — Illuminate Houston: An Innovation Conversation

Illuminate Houston is an event series highlighting business leaders who challenge the way we think about the future, featuring dynamic formats where speakers and attendees discuss trends, technologies, and issues that define how we do business. The Partnership welcomes Roberta L. Schwartz, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Houston Methodist on Thursday, August 11.

The event is Thursday, August 11, 1 to 2:30 pm, at Partnership Tower. Click here to register.

August 11 — Summer in the City: UH Students' Showcase Day

Throughout the "Summer in the City" class, students from the University of Houston Honors College have learned about creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, and smart cities. Taking a mixed-media approach, and benefiting from guest lectures by Robert Cremins, Director of Creative Work: A Pre-Professional Program at UH, as well as panel discussions featuring entrepreneurs, innovators, and founder at the Ion, students have developed their design thinking and innovation skills and tackled problems experienced in Houston.

The event is Thursday, August 11, 5:30 to 7 pm, at the ion. Click here to register.

August 16 — Softeq Venture Studio Public Demo Day 

The Softeq Venture Studio invested $125,000 in cash and services in each of the fourteen early-stage startups to help them refine their business model, build their technology, and prepare them to scale. With 14 startups, the Q2 2022 cohort is the largest yet and brings the total portfolio to 27 companies. In this capstone event, founders have seven minutes each to present their pitch deck, demo their product, outline their ask, and answer questions.

The event is Tuesday, August 16, 5 to 7:30 pm, at The Ion. Click here to register.

August 16 — Enventure "Inspire" Seminar Series - Entrepreneurship

The "Inspire" Seminar Series was developed by Enventure to help students learn about the reality of working in the biotech and biomedical fields. The series consists of a number of events starring guest speakers coming from different areas in the biotech and biomedical industries. Dr. Lauren Cornell is an experienced research scientist with a strong history of military collaborations.

The event is Tuesday, August 16, 6 to 7:30 pm, online. Click here to register.

August 18 — Evolve Houston Relaunch Event

This past year, Evolve introduced a new logo and website to continue embarking on its mission to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through transportation electrification.

The event is Thursday, August 18, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, at George R. Brown Convention Center. Click here to register.

August 18 — Transition on Tap

Transition On Tap is Greentown Labs' monthly networking event devoted to fostering conversations and connections among the climate and energy transition ecosystem in Houston and beyond. Entrepreneurs, investors, students, and friends of climatetech are invited to attend, meet colleagues, discuss solutions, and engage with our growing community. I

The event is Thursday, August 18, 5 to 7 pm, at Greentown Houston. Click here to register.

August 22 — Startup-Inside-a-Business 102: How to Find SIB Without Spending Any Money

Founders will learn how to look at their companies differently, to see how the capabilities and systems they’ve already created can be reconfigured to multiply growth, value, and valuation. Learn a step-by-step approach to finding the best potential startup inside and insights for estimating the potential value that’s waiting to be unlocked.

This workshop is the second in a series of three Startup-Inside-a-Business Workshops.

The event is Monday, August 22, 10 to 11:30 am, at The Ion. Click here to register.

August 29 — Startup-Inside-a-Business 103: Build One w/out Disrupting Existing Business

Founders will learn how getting investors involved early can end the need for founder cash investments while simultaneously establishing a higher company valuation. They’ll also learn how to manage the tradeoff between cost, risk, and reward by using proven techniques to gain proof before scaling up.

This workshop is the last in a series of three Startup-Inside-a-Business Workshops.

    The event is Monday, August 29, 10 to 11:30 am, at The Ion. Click here to register.

    Sixteen startup teams pitched at the seventh annual — but first-ever virtual – Bayou Startup Showcase. Photo courtesy of OwlSpark and RED Labs

    University-based summer program presents 16 innovative Houston startup projects

    best in class

    Even despite a global pandemic, two university-based summer startup accelerator programs were determined to continue on. And, that's exactly what they did.

    University of Houston's RED Labs and Rice University's OwlSpark pivoted their summer program, which they put on collaboratively, to a virtual approach. On Thursday, August 6, the program's 16 startup teams pitched their projects at the seventh annual Bayou Startup Showcase.

