Here are over 10 can't-miss events for Houston innovators in June. Photo courtesy of Rice University

From networking meetups to expert speaker summits, June is filled with 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.


June 6 — Ion Block Party and Chef Showcase

On the first Thursday of each month, Block Party brings together startups, tech enthusiasts, and business visionaries in a dynamic and festive environment.

June’s special edition of Block Party will be a Chef Showcase! The District’s robust food and drink offerings showcase hyper-local concepts that reflect Houston’s reputation for having a culturally diverse restaurant industry.

This event is Thursday, June 6, from 4 to 7 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

June 6 — Houston Blockchain Alliance Monthly Meetup

This in-person event is a great opportunity to connect with fellow blockchain enthusiasts in the Houston area. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, come and engage in lively discussions, share insights, and network with like-minded individuals. Discover the latest trends and advancements in blockchain technology while enjoying a friendly and casual atmosphere.

June's guest speaker, Alex Guerra of SYS Labs, will talk about DeFi today v. DeFi tomorrow. Alex is a business developer at SYS Labs and co-founder of Pachira Finance.

This event is Thursday, June 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at The Cannon. Click here to register.

June 8 — Celebration of Entrepreneurship

Head to IAG Technology for an exciting evening dedicated to all things entrepreneurship. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this event has networking, learning, and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit.

Come celebrate entrepreneurship and the launch of Earn On Purpose, a business mentoring and coaching company. At Earn on Purpose, entrepreneurship is simplified through solid fundamentals and practical strategies for success.

This event is Saturday, June 8, from 5 to 10 pm at IAG Technology. Click here to register.

June 10 — 2024 Energy Drone & Robotics Summit

Connect with 1500+ global energy & industrial robotics, drone & data leaders at a time of rapid growth in the robotics sector. Hear from expert speakers on the latest ideas, use cases, best practices, tech, and trends as innovators, regulators, the most energy asset owners & service firms and more break these topics down.

This event begins Monday, June 10, from 4 to 6:30 pm at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott. Click here to register.

June 11 — Software Day at the Ion: From Seed to Success

Software Day at the Ion is a program series hosted by the Ion and Mercury, where software founders can connect with mentorship at Houston’s HQ for innovation.

This monthly series provides support, inspiration, and connections needed to help startups on their path to rapid, sustainable growth. Each month, Software Day will include office hours (by application), a keynote session, and networking.

This event is Tuesday, June 11, from 3:30 to 7 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

June 13 — 2024 Speaker Series: Dynamic Innovations in Energy Efficiency

Co-hosted by the TEPRI, in partnership with the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice, this event will spotlight just and effective strategies to boost energy efficiency, ensuring equitable access to sustainable energy solutions for all Texans. Keynote addresses by Dr. Robert D. Bullard, renowned environmental justice advocate and recipient of the 2024 Time Magazine Earth Award, and Donnel Baird, founder of BlocPower and inaugural recipient of TIME’s 2022 “Dreamer of the Year.”

The event is Thursday, June 13, from 2 to 4 pm at Melcher Hall. Click here to register.

June 13 — Out In Tech Monthly Mixer

Out in Tech Houston is the local chapter for Out in Tech, the world’s largest non-profit community of LGBTQ+ tech leaders. Check out their relaxed social-mixer event, hosted on the second Thursday of every month.

This event is Thursday, June 13, from 7 to 8:30 pm at Second Draught. Click here to register.

June 18 — Juneteenth Journey: Bridging Past and Present Through Technology

This special presentation will offer insights into the historical significance of Juneteenth, and illuminate the evolution of technology from the 1860s through World War II to modern Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the technology of today. Experts from the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum and Emancipation Park Conservancy will illustrate how technology has evolved as well as the parallels between the innovative spirit of the Buffalo Soldiers and today’s technological advancements, emphasizing the role of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation.

This event is Tuesday, June 18, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm a the Ion. Click here to register.

June 20 — Visionary Voices: Leading Authentically with Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill

Celebrate Pride Month with a special edition of Ion’s “Visionary Voices” speaker series, featuring a powerful conversation between two leaders who’ve paved the way for LGBTQ+ representation in their respective fields – Woodside Energy CEO Meg O’Neill and former Houston Mayor Annise Parker. Attendees will gain insights into the unique experiences and milestones that have shaped both Meg and Annise’s careers, as well as the importance of visibility and representation in corporate leadership and public service.

This event is Thursday, June 20, from 3:30 to 6 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

June 25 — State of AI: Generating Real Business Value with AI

This comprehensive one-day free event organized by the Houston-based CODE Group is designed to equip decision-makers, C-level executives, and software developers with strategies to harness AI effectively. The event kicks off with a keynote from Markus Egger, Microsoft Regional Director, on “Harnessing AI for Tangible Business Outcomes,” setting the stage by demonstrating how AI can integrate seamlessly into business applications to enhance productivity and innovation.

