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

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

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

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


May 2 — State of Houston's Global Economy

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

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

May 3 — Transformative Healthcare Innovations Across the TMC

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

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

May 6 to 9 — Offshore Technology Conference.

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

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

May 7 — Small Business Awards Houston 

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

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

May 7 — Tech + Tequila Talk: Goal Park Innovation

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

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

May 13 — TECHSPO Houston 2024 Technology Expo

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 16 — Energy Underground

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

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

May 16 — UH Tech Bridge: Innov8Hub Pitch Day

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

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

May 18 — Create by Getty Images Houston 2024

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

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

May 22 — Pearland Innovation Hub Anniversary

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

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

May 28 — Texas Small Business Expo

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

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

May 29 — Bayou City Bio Pulse at Gensler

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

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

When's the last time you went to a networking event? Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Houston is the 8th best metro for newcomers to make connections, study says

putting your network to work

A big city might seem impersonal, but don't be fooled. There's more going on behind the scenes than what a resident might be seeing through their local lens, especially in Houston. A recent LinkedIn study has revealed the best U.S. metros for newcomers to make connections quickly, and Houston's sprawling metro earned a spot in the top 10.

LinkedIn's economic graph data team analyzed over 3 million users from the networking social media platform who relocated to a new metropolitan area in 2021. For the purpose of this study, "connection rates" were determined based on a newly relocated user's new LinkedIn connections in each metro compared to the overall U.S. average. It also excluded student migrations to new cities to keep the analysis focused on the workforce.

Houston ranked No. 8, with a newcomer's connection rate being 8.2 times higher than the national average.

Making industry-specific connections with people in a new city can lead to beneficial outcomes, such as participating in more volunteer work, engaging with fellow entrepreneurs, or joining a fun club with likeminded hobbyists. (Of course, we like to think the best way to network in a place like H-town is to follow the No. 1 publication that stays up to date on local happenings, CultureMap.)

Other interesting findings mentioned in the study is that Gen Z workers (born in 1997 and after) had the fastest connection rates in new metro areas. When analyzing by gender, men made 30.5 percent more connections on average then women did after relocating. However, the fastest overall growth despite age and gender demographics occurs relatively quickly after a person relocated.

"The fastest growth in LinkedIn members’ overall pace for adding connections – including ones outside their new metros – occurred in their first two months after migrating," the report said. "By the third month, this connection rate stabilized at about half their initial level."

The No. 1 city for newly-relocated folks looking to expand their professional horizons is, unsurprisingly, New York City. The rate of LinkedIn users making new connections with others in the Big Apple is 11.1 times higher than the national average, the report found.

Ranking two spots below Houston in Texas is Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 10). The rate of newcomers making new connections in the Metroplex is only 7.8 times higher than the national average.

LinkedIn's top 10 U.S. metros for networking by newcomers are:

  • No. 1 – New York City
  • No. 2 – San Francisco Bay Area
  • No. 3 – Salt Lake City
  • No. 4 – Los Angeles
  • No. 5 – Boston
  • No. 6 – Chicago
  • No. 7 – Washington, D.C.
  • No. 8 – Houston
  • No. 9 – Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • No. 10 – Dallas-Fort Worth

The full report can be found on linkedin.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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

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

where to be

It's time to look at what's on the agenda for May for Houston innovators — from pitch competitions to networking events.

Here's a roundup of events not to miss this month. Mark your calendars and register accordingly.

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

May 1-4 — Offshore Technology Conference

Since 1969, OTC has served as a central hub convening the best and brightest minds in the world to share ideas, and innovations and discuss, debate, and build consensus around the most pressing topics facing the offshore energy sector.

The event is Monday, May 1, to Thursday, May 4, at NRG Park. Click here to register.

May 2 — EDGE Technology Showcase 2023: Delivering the Future

Oceanit’s 2023 EDGE Technology Showcase will run alongside Houston's Offshore Technology Conference, the Oceanit EDGE Technology Showcase event will feature technologies that are delivering the future, from deep sea to deep space — from disruptive innovations to scalable turnkey solutions.

The event is Tuesday, May 2, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, at 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Click here to register.

May 3 — Women, Wine & Web Design - Houston

Create a web page, enjoy some wine, and network with like-minded Houston area women.

The event is Wednesday, May 3, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, at Improving (10111 Richmond Ave.). Click here to register.

May 10 — Energy 2.0 UN-Conference - NetZero: A Race We Can All Win

Energy 2.0 is the UNconference where we celebrate diverse perspectives, technologies, and people driving the energy transition forward.

The event is Wednesday, May 10, from 8 am to 5 pm, at Woodside Energy (1500 Post Oak Blvd.). Click here to register.