    Here are this year's Class 8 presentations:

    EVA

    Vascular access requires a medical team to use an ultrasound machine to help navigate a needle's precision during the procedure. However, 5 percent of procedures result in an inexact and painful outcome. OwlSpark company, EVA — which stands for Exact Vascular Access, has created a device that works with the ultrasound machine to endure navigation of the needle during the procedure.

    CareSafe

    Seven million people fall every year, but as great and helpful wearable devices are, they aren't foolproof. CareSafe, a RED Labs company, taps into home WiFi to visualize when a fall occurs and the company can even notify emergency contacts and emergency services.

    Ai-Ris

    People who live in underserved and rural areas don't have regular access to eye care — which means that these people are exposed to preventable eye diseases. Ai-Ris has created a portable, telemedicine-ready device that can help get these populations access to eye care.

    Dividends360

    Ninety million people invest in the stock market — and more than half of those investors are self directed and spending several hours a week on planning their investments. RED Labs company Dividends360 is a web-based platform to help the modern investor make his or her decisions in a more efficient way.

    FirstGen Solutions

    Expecting mothers can't take the majority of medications in the market because the effects of the chemicals on the unborn child is unknown, and testing is limited to costly, inaccurate, and highly regulated animal testing. FirstGen Solutions, an OwlSpark company, is producing a stem cell testing kit for pharmaceutical companies to use as an earlier and easier way to indicate potential risks a medicine could have.

    nisa EFFECT

    Women undergoing menopause have no control over their hot flashes, which can happen often, last up to 20 minutes, and be debilitating to daily activities. Nisa EFFECT has created a cooling bra so that the 80 percent of women who experience hot flashes during menopause can have a discrete way to cool down.

    FreeFuse

    Five hundred hours of video content is uploaded every minute, and the sheer oversaturation of the industry makes growing an audience extremely difficult for content producers. Interactive video platform FreeFuse, an OwlSpark company, wants to flip the script and allow content creators to see what its audient wants to see in terms of content.

    Morpheus Health

    Pharmaceutical companies don't make it easy to find out about side effects medicines can have on its users. Morpheus Health, an OwlSpark company, uses data and patient information to better customize and predict potential side effects a medicine can have. Morpheus's results don't replace prescriptions or doctor consultations, but instead allow the patient to take that information into the consultation room.

    Phase Filter

    ​Changing the air filters is an easily forgotten chore that, if undone, can cause unnecessary air quality issues and a higher electricity bill for homeowners. Phase Filter has designed a self-scrolling air filter that's easy to install and only needs to be changed once a year,

    Bloodhound

    The OwlSpark and RED Labs summer programs are meant to help early-stage startups figure out their market need and determine whether or not their product is a viable business. The Bloodhound team explains how they came up with their idea for a software that helps detect bleed in surgeries, and then how they realized, after research and mentorship through the program, that it wasn't an idea worth pursuing. Doctors need more help with stopping bleeds than finding them.

    Crew Trace Solutions

    The Navy needs an upgrade to their accountability practice. That's where Crew Trace Solutions, an OwlSpark company run by two military veterans, comes in. The technology mirrors something like EZ-Tag where personnel onboard are tracked throughout the ship as they pass through sensors set up in doorways around the boat.

    VAYL

    Everyone dreads the discomfort and disappointment that usually comes with dental appointments. The oral hygiene tools on the market today aren't cutting it, says the VAYL team, a RED Labs company. VAYL has created a device that brushes the entire mouth in an optimal way for time and for cavity prevention.

    MoodyCorium

    Finding the right moisturizer is a costly and exhausting industry for women. MoodyCorium, an OwlSpark company, is working on a solution so that women can navigate the hundreds of products available on the market.

    ElastEye

    Half of the glaucoma patients could have had their disease prevented by better diagnostics — and that's exactly what ElastEye has developed. The RED Labs company has created a non-invasive, early detection device that determines the elasticity of the eye.

    BitGrange

    Supporting local farmers can be hard — it might raise the price of produce for consumers while orders tend to be smaller than farmers prefer. BItGrange, an OwlSpark company, created an e-commerce platform to allow consumers to go in on purchases together to create a win-win situation for both sides of the transaction.

    dext

    Simple daily tasks can be overwhelming to stroke survivors and the only solution is exercise and rehabilitation. Dext is a wearable tool to help take that exercise and rehab into a daily, easy to use setting.