This event is Tuesday, June 25, from 9 am to 5 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

June 28 — Young Professional Climate & Career Mixer

Climate Connect is a community resilience education and engagement program launching in Houston, Texas and powered by the Coalition of Community Organizations and Verizon. This meetup is for those interested in networking, learning, and exploring career opportunities in the field of climate change. The event will take place at 6500 Rookin Street, Houston, TX 77074 (Building E), where you can connect with like-minded individuals, meet industry professionals, and discover new, green career paths.

This event is Friday, June 28, from 5:30 to 7 pm at 6500 Rookin St. Click here to register.

These are Houston innovators' events not to be missed in March. Photo via Getty Images

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

WHERE TO BE

From networking meetups to speaker expert speaker summits, March is filled with 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.

 March 6 — Women's History Month Mixer

Bag Talk and Jem are collaborating to produce a dynamic Rooftop Mixer, designed to bring together entrepreneurs, startups, founders, tech professionals, health experts, and investors.

In honor of Women's History Month, the speaker panel will feature trailblazing women entrepreneurs who have redefined success in their respective fields. Gain invaluable insights, strategies, and inspiration as they share their journeys in business, innovation, and leadership.

This event is Wednesday, March 6, from 6 to 9 pm at Reset. Click here to register.

 March 7 — Energy Workforce of the Future Career Fair & Summit

A variety of Gen-Z speakers will be unpacking the future of working in the energy industry. Take advantage of this unique occasion to showcase your skills, exchange ideas, and build valuable connections. Denise Hamilton will be the keynote speaker followed by a host of other energy innovators.

This event is Thursday, March 7, from 7:30 am to 4 pm at the Briar Club. Click here to register.

 March 7 — GB Spring Mixer 2024

Meet community members, network, and develop relationships with local businesses at this event for Pearland's small business community. This mixer is sponsored by Pearland Innovation Hub, a home for innovation, entrepreneurship and small business growth, custom built for Pearland's business community.

This event is March 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at The Cannon. Click here to register.

 March 14 — Pi Day With Portal Innovations

TMC Helix Park will host a Pi Day celebration at TMC3. All scientists, researchers, math experts, and innovators are invited to come and recognize the significant impact Pi (3.14) has had in shaping our world today and continuously in the future. Enjoy networking opportunities with Pi bites, games, and prizes.

This event is Thursday, March 14, from 12 to 1:30 pm at TMC Helix Park. Click here to register.

 March 14 — FanTechstic Mixer

This event is a mixer for tech professionals and tech enthusiasts. Connect with potential employers, collaborators, and mentors who can shape the trajectory of your career.

This event is Thursday, March 14, from 5:30 to 9:30 at Luxtrium Event Venue. Click here to register.

March 16 — Generative AI: Understanding and Fine Tuning LLM

This webinar dives deep into Generative AI, the game-changer that creates images from text, crafts personalized campaigns, and writes reports in seconds. Attendees will learn the innerworkings of Large Language Models (LLMs), the engines behind this revolution. Learn practical skills, explore real-world use cases, and future-proof your career.

This event is Saturday, March 16, from 10 am to 12 pm at Houston Translations. Click here to register.

March 18-22 — CERAWeek by S&P Global

For the 42nd time, CERAWeek is convening energy leaders from around the world for a conference, this year with its theme of "Multidimensional Energy Transition: Markets, climate, technology and geopolitics" that will zero in on the world's journey to zero-carbon.

The event is Monday, March 18, to Friday, March 22, in Downtown Houston. Click here to register.

March 21 — Global Energy: Qatar's LNG Expansion

At this event, expert panelists will delve into issues of investment partnerships, destination markets for gas supply, and the practicalities of expanding fossil fuel exports amid global decarbonization goals. Qatar is in the midst of expanding its LNG export capacity, increasing from 77 million tons per annum to 126 million by 2027.

This event is Thursday, March 21, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. Click here to register.

March 21 — Energy Underground - Early Design Partnerships

Meet up with renewable energy product developers, service providers, energy transition thought leaders, and more at this networking event. Make industry contacts, secure financing, share deals, or recommend talent looking to enter the energy workforce. This month meeting is open to everyone, but focused on connecting energy software founders with VP's of Operations and Projects at energy companies.

This event is Thursday, March 21, from 11:30 am to 2 pm at The Cannon. Click here to register.

March 26 — Bots & Brews

This is the spring meetup of the Energy Drone / Robotics / Data crowd, with over 200 leaders attending. Enjoy beer, bites and bots. Check out the latest robotics and data / AI tech, while hearing new case studies and connecting with some of the biggest leaders in energy and autonomous systems.

This event is Tuesday, March 26, from 5:30 to 7:45 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

March 27 — Energy Industry Young Professionals Gumbo Cook-Off & Technology Showcase

Explore cutting-edge products, network with industry professionals, and savor delicious creations in the Gumbo Cook-Off. Make it a night to remember with live music, a beverage garden, and fundraising efforts to support the energy industry and first responders.