May 11 — Investor Studio Series Dream Big Ventures x Ion

Hear from experts Staci Latoison, founder of Dream Big Ventures; Ramona Ortega, founder and CEO of WealthBuild.ai; and Nan Almodovar, CEO & broker.

The event is Thursday, May 11, from 5 to 7 pm, at the Ion. Click here to register.

May 11-13 — Rice Business Plan Competition

With access to mentors, real-world experience and investment opportunities, the Rice Business Plan Competition helps student founders stay on target and realize their potential. Click here to see the 2023 teams.

The event is Thursday, May 11, to Saturday, May 13, at Rice University. Click here to register.

May 12 — Linkedin Profile Refresh Workshop

This event is not just about learning new tips and tricks; it's about putting them into practice right then and there.

During the workshop, you'll have the opportunity to work on your LinkedIn profile in real-time, making changes and optimizing it for more visibility and opportunities.

The event is Friday, May 12, from 8:30 to 10:30 am, at the Ion. Click here to register.

May 17 — Engage VC: Scale Venture Partners

Alex Niehenke, Partner at Scale Venture Partners is coming to Houston and will be featured in our fireside chat moderated by Emily Hak, Managing Director, Private Capital Markets at Insperity.

The event is Wednesday, May 17, from 8:30 to 10:30 am, at the Ion. Click here to register.

May 17-19: Ion Activation Festival

Ion District is celebrating its second annual festival of innovation in Houston, known as Activation Festival which will feature:

  • A multi-day showcase of Ion District + Ion and its innovation ecosystem partners
  • An array of futuristic activations and programs alongside a lineup of engaging keynote speakers and experiences
  • A community-wide block party Friday to celebrate the heart of Houston's new innovation district

The event is Wednesday, May 17, to Friday, May 19, at The Ion. Click here to register.

May 18 — Softeq Venture Studio Houston Investor Demo Day: H1 2023 Cohort

At the Houston Investor Demo Day, founders will give their 3-minute pitch, followed by a networking session where you may get a demo of their product and ask any questions. We need you there to evaluate them for investment and give them feedback! Afterward, happy hour and dinner.

The event is Thursday, May 18, from 3 to 7 pm, at Fleming's Steakhouse (CityCentre). Click here to register.

May 23 — Houston Veterans In Residence Showcase

Bunker Labs’ Veterans in Residence Showcase is a nationwide event, celebrating our program participants as they have completed Bunker Labs' six month Veterans in Residence Program.

The event is Tuesday, May 23, from 6 to 8 pm, at Impact Hub Houston. Click here to register.

May 25 — Greentown Houston + BCG X Pitch Day

Join Greentown Houston and BCG X for a pitch competition featuring Greentown startups that are raising their pre-seed and seed rounds to grow their networks and scale their cutting-edge climatetech solutions. The winners will walk away with a total of $10,000 in cash prizes and services support from BCG X. We will also have a Fan Favorite prize, sponsored by O'Melveny who will provide in-kind service in the form of 5 hours of virtual 1:1 office consult on general corporate matters.

The event is Thursday, May 25, from 3:30 to 7:30 pm, at Greentown Houston. Click here to register.

May 30-31 — Women in Tech Texas

Discover the technologies in today's quickly changing world and learn new forward-thinking concepts in business and the workforce that will radically change our future. Join over 1,000 leading women in technology and diversity champions driving the innovation revolution to pioneer the future of technology and business.

The event is Tuesday, May 30, to Wednesday, May 31, at the Hyatt Regency. Click here to register.

May 31 — Demystifying Startup Impact Investing: SWAN Impact Network

SWAN Impact Network is joining the startup ecosystem in Houston. Join the organization for a panel with local thought leaders on "Demystifying Startup Impact Investing” and a time for networking over light bites and drinks. SWAN is an angel network whose members put their money to work to make a difference by enabling creative entrepreneurs with solid plans for financial success to address the world’s most pressing problems.

The event is Wednesday, May 31, from 6 to 7:30 pm, at Ion Houston. Click here to register.

CodeLaunch, which pairs startups with software consultants, is returning to Houston this spring. Photo via codelaunch.com

Early-stage accelerator names finalists for its second Houston cohort

ready to grow

A traveling seed-stage accelerator has announced its return to Houston and named its second cohort.

CodeLaunch, produced by Dallas-based constant and software development company Improving and presented by Ohio-based VC network Cyrannus, is returning to Houston. The company's second Houston accelerator event will be held on March 2.

