Register for some of these informative online events happening throughout the month of December. Getty Images

It's the last monthly events roundup for 2020 — and this month, understandably, is a bit slow due to the holidays, but we have a roundup of the must-attend events for December.

From workshops and panels to summits and pitch parties, here are over 10 Houston innovation events you can attend virtually via online meetings. Note: This post will be updated to add more events.

December 1 — National Resilience Town Hall: Year in Review, Year Ahead

The Insurance Information Institute and ResilientH2O Partners, in partnership with the Resilience Accelerator, will hold the final session for 2020 in an ongoing series of thought-leadership among insurance, non-insurance, public sector, and technology senior executives. December's National Townhall will bring five unique perspectives together to discuss lessons-learned from 2020 and predictions for 2021's resilience and risk mitigation "agenda" across residential, commercial, industrial, government operations, infrastructure, facilities, and communities.

The event is on Tuesday, December 1, at 10 am. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

December 1 — Angel Investing 101

Learn about how to make effective angel investment decisions and find out more about the newly launched Chicago Booth Angels Network of Texas. The event's keynote speaker is Ashok Rao, serial entrepreneur and board member of Houston-based GOOSE Capital.

The event is on Tuesday, December 1, from 5 to 6 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

December 1 — The Ion's Industry Day

The goal of the inaugural Industry Day is to introduce and connect minority and women owned businesses (MWBE) with The Ion's Transwestern team. The hour long event is designed to facilitate networking and connect interested businesses with Transwestern, who will run operations for The Ion and catalyze local economic growth. Following the event, interested businesses can set up a walk through of The Ion in mid-December to finalize their bid.

The event is on Tuesday, December 1, from 6 to 7 pm. It's free and can be accessed through Zoom. Click here to register.

December 2 — NASA and Your Small Business: Understanding the NASA Procurement Process

Join The Ion to learn about NASA's commitment to providing access for all categories of small businesses to participate in the procurement process.

The event is on Wednesday, December 2, at noon. It's free and can be accessed through Zoom. Click here to register.

December 3 — Capital Factory's Venture Summit

Capital Factory is calling all investors, accelerator leaders, limited partners, and more to its annual venture summit, which is taking place virtually this year.

The event is on Thursday, December 3, from 9:45 to 2 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

December 3 — Evening of Pediatric Device Innovation

JLABS @ TMC and Southwest National Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium are teaming up for the sixth Annual Evening of Pediatric Device Innovation. The evening of innovation will host top experts from Houston and across the country will discuss their views on the latest in pediatric medical device innovation and updates on bringing a pediatric medical device to market.

The event is on Thursday, December 3, from 3:40 to 5 pm. It's free and can be accessed through Zoom. Click here to register.

December 3 — An Evening With Women in Corporate Innovation

Join General Assembly Houston to hear from inspiring female leaders in corporate innovation who have blazed the path to stand up and stand out. From learnings to failings and their secrets of success, this event is an opportunity to learn from the best — serious wisdom, from seriously cool women, all designed to supercharge you and your organization's success.

The event is on Thursday, December 3, from 5 to 6:30 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

December 7 — Pumps and Pipes 20/20 Vision

The annual Pumps & Pipes event is focused on convergence innovation in the fields of aerospace, energy and medicine: a truly uniquely Houston approach. The day-long summit features an expo and various panels and speakers.

The event is on Monday, December 7, from 8 am to 3 pm. It's free and can be accessed online. Click here to register.

December 8 — The Cannon Q4 Pitch Party: Presented by Dell Technologies

Join The Cannon and Dell Technologies in hearing from new companies working in Digital Transformation Tech.

The event is on Tuesday, December 8, at 5:30 pm. It's free and can be accessed via Zoom. Click here to register.

December 8 — How to Start a Startup with Heath Butler of Mercury Fund

The Ion is hosting a startup 101 workshop with Heath Butler from Mercury Fund. You have an idea...now what? Before you start looking for funding, it's important to make sure that your idea is both viable and valuable — if it doesn't have a sound model and a market willing to pay for it, investors won't be interested anyway.

    The event is on Tuesday, December 8, at 5:30 pm. It's free and can be accessed via Zoom. Click here to register.

