Three Houston students won at the 2023 Intel AI Global Impact Festival competition. Photo via Intel

Three students from Houston Community College Southwest won the top national prize at the 2023 Intel AI Global Impact Festival competition, HCC announced this month.

Sumesh Surendran, Ruben Treviño, and Muskaan Shahzad won the top spot in the the 18-and-older age group of United States competitors. Their project, “MedINtel: Automated Triage Machine (ATM),” is an ongoing effort for HCC’s AI program.

“Our students have often told me how grateful they are to our faculty and staff for their support and commitment to their success,” Samir Saber, dean of the Digital and Information Technology Center of Excellence, says in a news release.” We’re all proud of bringing home a top award back-to-back from an international competition of this caliber.”

The students' entry involved a kiosk-style version of an ATM to collect data at a patient intake. The kiosk used AI technologies like computer vision, to accelerate and help with patient triage. The festival featured future developers, teachers, policymakers, and emerging technologists sharing innovations and discussions on the impact of artificial intelligence according to the educational partner to HCC’s AI program the Intel Corporation.

“This group of students has demonstrated their exceptional talents on a national and global stage in a rapidly growing field that continues to transform all industry sectors,” HCC Southwest President Madeline Burillo-Hopkins says in the release. “Their innovative project shows why Houston is a city where companies can find the best qualified, competent and creative tech talent.”

HCC’s participation and success in the program is well-documented, as last year during the Intel Global Impact Festival competition, HCC Southwest won top global prize in the 18-and-older age group, and another HCC team took home a national honor.

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.

A team of Houston college students laced in the top 10 percent of 7,800 students at the National Cyber League competition. Photo courtesy of HCC

Houston students place high in national cyber security competition

locking it down

A team from Houston Community College had a strong showing earlier this month at the spring National Cyber League competition.

A team of HCC students placed in the top 10 percent of finishers, according to a statement from the college. More than 7,800 students from 450 universities and colleges across the U.S.competed in the semi-annual competition that tests participants’ skills in identifying hackers from forensic data, penetration testing, auditing vulnerable websites and recovering from ransomware attacks through a series of games.

“Our goal is to empower our students with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed as leaders in information technology, including the fast growing and in-demand areas of cyber security and artificial intelligence,” Dr. Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, president of HCC Southwest College and vice chancellor of workforce, says in a statement. “Again and again, we find that our students perform exceptionally well when compared to those from colleges and universities across the nation.”

Hira Ali, a participant and mother of two who served as vice president of the HCC Cyber Security Club before graduating this year, says the experience pushed her and her teammates to expand their knowledge outside of the classroom.

“It was a great experience for us,” she says in a statement. “It presented us, as teammates, with the opportunity to venture beyond our comfort zones and delve into unfamiliar concepts."

Ali added that she ate almost nothing and slept little for a week because she and her team were "totally immersed in the competition.” She plans to enroll in a four-year online degree program through Dakota State University.

According to Samir Saber, dean of HCC’s Digital, and Information Technology Center of Excellence, there are about 57,878 cyber jobs in Texas alone. HCC also shared that the median salary for security analysts in the Houston area is about $101,000, according to Lightcast, a labor market data analysis firm.

Earlier this month, HCC also announced that it would be rolling out a new innovation 60-hour degree program in the fall. The Smart Building Technology program will train students on the installation of low-voltage controls. Students will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree after completing the program, which is part of HCC Central’s Electrical Technology program in the Architectural Design and Construction Center of Excellence (COE).

In late 2022, HCC and partners also received a $1.8 million grant from JP Morgan Chase to launch a new certificate program to help residents who come from some of Houston’s most underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods find career opportunities in the clean energy, disaster response, utilities, trades and manufacturing fields. Partnering employers included The City of Houston, Harris County and TRIO Electric.

Houston Community College will have a new program this fall focused on smart building tech. Photo via HCC.edu

Houston college to launch new smart building degree-program in the fall

coming soon

Houston Community College will launch a new 60-hour Smart Building Technology program this fall, the college announced last week.

The program will train students on the installation of low-voltage controls, such as audio/visual systems, energy management, lighting controls, security cameras, burglar and fire alarm systems, retail and grocery store automation, medical automation and more, according to HCC. Students will receive an Associate of Applied Science degree after completing the program.

“This program is both cutting edge and down to earth,” Matt Adams, instructor and program coordinator for HCC’s Electrical Technology program, said in a statement.