Putting a fresh spin on the seed accelerator model, CodeLaunch combines a startup competition with a tech tradeshow, as well as allows for networking among attendees. Since its inception ten years ago, the touring competition has doled out over $1.4 million in services to its finalists and overall winners.

"CodeLaunch is a startup and rock-n-roll show like nothing you've ever seen before," says CodeLaunch President and Founder Jason W. Taylor in a news release.

The competition pairs six startups with six startup consulting companies. This year's finalists and mentor pairings are as follows:

  • Lake Charles, Louisiana-based GOPHR's consultant mentor is Softeq
  • Port Arthur, Texas-based DrinKicks is paired with BJSS
  • Energy360, based in Houston, has been matched with Honeycomb Software
  • Inpathy, based in Detroit and Tyler, Texas, will work with Contollo
  • Drivingo, led by a student founder from Virginia Tech, is selected to collaborate with Blue People
  • Houston-based AnyShift's consultant mentor is Improving

Houston-based Softeq is returning to the event after working with software startup Codiac.

“CodeLaunch was great. We gained customers, investors, and a lot of local notoriety. It was the best event we had all last year," says Ben Ghazi, founder of Codiac about the event.

ResQ TRX, a Houston startup that provides solutions for the logistics industry, won CodeLaunch HOU 2022. Houston-based Clutch won Judges' Choice in last year's competition.

This year, investment is also on the line. Presenting partner Cyrannus announced that all startup founders who advance to the semifinal round of CodeLaunch will be competing in a $100,000 investment challenge, as well as the $50,000 challenge for impact startups. There would be one or two winners — either a winner for each award or, if a company scores top marks in both categories, one company can take home the entire $150,000.

“Not only will (a winner) get the cash, but also be introduced to a network that will help them refine their idea and get ready for their first big fundraiser," says Lee Mosbacker, founder of Cyrannus, in a news release.

This year's CodeLaunch event will be a part of Houston Tech Rodeo, which is taking place February 27 to March 2 this year. Tech Rodeo, which announced its schedule this week, will conclude its programming with the CodeLaunch event.

"Houston Exponential could not be more excited about our partnership with CodeLaunch Houston," says Houston Exponential CEO Natara Branch in the release. "They are a fantastic ally in Houston’s efforts to serve its growing startup community and CodeLaunch is an incredible fit for the capstone of the 2022 Tech Rodeo. Finishing off Tech Rodeo with CodeLaunch's exciting atmosphere will be a highly anticipated event for the Houston innovation ecosystem after an engaging week of programming."

The Cannon has opened a new location — and expanded north of Houston for the first time. Photo courtesy of The Cannon

Photos: Houston coworking company expands with new location

open for biz

Calling all coworkers north of Houston — there's a new spot in town to set up shop.

The Cannon, a coworking company with locations in Houston and Galveston, has expanded north of Houston for the first time. A new Cannon workspace opened at The Park at Fish Creek retail center (618 Fish Creek Thoroughfare) in Montgomery last month. On February 1 at 4 pm, the new community is holding an open house to tour the space.

“The Cannon is a Houston innovation institution, and we meet demand where innovators and entrepreneurs live—in this case, Montgomery County,” says Jon Lambert, CEO of The Cannon, in a news release. “The goal is to grow The Cannon community – and entrepreneurship overall – regionally, via the Fish Creek brick-and mortar space, and to also expand utilization of our digital community platform, Cannon Connect.”

With 8,100 square feet of space, the facility has 19 private offices, three conference rooms, and several gathering and working areas. Memberships — from assigned desks and private space to day passes — are now available. All Fish Creek members receive access to Cannon Connect, a global, digital community platform that provides resources, networking and building blocks for business growth.

Photo courtesy of The Cannon

Tech companies located in Houston should consider creating ambassador programs to leverage the deep bench of talent and experience locally. Photo via Getty Images

Houston expert: Why tech companies can benefit from building an ambassador ecosystem

Guest column

Innovation isn't born in a vacuum nor is the adoption of a new technology. Often the broader path to tech disruption is through groundwork and that's a system best laid by a well-connected network.

The urban megaregion that spans from Austin to San Antonio and Houston to Dallas comprises the largest single regional economy in the world. Furthermore, it is projected to expand its population density 65 percent to an astounding 10 million in the next two decades. In recent years, Houston's reputation has earned numerous nods as a growing tech hub, with many local startups employing entrenched talent from the specialized sectors a startup serves — for example, the digitization of oil and gas or maritime shipping.

