Register for some of these informative online events happening throughout the month of March. Photo via Getty Images

March marks a full year of attending online events — from Zoom panels to virtual conferences. But, the shows must go on with another month full of online innovation and startup events that Houston innovators need to know about.

Here's a roundup of virtual events not to miss this month — from workshops and webinars to summits and pitch parties. Note: This post might be updated to add more events.

March 1-5 — CERAWeek by IHSMarkit

In lieu of the week-long, in-person mega-conference that is the annual CERAWeek by IHSMarkit, the 2021 iteration will be completely virtual. Need some ideas of what panels and talks not to miss? Click here for five recommendations of what to attend.

The conference takes place Monday, March 1, to Friday, March 5. Click here to register.

March 2 — Houston Innovates: Digital transformation and Innovation in Oil & Gas

Digital forces are changing the skills an executive needs to manage organizations. In a world that's become increasingly digital, energy companies can sometimes find it hard to adapt. Join General Assembly Houston for a panel discussion with:

  • Sameer Khan, digital leader (MarTech and Transformation) at ExxonMobil
  • Sarah Vega, vice president of IT & Change at SmartestEnergy
  • Ricky Burns, business transformation team lead at BP
  • Jose Beceiro, senior director of Global Energy 2.0 at the Greater Houston Partnership

The event is on Tuesday, March 2, at 9:30 am. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 2 — Ladies Who LaUNCH #13: The Female Superpower

In 2020, 40 percent of US businesses were owned by women and generated $1.8 trillion. With these numbers in mind, it comes as no surprise that the presence of women in entrepreneurship and investing is growing.

Why do women-led companies financially outperform their male counterparts? And what are the "female superpowers" behind our ability to excel in these fields? Join featured speaker, Megan Bent, as she explores the research, data, and her own experience in the importance of female leadership in entrepreneurship and investing, and how to leverage your differences to your advantage.

The event is on Tuesday, March 2, at noon. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 3 — What's Next in Crypto?

Baker Botts and TeamBlockchain are hosting a webinar discussing trends in cryptocurrency. Key speakers from the sector include:

  • Ali Dhanani, partner at Baker Botts
  • Sarah Beaumont, associate at Baker Botts
  • Jonny Fry, co-founder & CEO at TeamBlockchain Ltd
  • Spencer Randall, principal & co-founder at CryptoEQ
  • Ankush Jain, chief investment officer at Aaro Capital

The event is on Wednesday, March 3, at 11 am. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 9 — Investing in Medical Devices

Join the Texas HALO Fund for a conversation with three of the fund's portfolio companies: Adient Medical, Allotrope Medical, and PathEx.

The event is on Tuesday, March 9, at noon. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 10 — Open Project Night: Achieving Gender Equality in Houston and Beyond

Impact Hub Houston is bringing you a monthly opportunity to come together to work on solutions for some of Houston's most pressing issues. Our city is full of changemakers across all ages, cultures, skillsets, and industries. This is your chance to conned and collaborate for the greater good.

The event is on Wednesday, March 10, at 5 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 10 — Conversations with Latinx Entrepreneurs in Houston

Latinx entrepreneurs are starting small businesses faster than the rest of the startup population and becoming a bigger part of the total U.S. market every day. Join General Assembly for a panel of Houston Latinx leaders as they share stories about their heritage, failures and success.

The event is on Wednesday, March 10, at 6 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 11 — How to Sell Without Being "Salesy"

In celebration of Women's History Month, Catherine Brown and Leela Madan, both serial entrepreneurs and founders of Houston-based Founder's Compass offer their advice on selling your business.

The event is on Thursday, March 11, at 10 am. It's $30 and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 11 — Inspire Seminar with Leslie Wise

Join Enventure for a talk and Q&A with the president and principal consultant of Evidence Matters, Leslie Wise. Inspire is one part of Lilie's three-program career exploration series. The goal of Inspire is to share an individual's career journey so that trainees can see one of the many paths that can be taken, learn about the reality of working in these fields, and gain valuable advice from key leaders to better prepare themselves for their own career journey.

The event is on Thursday, March 11, at noon. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 16-20 — SXSW

Another conference is pivoting to virtual attendance this year. SXSW has flipped the switch to being online only for 2021. SXSW's seven conference themes are A New Urgency; Challenging Tech's Path Forward; Cultural Resilience in the Arts; The Rebirth of Business; Transforming the Entertainment Landscape; Connection in Disconnection; and An Uncharted Future. Stay tuned to InnovationMap for a Houston innovator's guide to the conference.