"A lot of new technology is coming into this industry, but a lot of the technology is the same as it has been for the last five to 10 years," he went on to add. "What is new is the integration of it all, making it all work together, to make people’s lives better.”

The Smart Building Technology program will be part of HCC Central’s Electrical Technology program in the Architectural Design and Construction Center of Excellence (COE). According to the college, it's one of the first programs of its kind.

Adams says that the earning potential in this line of work starts at around $50,000 a year, with the potential to earn double that with additional learning and training.

In late 2022, HCC and partners also received a $1.8 million grant from JP Morgan Chase to launch a new certificate program to help residents who come from some of Houston’s most underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods find career opportunities in the clean energy, disaster response, utilities, trades and manufacturing fields. Partnering employers included The City of Houston, Harris County and TRIO Electric.

Meanwhile, Houston Methodist and Texas A&M University graduated the inaugural class from its School of Engineering Medicine earlier this month.

Graphic courtesy of HCC

Houston Community College and its partner received funding that will go toward creating a certificate program that will launch in the fall 2022 semester as part of The Resilient Workforce Collaborative. Photo via HCC

Houston college system snags part of $3.3M investment in resiliency innovation

impact investment

Houston Community College and partners received a $1.8 million grant from JP Morgan Chase this month with the goal of training underserved Houstonians in jobs that will help boost the city's preparedness for the aftermath of natural disasters.

The funds will go toward creating a certificate program that will launch in the fall 2022 semester as part of The Resilient Workforce Collaborative.

“The Resilient Workforce Collaborative brings together the public sector, private sector, higher education institutions, and our nonprofit partners to make transformational change in our most underserved neighborhoods,” Mayor Sylvester Turner says in a statement. “The collaborative complements our efforts within the Complete Communities to prepare low-to-moderate income Houstonians for high-demand jobs and increase the diversity of candidates in the talent pipelines for green careers that will advance our city’s resilience. This resourceful partnership is a welcomed addition to Houston’s workforce development landscape.”

The collaborative will operate out of HCC's Resiliency Center of Excellence, which was first announced in May and is slated to open its $35 million Resiliency Operations Center at HCC's Northeast College in 2024. Other members of the collaborative include City of Houston, Harris County, Workforce Solutions Gulf Coast, Resilience Innovation Hub, American Youth Works, WorkTexas, TRIO Electric, TRIO Education, Memorial Assistance Ministries, South Union CDC, Impact Hub Houston, Neuhaus Education Center, TXRX Labs, Volunteers of America-TX, Wesley Community Center, and JPMorgan Chase.

The program will aim to help residents who come from some of Houston’s most underserved and under-resourced neighborhoods find career opportunities in the clean energy, disaster response, utilities, trades and manufacturing fields. According to HCC, "an important element of the collaborative is employers changing some of their hiring practices to emphasize specialized training certificates over traditional 4-year degrees."

So far, partnering employers include The City of Houston, Harris County and TRIO Electric—and the collaborative is looking for more employers and funders to support its mission.

“This collaborative provides a ‘go-to place’ for Houstonians to learn skills that will lead to good paying jobs. It is a better system because it’s set up to fulfill needs that already exist in the workplace,” HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado said in a statement.

HCC and the City of Houston signed a memorandum of understanding in August, on the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, that the organizations would train 500,000 citizens, employees, small businesses, volunteers, and first responders in new resiliency training programs starting this fall.

At the time, seven courses in resiliency were announced, with an additional 30 courses slated to be added in 2023. The program will be offered at 22 HCC locations.

The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers is a group of more than 250 university entrepreneurship programs that is headquartered at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. Photo courtesy of Rice

Houston-based academic group names top entrepreneurship programs in the world

best in class

A Houston-based academic group called out top universities and programs from around the world — including one in Houston and another in Texas — that are excelling in educating future entrepreneurs at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference last month.

The GCEC is a consortium of more than 250 university entrepreneurship programs that is headquartered at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, which has been named a top entrepreneurship program itself time and time again.

The group's annual conference was hosted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in October, and more than 550 member representatives attended, according to a statement from Rice. In addition to talks, break out sessions and collaboration time, 14 universities were awarded top honors at the event.

Houston Community College's entrepreneurial initiatives won in the Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education category. The office is known for signature programs like its annual business plan competition, which has been running since 2008. It is also home to the Minority Business Development Agency, created by a grant from the Department of Commerce in 2013, and the MBDA Pandemic Recovery Center.

Additionally, the HCC Alief Hayes Campus is in partnership with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, providing 100 hours of instruction and advising and access to capital and an alumni network.