Invigorated by its depth of industries including energy, the medical complex, transportation, real estate and education, Houston and its nearby economies are home to a vibrant presence of spirited entrepreneurs and tech-focused universities that are expected to keep pace with much anticipated growth. With nearly 3,000 startups and as the hub of major industries including oil and gas, health care and aerospace among others, the cross-pollinating capabilities of the city is nearly unlimited. Tech companies located here should consider creating ambassador programs to leverage the deep bench of talent and experience in Houston, and tap networking capabilities to drive value and adoption of their offerings.

All changes start small

Ambassador programs undertake the formalization of relationships with respective influencers in target industries to develop deep understanding and engagements with a company's product or service. Depending on the aim, an ambassador program can function similarly to an executive referral program with underpinnings to educate, promote, connect and incentivize adoption.

While each company's process may be unique, the general outcomes of ambassadorship can be shared. According to HubSpot, 90 percent of individuals believe brand recommendations from friends, 70 percent trust recommendations from other consumers, while a reported 71 percent are likely to make purchases based on social media referrals. By providing independent validation, a company's ambassadors can synergistically generate instant credibility that proliferates as an ecosystem expands. And therein lies the magic.

The first step in implementing an ambassador program is to identify relevant industry-specific enthusiasts to form initial connections or tap existing individuals that are particularly helpful or influential. Then create ongoing educational initiatives and offer certifications that reflect company objectives; as a company scales, it's offerings to an ambassador audience should mature to accommodate the company's growth.

Ambassador programs are often built atop reward referral programs to further incentivize knowledge transfership within a community and to galvanize opportunities. With the quality and quantity of companies and industries in the Houston area, a robust intercompany ambassadorship presence can create an enriching environment, generating a breadth of advocates who can spread the word and play an integral role in achieving wider success for the company.

Value begets value

Collectively, startup culture has a history of competition but also of coopetition. While evangelizing tech solutions, the bigger play at hand for ambassadors is to create a robust network that embodies passion, positivity, adoption of valuable technology and the most critical aspect: community.

Change needs a channel to cut its new grooves on, and a knowledgeable ambassador network primed to mutually drive engagement and community around a startups' brand is one of the fastest methods to do just that while also building fruitful relationships for now and into the future.

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Andrew Bruce is the founder and CEO of Data Gumbo.

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16 Houston-based companies hailed best places to work by U.S. News

the standouts

More than a dozen Houston-based companies are sharing the spotlight in U.S. News and World Report's collection of the "Best Companies to Work For" in 2024-2025.

The annual report examines publicly-traded companies around the world to determine the best employers based on six metrics including work-life balance and flexibility; quality of pay and benefits; job and company stability; career opportunities and professional development; and more. The companies were not ranked, but included based on reader surveys and publicly available data about each workplace.

New for the 2024-2025 report, U.S. News analyzed549 companies across 29 different lists, including the overall best companies list — which includes the best 300 companies across the U.S., the United Kingdom, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Bermuda — 24 industry-specific lists, and four regional lists.

There were 16 total companies based around Houston that made the lists, with the majority being based in the city, while one each were located in Spring and The Woodlands.

Leading the pack in Houston is construction company Comfort Systems USA, which provides HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services. Comfort Systems employs 15,800 people, brings in $5.57 billion in annual revenue, and has a market cap of $11.21 billion. The company earned high ratings for its job stability, "belongingness," and professional development opportunities, according to U.S. News.

Comfort Systems also made appearances on U.S. News' industry-specific "Best in Construction" list, and the "Best Companies in the South" list.

Independent energy company Marathon Oil was another top-rated Houston employer, with nearly 1,700 employees, an annual revenue stream of $6.38 billion, and a $15.4 billion market cap. The company was specifically highlighted with a "Top Quality of Pay" label, but also boasts high ratings for its employees' work-life balance, job stability, and belongingness.

In addition to being included in the overall "Best Companies" list, Marathon Oil earned recognition in the industry-specific "Best in Energy" list and the "Best Companies in the South" list.

A second Houston-based energy company earning a spot among the top employers is Occidental (also known as Oxy). The petroleum corporation, which has been in operation since 1920, has nearly 12,600 employees and brings in $27,43 billion in revenue every year.

According to U.S. News, Occidental offers many financial, health and wellness, and workplace benefits including 401k matching, tuition assistance, an employee assistance program, flexible work arrangements, and much more. The company was also given a "Top Quality of Pay" designation.

Occidental appeared in U.S. News' "Best in Mining and Raw Materials," the overall "Best Companies," and "Best Companies in the South" lists.