The conference takes place Tuesday, March 16, to Saturday, March 20. Click here to register.

March 17 — Top Legal Considerations for Startups

Join Rice University's Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for a session with corporate and securities lawyer Aaron Barker, who specializes in advising companies from formation to exit, will give you the inside knowledge to help you launch your venture, and possibly save you from making a rookie mistake.

The event is on Wednesday, March 17, at 4 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 23 — Igniting Leadership: Elevating Professionalism

Join Ignite's conversation between Board Member Kelli Newman and Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. Ellen Friedman focus on insights the Director of BCM's Center for Professionalism has to share. In addition to the importance of emotional intelligence, practical methods for addressing problems before they escalate and professionalism for "women in a man's field," Dr. Friedman will answer your questions with practical advice for elevating your own professionalism.

The event is on Tuesday, March 23, at 6 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

March 24 — Houston Startup Showcase

The Houston Startup Showcase is a flagship event from The Ion, formerly known as Demo Day. This event will allow for developing companies to receive feedback from subject matter experts and showcase their successes thus far. The event is a year-long series of monthly pitch competitions, and results in a final winner to close the series in November. Companies are encouraged to apply online to pitch.

The event is on Wednesday, March 24, at 6 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

Here's what interactive, virtual events to log on to this month. Getty Images

10+ can't-miss virtual business and innovation events in Houston for May

Where to be online

While some things in Houston are starting to open back up, society hasn't yet established a timeline for when groups of more than 10 people will be allowed to safely gather. But, the programming must go on.

With that in mind, here are over 10 Houston innovation events you can attend virtually via online meetings. Be sure to register in advance, as most will send an access link ahead of the events.

May 4: Post-COVID Fund: Venture Investing in the Post-COVID World

Join Alumni Ventures Group for a webinar that explores how changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will create profound change—as well as unique opportunities for new ventures that tackle these challenges.

Details: The event is at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 4. Learn more.

May 5 — Sell Your Science: Developing a Non-Confidential Pitch for in Person and Virtual Presentations

Learn tricks in preparing a non-confidential pitch deck along with tips that are aimed to help you sell your science at in person meetings or virtually.

Details: The event is at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5. Learn more.

May 6 — Impacting Public Health: How Can My Idea Be A Part of the Solution?


When a pandemic hits, as a start-up company you may find that your technology can be aligned to help. However, now your timeline is expedited with a global health emergency and you need to get your technology into the market. How do you start to connect with the right players to get your technology into the U.S. market to make an impact on public health safety and security?

Details: The event is at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6. Learn more.

May 6 — Virtual Event with Cindy Eckert - Expert Entrepreneur with Over $1B Exits

Cindy Eckert is an expert entrepreneur with over $1B in Exits, CEO of Sprout Pharmaceutical, and Founder of The Pink Ceiling. Attend the virtual fireside chat between Cindy Eckert and Femtech Focus founder Dr. Brittany Barreto.

Details: The event is at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6. Learn more.

May 6 — Curious About Starting a Career in Tech?

One thing we know is that web developers come from different backgrounds. From teaching to consulting, design to accounting, and they're here to tell you about making that transition. Hear from professional developers in the field about how their careers lead them what they're working on now, how they got there, and how their past experiences apply to the work they do currently. Join General Assembly if you are curious about starting a career in tech, but not sure exactly where to begin.

Details: The event is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6. Learn more.

May 7 — Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Day

Originally scheduled to be hosted at OTC, Rice Alliance Energy Venture Day will now be a virtual event to allow startups to connect with investors and energy companies. The event will showcase about 40 promising energy technology companies. These companies have initial funding and are seeking their A, B, C, or later rounds with technology validation, field trial experience, and/or initial company revenue. The event offers a great opportunity for viewers to learn more about innovative technologies and provides companies with access to potential partners and investment opportunities.

Details: The event is at 9 a.m. on Thursday, May 7. Learn more.

May 8 — Lunch & Learn: Startup Funding Rounds

Seemingly every company wants to raise venture capital, but few founders are equipped to navigate the tangled mess of rounds, investment types, and investor expectations. At the end of this presentation, you will have a better handle on whether venture capital is right for your business and what it'll take to navigate from angels to exit.