    December 10 — Greentown Lab's Energy Bar: Wrapping Up an Unprecedented Year

    Join Greentown Labs virtually for the final edition of the EnergyBar networking event for 2020. Greentown Labs is ready to put a wrap on 2020, an unprecedent year for us all. Between the opening of the new community in Houston and a renewed national policy focus on climate action, the organization is looking ahead to 2021. Entrepreneurs, investors, students, and friends of climatetech are invited to attend, meet colleagues, and engage in a community that is focused on climate action at work.

    The event is on Thursday, December 10, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. It's free and can be access through Remo. Click here to register.

    December 15 — The State of Space

    The Greater Houston Partnership is hosting its first State of Space event featuring NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine as the keynote speaker. Since his appointment as Administrator in April of 2018, Bridenstine has led NASA in advancing American aeronautic, science, and space exploration objectives.

    The event is on Tuesday, December 15, at noon. It's $35 for GHP members and $60 for nonmembers. Click here to register.

    Fiona Mack has joined JLABS @ TMC as head of the incubator. She shares her vision for the lab on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. Photo courtesy of JLABS

    New Houston life science incubator leader is focusing on inclusion in health innovation

    houston innovators podcast episode 57

    By now, Fiona Mack has worked in a few sectors and stages of health innovation — mostly within oncology and biopharmaceuticals. However, since being named the head of JLABS @ TMC a few months ago, she's jumped headfirst into Houston life science startup incubation.

    "I've been kind of drinking from the fire hose. I've really tried to understand the J&J organization, which is quite global in its scope across multiple sector areas," Mack shares on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "On a regional level, I've been focusing on understanding my portfolio."

    On her plate right now is assessing the needs of the incubator's 49 member companies in the portfolio. Additionally, she's working on recognizing any gaps in leadership — the position has been vacant around a year and a half since the former head, Tom Luby, transitioned to leading the TMC Innovation Institute — and understanding the needs of the Texas innovation ecosystem.

    "As I learn more about the history of life science sector in Texas, over the past 20 years there has been an impetuous to build up this critical mass of companies here to really make it a strong hub that competes with the energy sector to make it a pillar of the economy here," Mack says.

    One of the things that's top of mind for Mack is a focus on diversity — both from an entrepreneurship and a representation standpoint.

    "From a research perspective, there's a strong effect of having a lack of diversity in a lot of the metrics we're looking at," she shares.

    Mack says innovation is driven by data, and data, especially when your using that information to treat a diverse group of people, needs to be representative. And Houston is a great place to make that happen.

    "What information are we putting into those datasets? If it only represents a homogenous population, it certainly can't be applied to the real world," Mack says. "There's a need to be much more inclusive into what we're analyzing. Houston, in terms of its population, is highly diverse — and we can speak about it ethnically and from an economic standpoint."

    Mack shares more of her big picture vision for JLABS @ TMC on the episode, as well as what her early impressions of Houston have been so far. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.


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

    Updated: 15+ can't-miss virtual business and innovation events in Houston for October

    where to be online

    Every year, October is jam packed with tons of business events across Houston. Even in light of the pandemic, the shows must go on — online, that is.

    From fireside chats and ask-me-anything meetings to summit and startup competitions, 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.

    Note: This post has been edited and republished to reflect new events.

    October 5 — Introduction to the Latinx Startup Alliance

    The Ion is hosting this fireside chat to allow attendees to learn what resources San Francisco-based Latinx Startup Alliance will bring to Houston and the importance of promoting opportunities and access for all Houstonians launching a tech startup and funding resources.

    The event will take place online on Monday, October 5, at 5:30 pm. Register here.

    October 6 — HXTV| VC Ask Me Anything Virtual Event ft Companyon Ventures

    Houston Exponential is hosting a virtual ask-me-anything event with Companyon Ventures, which funds B2B software startups into their expansion-stage by injecting decades of startup and VC experience through operational hands-on investing.

    The event will take place online on Tuesday, October 6, at noon. Register here.

    October 6, 13, 20, & 27 — ABC's of Accelerators Series

    Join The Ion for a series of virtual events throughout the month that tackle the ins and outs of startup accelerator programs.

    The events will take place online on every Tuesday of the month at noon. Register here.

    October 8 & 15 — Houston Low-Carbon Energy Innovation Summit

    The Center for Houston's Future has put together two full days of programming centered around low-carbon innovation. Registration options $50 one-day passes or $75 two-day passes.