    CALI, a wearable physical therapy device for those with vertigo, pitched at the annual event. Photo via getcalibalance.com

    These are the 16 Houston startups coming out of UH's RED Labs and Rice's OwlSpark

    Best in class

    For the sixth year, the University of Houston and Rice University have joined forces to give their student entrepreneurs a program to thrive in. RED Labs and OwlSpark, the two universities' accelerator programs, just concluded their seventh class with a presentation from the companies.

    Over the past 12 weeks, these 16 startups and their teams of entrepreneurs have worked on their company, developing it, learning how to fundraise for it, and engaging with all sorts of other valuable resources and mentors through the program.

    "With an emphasis on experimentation and rapid iteration, we teach disciplined startup strategies that help (students) have an eye for reducing risks and increasing odds," says Kerri Smith, managing director of OwlSpark.

    This summer's cohort was hosted out of Station Houston this year, but the two universities have worked together since year two of each of their programs.

    "We're very proud of our partnership, because in most other cities, two universities like this would probably be rivals, but we're interested in camaraderie and collaboration in this cohort because they are the future generation of entrepreneurs of Houston," says Kelly McCormick, director of RED Labs. "We really think that this sets an example of how working together produces better results than working against each other."

    Adren

    While the invention of the EpiPen and other compact anaphylaxis solutions have saved lives, the products are still too large to be constantly available to those who need it. Adren's co-founders created a collapsible autoinjector that can be work as a wristband.

    "A functioning drug is only one piece of the puzzle," says Jacob, co-founder of Adren. (He didn't state his last name.) "Medication is only effective if it is accessible to the patient."

    The company plans to continue on and patent their product with hopes to enter the marketplace by the next few years.

    CookLab

    Anyone can find a recipe for anything with the tap of a few keys and the click of of few buttons, but once you add in dietary restrictions, things get tricky. Not to mention the fact that so many healthy recipes aren't even that good for you.

    The team at CookLab wants to eliminate this unregulated and confusing corner of the internet. CookLab's first product is a web tool that can determine whether or not a recipe is healthy by the user dropping in the URL. This product is in beta right now.

    Down the road, CookLab wants to create a tool for users to be able to submit a recipe they want to make, then have CookLab generate a modified version that follows any dietary needs.

    INSU

    In a state of emergency where electricity is out, the diabetic population is forced to gamble with their lives when it comes to keeping their insulin insulated and cool.

    INSU has a solution. The startup has created a battery operated cooler that can keep insulin from spoiling for 30 days. The battery can be charged by wall outlet or even solar panel.

    The company plans to market directly to consumers as well as make strategic partnerships with emergency and health organizations.

    auggie

    Merchandise lines at concerts are quite possibly the single-most buzzkill of any show. In the age of UberEats and order-ahead apps, auggie sees a solution.

    While you're at a show, you can easily order your favorite merch items on the app and choose to have it set aside for pickup that day or even get it mailed to you. The app is live on some downloading stores.

    LilySpec

    The speculum OB/GYNs use on their patients hasn't changed in 150 years, and, while effective, can be uncomfortable to patients during use. But this doesn't have to be the case.

    LilySpec is a speculum designed with the patient in mind. The device is silently deployed, silicon coated for comfort, and adjustable for all women.

    The LilySpec team will finish its clinical product this year, and the company's medical partners here in Texas will be able to use it on patients.

    Myze

    How do you staff a team for an unpredictable job? Emergency rooms face this challenge every single shift. Too many staffers makes the establishment bleed money, while too few causes burnout and even sacrifices quality of care.

    Myze is developing a software platform that can use artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to help ERs better staff their teams.

    CALI

    Those suffering from Vertigo feel like the whole world has turned upside down. CALI is a device that helps those people turn it right back around.

    The wearable device allows for users to do balance exercises and claim back control of their own situation.

    DASH Innovations

    For those relying on a catheter, changing it out requires 150 monthly procedures on average. Each one is another opportunity for infection.

    DASH Innovations has created UrinControl, a urethral valve for pediatric patients that can be installed once a month and operated with a remote to control the bladder.

    Get-A-Grip

    Holding onto a cup is something most everyone takes for granted. For arthritis or muscle damage patients, it's a daunting daily task.

