Don't miss these May events — from expos and conferences to panels and pitch days. Photo via Getty Images

From pitching competitions to expert speaker summits, May is chock-full of opportunities for Houston innovators.

Here's a roundup of events you won't want to miss out on so mark your calendars and register accordingly.

Note: This post may be updated to add more events.


May 2 — State of Houston's Global Economy

Explore the complexities of Houston's global economy, dissect the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and chart a course for sustainable growth in the years to come at this business conference sponsored by the Greater Houston Partnership. Highlighting the day will be a presentation by the Partnership’s Chief Economist, Patrick Jankowski who will share his insights into the role global trade plays in the region’s growth.

Panel conversation speakers include:
  • Kurt Heim, Vice President of Environmental Advancement, Daikin Comfort
  • Moderator: George Y. Gonzalez, Partner, Haynes Boone, LLP
This event is Thursday, May 2, from 8:15 to 10 am at Partnership Tower. Click here to register.

May 3 — Transformative Healthcare Innovations Across the TMC

This symposium is filled with discussions, presentations, and networking opportunities. Discover the latest advancements in healthcare technology and how they are shaping the future of medicine. The event will be held in person at the TMC3 Collaborative Building, so come ready to engage with industry experts and fellow healthcare enthusiasts.

This event is Friday, May 3, from 9 am to 3:30 pm at TMC3 Collaborative Building. Click here to register.

May 6 to 9 — Offshore Technology Conference.

Since 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) has served as a central hub convening energy professionals from around the world to share ideas and innovations, discuss, debate, and build consensus around the most pressing topics facing the offshore energy sector.

This conference is Monday, May 7, to Thursday, May 9, at NRG Park. Click here to register.

May 7 — Small Business Awards Houston 

This year's awards luncheon event theme will be "The SBA Awards presented by SCORE are going to Space" celebrating Houston's advances into space with two fantastic guest speakers and the optional “How to do business with NASA” workshop. The keynote speakers will be Stephanie Murphy, Aegis Aerospace and Arturo Machuca, Director of the Houston Spaceport.

This event is Tuesday, May 7, from 11 am to 1:30 pm at Royal Sonesta Galleria Houston. Click here to register.

May 7 — Tech + Tequila Talk: Goal Park Innovation

At the upcoming edition of Tech+Tequila talk, hear the process behind activating public spaces like Goal Park. Specifically, explore how innovation plays a key role in creating a safer and more dynamic environment for the community. Join in discussions on the intersection of art, philanthropy, and urban development, and learn how projects like Goal Park are shaping the future of our cities.

This event is Tuesday, May 7, from 6 to 8 pm at Niels Esperson Building. Click here to register.

May 13 — TECHSPO Houston 2024 Technology Expo

TECHSPO Houston brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, designers, innovators and evangelists looking to set the pace in advancing technology. Watch exhibitors showcase the next generation of advances in technology & innovation, including; Internet, Mobile, AdTech, MarTech and SaaS technologies.

This event is Monday, May 13, from 9 am to 7 pm at Marriott Marquis. Click here to register.

May 14 — An Evening with Johnson & Johnson's Immunology Team

Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine Immunology Team will present our strategic priorities in the space as part of our search for promising scientific innovations.

The focus areas of the program include bispecifics for auto-immune and inflammatory diseases, multispecific T-cell engagers for deep cell depletion, and tissue T-Reg / stromal immune modulators. After the programming concludes, there will be an opportunity to network at the reception with industry leaders and like-minded innovators. This networking session will provide attendees with a chance to discuss ideas, and further explore collaboration opportunities

This event is Tuesday, May 14, from 4 to 7 pm at Texas Medical Center. Click here to register.

May 16 — Energy Underground

The Energy Underground is a group of professionals in the Greater Houston area that are accelerating the Energy Transition. Make industry contacts, secure financing, share deals, recommend talent looking to enter the energy workforce at this meeting of like-minded innovators.

This event is Thursday, May 16, from 12 to 1 pm at the Cannon West Houston. Click here to register.

May 16 — UH Tech Bridge: Innov8Hub Pitch Day

This event is your chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant startup ecosystem, network with industry experts, and discover the next big thing. Get ready to witness groundbreaking ideas and cutting-edge pitches from talented individuals.

This event is Thursday, May 16, from 5 to 7:30 pm at UH Tech Bridge. Click here to register.

May 18 — Create by Getty Images Houston 2024

Head to this event to shoot a variety of ready-to-upload content for your portfolio and enjoy priceless creative development opportunities. Connect with fellow creators, collaborators, and peers to expand your network and build meaningful relationships. Participate in interactive workshops to enhance your skills and knowledge and gain actionable takeaways for creative endeavors.