Details: The event is at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, May 8. Learn more.

May 12 — Lunch and Learn with Asian Pacific American Entrepreneurs

According to New American Economy, Asian Pacific American entrepreneurs account for nearly a million of our nation's businesses. Whether it's apps, restaurants, social services, or consumer products, it's obvious that the entrepreneurial spirit is high in our nation. Let's hear it from our AAPI small business owners who will walk us through the triumphs and challenges they've faced while running their business and how they're making it work during a shaky period.

Details: The event is at noon on Tuesday, May 12. Learn more.

May 13-14 — 2020 Texas A&M New Ventures Competition

TNVC 2020 will be entirely virtual this year. This event is the culmination of a yearlong effort to identify and provide support to Texas-best technology ventures. There will be several private semi-finals judging rounds on May 13, with an Entrepreneurial Perspectives panel and Q&A with past winners and successful entrepreneurs. The finals will be on the 14th, followed by elevator pitches and an awards ceremony, all of which are open to the entire audience.

Details: The event is on Wednesday, May 14, and Thursday, May15. Learn more.

May 15 — How to Land a Job at a Tech Startup

Join General Assembly for this online event where a panel of tech startup talent acquisition professionals will take you through what types of opportunities exist in today's talent market, how the experience at a startup will make you more marketable in the long run, what talent acquisition professionals are actually thinking while reading resumes, advice for remote interviewing, and more.

Details: The event is at noon on Friday, May 15. Learn more.

May 29 — Mothers in Tech Breakfast

In celebration of Mother's Day, join General Assembly for a virtual breakfast featuring hard-working mothers that are also succeeding in their respective industries. A few incredible mothers will share their insights on how they reached their level of success, advice on navigating the workplace as a working mom, and how we can help the next generation of mothers in tech. Get ready for an honest, vulnerable, and insightful conversation.

    Details: The event is at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 29. Learn more.

    Houston is hosting a bit of a tech takeover week during the first week of March. Photo by Zview/Getty Images

    These are the events to attend each day during the Houston Tech Rodeo

    Where to be

    Houston Exponential has tapped into the Houston innovation ecosystem to coordinate a week of events to speak to the city's startups, investors, and startup development organizations.

    The week, called the Houston Tech Rodeo, will take place March 2 to 6 — in coordination with the start of the Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo — all across town. From panels and meetups to office hours and pitch events, there's a lot to navigate in the inaugural week. For a complete list of Tech Rodeo events (most of which are free and all over town), head to the website.

    Here are the events you should make sure not to miss. Each featured event is free and open to the public.

    Monday: Houston Tech Rodeo Kickoff Event

    Launching the week is a happy hour event with a networking opportunity and a panel brought to you by InnovationMap, KPMG, and Houston Exponential. The event is on Monday, March 2, from 4 to 6:30 pm at Karbach Brewing Co. (2032 Karbach St.). After a short introduction from KPMG and HX, Blair Garrou, managing director at Mercury Fund; Leslie Goldman, general partner at The Artemis Fund; and Samantha Lewis, director of GOOSE, will discuss the VC culture in Houston vs. the world. Click here to register.

    Tuesday: The Founders Round Up at The Cannon

    Why attend one event when you can attend a day full of constructive events geared at entrepreneurs? From 9 am to 5 pm on Tuesday, March 3, at The Cannon, catch workshops and panels ranging from startup failure reasons to revenue tips. From 3 to 5 pm, there's a lean startup meet-up workshop to attend. Click here to register.

    Additional events:

    • HX will also be hosting its "Conventional Financing for your Tech Business" workshop at 9 am at their office (410 Pierce St.) to help startups navigate their financial options. Click here to register.
    • DivInc. will be hosting an evening event to address "Diversity's Impact on Innovation" at The Ion (1301 Fannin St. Suite 2100). This event runs from 5:30 to 9 pm. Click here to register.

    Wednesday: Jason Calacanis Founder Office Hours

    Seven Houston entrepreneurs will join investor Jason Calacanis onstage for office hours — but with an audience. The event, which is on Wednesday, March 4, from 9:30 to 11 am with networking to follow, is at Rice University - McNair Hall McNair Hall, Loop Road Shell Auditorium. Click here to register.