    The event will take place online on Thursday, October 8, from 9 am to 1:30 pm, and Thursday, October 15, from 9 am to 3 pm. Register here.

    October 14 — HXTV| VC Ask Me Anything Virtual Event ft IronSpring Ventures

    Houston Exponential is hosting a virtual ask-me-anything event with IronSpring Ventures, a network-driven venture capital fund investing in digital industrial innovation.

    The event will take place online on Wednesday, October 14, at noon. Register here.

    October 14 — Pandemic Rising: The Threat to Female Ambition & Our Nation's Recovery

    Join Sesh Coworking for a virtual town hall to discuss the impacts of the global pandemic and economic downturn on female career trajectory, female unemployment rates, increased childcare burdens and how the pandemic has thrust female equality in the workspace backwards by decades.

    The event will take place online on Wednesday, October 14, at 1 pm. Register here.

    October 14 — Core Conversations: Transition with Purpose

    Join a Core Conversation with Brandy Guidry to learn how she leveraged her outreach and advocacy work to start consulting with startups.

    The event will take place online on Wednesday, October 14, at 4 pm. Register here.

    October 16 — Design Thinking for Tech and Innovation Workshop | Prototypes+User Testing

    At this Ion Online event, learn some of the ways to prototype and identify features that will make up your MVP and usability testing techniques.

    The event will take place online on Friday, October 16, at 11:30 am. Register here.

    October 19 — PR 101 for Startups and Small Businesses

    Want to generate press for your startup but have no budget? Join General Assembly for this PR 101 session to learn how to leverage PR strategies to grow your business. This session is ideal for startup founders and marketers and general enthusiasts who would like to learn PR strategies and tips. Our panelists will cover effective story telling, media relations, and content development.

    The event will take place online on Monday, October 19, at 5 pm. Register here.

    October 19-29 — Space Com Expo

    We are dedicated to accelerating the global business of space. SpaceCom 2020's online event will feature eight days of unprecedented innovation, superior thought-leadership, and forward-thinking strategies all for free.

    The event will take place online at various times from Monday, October 19, to Thursday, October 29. Register here.

    October 20 — Houston, We Have a Leader: Fireside Chat with Head of JLABS @ TMC

    Fiona Mack, the new regional head for JLABS @ TMC has landed in Space City, and she's sitting down with the one-any-only Melinda Richter, Global Head of JLABS, for a fireside chat on all things Lone Star State, JLABS and her Texas-sized plans for the future of JLABS @ TMC.

    The event will take place online on Tuesday, October 20, at 11 am. Register here.

    October 21 — Diversity Investor Academy's panel on cleantech

    The Diversity Investor Academy has announced a panel will be discussing the latest reports published, the trends in Cleantech, and how it could affect early-stage investment from different perspectives: startups, BA, and VC.

    The event will take place online on Wednesday, October 21, at 2 pm. Register here.

    October 22 — MassChallenge 2020 Virtual Awards

    MassChallenge Texas's Houston Cohort will reveal its top companies of 2020 at MCTX's first virtual awards. Cohorts from Austin, Boston, and Rhode Island will also be represented, and headliners for the event include Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and Linda Pizzuti Henry, managing director of the Boston Globe, and Chris Denson of Innovation Crush will be the host.

    Click here to see the Houston finalists.

    The event will take place online on Thursday, October 22, at 4 pm. Register here.

    October 22 — How to Start a Startup: Heath Butler, Mercury Fund

    Learn how to identify problems, needs, and trends worth pursuing and then how to create and evaluate possible solutions to these problems.

    The event will take place online on Thursday, October 22, at 5:30 pm. Register here.

    October 26-28 — 2020 Ken Kennedy Institute Data Science Conference

    Now in its fourth year, the Ken Kennedy Institute Data Science Conference is a research, development, and innovation (RD&I) gathering, bringing together university and research labs (technology developers), key industry verticals (technology consumers), and IT industry (technology providers) that are looking at opportunities created by advances in AI, data analytics, machine learning and deep learning. It is structured to facilitate engagement and networking across all of these boundaries. The conference is specifically interested in highlighting use-cases that translate data to knowledge enabled by data and fueled by advances in data analytics, machine learning, deep learning, and AI.

    The event will take place online on Monday, October 26, to Wednesday, October 28. Register here.