This event starts Saturday, May 18, at 8:30 am at The Cannon West Houston. Click here to register.

May 22 — Pearland Innovation Hub Anniversary

Come for an evening filled with innovation, creativity, and fun. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet some members, partners, and sponsors of Pearland Innovation Hub.

This event is Wednesday, May 22, from 6 to 8 pm at Spacio.us. Click here to register.

May 28 — Texas Small Business Expo

Texas Small Business Expo is a trade show, educational business to business conference, exhibition & networking event for entrepreneurs, start-ups and anyone that owns a business or looking to start their own business. Learn how to solve challenging business issues by discussing strategies, acquire valuable knowledge from those in your business and connect with top vendors in various industries.

This event is Tuesday, May 28, from 4 to 9 pm at Wakefield Crowbar. Click here to register.

May 29 — Bayou City Bio Pulse at Gensler

Join the GHP for its next Bayou City Bio Pulse, hosted by global architecture, design and planning firm, Gensler. This event will feature panel discussions, tours of Gensler’s space, VR walkthroughs and more.

This event is Wednesday, May 29, from 4 to 6 pm at Gensler's office (2 Houston Center). Click here to register.

Don't miss these January events — from startup showcases to tech talks. Photo via Getty Images

5+ can't-miss Houston business and innovation events for January

WHERE TO BE

Ring in the new year with fellow Houston innovators at everything from networking meetups to startup showcases.

Here's a roundup of events you won't want to miss out on so mark your calendars and register accordingly.

Note: This post may be updated to add more events.

 January 6 — Texas Business Expansion

The Texas Business Expansion event is focused on helping attendees develop strategies in the financial sector to grow business in the Lone Stars State. Get inspired by industry experts, network with like-minded professionals, and gain valuable insights into the Texas business landscape.

This event is Saturday, January 6, from 1:30 to 6 pm at 25402 Katy Mills Pkwy. Click here to register.

January 16 — Bayou City Startups January Happy Hour

Unwind and reconnect with your favorite (or soon to be) Houston startup founders, funders, operators, and ecosystem builders.

This event is Tuesday, January 16, from 5 to 7 pm at EZ's Liquor Lounge. Click here to register.

 January 18 — Power of Women in Business Conference

Sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners, this conference is is designed to celebrate women in the business world, incorporating a lineup of influential speakers, accomplished entrepreneurs, and industry experts who have made significant strides in their respective fields. This event serves as a platform for networking, knowledge sharing, and fostering meaningful connections within the thriving business community.

This event is Thursday, January 18, from 8:30 am to 3 pm at Norris Conference Center. Click here to register.

January 23 — Pearland Innovation Hub Open House

Come explore and take a tour of the new Spacio.us location on Broadway Bend Drive in Pearland, TX, USA. Engage with local small business owners, network with industry professionals, and get inspired by innovative ideas at the Pearland Innovation Hub Open House.

This event is Tuesday, January 23, from 2 to 5 pm at Pearland Innovation Hub. Click here to register.

January 24 — Minority Product Launch

Discover a diverse range of groundbreaking products that highlight the creativity and ingenuity of underrepresented communities. From cutting-edge tech gadgets to unique fashion accessories, this event is a celebration of diversity and entrepreneurship.

This event is Wednesday, January 24, at the Ion from 5 to 8 pm. Click here to register.

January 25 — NASA Tech Talks

In this presentation, Mr. Montgomery Goforth, Assistant Director, Strategic Pursuits & Partnerships – Engineering Directorate, NASA JSC, and other aerospace subject matter experts will discuss the technology development challenges faced by NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the surrounding Aerospace community in our ongoing efforts as the hub of human spaceflight. The presentation will focus on the ways in which these challenges, and the associated opportunities, can be leveraged by Houston’s innovation community.

This event is Thursday, January 25, from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

 January 30 — Texas Small Business Expo

Texas Small Business Expo is a premier Trade Show, Educational Business to Business Conference, Exhibition & Networking Event for Entrepreneurs, Start-Ups and anyone that owns a Business or looking to start their own business. The main focus of this event is networking, building new business relationships and learning from Industry Experts on how to enhance your business.

This event is Tuesday, January 30, from 4 to 9 pm at Wakefield Crowbar. Click here to register.


Check out these workshops, networking events, conferences, and other goings on in Houston this month. Photo via Getty Images

10+ can't-miss Houston business and innovation events for August

WHERE TO BE

From networking meetups to startup showcases, August has a smorgasbord of opportunities for Houston innovators.

Here's a roundup of events you won't want to miss out on so mark your calendars and register accordingly.

Note: This post may be updated to add more events.