The Texas A&M University System also won in the Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation category along with the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). TAMU was recognized for its TEES DeepTech Ventures program. The hands-on training program operated out of Doha, Qatar last November.

Meanwhile Babson College's Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and Iowa State University's Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship were awarded the most prestigious honor at the conference. The universities received the The Nasdaq Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. This was the first year that two programs received the award based on student body sizes of less than or more than 5,000 students.

Duncan Moore, a professor at the University of Rochester’s William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, and Carol Reeves, associate vice provost for entrepreneurship at the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business, received legacy awards for their contributions to entrepreneurship education.

Other winners included:

  • Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center (schools with less than 5,000 students)
    • Lafayette College, Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center (schools with more than 5,000 students)
    • James Madison University, Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship
    • Nova Southeastern University, Alan B. Levan-NSU Broward Center of Innovation
  • Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines
    • Northeastern University, Center for Entrepreneurship Education
  • Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation
    • Stanford University, Stanford Technology Ventures Program
  • Outstanding Student Engagement & Leadership (schools with less than 5,000 students)
    • London Business School, Institute of Entrepreneurship and Private Capital
  • Outstanding Student Engagement & Leadership (schools with more than 5,000 students)
    • Marquette University, 707 Hub
  • Exceptional Contributions in Entrepreneurship Research
    • Florida Atlantic University, Adams Center for Entrepreneurship
  • GCEC Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership
    • UNLV, Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The 2023 GCEC Conference will be held in Dallas next October at the University of Texas at Dallas.
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Early-stage accelerator returns to Houston, announces finalists

prepare for take-off

CodeLaunch, a traveling seed-stage accelerator, is returning to Houston for its latest cohort.

The startup competition sponsored by software development company Improving will have its ultimate showdown on February 28. The final competition pairs six startups with six startup consulting companies.

Jason W. Taylor, CodeLaunch president and founder, says CodeLaunch isn’t your typical startup showcase, as it incorporates music acts, comedy, and crowd networking. Mirroring the set-up of a TV show, the six finalists all present their working products in front of an audience amid these performances.

“I would describe CodeLaunch as the next generation of venture-tainment in North America and the greatest startup show on earth,” Taylor explains.

The 2024 Houston CodeLaunch participant startups — and their mentor partners — are as follows:

Prior to pitch day, all six teams will receive hands-on instruction from CodeLaunch mentors on how to construct their pitches and free professional software development from their partners. Taylor says the strong relationships between CodeLaunch and these developers played a major role in setting the competition in Houston.

“We love Houston and we’re back for a third year in a row because the Houston startup ecosystem works together better than other major startup ecosystems I’ve seen,” Taylor says. “We have some great software development partners in Houston that are building code for those startups.”

Last year, Houston-based startup Energy360, with the mentorship and help of Honeycomb Software, took home the Championship belt and a $100,000 investment offer from Cyrannus VC fund for their energy management system Matt Bonasera, Energy360’s enterprise architect, says he is grateful for the entrepreneurial community CodeLaunch provides, in particular the team’s mentor Oleg Lysiak, Honeycomb VP of Partnerships and Business Development.

“I happened along this great community of people who are really passionate about supporting each other,” Bonasera says.

Lysiak agrees that CodeLaunch is an ideal opportunity for young entrepreneurs looking to hone their skills and expand their product capabilities. Lysiak says he is looking forward to defending Honeycomb’s title as top consultant development team.

“My whole philosophy is to connect people and have different collisions and collaborations,” Lysiak says.

Houston startup completes testing, prepares biosimilar insulin drug for clinical trials

next steps

A Houston biotech startup is one step closer to releasing its marquee drug for the global insulin market, which is projected to break the $90 billion threshold by 2029.

rBIO says it recently completed testing of the properties of R-biolin, an insulin drug that’s biologically identical to Novo Nordisk’s Novolin drug. The patent for Novolin about two decades ago. In March 2023, the Dutch drugmaker announced it was slashing the list price of Novolin by 65 percent to $48.20 per vial and $91.09 per FlexPen.

Executives at rBIO are now pursuing a partnership with a contract research organization to manage clinical trials of R-biolin. If those trials go well, R-biolin will seek approval to supply its insulin therapy to diabetes patients around the world.

Washington University in St. Louis is rBIO’s academic partner for the R-biolin project.

The rBIO platform produces insulin at greater yields that traditional manufacturing techniques do. The company is striving to drive down the cost of insulin by 30 percent.

About 38 million Americans have diabetes, with the vast majority being treated for type 2 diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many people with diabetes must take insulin to control their blood sugar levels.