    Get-A-Grip is designed to distribute the weight of the cup along the grip and make it easier and more comfortable to hold. While originally designed with these patients in mind, the grip comes in four sizes, with the smallest being perfect for babies grabbing at bottles or small children holding cups.

    Everest Security

    Preparing for and preventing phishing email-originated data breaches is the new normal for companies, but it's impossible to prevent employees from accidentally opening suspicious emails without thinking.

    While there are plenty software protection companies out there, Everest Security couples their software solution with education, a core component for the company.

    KickedOC

    There are 2 million homes supposedly dedicated for off-campus housing for students, but no one-stop shop to find them. KickedOC is attempting to be that one-stop shop and make it easier for students to find their semester homes.

    With listings already up in Houston, the startup hopes to expand its platform to College Station and other Texas college towns next.

    Mismo Minds

    Creating a creative team can be difficult if you don't have the connections already. Mismo Minds is a platform for artists, videographers, directors, etc. to join forces with others who share their creative vision. It's a social networking tool, project management platform, and job board all rolled into one.

    Sports Betz

    Typically for sports betting, you have two options: Impersonal bets with large pools or friendly wagers that might not ever pay off. Sports Betz is a platform where the competitive gamblers can casually bet with friends and family — but the money is pulled up front.

    CIND

    Chivalry is not dead, argues CIND, a new dating app. The app allows for potential matches to introduce themselves with a gift — which range from $2 to $100. Though, the recipient doesn't just walk away with the cash. The money actually goes to the recipient's nonprofit of choice. Only after the donation is made can matches start chatting.

    CIND (pronounced like "Cindy") is basically digital donation dating, and everyone wins.

    PCATCopycat

    The Pharmacy College Admission Test isn't easy — and preparation isn't cheap.

    PCATCopycat puts the power back into the hands of students. The online course is only $200 — way cheaper and easier for future pharmacists to navigate.

    Second Act

    Second Act is the startup that isn't. The non-company started the program with the idea of matching retirees with short-term work at various startups with the thought being that they have a lot of experience and a lot of time on their hands. While a great idea in theory, Second Act hit some walls and the company and idea are no more. The team, however, has a bright future in Houston innovation at other startups and companies.

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    CultureMap Emails are Awesome

    These were the most-read guest columns by Houston innovators in 2022

    2022 in review

    Editor's note: Every week, InnovationMap — Houston's only news source and resource about and for startups — runs one or two guest columns written by tech entrepreneurs, public relations experts, data geniuses, and more. As Houston's innovation ecosystem gets ready for 2023, here are some of this year's top guest contributor pieces — each with pertinent information and advice for startups both at publishing and into the new year. Make sure to click "read more" to continue reading each piece.

    Is your New Year's resolution to start contributing? Email natalie@innovationmap.com to learn more.

    Houston expert: How to navigate Gen Z's quiet quitting movement at your company

    Your perspective on quiet quitting is probably generational, says one Houston expert and startup founder. Photo via Getty Images

    This month, the internet has been discussing "quiet quitting," the practice of employees setting hard boundaries about when they work and to what extent they are willing to go beyond the outlined expectations of their jobs.

    The conversation around quiet quitting has also been lively at the Ampersand offices. As a training company that is dedicated to training new professionals for employers both big and small, it's critically important for our team to have a good grasp on the relationship employees have with their jobs, and what motivates them to succeed. So we had a long meeting where we discussed what quiet quitting meant to each of us. Read more.

    Houston expert shares how small business leaders can encourage PTO use

    Retaining employees is no easy feat these days. Encouraging a healthy PTO policy can help avoid burnout. Photo courtesy of Joe Aker

    As many small businesses continue to operate in a challenging, fast-paced environment, one thing that has arrived at breakneck speed is midyear, along with the summer months. Theoretically, to ensure work-life balance, most employees should have 50 percent of their PTO remaining to use for summer vacations and during the second half of the year. In reality, that is probably not the case given workers are hesitant to use their PTO, leaving approximately five days of unused PTO on the table during 2020 and 2021.