August 1— Microsoft Lunch Event: The Business Case for Generative OpenAI

This event delves into the power of artificial intelligence, specifically OpenAI, and its potential to reshape the business landscape. This event aims to guide and inform professionals seeking to understand, adapt, and integrate AI into their business models.

The agenda:

9:30 to 10:00 am - Networking and coffee

10:00 am to 12:30 pm - Session starts

12:30 to 1:30 pm - Networking and lunch

This event is Tuesday, August 1, from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm at Microsoft Technology Center. Click here to register.

August 1 — Exploring Energy Investments: A Panel Discussion

In this panel-style discussion, experts will dive deep into the opportunities and challenges of investing in the future of energy. You’ll have the opportunity to discover the latest trends and innovations that are revolutionizing the renewable and nonrenewable energy landscape. From solar and wind to hydro and geothermal to oil, natural gas, and others, gain a comprehensive understanding of various energy sources and their impact on the environment, society, and your investment portfolio. After the presentation, in-person attendees will have the opportunity to pitch any deals they have to the audience.

This event is Tuesday, August 1, from 6 to 8:30 pm at Quest Trust. Click here to register.

August 2 — Solar Switch Houston Q&A Social Hour

Solar Switch Houston, a group buy program for rooftop solar panels and optional batteries offered for Houston-area residents, is offering a discussion panel to help homeowners and small businesses learn about installing rooftop solar and battery storage. Come for a question and answer social hour about Solar Switch Houston to get your solar questions answered. Appetizers and beverages will be provided.

This event is Wednesday, August 2, from 5 - 6 pm at United Way. Click here to register.

August 2 — Tenth Annual Bayou Startup Showcase

This annual event is a celebration of entrepreneurship, the newest startups and small businesses from Rice University and University of Houston accelerators, and the community supporting them. The showcase features 25 ventures 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. RSVP now to receive updates and get early access to pitch videos, and confirm your spot at the event.

This event is Wednesday, August 2, from 5 to 8 pm at Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Click here to register.

August 3 — Side Project Society: August 2023 Meeting

Side Project Society, a community for those with technical or non-technical side projects, is hosting their monthly meeting, giving opportunities for casual networking and connecting. Guest speaker Daniel Cohen, founder of RedShift Strategists, will also share his experiences building a startup around brand positioning and content strategy.

This event is Thursday, August 3, from 6 to 8 pm at Improving. Click here to register.

August 8 — Tech + Tequila Talk - Edtech

Blue People, a software consulting services firm, is hosting a happy hour for innovators and people who are passionate about technology. Mabast Ahmad, director of technology, will discuss his experience with full stack software development and how he uses his knowledge to help entrepreneurs raised MVP.

The agenda:

5:50 pm - Sign-in and registration

6 pm - Tequila tasting

6:30 pm - Tech talk

7:00 pm - Networking and tequilas

This event is Tuesday, August 8, from 6 to 8 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

August 10 — Executive Angel: Economic Power of Diverse Founders

Join Executive Council Network and DivInc for an informative event focused on the Economic Power of diverse Founders. Research has shown that underrepresented founders face unique challenges in accessing funding and support, which can limit their ability to scale and grow their businesses.

This event will explore the economic power of diverse founders, discussing how they are driving innovation, creating jobs, and contributing to economic growth. DivInc’s expert speakers will share their experiences and insights on the economic power of underrepresented founders, discussing topics such as how to overcome the funding gap for diverse founders, the importance of mentorship and networking, and the role of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation and growth.

The agenda:

4 to 5 pm - Welcome and networking

5 to 6 pm - Fireside chat

6 to 6:30 pm - Closing and networking

This event is Thursday, August 10, from 4 - 6:30 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

August 10 — GROW Community Meeting

Sponsored by Green Resources & Opportunities Workforce, this community meeting is opening a discussion about green economy resources & opportunities for disadvantaged groups to engage in the energy transition and climate action.

This event is Thursday, August 10, from 11am to 1 pm at Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center. Click here to register.

August 16-22 — Texas & Gulf Coast Science Entrepreneurs: A Guide to the Activate Fellowship 

Activate, a hardtech-focused program, recently expanded into Houston looking to build upon the region’s energy leadership with a focus on enabling a low-carbon future.

Learn about the two-year Activate Fellowship, which provides early-stage science entrepreneurs with funding, technical resources, and support from a network of scientists, engineers, technologists, and fellow entrepreneurs. Join via Zoom to get an early opportunity to learn more about the Activate Fellowship, their plans for Texas, and get your questions answered.

This online event starts Wednesday, August 16 from 11 am to noon and goes through August 22. Click here to register.