    October 27-29 — ATCE Startup Village 

    In addition to the Energy Startup Competition, the event will include expert presentations and table discussions. Participants will have opportunities to ask questions and hear advice from investors, industry representatives and veteran entrepreneurs. ATCE Startup Village is a partnership between the Society of Professional Engineers and the Rice Alliance.

    The event will take place online on Tuesday, October 27, to Thursday, October 29. Register here.

    October 28 — Venture Development Series #3: No Coding Required

    In the last of its Venture Development Lilie workshop series, the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will build upon the themes covered in previous events and show participants how to create low fidelity prototypes without spending a dollar or knowing how to write a single line of code.

    The event will take place online on Wednesday, October 28, at 4 pm. Register here.

    October 29 — Ignite Madness finals

    Female-led health tech founders face off in a startup competition like none other. Catch the first round bracket on October 22 at 9:30 am, or just tune in to the finals to see who takes the win (and, more importantly, the investment prizes).

    The event will take place online on Thursday, October 29, at 6 pm. Register here.

    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 June

    where to be online

    Despite much of the state returning to some state of normalcy, larger groups are still not encouraged to gather quite yet in order to avoid an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

    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.

    June 2 — How Fashion Brands Optimize E-Commerce and Sustainability During a Pandemic

    Kim Roxie, founder of LAMIK Beauty, moderates a panel of e-commerce startup founders for The Ion to discuss modern issues the female founders are facing.

    Details: The event is at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2. Learn more.

    June 4 — Startup Growth After COVID-19 with Sputnik ATX

    Curious about what business and startup growth may look like post-COVID-19? Join Sputnik ATX Partner Joe Merrill via General Assembly for a discussion on how to grow a business and raise a round during a pandemic.

    Details: The event is at 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 4. Learn more.

    June 6 — Enventure Basecamp: Business Building Workshop

    Our community-driven business building basecamp series returns this June to support a local innovator construct their healthcare venture.

    Details: The event is at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 6. Learn more.

    June 9 — Pulse Check-Today's Funding Landscape

    Today's current crisis has changed the mindset of many industry strategic partners, investors and overall stakeholders. From pivoting investment priorities, to identifying new areas of innovation, the investor landscape is constantly shifting.

    For small to medium sized biotechs, it can be hard to keep up with promised milestones while also planning and anticipating the future of their companies. How could companies be preparing for not only the short-term but for years to come? What should be prioritized in the coming months? Who is still investing? How can they find the right partners for them as they move forward?

    Details: The event is at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9. Learn more.

    June 11 — Energy and Utilities: Drones, Connectivity, and Operations of the Future

    Preparing for the future can be confusing. How can you keep up with industry and regulatory advancements, or know when to invest in new technology? That's why we teamed up with Southern Company to share how they're preparing — and how you can, too. Join Skyward and Southern Company for a discussion about energy and utility operations of the future and practical steps you can take now to prepare your enterprise.

    Details: The event is at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 11. Learn more.

    June 11 — Venture vs The Virus: Texas Halo Fund IV

    The Houston Angel Network presents Episode 3 of Venture vs The Virus. During this virtual event you will hear from the managing directors of the Texas Halo Fund on the launch of their new fund and the investment opportunities they are seeing as a result of the health crisis.

    Details: The event is at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 11. Learn more.

    June 11 — Intro to Fundraising in FemTech & AMA with Juliana Garaizar and Dr. Barreto

    Are you raising capital for your FemTech startup? Join us VIRTUALLY for an overview from venture capitalists and investors at Intro to Fundraising in FemTech & Ask Me Anything!

    Details: The event is at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 11. Learn more.

    June 16 — Women in Tech Summit presented by Accenture

    Capital Factory will host a virtual Women In Tech Summit dedicated to increasing diversity in the entrepreneurial and tech community while making its coworking space an inclusive environment for all.

    Attendees can look forward to a special keynote guest, insightful fireside chats, discussion sessions, a startup showcase, Epic Office Hours, and panels on relevant topics facing the tech ecosystem.

    Details: The event is at noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16. Learn more.

    June 16 — VC Ask Me Anything Virtual Event featuring The Artemis Fund

    These livestreams, which will include audience Q&A, will tackle the big questions on everyone's mind, like how founders should adjust in the face of the pandemic and what fundraising will look like once the pandemic loosens its grip. Click here to stream.