    While the pandemic affected PTO usage the last two years, the labor shortage appears to be a major contributor in 2022, which has led to PTO hoarding and increasing levels of employee burnout. Although these factors can be compounded for small business owners because there are fewer employees to handle daily responsibilities, it is imperative for workers to take PTO, returning recharged with a fresh perspective on the tasks at hand. Read more.

    Houston expert: 3 emotional intelligence tips for improving patient-practitioner experience

    A Houston expert shares how to improve on communication in the health care setting. Image via Getty Images

    After spending hours with healthcare professionals as both a consultant and patient, I know that it takes a special kind of person to take care of others in their most distressing and vulnerable times. That responsibility has been in overdrive because of COVID, causing emotional burnout, which in turn affects patient care. By equipping yourself with emotional intelligence, you can be more resilient for yourself and patients.

    Emotional intelligence is keeping your intelligence high, when emotions are high.

    Health care sets up an environment for a tornado of emotions, and the rules and regulations centered around patient-provider interactions are often complex to navigate. This leaves many on the brink of emotional exhaustion, and for survival’s sake, depersonalization with patients becomes the status quo. Feeling a disconnect with their patients is another added weight, as few get into this industry for just the paycheck – it’s the impact of helping people get healthy and stay healthy that motivates them. I’ve seen it time and time again with people in my life, as well as on my own patient journey as I battled stage 3 cancer. Read more.

    Here's what types of technology is going to disrupt the education sector, says this Houston founder

    Edtech is expected to continue to make learning more interactive, fun, and inclusive for people around the world. Photo via Pexels

    Technology has always maneuvered education in a certain direction but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced it to shift towards a new direction entirely.

    What started off as a basic video lecture turned into a more hybrid and innovative form of education, enabling student engagement and interactivity like never before. Social media forums allow teachers to pay one-on-one attention to students boosting their learning process.

    With an edtech boom on the rise, there is a question of what further expansion in educational technology is expected. Here are some technology breakthroughs currently underway in the education sector. Read more.

    Houston expert weighs in on marketing from an investor’s perspective

    What should Houston startups know about marketing? Photo via Getty Images

    Just what do investors want to see from a startup with regards to the company’s marketing? I recently spoke on this topic to a cohort of early-stage technology startup entrepreneurs at Softeq Venture Studio, an accelerator program that helps founders build investable technologies and businesses. Read more.

    These elite Houston researchers were named among the most-cited in their fields

    MVPs

    Nearly 60 scientists and professors from Houston-area universities and institutions, working in fields from ecology to immunology, have been named among the most-cited researchers in the world.

    The Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list considers a global pool of public academic papers that rank in the top 1 percent of citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science. It then ranks researchers by the number of times their work has been cited, or referenced, by other researchers, which, according to the University of Houston, helps their findings "become more impactful and gain further credibility."

    This year 6,938 researchers from 70 different countries were named to this list. About 38 percent of the researchers are based in the U.S.

    “Research fuels the race for knowledge and it is important that nations and institutions celebrate the individuals who drive the wheel of innovation. The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers," says David Pendlebury, head of research analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate, in a statement. "These individuals are helping to transform human ingenuity into our world’s greatest breakthroughs.”

    Harvard University was home to the most researchers, with 233 researchers making the list, far outpacing Stanford University, which had the second highest total of 126 researchers.

    Texas universities and institutions had a strong showing, too. The University of Texas at Austin had 31 researchers on the list, tying UT with the University of Minnesota and Peking University in China for the No. 35 spot. MD Anderson had 30 researchers on the list, the most among organizations in Houston, earning it a 38th place ranking, tied with the University of Maryland and University of Michigan.

    Below is a list of the Houston-area highly cited researchers and their fields.

    From UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

    • Jaffer Ajani (Cross-Field)
    • James P. Allison (Immunology)
    • Jan A. Burger (Clinical Medicine)
    • George Calin (Cross-Field)
    • Jorge Cortes (Clinical Medicine)
    • Courtney DiNardo (Clinical Medicine)
    • John V. Heymach (Clinical Medicine)
    • David Hong (Cross-Field)
    • Gabriel N. Hortobagyi (Cross-Field)
    • Robert R. Jenq (Cross-Field)
    • Hagop M.Kantarjian (Clinical Medicine)
    • Marina Y. Konopleva (Clinical Medicine)
    • Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis (Cross-Field)
    • Scott E. Kopetz (Clinical Medicine)
    • Alexander J. Lazar (Cross-Field)
    • J. Jack Lee (Cross-Field)
    • Anirban Maitra (Clinical Medicine)
    • Robert Z. Orlowski (Clinical Medicine)
    • Padmanee Sharma (Clinical Medicine and Molecular Biology and Genetics)
    • Anil K. Good (Cross-Field)
    • Jennifer A. Wargo (Molecular Biology and Genetics)
    • William G. Wierda (Clinical Medicine)