August 18 — Asian Chamber of Commerce Business Conference and Lender Matchmaking 2023

The Asian Chamber of Commerce is hosting their annual business conference, educating local business owners and entrepreneurs through resources in expanding capacity, growing operations, and building a footprint in Houston. Come listen to speakers share best practices on remaining competitive in today’s market. There will also be a lender matchmaking session administered by the SBA with over 15 approved SBA lenders for local small business owners.

The agenda:

8:30am - 9:00am Registration

9:00am - 12:00pm Business Conference

12:30pm - 3:00pm Lender Matchmaking

This event is Friday, August 18, from 8:30 am to 3 pm at Houston Community College. Click here to register.

August 28-30 — Industrial Immersive Week

The ultimate gathering of 500+ industrial, energy and engineering leaders from around the globe where the key challenges & solutions are addressed for the real-world industrial metaverse, including XR, 3D, AI, Reality Capture, Spatial Computing & Digital Twins.

The event is Monday, August 28, through Wednesday, August 30, at Omni Houston. Click here to register.

August 30 — Angel Investing in the Energy Sector

This event is sponsored by the Houston Angel Network and co-sponsored by Rice Alliance. There will be three panel sessions exploring what the energy sector needs from angel investors, including: The Greening of Conventional Oil, Gas & Power Generation; Challenges Faced by Energy Storage and Distribution; Angel Investment Considerations in the Energy Sector. There will also be four 10-minute presentations by startups in the energy sector. Admission is $100.

This event is Wednesday, August 30, from 8 am to 3 pm at Shell Auditorium. Click here to register.

August 30 — 2023 Energy Research Day

Energy Research Day will be a showcase of outstanding energy-related research by University of Houston graduate and post-doctoral students. Sponsored by the Division of Research and Graduate School, the event gives industries in the Greater Houston area a chance to see UH research up close and network with future collaborators.

This event is Wednesday, August 30, from 4 to 8 pm at the University of Houston in the Student Center South Ballroom. Click here to register.

Here's your one-stop shop for innovation events in Houston for July. Photo via Getty Images

10+ can't-miss Houston business and innovation events for July

where to be

From networking meetups to educational symposiums, July is chock-full of happenings for Houston innovators.

Here's a roundup of events you won't want want to miss out on so mark your calendars and register accordingly.

Note: This post might be updated to add more events.


July 6 — City of Houston Panel Discussion: Sales

Join the City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity and SCORE Houston for a panel discussion designed for City of Houston vendors. This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about doing business with the City of Houston and how SCORE Houston can support you while running your business. During each monthly meeting get your business questions answered by industry and Office of Business Opportunity experts and SCORE Mentors. Gain the information and support you need to provide your products and services as a City of Houston vendor.

This event is Thursday, July 6, from 1 to 2 pm at Houston Community College. Click here to register.

July 7 — UH-DGH Center for Hydrocarbon Exploration Symposium

This informative open house event showcasing the new UH Seismic Data Center will focus heavily on presentations centered around hydrocarbon basin analysis as well as relevant policy shifts within India and the opportunities that have emerged as a result. The UH Seismic Data Center arose from a collaboration between the University of Houston and the DGH, the technical arm of the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

The event is Friday, July 7, from 9 am to 12 pm at the University of Houston Technology Bridge (Building 9, Room 135). Click here to register.

July 10 — Ion Open Accelerator: Monopolizing Your Industry Channel

In this workshop, Jared Nielsen who has participated in several startups that now dominate their respective industries, will provide insight into how small startups have grown to become global monopolies in a very short period of time. Seeing a global domination market strategy executed from the inside may give your own startup insights and techniques that you can use within your own supply chain for a truly dominant market position.

The event is Monday, July 10, from 10 am to 12 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.


July 11 — Leaders Who Lunch

Connect with influential community organizers, leaders, change makers, and likeminded C-suite executives during a 3-course family style lunch. Admission and cost of the meal is $75.

The event is Tuesday, July 11, from 11 am to 12 pm at Weights and Measures. Click here to register.

July 13 — Texas Medical Center Veterans Committee Hiring Event

TMC is hosting a career workshop for veterans interested in breaking into the healthcare field. Attendees will have the chance to network with recruiters, learn about job openings, and potentially even secure an interview on the spot so be sure to bring copies of your resume and dress to impress.

The agenda:

10:00 - 11:00 am - Registration/ Networking

11:00 - 11:30 am - Career Readiness: Resume & Interview Preparation

11:30 am - 12:00 pm - Career Branding: Social Media & Networking

12:00 pm - 12:20 pm - Lunch (provided)

12:20 pm - 1:00 pm - ERG Panel Discussion: Connecting with our Veteran Communities

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Networking/ Closing Hour

This event is Thursday, July 13, from 10 am to 2 pm at TMC Innovation Factory (2450 Holcombe Blvd Suite X). Click here to register.