    Additional event: The University of Houston's Office of Research is hosting a "Women in Science and Beyond" panel of successful female scientists. The event will take place at 5 pm at UH Technology Bridge Innovation Center, Building 4 (5000 Gulf Freeway). Click here to register.

    Thursday: Reverse Pitch, Accelerators and Funds with the Ask

    The tables have turned. Rather than Houston entrepreneurs pitching, accelerators and startup development organizations are taking the stage to pitch their programs to potential startup members. The event, which is at 9 am at Sesh Coworking (1210 West Clay St. #Suite 18) on Thursday, March 5, will be hosted by Brittany Barreto of Capital Factory. Click here to register.

    Additional events:

    • Learn from the leading ladies of Houston innovation in The Ion's EmpowerHER event at 11 am at 1301 Fannin St. Suite 2100. Click here to register.
    • Wrap up your day with a networking opportunity from MassChallenge Texas at the C. Baldwin, Curio Collection by Hilton (400 Dallas Street). Click here to register.

    Friday: BAMA Houston Launch Event

    Celebrate the launch of the Business Angel Minority Association — a new organization looking to increase investments for minority-run startups. The networking and pitch event is on Friday, March 6, from 8 to 10 am at The Cannon Tower - Amegy Conference Center (1810 Main St, Suite 1300). Click here to register.

    Additional event: Wrap up your week with networking hosted by HX. The event is from 5 to 7 pm at Saint Arnold Brewing Company (2000 Lyons Ave.) Click here to register.

    From entrepreneur networking opportunities to thought-provoking panels, here's where you need to be in December. Getty Images

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

    Where to be

    Before everyone checks out of 2019, Houston has a couple more weeks filled with exciting entrepreneurial networking opportunities. Scroll through the curated list of innovation events you can't miss.

    For a full calendar of Houston innovation events, head to Houston Exponential's page.

    If you know of innovation-focused events for this month or next, email me at natalie@innovationmap.com with the details and subscribe to our daily newsletter that sends fresh stories straight to your inboxes every morning.

    December 3 — Intro to the Houston Startup Scene & Ask Me Anything with Omair Tariq and Dr. Brittany Barreto

    Are you new to the Houston tech startup community? Thinking about moving here? Trying to figure out how to plug in? Come hear a comprehensive overview from local community leaders and get a chance to introduce yourself and ask questions at the Intro to the Houston Startup Scene & Ask Me Anything. Tickets are $10.

    Details: The event is from 4 to 7 pm on Tuesday, December 3, at The Cannon (1334 Brittmoore Road). Learn more.

    December 3 — Houston Coalition for Equitable Development without Displacement community forum

    The Houston Coalition for Equitable Development without Displacement is gathering for a second time to discuss securing a Community Benefits Agreement with Rice Management Company as they develop the 16-acre Innovation District around the old Sears building and Fiesta at the edge of Third Ward.

    Details: The event is from 6 to 8 pm on Tuesday, December 3, at Wesley Chapel AME Church (2209 Emancipation Ave.). Learn more.

    December 3-4 — InvestH2O 2019 Forum: Investing in Resiliency

    With nearly $1 trillion in losses over the past 5-7 years for FEMA and other federal agencies, states-counties-cities, private insurance and reinsurance companies, industry and business operations from water- and weather-related incidents, the need for alternative investment and resource allocation could not be more obvious. The event's programming will be focused on innovating solutions.

    InnovationMap readers can attend for free through this link.

    Details: The event is from Tuesday, December 3, to Wednesday, December 4, at various locations. Learn more.

    December 4 — The Cannon & EPIcenter - Jumpstart your innovation Happy Hour

    In partnership with The Cannon, EPIcenter's Incubator and Accelerator will be hosting a six-week seminar using the Wendy Kennedy curriculum, "So what? Who cares? Why you?" for innovators in any industry. Director of the EPIcenter Energy Incubator and Accelerator and certified Business Coach Andi Littlejohn will lead participants through a proven methodology to discover, define and describe the commercial opportunities of innovations.

    Details: The event is from 4 to 6 pm on Wednesday, December 4, at The Cannon (1334 Brittmoore Road). Learn more.

    December 4 — The Ion Smart Cities Accelerator Demo Day

    The Ion Smart Cities Accelerator will present its inaugural cohort of companies that are addressing the needs of Houston's people by deploying technology into the infrastructure and civic fabric that makes Houston so strong.