    Details: The event is at 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16. Learn more.

    June 17-19 — Virtual Rice Business Plan Competition

    This year's Rice Business Plan Competition, which was planned for March 26 to 28, was canceled due to COVID-19, but the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship has decided to offer up an alternative: A virtual RBPC. Forty two student teams will compete over three virtual events.

    Details: The event is from June 17 to 19. Learn more.

    June 23 — Virtual Fireside Chat: Fredrik Tukk, Maersk Drilling

    Join The Ion for a chat with Fredrik Tukk-Head of Innovation Scouting at Maersk Drilling about how organizations can benefit from innovation

    Details: The event is at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23. Learn more.

    June 24 — The Ion Startup Demo Day

    Top tier mentors, local investors, and personalized pitch feedback for participating startups -- nothing's changed but the address. Whether you're a serial entrepreneur or just looking to get involved in the community, this event is for YOU.

    Details: The event is at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24. Learn more.

    June 30 — TMC Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics Info Session

    The TMC ACT team will answer questions including who should apply to TMC ACT, what are the timelines, and what value to expect.

    Details: The event is at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30. Learn more.

    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.

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

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

      where to be online

      Going into April, the city of Houston has another month at least of working from home, hopping on calls, and setting up video chats — but you don't have to go through this all alone.

      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.

      April 1 — Social Entrepreneurship Meetup

      Impact Hub Houston is bringing this monthly meetup online. Registrants will receive an email with the link to attend the Zoom meeting.


      Details: The event is at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, April 1. Learn more.

      April 2 — Considerations for Emerging Companies in the COVID-19 Era

      A group of experts will discuss how the coronavirus and all its resulting complications will affect startups.

      Details: The event is at 2 pm on Thursday, April 2. Learn more.

      April 3 — UH's Red Labs Pitch Madness

      You are invited to watch the final round of Pitch Madness, a pitch competition for UH students. Students will give a four minute pitch and be asked questions about their startup idea by judges. You can attend digitally the finals and watch students pitch at bit.ly/pitchmadness_finals.

      Details: The event is at 1 pm on Friday, April 3. Learn more.

      April 7 — CARES Act and Managing your Startup through the COVID Crisis

      Carolyn Rodz, CEO of Alice, and Aziz Gilani, managing director of Mercury Fund, answer tech startups' questions about the CARES Act. Zoom link will be sent to attendee's prior to the event.

      Details: The event is at 4 pm on Tuesday, April 7. Learn more.

      April 8 — Startups & Sustainability - How to Make a Profit and Impact

      Join as General Assembly brings together entrepreneurs in sustainability to examine how business and tech can be a force for good. Hear from leaders who will share their insights into how industry can impact the environment. Event will be hosted via Zoom, and registrants will be sent a link to attend.

      Details: The event is at 5:45 pm on Wednesday, April 8. Learn more.

      April 9 — Out of the Lab & Into the Newsroom: Media 101

      This JLABs webinar will discuss trends in the media world, how these impact best outreach practices, and tips for designing a successful media campaign.

      Details: The event is at 9 am on Thursday, April 9. Learn more.

      April 9 — Webinar: In Today's Market - Do Patents Even Matter?

      Inventors and business professionals are asked to review the claims of their patent application before it is filed. This step is THE critical step that is supposed to ensure that the claims will protect their invention. The decision you make here determines if you will be part of the 97% of all patents that never recoup the cost of filing them. This event is virtual and a Zoom link will be emailed on the day of the event.

      Details: The event is at noon on Thursday, April 9. Learn more.

      April 13-16 — Capital Factory's Founders Academy Essentials

      Amongst all the excitement of running a startup is a lot of hard work and stressful decisions. Founders Academy Essentials is a 4-day lunch-n-learn curriculum designed specifically for driven entrepreneurs that are passionate about their business potential.

      Details: The event is from Monday, April 13, to Thursday, April 16. Learn more.

      April 14 — Black in Tech Summit

      Capital Factory welcomes you to its 2nd Annual Black In Tech Summit. We're dedicated to increasing diversity in the tech community and making our coworking space an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and identities.

      Details: The event is at noon on Tuesday, April 14. Learn more.