July 13 — GROW Community Meeting

Discuss green economy resources & opportunities for disadvantaged groups to engage in the energy transition and climate action.

The agenda:

11 - 11:15 am - Welcome and Introductions

11:15 - 11:30 am - GROW Overview

11: 30 - 11:45 am - GROW Updates

11:45 am - 12 pm - Funding & Contract Opportunities

12 - 12:30 pm - Lunch

12:30 - 12:45 pm - Next steps: Community Benefits Survey, Cooperative Agreement, Letters of Support

12:45 - 1 pm - Attendee Announcements

1 PM - Closing

The event is Thursday, July 13, from 11 am to 1 pm at Hiram Clarke Multi-Service Center. Click here to register.

July 17 — Mingle Mondays Med & Health Tech

Head to this monthly mixer and get to know fellow members of Houston’s Med & Health Tech community. All who are interested in Med & Health Tech, including Med & HealthTech entrepreneurs, thought leaders, investors, healthcare professionals, and community members wanting to share their Med & Health Tech knowledge are welcome.

This event is Monday, July 17, from 6 to 7 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

July 17 — The State of Latino Entrepreneurship Reception/Networking

The Latino Business Action Network presents “The State of Latino Entrepreneurship Reception.” Network with Latino professionals, business owners, and supporters. This is a welcoming environment for connecting with your peers, LBAN, local chambers, and other organizations. At the same time, you will learn the latest on Latino entrepreneurship from LBAN, a nationally recognized expert in the field. LBAN is a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit that partners with Stanford to research and empower Latino entrepreneurship across the U.S.

This event is Monday, July 17, from 4 to 7 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

July 18 — Heated Dialogues Unleashed: Navigating Difficult Conversations

In this discussion, leadership veterans Debbie Danon and Michele Price will unravel the secrets of mastering difficult conversations for start-ups. For new founders looking to gain practical insights to navigate these challenges this conference will provide you with communication tools to approach these obstacles.

This event is Tuesday, July 18, from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm, virtually . Click here to register.

July 19 — Industrial Security Roadshow: Learn, Empower, & Connect

At the Industrial Security Roadshow attendees will gain insights into emerging threats, learn innovative defense techniques, and discover cutting-edge technologies to bolster your security procedures. A curated lineup of speakers will share their expertise, providing practical guidance and actionable steps to fortify your systems against cyber threats.

This event is Wednesday, July 19, from 10:30 am to 1 pm at 24285 Katy Fwy suite 300. Click here to register.

July 20 — Female Founders and Funders Meetup

Sponsored by Softeq Venture Studio and Sesh Coworking, this monthly meetup occurs every third Thursday and is ideal for female founders and funders in the Houston area who are looking to network and empower each other.

This event is Thursday, July 20, from 9 to 10 am at Sesh Coworking. Click here to register.

July 24 — Ion Open Accelerator: Getting the Highest ROI from Conferences and Events

In this workshop speaker Staccey Wright-Turner, a Houston based ROI strategist, will discuss how to maximize your time at and investment in conferences and events for a well-rounded marketing campaign.

These are the topics you can expect to be covered:

  • Whether you should do events, and which ones you should do
  • How best to invest your marketing dollars
  • Setting your objectives for events and conferences - yes, there is more than just "getting leads" - don't miss out on important revenue
  • Preparing in advance to get the most out of your event
  • Knowing how to approach attendees and get meetings booked
  • Follow through and evaluate the ROI on the events
  • Training sales staff for event-and-conference best practices
This event is Monday, July 24, from 10 am to 12 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

July 27 —  Summer Sizzle Happy Hour with Dell for Startups

Kick off the end of a warm summer in The Cannon West Houston Kitchen with a Happy Hour, sponsored by Dell for Startups and take advantage of an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming Houston Innovation Summit in October.

This event is Thursday, July 27, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at The Cannon. Click here to register.

July 28 - July 30 — Melanin Minds Mental Health Conference

Melanin Minds is taking over Big Brothers Big Sisters for a three day weekend of workshops, panels, & family-friendly wellness. All workshops will be centering BIPOC communities & featuring therapists, counselors, and practitioners of color. Admission prices vary depending on the level of access you want to the conference and when you register, discounted tickets for students are available up to year six of grad school ($20).

The agenda:

Friday 7/28 — Healthy Eating On The Go • Thriving Through Stigmas & Adversity • Perfectionism • Boundaries • Finances • Work-Life Harmony • 7 Types of Rest • Mindful Leadership

Saturday 7/29 — Building Mental Wealth • Finding Your Way to YOU • Nutrition As A Foundation for Healing • Yoga & Meditation • Community Talk Circle • Humor & Laughter • Reading the Cues • Relationships & Social Media • Wellness Practices & Routines

Sunday 7/30 — Advocating For Your Child • Goals Through Resilience & Stress • The Art of Self Expression • Financial Mental Health • Yoga For Youth • Big Brother Big Sister Matches Panel • Complimentary Self Care Services

This event starts Friday, July 28, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Click here to register.