Research company iHealthcareAnalyst predicts the global market for insulin will surpass the $90 billion mark in 2029.

“There has been a lot of talk in the media about reducing the cost of insulin for diabetic patients, but what is often overlooked is that the domestic demand for insulin will soon outpace the supply, leading to a new host of issues,” Cameron Owen, co-founder and CEO of rBIO, says in a news release.

“We’re dedicated to addressing the growing demand for accessible insulin therapies, and … we’re thrilled to announce the viability of our highly scalable manufacturing process.”

Professionals from the University of California San Diego and Johns Hopkins University established rBIO in 2020. The startup moved its headquarters from San Diego to Houston in 2022.

CEO Cameron Owen and Chief Scientific Officer Deenadayalan Bakthavatsalam work on insulin purification in the Houston lab. Photo courtesy

How AI is changing product management and what you need to know

guest column

For the past 14 months, everyone has been talking about ways artificial intelligence is changing the world, and product management is not an exception. The challenge, as with every new technology, is not only adopting it but understanding what old habits, workflows, and processes are affected by it.

Product managers — as well as startup founders leading a product function — more than any other role, face a challenge of bringing new life-changing products to market that may or may not be received well by their users. A product manager’s goal is complex — bring value, stay ahead of the competition, be innovative. Yet, the "behind the scenes" grind requires endless decision making and trade offs to inspire stakeholders to move forward and deliver.

As we dive into 2024, it is obvious that AI tools do not only transform the way we work but also help product managers create products that exceed customer expectation and drive businesses forward.

Market research and trends analysis

As product managers, we process enormous amounts of market data — from reviewing global and industry trend analysis, to social media posts, predictions, competition, and company goals. AI, however, can now replace hours, if not days, of analyzing massive amounts of data in an instant, revealing market trends, anticipating needs, and foreseeing what's coming next. As a result, it is easier to make effective product decisions and identify new market opportunities.

Competitive analysis

Constantly following competitors, reviewing their new releases, product updates, or monitoring reviews to identify competitor strengths and weaknesses is an overwhelming and time consuming task. With AI, you can quickly analyze competitors’ products, pricing, promotions, and feedback. You can easily compare multiple attributes, including metrics, and identify gaps and areas for improvement — all the insights that are otherwise much harder to reveal quickly and efficiently.

Customer and product discovery

Of course, the most intuitive use case that comes to mind is the adoption of AI in product and customer discovery. For example:

  • Use AI for customer segmentation and persona creation to help visualize personas, prioritize user motivations and expectations, and uncover hidden behavior and needs. You can then create and simplify customer questionnaires for interviews and user groups and target customers more accurately.
  • Analyze quantitative and qualitative data from surveys, support tickets, reviews, and in-person interviews to identify pain points and unmet user needs and help prioritize features for future updates and releases.

Roadmap and sprint management

AI provides value in simplifying roadmap planning and sprint management. Resource optimization is often a gruesome task and AI can help with feature prioritization and resource allocation. It helps teams focus on critical work and increase their productivity. You can even analyze and manage dependencies and improve results across multiple sprints months in advance.

Prototyping and mockup generation

There is no product manager’s routine without multiple mockups, wireframes, and prototypes that explain concepts and collect feedback among stakeholders. AI has become a critical tool in simplifying this process and bringing ideas to life from concept to visualization.

Today, you can use textual or voice descriptions to instantly create multiple visuals with slight variations, run A/B tests and gather valuable feedback at the earliest stage of a product life cycle.

Job search and job interviews

Consider it as a bonus but one of the less obvious but crucial advantages of AI is using it in job search. With the vulnerable and unstable job market, especially for product roles, AI is a valuable assistant. From getting the latest news and updates on a company you want to join, to summarizing insights on the executive team, or company goals, compiling lists of interview questions, and running mock interviews, AI has become a non-judgmental assistant in a distressing and often discouraging job search process.

Use AI to draft cold emails to recruiters and hiring managers, compare your skills to open positions’ requirements, identify gaps, and outline ideas for test assignments.

We already know that AI is not a hype; it is here to stay. However, remember that customers do not consume AI, they consume your product for its value. Customers care whether your product gets their need, solves their problem, and makes their lives easier. The goal of a product manager is to create magic combining human brain capabilities and latest technology. And the best result is with a human at the core of any product.

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Natasha Gorodetsky is the founder and CEO of Product Pursuits, a Houston company that helps early stage and venture-backed startups build products and create impact.