    Details: The event is from 5 to 8 pm on Wednesday, December 4, at ion Accelerator and Prototyping Lab (1301 Fannin Street, Suite 2100). Learn more.

    December 5 — Houston Region Economic Outlook

    The Greater Houston Partnership's Annual Houston Region Economic Outlook event will feature Partnership Senior Vice President of Research Patrick Jankowski who will deliver the 2020 employment forecast for the region. ConocoPhillips Chief Economist Helen Currie will follow with a presentation on the national economy.

    Details: The event is from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm on Thursday, December 5, at the Royal Sonesta (2222 West Loop S.). Learn more.

    December 5 — Evening of Pediatric Device Innovation

    Please join JLABS @ TMC for the 5th Annual Evening of Pediatric Device Innovation as top experts from Houston and across the country will discuss the latest in pediatric medical device innovation and updates on bringing a pediatric medical device to market.

    Details: The event is from 3 to 6:30 pm on Thursday, December 5, at the TMC Innovation Institute (2450 Holcombe Blvd). Learn more.

    December 5 — Meet & Greet with Flyover Capital

    Meet Flyover Capital's Dan Kerr on his last night in town and learn how they are working to creating the next generation of technology success stories outside the coastal tech hubs.

    Details: The event is from 6 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 5, at WeWork (708 Main Street, 3rd Floor). Learn more.

    December 11 — ENRICH/LEAP Information Session

    ENRICH and LEAP are 6-8 week fellowship programs where you and a team of your peers will work directly with established companies on one of a wide scope of projects. These invaluable programs allow people the ability to gain skills and insights that only professional work can offer. Come hear Enventure leadership discuss these programs and learn how you can get involved.

    Details: The event is from 5:30 to 8 pm on Wednesday, December 11, at the TMC Innovation Institute (2450 Holcombe Blvd). Learn more.

    December 12 — WeWork Labs x NextSeed Launch Event

    WeWork Labs, a global acceleration program with a location in downtown Houston, and NextSeed, a Houston-based online investment platform, have announced a partnership set to begin in December. Together, the two entities will build a support system for Houston-based food entrepreneurs to provide workshops, programming, events, and more.

    Details: The event is from 6 to 8:30 pm on Thursday, December 12, at WeWork (708 Main Street). Learn more.

    December 14 — Smart Infrastructure Hackathon

    On Saturday, December 14, join Microsoft and The Cannon for a smart infrastructure hackathon. Bring your own ideas and team, or join a team when you arrive. Everyone is welcome, regardless of skill level.

    Details: The event is from to 9 am to 7 pm on Saturday, December 14, at The Cannon (1334 Brittmoore Road). Learn more.

    December 14 — TEDxHoustonWomen 2019 : BOLD + Brilliant!

    Connect with a locally rooted, globally connected community of people interested in leading the change they wish to see in the world; and sow the seeds to collaborate with innovative thinkers who catalyze ideas toward action.

    Details: The event is from 10:30 am to 4 pm on Saturday, December 14, at Unity of Houston (2929 Unity Dr). Learn more.

    December 17 — The Future of Work: Closing the Skills Gap

    GA gathers Houston industry leaders to share how they approach the challenge of upskilling the workforce. In this discussion, we'll cover how to bridge the gap between current team capabilities and the skills needed to stay competitive. Whether radically reskilling existing teams or onboarding new talent, the companies who adapt fastest will stand the test of time.

    Details: The event is from 8:30 to 11 am on Tuesday, December 17, at Station Houston (1301 Fannin Street, 21st Floor). Learn more.

    A recap of all the innovation happening at the Texas Medical Center, innovators to know, and Houston startup news trended this week. Courtesy of TMC

    5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week

    What's trending

    Editor's note: This week was full of innovation events — and there's many more coming up this month. Event coverage, innovators to know, and more startup news trended on InnovationMap this week.

    3 Houston innovators to know this week

    Meet this week's Houston innovators to know. Courtesy photos

    This week, some key Houston innovators to know include the CEO of a tech company that's demystifying Google's SEO, a local entrepreneur who just raised millions in funding, and the newest addition to the Houston innovation ecosystem. Continue reading.