Check out these seven innovation events in Houston this month. Photo via Getty Images

7 can't-miss Houston business and innovation events for January

Where to be

It's a new year, and it's time to look at what's on the agenda this month for Houston innovators.

Here's a roundup of events not to miss this January — like workshops, summits, meetups, and more.

Note: This post might be updated to add more events.


January 9 — How to Leverage Media

In this session at The Ion, attendees will learn how businesses should and can leverage media opportunities. Leveraging media opportunities, including podcasts, interviews, and articles, is an excellent way to highlight how your product or service can provide a solution. As an entrepreneur, founder, or small business owner, you should attend this workshop to learn how to use media and the platforms to your advantage.

The event is Monday, January 9, at 10 am, at The Ion. Click here to register.

January 10-12 — Ten Across Summit: The Future is Here

Today more than ever, society has access to the future in ways unparalleled in history. The question is, what will people do with this knowledge? Attend the Ten Across Summit: the Future is Here to hear from and engage with esteemed thought leaders and experts. They'll share insights and discuss solutions for the future in topics related to water, heat, energy, infrastructure, equity, risk, and affordable housing. Come and add your voice to the discussions, network, and discover new resources.

The event is Tuesday, January 10, to Thursday, January 11, at Hotel Zaza Museum District and Asia Society Texas Center. Click here to register.

January 20 — HOU Innovation Career Gigs & Tech Expo

The Ion is excited to bring back Startup Gigs in person and a new and expanded format. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to meet Houston’s most innovative companies. HOU Innovation Career Gigs & Tech Expo is a platform to connect you with the HOU tech ecosystem. Explore entry-level job and internship opportunities and discover the HOU tech opportunities.

The event is Friday, January 20, at 2 pm, at The Ion. Click here to register.

January 24 — Engage VC: Activate Capital

Join HX Venture Fund at the Ion on January 24 to hear Raj Atluru, Managing Partner of Activate Capital discuss his perspective on how to scale a startup successfully, how Houston can become the leader in the energy transition movement, how to build great companies, and what investors are looking for among other topics.

The event is Tuesday, January 24, at 8:30 am, at The Ion. Click here to register.

January 24 — 2022 Nobel Prize: From Einstein's Disbelief to Quantum Technology

The worldview presented by quantum physics contradicts seemingly self-evident truths, for example, that objects have a well-defined position. Such preposterous implications were directly demonstrated by the experiments that were awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in physics. This session will cover these experiments, the radically different picture they give of our world, and how physicists now use these quantum effects to create technology such as quantum computers.

The event is Tuesday, January 24, at 5 pm, at The Ion. Click here to register.

January 30 — Creating Space for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Join The Ion to hear from Tracie Jae, Founder of The Quiet Rebel, will share a paradigm shift designed to disrupt the current DEI model.

The event is Monday, January 30, at 10 am, at The Ion. Click here to register.

January 31 — Bots & Brews

This is the top winter meetup of the Energy Drone / Robotics / Data crowd, with over 100 industrial robotics and UAV leaders, investors and startups attending. Enjoy beer, bites and bots! Energy companies and tech/service providers will be sharing their 2023 plans, projects and solutions.


The event is on Tuesday, January 31, from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm at The Ion. Click here to register.

Here's your one-stop shop for innovation events in Houston this month. Photo via Getty Images

5+ can't-miss Houston business and innovation events for January

where to be

Houstonians have the chance to start off the new year with a bang. In this batch of in-person and online innovation events, you can check out five Houston innovation and entrepreneurship events you and your tech network need to know about.

Here's a roundup of events not to miss this month — and this article will be updated as more business and tech events are announced.

January 5 — Business Planning with SCORE

A business plan is an important planning tool for raising startup capital and helping you monitor progress of your business venture. It is a “living” document that should be updated often. The webinar will help you prepare a realistic plan in a very easy way that focuses on answering audience questions rather than fitting into a prescribed format. No business should be started or maintained without a plan. The method presented in the webinar is different from following a traditional template approach which can be sometimes overwhelming and disjointed.

The event is on Wednesday, January 5, at 10 am It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

January 14 —  Innovation, Science Education, and the Enhancement of Americans' Quality of Life

Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy will host a breakfast reception and presentation – Innovation, Science Education, and the Enhancement of Americans' Quality of Life – which will examine the ways in which innovation, science and technology are used in tandem to solve the challenges society faces on both a national and global scale.

The Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the United States National Science Foundation and a distinguished leader in computer science, engineering and entrepreneurship, is the featured speaker.

The event is on Friday, January 14, at 7:30 am It's free and happening at James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University (6100 Main St.) Click here to register.

January 20 — Ignite Network’s Annual Fire Pitch

Ignite Healthcare Network’s Annual Fire Pitch Competition is returning as an in-person event January 20 at TMC Innovation. The unique accelerator connects female entrepreneurs leading healthcare start-ups with potential customers and investors who advise them on the strengths and weaknesses of their companies. The opportunity for direct feedback from industry experts provides competing health and med-tech companies with long-term benefits in addition to awarded cash prizes. The 2021 eight finalists, selected from a total of 125 applications, will present on January 20th at TMC Innovation. The event is open to the public and tickets are available through the Ignite website.

The event is on Thursday, January 20, at 5 pm. It's free and happening at TMC Innovation (2450 Holcombe Blvd.). Click here to register.

January 24-28 — ShiftEd: Career Camp to Relaunch Your Career

Join General Assembly for a weeklong camp to gain the skills and knowledge that will enable you to fulfill your mission without burning out. The first step to doing work that matters is identifying what ignites passion, purpose, and satisfaction in your career and in you. If you don’t have answers right away, you’re not alone. We often don’t have the time, tools, or guidance to find a clear answer. Finding work that really matters requires — well — work.

The event is on January 24-January 28. It's free and happening online. Click here to register.

(POSTPONED) January 27 — Rice Alliance's 19th Annual Energy Tech Venture Forum 

This event has been postponed to Sept. 15. The original event listing is below.

This event is an opportunity to learn about the latest emerging technologies, meet investors to seek funding, see promising companies, learn about investment opportunities, meet individuals from the energy industry, as well networking and learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, researchers, investment professional and business executives.

The event is jam-packed with quality companies and conversations and is the go-to event of the year to connect with and see where energy is headed. The conference will include industry speakers, investors, and promising startups from throughout the U.S. and beyond.

The event is on Thursday, January 27. It's happening at Jones School of Business, McNair Hall ( Rice University, 6100 Main St.). Click here to register.

January 28 — Greater Houston Partnership's Partnership Week Begins

Annual Meeting kicks off the second annual Partnership Week, a multi-day opportunity to learn more about the Partnership’s work and how members can get involved in our efforts to make Houston even greater. Details on Partnership Week activities are coming soon.

GHP's Partnership Week begins on Friday, January 28. Click here to learn more.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Houston family's $20M donation drives neurodegeneration research

big impact

Neurodegeneration is one of the cruelest ways to age, but one Houston family is sharing its wealth to invigorate research with the goal of eradicating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

This month, Laurence Belfer announced that his family, led by oil tycoon Robert Belfer, had donated an additional $20 million to the Belfer Neurodegeneration Consortium, a multi-institutional initiative that targets the study and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

This latest sum brings the family’s donations to BNDC to $53.5 million over a little more than a decade. The Belfer family’s recent donation will be matched by institutional philanthropic efforts, meaning BNDC will actually be $40 million richer.

BNDC was formed in 2012 to help scientists gain stronger awareness of neurodegenerative disease biology and its potential treatments. It incorporates not only The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, but also Baylor College of Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

It is the BNDC’s lofty objective to develop five new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders over the next 10 years, with two treatments to demonstrate clinical efficacy.

“Our goal is ambitious, but having access to the vast clinical trial expertise at MD Anderson ensures our therapeutics can improve the lives of patients everywhere,” BNDC Executive Director Jim Ray says in a press release. “The key elements for success are in place: a powerful research model, a winning collaborative team and a robust translational pipeline, all in the right place at the right time.”

It may seem out of place that this research is happening at MD Anderson, but scientists are delving into the intersection between cancer and neurological disease through the hospital’s Cancer Neuroscience Program.

“Since the consortium was formed, we have made tremendous progress in our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of neurodegenerative diseases and in translating those findings into effective targeted drugs and diagnostics for patients,” Ray continues. “Yet, we still have more work to do. Alzheimer's disease is already the most expensive disease in the United States. As our population continues to age, addressing quality-of-life issues and other challenges of treating and living with age-associated diseases must become a priority.”

And for the magnanimous Belfer family, it already is.

3 Houston innovators to know this week

who's who

Editor's note: Every week, I introduce you to a handful of Houston innovators to know recently making headlines with news of innovative technology, investment activity, and more. This week's batch includes a podcast with the founder of a new venture firm, a former astronaut and recent award recipient, and a health care innovator with fresh funding.