Other top companies to work for in Houston include:

  • Insperity, Kingwood – Best in Professional Services; Best Companies (overall); Best Companies in the South
  • Southwestern Energy Company, Spring – Best in Energy; Best Companies (overall); Best Companies in the South
  • PROS – Best in IT, Software and Services; Best Companies (overall); Best Companies in the South
  • Powell Industries – Best in Manufacturing; Best Companies (overall); Best Companies in the South
  • Stewart – Best in Insurance; Best Companies (overall); Best Companies in the South
  • ConocoPhillips – Best in Energy, Best Companies in the South
  • LGI Homes, The Woodlands – Best in Construction; Best Companies in the South
  • Service Corporation International – Best in Consumer Products and Services; Best Companies in the South
  • Skyward Specialty Insurance – Best Companies in the South
  • Camden Property Trust – Best in Real Estate; Best Companies in the South
  • Cheniere – Best in Energy
  • EOG Resources – Best in Energy
  • Murphy Oil Corporation – Best in Energy

"Prospective and current employees understand the significant impact their employer has on their quality of life," said Carly Chase, vice president of careers at U.S. News and World Report, in a release. "Whether a new grad seeking a company to launch their career, an established professional looking for a change or an HR professional researching the strengths of their company and others, Best Companies to Work For provides a central space to see which companies are meeting their employees' needs best.

Top workplaces around Texas
In all, 42 different employers headquartered in the Lone Star State made it onto U.S. News' 2024-2025 "Best Places to Work For" lists. The Houston metro area tied with Dallas-Fort Worth with the highest number of top-rated employers, at 16 each. Only one company from West Texas made it onto the list: Diamondback Energy in Midland.

The top companies to work for in Austin are:

  • Cirrus Logic
  • CrowdStrike
  • Digital Realty
  • Silicon Labs
  • E2open
  • Q2

The top companies to work for in San Antonio are:

  • Frost Bank
  • iHeartMedia
  • Rush Enterprises, Inc., New Braunfels

The best places to work for across Dallas-Fort Worth are:

  • Thryv Holdings, Inc., Dallas
  • Comerica, Dallas
  • Veritex Community Bank, Dallas
  • Charles Schwab, Westlake
  • Southwest Airlines, Dallas
  • CMC, Irving
  • Sabre, Southlake
  • Texas Instrument, Dallas
  • Omnicell, Fort Worth
  • Enhabit, Dallas
  • Builders FirstSource, Irving
  • Invitation Homes, Dallas
  • Celanese, Irving
  • Atmos Energy, Dallas
  • Lennox, Richardson
  • Caterpillar, Irving
The full list of the best companies to work for can be found at usnews.com

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

$1M donation to Rice establishes pioneering neuro-policy center in Houston

brainy support

A big donation to Rice University will soon help researchers better understand the workings of the human brain.

Harry Yan and Weiman Gao have bestowed $1 million on the Baker Institute of Public Policy to establish the interdisciplinary Neuro-Policy Program.

Neuro-policy is a newer field that explores how brain health and function can help to fuel economic growth.

“The Neuro-Policy Program is at the forefront of pioneering data analysis, empirical research and policy application,” says Harris Eyre, the lead for the program, as well as a senior fellow in brain health at the Baker Institute, in a news release. “Investing in evidence-based strategies for prevention, diagnosis and treatment can reduce brain and mental health disparities, optimize cognitive development and performance and foster innovation to build more resilient communities.”

Eyre describes the collective value of the human brain as “brain capital.” That’s because brains that are suffering from any number of neurodegenerative or mental health disorders (including depression, anxiety, brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease) have actually taken a toll on the U.S. economy, Eyre explains.

The Neuro-Policy Program seeks to improve brain performance, and consequently enhance economic growth, national security, and our overall standing as a nation of healthy brains. The program’s primary projects include establishing a task force to advise Texas “brain and mind” legislative efforts as well as a Texas Brain Capital Dashboard, collaborating on Texas Forward (Texas Brain Health Plan) with the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, thereby working toward U.S. brain capital policy and investment advances. These projects are expected to yield deliverables as early as 2026.

“The Neuro-Policy Program aims to leverage the university’s proximity to the Texas Medical Center and the institute’s strong connections to state and federal policymakers. This is an important yet underrepresented area of research that Houston is poised to lead,” says David Satterfield, the director of the Baker Institute.

Yan and Gao said in a press release that they were inspired to gift the grant funds to Eyre and his research after attending a March 28 Baker Institute event on brain health that featured U.S. Rep. Morgan Luttrell, a co-chair of the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus.

"We are honored to support Dr. Harris Eyre and the Neuro-Policy program he leads. Dr. Eyre’s work has greatly impressed us, highlighting the critical importance of brain health in our society today,” say Yan and Gao. “We hope our contribution can inspire further support and advocacy in the field, helping individuals lead healthier lives through a comprehensive approach to prevention.”