    From robots to immunotherapy, TMC talks innovation at its annual address

    The Texas Medical Center's CEO, Bill McKeon, ran down a list of exciting updates and innovations from the organization's member institutions at the annual State of the TMC. Photo via tmc.edu

    In the Greater Houston Partnership's annual State of the Texas Medical Center address, TMC CEO Bill McKeon shared a status update of sorts for all the goings on at the largest medical center in the world.

    McKeon ran down the list of member institutions to briefly touch base on each organization's innovations and growth. In the address, which took place at the Marriott Marquis on October 31, McKeon discussed exciting construction projects, new accelerator programs, and more. Continue reading.

    Exclusive: The Cannon Houston restructures, brings on new executive to lead operations

    Just after celebrating its new 200,000-square-foot flagship location, The Cannon Houston has named a new CEO to further grow the coworking space and startup hub. Photo courtesy of The Cannon

    After celebrating the opening its flagship coworking space the same week it announced another location in downtown, startup hub and coworking company, The Cannon Houston, has another big announcement: a new CEO.

    A former global consultant for KPMG, Jon Lambert has been named The Cannon's CEO. He will also support day-to-day operations at The Cannon's three locations. Meanwhile, Lawson Gow, founder of the company and former CEO, will move to president of The Cannon. Gow, who is the son of InnovationMap's parent company's CEO, will focus on partnerships and business development, as well as continuing to be the face of the company. Continue reading.

    Houston biomedical startup granted $1.5M, Chevron taps into Plug and Play, and more innovation news

    Money moves, big deals, and more lead this roundup of innovation news. Pexels

    Hitting headlines this month are innovation news stories from battling the opioid crisis and funding to TMCx companies and Houston as a whole earning recognition. In this innovation news roundup, two Houston startups pocket some cash, Chevron links up with Plug and Play, and more. Continue reading.

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

    From enlightening talks and conventions to networking opportunities, here's where you need to be in November. Getty Images

    Looking for some help navigating an innovation-filled month in Houston? Look no further.

    November is jam packed with Houston business and innovation events — from huge conventions like SpaceCom and Global Corporate Venture taking over downtown on the same days to the Digital Fight Club battling it out in Houston for the first time and The Houston Innovation Summit planning a week of programming. Continue reading.

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    CultureMap Emails are Awesome

    Houston startup grows C-suite, Deloitte opens awards apps, SDO names leader, and more innovation news

    short stories

    The Houston innovation ecosystem has been especially busy this year, and for this reason, local startup and tech news may have fallen through some of the cracks.

    In this roundup of short stories within Houston innovation, local organizations announce new innovators, Deloitte opens apps for its annual tech awards, Houston Tech Rodeo prepares for its annual events, and more.

    Early stage accelerator names new Houston leader

    Kate Evinger will lead gBETA Houston. Photo via LinkedIn

    A Houston early-stage startup accelerator has named its new director. Kate Evinger has joined gener8tor's gBETA Houston as director. She will run the third gBETA cohort in Houston, adding to the 10 alumni from the two cohorts held in 2020.

    Evinger has replaced Anu Pansare, who was previously named director in February. Pansare, who replaced the accelerator's inaugural director Eléonore Cluzel, moved on to another opportunity, Evinger says.

    Based in Houston's Downtown Launchpad, gBETA's third cohort of early stage startups will soon start its free 7-week program, which is designed to help participating companies gain early customer traction and develop key metrics that will make them more marketable for future investment.

    Evinger has been a part of the gener8tor family since 2016 when she joined the team as associate for gBETA Madison. She was promoted to program manager in 2019 when she graduated from Indiana University with degrees in finance, entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, according to a news release.

    "Downtown Launchpad's inclusive set of tools, resources and opportunities empower Houston founders to accelerate and scale their businesses to solve humankind's boldest challenges," says Robert Pieroni, director of economic development at Central Houston, in a news release. "Kate Evinger brings experience and valuable insights to the gBETA Houston program and will help us continue to support founders, Houston-based partners and the community."

    Houston Tech Rodeo launches registration and names headliner

    Master P will be the headlining guest for Houston Tech Rodeo. Photo courtesy of HTR

    Houston Tech Rodeo, a week-long collaboration of events hosted by Houston Exponential, has opened registration and announced Percy Miller, also known as musical artist Master P, as the headliner.