    From Baylor College of Medicine

    • Erez Lieberman Aiden (Cross-Field)
    • Nadim J. Ajami (Cross-Field)
    • Christie M. Ballantyne (Clinical Medicine)
    • Malcolm K. Brenner (Cross-Field)
    • Hashem B. El-Serag (Clinical Medicine)
    • Richard Gibbs (Cross-Field)
    • Heslop, Helen Cross-Field
    • Joseph Jankovic (Cross-Field)
    • Sheldon L. Kaplan (Immunology)
    • Joseph F. Petrosino (Cross-Field)
    • Cliona Rooney (Cross-Field)
    • James Versalovic (Cross-Field)
    • Bing Zhang (Cross-Field)

    From Rice University

    • Plucker M. Ajayan (Materials Science)
    • Pedro J. J. Alvarez (Environment and Ecology)
    • Naomi Halas (Materials Science)
    • Jun Lou (Materials Science)
    • Antonios G. Nikos (Cross-Field)
    • Aditya D. Mohite (Cross-Field)
    • Peter Nordlander (Materials Science)
    • Ramamoorthy Ramesh (Physics)
    • James M. Tour (Materials Science)
    • Robert Vajtai (Materials Science)
    • Haotian Wang (Chemistry)
    • Zhen-Yu Wu (Cross-Field)
    • From University of Houston
    • Jiming Bao (Cross-Field)
    • Shuo Chen (Cross-Field)
    • Whiffing Ren (Cross-Field)
    • Zhu Han (Computer Science)

    From UTMB Galveston

    • Vineet D.Menachery (Microbiology)
    • Nikos Vasilakis (Cross-Field
    • Scott C. Weaver (Cross-Field)
    • From UT Health Science Center-Houston
    • Eric Boerwinkle (Cross-Field)

    Overheard: Houston experts call for more open innovation at industry-blending event

    eavesdropping at the Ion

    Open innovation, or the practice of sourcing new technologies and idea across institutions and industries, was top of mind at the annual Pumps & Pipes event earlier this week.

    The event, which is put on by an organization of the same name every year, focuses on the intersection of the energy, health care, and aerospace industries. The keynote discussion, with panelists representing each industry, covered several topics, including the importance of open innovation.

    If you missed the discussion, check out some key moments from the panel.

    “If we want to survive as a city, we need to make sure we can work together.”

    Juliana Garaizar of Greentown Labs. "From being competitive, we’ve become collaborative, because the challenges at hand in the world right now is too big to compete," she continues.

    “The pace of innovation has changed.”

    Steve Rader of NASA. He explains that 90 percent of all scientists who have ever lived are alive on earth today. “If you think you can do it all yourself — and just find all the latest technology yourself, you’re kidding yourself.”

    “You can’t close the door. If you do, you’re closing the door to potential opportunities.”

    — Michelle Stansbury, Houston Methodist. “If you think you can do it all yourself — and just find all the latest technology yourself, you’re kidding yourself.” She explains that there's an influx of technologies coming in, but what doesn't work now, might work later or for another collaborator. "I would say that health care as a whole hasn’t been very good at sharing all of the things we’ve been creating, but that’s not the case today," she explains.

    “The thing that makes Houston great is the same thing that makes open innovation great: diversity.”

    — Rader says, adding that this makes for a great opportunity for Houston.

    “Some of our greatest innovations that we’ve had come from other industries — not from health tech companies.”

    — Stansbury says. "I think that's the piece everyone needs to understand," she says. "Don't just look in your own industry to solve problems."

    “Nobody knows what is the best technology — the one that is going to be the new oil."

    — Garaizar says. “All of this is going to be a lot of trial and error," she continues. “We don’t have the luxury of time anymore.”