Zach Ellis, founder and managing partner of South Loop Ventures

Zach Ellis explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast that South Loop Ventures plans to invest in promising companies from across the country and bring them into Houston's ecosystem to grow and scale. Photo via LinkedIn

Houston has a lot of the right ingredients for commercialization and scaling up companies, so when Zach Ellis moved to town to stand up a venture capital firm that made investments in diverse founders, he decided to go about it in an innovative way.

South Loop Ventures, which Ellis launched two years ago, invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups across health care, climatetech, aerospace, sports, and fintech. While the first handful of investments, which have already been made, are into Houston-based companies, Ellis explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast that the firm plans to invest in promising companies from across the country and bring them into Houston's ecosystem to grow and scale.

"Any investor wants to feel like they are looking at the best possible investment opportunities in which to deploy capital," Ellis says on the show. "So that's reason No. 1 to cast your net as widely as possible.

"At the same time, you want to give any investment that you make greatest chances of success," he continues. "The biggest factor of success outside of the team and the capital you give them, is the customers that they can call upon. In bringing targeted companies to Houston or connecting them with Houston, you introduce the opportunity for them to achieve rapid scale and work with world-class partners very efficiently." Read more.


Toby R. Hamilton, founder and CEO of Hamilton Health Box

Dr. Toby Hamilton has secured $10 million to grow his company. Photo via tmc.edu

A Houston company that is working on a value-based model for primary care has fresh funding to support its mission.

Hamilton Health Box announced the completion of a $10 million series A funding round led by 1588 Ventures with participation from Memorial Hermann Health System, Impact Ventures by Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Texas Medical Center Venture Fund, and the Sullivan Brothers.

The company, founded in 2019 by Dr. Toby R. Hamilton, will use the funding to fuel its expansion into rural areas to help assist those living in Health Professional Shortage Areas, or HPSAs. Read more.

Ellen Ochoa, former astronaut and center director at the NASA's Johnson Space Center

Ellen Ochoa was recognized for her leadership at NASA Johnson and for being the first Hispanic woman in space. Photo via NASA

Two astronauts recently received Presidential Medals of Freedom from President Joe Biden for their leadership in space.

Ellen Ochoa, the former center director and astronaut at the NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Jane Rigby, senior project scientist for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, were honored at the White House on May 3.

Ochoa spent 30 years with NASA, which included being the 11th director of JSC, deputy center director of JSC, and director of Flight Crew Operations. She served on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993, and became the first Hispanic woman in space. She flew four more times to space with STS-66, STS-96, STS-110, and more.

“I’m so grateful for all my amazing NASA colleagues who shared my career journey with me,” Ochoa says in a NASA news release. Read more.

Houston health care institutions receive $22M to attract top recruits

coming to Hou

Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine has received a total of $12 million in grants from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas to attract two prominent researchers.

The two grants, which are $6 million each, are earmarked for recruitment of Thomas Milner and Radek Skoda. The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) announced the grants May 14.

Milner, an expert in photomedicine for surgery and diagnostics, is a professor of surgery and biomedical engineering at the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic at the University of California, Irvine and the university’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

In 2013, Milner was named Inventor of the Year by the University of Texas at Austin. At the time, he was a professor of biomedical engineering at UT. One of his major achievements is co-development of the MasSpec Pen, a handheld device that identifies cancerous tissue within 10 seconds during surgical procedures.

Skoda is a professor of molecular medicine in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel, both in Switzerland. He specializes in developing treatments for myeloproliferative neoplasms, which are a group of blood diseases including leukemia.

Other recruitment grants provided by the institute to Houston-area organizations are:

  • $4 million for recruitment of Susan Bullman to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She was an assistant professor at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, where she studied the connection between microbes and cancer.
  • $4 million for recruitment of Oren Rom to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Rom is an assistant professor of pathology and translational pathobiology at Louisiana State University Shreveport.
  • Nearly $2 million for recruitment of Lauren Hagler to conduct RNA cancer biology at Texas A&M University. She is a postdoctoral scholar in biochemistry at Stanford University.

The institute also awarded grants to five companies in the Houston area:

  • $4.7 million to 7 Hills Pharma for development of immunotherapies to treat cancer and prevent infectious diseases.
  • $4.5 million to Indapta Therapeutics for the Phase 1 trial of a cell therapy for treatment of multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • $2.75 million to Bectas Therapeutics for development of antibodies and biomarkers to overcome a type of resistance T-cell checkpoint therapy.
  • $2.69 million to MS Pen Technologies for development of technology that differentiates between normal tissue and cancerous tissue during surgery.
  • $2.58 million to Crossbridge Bio for development of an antibody-drug combination to treat certain solid tumors.