    Miller, who began his career as an international rap artist, later became a CEO, investor, and founder of Nemesis RR.

    "I'll be sharing my journey, my secrets, my success, my feelings, and my rebuilding. Transitioning from international artist to CEO to investing in philanthropy, I want to educate you and give you that gain," says Miller in a news release. "I want to add diversity into technology and the automotive industry."

    HTR kicks off May 16 at Saint Arnold Brewing Company with live music, beer, and swag bag pick ups with registration. The week concludes on May 23. Registration is free and available online.

    Houston industrial blockchain company expands C-suite

    Data Gumbo has a new C-level executive. Photo courtesy of Data Gumbo

    Data Gumbo, a Houston-based industrial smart contract network powered by blockchain — announced that it has brought on Robin Macmillan as chief corporate development officer to lead the company's corporate development team.

    "The sheer breadth of Macmillan's experience will serve as an invaluable asset to Data Gumbo as we continue to exponentially grow and mature our company into new industrial markets and further solidify our leadership in energy," says Andrew Bruce, CEO and founder of Data Gumbo, in a news release. "Macmillan has the experience to expand Data Gumbo's commercial market penetration to aid companies in undertaking digital transformation with smart contracts to reveal streamlined efficiencies and cost savings, sustainability insights across supply chains and transactional certainty in any commercial relationship."

    Macmillan has over 40 years of experience in the energy industry, most recently at National Oilwell Varco and is the vice president of drilling services at the International Association of Drilling Contractors,

    "There is tremendous opportunity right now to change how business is executed," says Macmillan in the release. "Data Gumbo is poised to deliver trust through automated, auditable blockchain-backed smart contracts that execute transactions in real-time. I am thrilled to be a part of the Data Gumbo executive team as the company is in a period of hyper growth into new industries, serving as a harbinger for significant digital transformation across commercial relationships and transparent, accurate sustainability impact data."

    Deloitte opens annual tech awards nominations

    Calling all fast-growing tech companies. Image via Deloitte

    Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 awards — which celebrate the fastest growing, most innovative technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in the country — has opened applications for its 2021 program.

    Applications opened online on April 9 and will remain open until June 29. Winners will be announced on November 15. The program ranks applicants based on percentage of fiscal year revenue growth and the list is compiled from applications. For more information, visit the Technology Fast 500 website.

    "Each year, we are excited to see the variety of Houston's Fast 500 applicants, which represent the city's positive momentum in both diversifying its core competencies and highlighting the boom in technology innovations coming to market," says Amy Chronis, vice chair and Houston managing partner at Deloitte LLP. "We look forward to seeing what Houston's innovators will bring in 2021."

    Energy incubator announces latest cohort

    Fifteen energy startups are joining the Plug and Play family. Gif courtesy of Plug and Play

    Plug and Play Tech Center has announced 154 startups into its 2021 summer program — 15 of which were named to the Houston-based Batch 8 Energy Program. During the course of the next three months, these companies will receive access to our corporate, venture capital, and mentor network.

    The new energy cohort consists of the following companies:

    Texas expert: Energy reliability and climate sustainability are not mutually exclusive

    Guest Column

    It's no secret that Texas has long been a leader in energy production, but it may surprise you to learn that Texas leads the nation in wind-powered generation, producing 28 percent of all US wind-powered electricity in 2019.

    We're not just producing a lot of renewable energy, we're increasingly consuming it.

    Contrary to the caricaturistic portrayal of Texans in mainstream culture, a recent study by the University of Houston revealed that 4 out of 5 Texans believe the climate crisis is real.

    In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, more and more households are making the decision to switch to 100 percent renewable energy. And this adoption isn't isolated to core urban areas. We're witnessing a diverse spread in smaller, more rural markets.

    These reasons and more are why Bulb, one of Europe's fastest growing company that provides 100 percent renewable energy, chose Texas as its first home in the U.S. Less than a year after launching here, it's safe to say we made the right choice as we're experiencing even faster growth in Texas than we did in our early stages in the United Kingdom.

    One of the many reasons Texans have rapidly adopted our simpler, cheaper and greener energy is because they no longer have to choose between being budget and climate conscious. Sadly, the progress the state has made could be knocked back following the recent winter storm.

    After the nation witnessed Texas' massive outages during the winter storm, our state leaders understandably feel the pressure to "do something," quickly.