      April 21 — Don’t Go Pitching in the Dark: How to Navigate Investor Interactions

      In this webinar, experts of the craft will share practical tips on becoming more effective in communicating your story to investors, increasing your chances of successful fundraising.

      Details: The event is at 9 am on Tuesday, April 21. Learn more.

      April 21 — Employable in 2030: Closing the skills gap.

      What jobs will exist in 2030? Come along and hear from a panel of industry leaders on how to stay relevant in the rapidly changing space for 2030 and beyond. Event will be hosted via Zoom, and registrants will be sent a link to attend.

      Details: The event is at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 21. Learn more.

      April 22 — Ion Startup Demo Day (Virtual Edition)

      Top tier mentors, local investors, and personalized pitch feedback for participating startups -- nothing's changed but the address. Whether you're a serial entrepreneur or just looking to get involved in the community, this event is for YOU.

      Details: The event is at 6 pm on Wednesday, April 22. Learn more.

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      For more virtual events, check out Houston Exponential's calendar.

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      CultureMap Emails are Awesome

      Self-driving pizza delivery goes live in Houston

      innovation delivered

      After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

      Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

      "We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

      Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

      The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

      "Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

      California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

      From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

      "As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

      Steam the episode here.

      3 Houston innovators to know this week

      Who's who

      Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — startup development, fintech, and health care — recently making headlines in Houston innovation.

      Grace Rodriguez, CEO and executive director of Impact Hub Houston

      Impact Hub Houston has two new initiatives for female founders. Photo courtesy of Impact Hub Houston

      Two accelerator programs were recently announced and they both are aimed at supporting female founders — and one Houston organization is behind them both. Impact Hub Houston announced that it has partnered up with Frost Bank to sponsor eight female founders to participate in Impact Hub's new Accelerate Membership Program.

      Additionally, Impact Hub Houston has teamed up with MassChallenge for their own initiative supporting female founders in the Houston-Galveston region in partnership with Houston-based Workforce Solutions. The three organizations are collaborating to launch launch a bootcamp to support female founders in the greater Houston region.

      "As a female founder myself, I'm incredibly excited about this opportunity to support and uplift more women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses in our region," says Grace Rodriguez, CEO and executive director of Impact Hub Houston, in a news release. "By now, it's no secret that women, and especially women of color, are under-invested in; and this is our chance to change that by helping more women strengthen their businesses and prepare to seek funding." Click here to read more.

      Youngro Lee, co-founder and CEO of NextSeed and COO of Republic

      What does the future of investment look like? That's something Youngro Lee thinks about daily – and he shares his thoughts on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. Photo courtesy of NextSeed

      The world of investing is changing — and the power shift is tilting from the rich elite to individuals. Youngro Lee, co-founder and CEO of NextSeed and COO of Republic, has seen the change starting several years ago.

      "Investing is traditionally seen as something you can't do unless you're rich," Lee says on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "There was a certain understanding of what anyone (looking to invest) should do. … But now the world is so different."

      Lee shares more about the future of investing and how he's watched the Houston innovation ecosystem develop over the years on the episode. Click here to read more and stream the podcast.

      Liz Youngblood, president of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and senior vice president and COO of St. Luke's Health

      As we enter year two of the pandemic, the way hospitals function now and in the future is forever changed. Photo courtesy

      No industry has been unaffected by COVID-19, Liz Youngblood, president of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and senior vice president and COO of St. Luke's Health, observes in a guest column for InnovationMap. But hospitals — they've had a spotlight shown on them and their technology adoption since day one of the pandemic.

      "The pace of innovation for hospitals has been at breakneck speed — from the evolution of new treatment protocols to the need to reconfigure physical spaces to support an influx of patients while also promoting a healing environment during this unprecedented time," she writes.

      Hospitals, she says, look and feel completely different now than they did last year and the year before that. Click here to read more.

      Over $1.4M in prizes awarded at Rice University's student startup competition

      RBPC 2021

      In its 21st year, the Rice Business Plan Competition hosted 54 student-founded startups from all over the world — its largest batch of companies to date — and doled out over $1.4 million in cash and investment prizes at the week-long virtual competition.

      RBPC, which is put on by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, took place Tuesday, April 6, to Friday, April 9 this year. Just like 2020, RBPC was virtually held. The competition announced the 54 participating startups last month, and coordinated the annual elevator pitches, a semi-finals round, wildcard round and live final pitches. The contestants also received virtual networking and mentoring.