    We share our leaders' determination in avoiding another crisis of this magnitude, but we fear that Texas may be heading in the wrong direction. In the mad rush to avoid another catastrophe, some regulators and politicians wrongly and disproportionately blamed renewable energy sources for the outages.

    Numerous media outlets and energy experts have overwhelmingly refuted these claims. An AP fact check described the efforts to blame renewable energy sources as "false narratives." And, they're not alone in their conclusion.

    According to Reuters' fact check, "These claims are misleading, as they shift blame for the crisis away from what appears, so far, to be the root cause...The state's woes mainly stem from issues surrounding its independent power grid. The cold weather affected all fuel types, not just renewables."

    Determining what went wrong isn't a blame game. A proper diagnosis is essential to any problem solving. And a failure to conduct a thorough analysis could have serious consequences. Currently, a number of legislative solutions are floating around the state Capitol that would shift the blame and consequences to renewable energy.

    These proposals would increase the financial burden on Texas consumers, many of whom are still recovering from the storm, and hamper new investments in renewable energy. Additionally, and perhaps even more concerning, they don't adequately address the root cause of the winter storm energy crisis, further exposing Texans to another meltdown.

    Texas' leadership on renewable energy production is no small feat, and it didn't happen by chance. For two decades, our lawmakers have made strategic decisions that led to the advancement of renewable energy production, and it has paid dividends in terms of jobs, economic growth, energy reliability, sustainability and even the state's reputation.

    We are at a critical juncture, but Texas doesn't have to choose between reliability, affordability and sustainability. We can offer reliable energy and green energy, stop another crisis before it happens again and move forward with renewable energy investments.

    Continuing to promote policies that pushed Texas to its leadership position will unleash even more investments and innovation, which is good for Texas, good for Texans and good for the planet.

    As we observe Earth Day, we would urge our leaders to consider the possibilities. Rather than turn the clock back, let's use this storm as an opportunity to innovate further.

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    Vinnie Campo is the general manager for Bulb U.S., a new type of energy company that aims to make energy simpler, cheaper, and greener by providing renewable electricity to its members from Texas wind and solar. He is based in Texas.

    Houston-based software startup aims to connect workers with wages in real time

    there's an app for that

    Could you incur an unexpected $400 expense if it hit your bank account today? According to Jeff Price, founder and CEO of Houston-based Pronto Pay, many hourly workers could not. He's set out to change that.

    "When you think about it, payroll hasn't changed in nearly two centuries. As far as we can remember, you get paid weekly or bi-weekly. And that's precisely the point we're trying to solve," Price says.

    A recent graduate from Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business, Price founded Pronto Pay in the first quarter of 2021. The software aims to connect hourly works with transparent access to wages earned before pay day without disrupting the employers' books. Currently the company has seven staff members, is actively hiring and is looking to expand outside of Houston soon.

    Pronto Pay partners with the employers to seamlessly build out connections with their time and attendance system and payroll processor. After the company signs up, ProntoPay automatically creates an account for each employee, which allows them to view their accrued wages and withdraw their earnings instantly from the app or next-day for automated clearing house payments — all via the Pronto Pay App. When an employee wishes to withdraw funds prior to their normal pay cycle, Pronto Pay applies a small fixed fee — $2.99 — for completing the transaction. .

    Come pay day, the employer's system will automatically balance the difference and route the withdrawn money back to Pronto Pay. As Price describes it, Pronto Pay aims to compete "directly with (while severely undercutting the price of) payday and other predatory lenders."

    The idea was born out of a series of simple questions Price started to ask himself when he envisioned what his newborn son's first job would be earlier this year.

    "My wife and I were having our son and it challenged me to ask questions like, 'Hey, why do we get paid bi-weekly? If I can Venmo 100 bucks in real time, why can't a company do that?'" Price recalls.

    Apart from the impact of advanced pay, Price envisions that earned wages access will improve workplace culture and retention, too. Pronto Pay has already on-boarded users in the local staffing and warehousing markets, in the janitorial and security guard fields, and at call centers. As Price describes, Pronto Pay's clients "typically have a lot of hourly employees that struggle with employee retention and keeping folks at the same job for longer than three to 12 months."

    "We're hoping that we can permanently change that employee-employer relationship," he adds. "And help those employees."

    Jeff Price is the founder and CEO of Pronto Pay.