      Earlier this week, Rice Alliance announced the seven student-led startups that then competed in the finals. From this pack, the judges awarded the top prizes. Here's how the finalists placed and what won:

      • SwiftSku from Auburn University, point of sales technology for convenience stores that allows for real time analytics, won first place and claimed the $350,000 grand prize from Goose Capital. The company also won the $50,000 Business Angel Minority Association Prize, the $500 Best Digital Elevator Pitch Prize from Mercury Fund, and the $500 Third Place Anbarci Family People's Choice prize, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $401,000. The company also won the CFO Consulting Prize, a $25,000 in-kind award.
      • AgZen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a pesticide alternative spray and formulation technology company, won the second place $100,000 investment prize (awarded by Finger Interests, Anderson Family Fund, Greg Novak, and Tracy Druce). The startup also won a $300,000 Owl Investment Prize, the $100,000 Houston Angel Network Prize, the $500 Best Energy Elevator Pitch Prize from Mercury Fund, and the $1,500 Third Place Anbarci Family People's Choice prize, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $502,000. The company also won the $30,000 in-kind Polsinelli Energy Prize.
      • FibreCoat GmbH from RWTH Aachen University, a startup with patented spinning technology for the production of inexpensive high-performance composite fibers, won the third place $50,000 investment prize (also awarded by Finger Interests, Anderson Family Fund, Greg Novak, and Tracy Druce). The company also won the $100,000 TiE Houston Angels Prize and the $500 Best Hard Tech Elevator Pitch Prize from Mercury Fund, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $150,500.
      • Candelytics from Harvard University, a startup building the digital infrastructure for 3-D data, won the fourth place $5,000 prize.
      • OYA FEMTECH Apparel from UCLA, an athletic wear company that designs feminine health-focused clothing, won the fifth place $5,000 prize. The company also won the $5,000 Eagle Investors Prize, the $25,000 Urban Capital Network Prize, and the $1,000 Second Place Anbarci Family People's Choice prize, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $36,000.
      • LFAnt Medical from McGill University , an innovative and tech-backed STI testing company, won the sixth place $5,000 prize and the $20,000 Johnson and Johnson Innovation Prize, bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $25,000.
      • SimpL from the University of Pittsburgh, an AI-backed fitness software company, won the seventh place $5,000 prize. The company also won the $25,000 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Prize from the Pearland Economic Development Corp., bringing the company's grand total in cash and investment prizes to $30,000.

      Some of the competition's participating startups outside of the seven finalists won monetary and in-kind prizes. Here's a list of those.

      • Mercury Fund's Elevator Pitch Prizes also included:
        • Best Life Science $500 Prize to Blue Comet Medical Solutions from Northwestern University
        • Best Consumer $500 Prize to EasyFlo from the University of New Mexico
        • Best Overall $1,000 prize to Anthro Energy from Stanford University
      • The Palo Alto Software Outstanding LivePlan Pitch $3,000 Prize went to LiRA Inc. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • The OFW Law FDA Regulatory Strategy Prize, a $20,000 in-kind award went to Paldara Inc. from Oklahoma State University.
      • The Silver Fox Mentoring Prize, which included $20,000 in kind prizes to three winners selected Ai-Ris from Texas A&M University, BruxAway from the University of Texas, and Karkinex from Rice University as recipients.
      • The first, second, and third place winners also each received the legal service prize from Baker Botts for a total of $20,000 in-kind award.
      • The Courageous Women Entrepreneurship Prize from nCourage — a $50,000 investment prize — went to Shelly Xu Design from Harvard University.
      • The SWPDC Pediatric Device Prize — usually a $50,000 investment divided its prize to two winners to receive $25,000 each
        • Blue Comet Medical Solutions from Northwestern University
        • Neurava from Purdue University
      • TMC Innovation Healthcare Prize awarded a $100,000 investment prize and admission into its accelerator to ArchGuard from Duke University
      • The Artemis Fund awarded its $100,000 investment prize to Kit Switch from Stanford University
      The awards program concluded with a plan to host the 22nd annual awards in 2022 in person.

      If you missed the virtual programming, each event was hosted live on YouTube and the videos are now available on the Rice Alliance's page.