This event is Wednesday, March 27, from 5 to 9 pm at Bad Astronaut Brewing Co. Click here to register.

March 27 — 2024 CultureMap Houston Tastemaker Awards

The CultureMap Tastemaker Awards is an annual celebration of Houston's top restaurant and bar talent, as selected by their peers. Check out this signature in-person tasting event and awards ceremony. Celebrate all of the nominees and the winners, while sampling bites and sipping specialty drinks along the way.

This event is Wednesday, March 27, from 7 to 10 pm at Silver Street Studios. Click here to register.



From holiday networking to conferences and fireside chats, here's what to have on your calendar this month. Photo via Getty Images

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

WHERE TO BE

From networking meetups to holiday parties, December is lined with 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 might be updated to add more events.

December 4 — Pumps & Pipes Annual Event 2023

This innovation gathering brings together cross-industry leaders for engaging discussions and top tier networking opportunities. Check out panels and listen to speakers discuss everything from generative AI technology to sustainability projects that are currently underway in Houston. Price of admission is $50.

This event is Monday, December 4, from 8 am to 5 pm, at the Ion. Click here to register.

December 5 — Jingle Mingle - a Houston Tech eXtravaganza

Jingle Mingle - a Houston Tech eXtravaganza is a celebration of the Houston startup ecosystem and the people who make it happen. Network while enjoying stunning views of the Downtown skyline and Wonderlawn holiday lights. Price of admission is $32.

This event is Tuesday, December 5, from 5 to 8 pm, at POST Houston. Click here to register.

December 5 — Fireside Chat with McKeon and Flavin

TMC CEO Bill McKeon and Portal Innovations CEO and Founder John Flavin collaborate in a fireside chat to provide valuable insight into the medtech field. Topics of discussion will include scientific ideation in life sciences, medtech, and bioinformatics through commercial proof of concept by delivering seed capital, specialized equipment, lab space, and management expertise to high-potential early-stage companies.

This event is Tuesday, December 5, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, at Texas Medical Center Helix Park. Click here to register.

December 6 — Houston Veterans in Residence Showcase

The Veterans in Residence Showcase honors veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs who are participating in the Veterans in Residence Program in cohorts across the country. This event will celebrate the hard work of 23B ViR Cohort Entrepreneurs with a showcase, networking, and a pitch competition.

This event is Wednesday, December 6, from 6 to 8 pm, at the Cannon West Houston. Click here to register.

December 7 — 9th Annual Evening of Pediatric Device Innovation

Check out this annual gathering of members, colleagues, and guests for this FDA-supported pediatric device consortium that supports pediatric device innovators throughout the pediatric device life cycle to bring novel pediatric devices to pediatric patients.

This event is Thursday, December 7, from 4 to 7 pm, at Texas A&M EnMed Tower. Click here to register.

December 7 — Investor Speaker Series: Both Sides of the Coin

Attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at the equity investment process for a Greentown Labs startup and what best practices both founders and investors can follow to keep things moving smoothly. There will also be a happy hour with opportunities to network and mingle.

This event is Thursday, December 7, from 4 to 7:30 pm, at Greentown Labs Houston. Click here to register.

December 8 — 2023 SMBHOU Gift of Guidance: Help a Nonprofit and Learn

Looking for an opportunity to make a difference this year? The Houston Social Media Breakfast will meet with 10 local nonprofits to help them with a strategy to use social media for their charity. Check out this event and meet other communicators in Houston. You need no special skills, just a willingness to learn and share.

This event is Friday, December 8, from 8:30 to 11 am, at 1801 Main St. Click here to register.

December 12 — Houston Methodist Reverse Pitch with Dr. Evan Collins

This reverse pitch session will be hosted by Dr. Evan D. Collins, MD MBA, Chief of the Houston Methodist Hand & Upper Extremity Center at the Texas Medical Center and the hand specialist for The Center for Performing Arts Medicine (CPAM) at Houston Methodist. Dr. Collins will share a short presentation about his clinical work and current challenges and then open the floor to discussion for new creative solutions.

This event is Tuesday, December 12, from 4 to 5:30 pm, at the Ion. Click here to register.

December 13 — Bayou City Bio Pulse

The Greater Houston Partnership’s Life Sciences Committee, in collaboration with BioHouston, invites you to attend the Bayou City Bio Pulse to connect with the region’s most innovative life sciences and biotechnology organizations face-to-face. The presenters will also describe best practices for AI Governance—the path to realizing AI’s possibilities while ensuring trust, fairness, safety, and security.

This event is Wednesday, December 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, at Rice University. Click here to register.

December 19 — 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. Innov8Hub is a founder-driven series of accelerator programs for early-stage ventures and entrepreneurs who are members of the UH community.

This event is Tuesday, December 19, from 4:30 to 7 pm, at 5000 Gulf Fwy. Click here to register.

December 21 — Female Founders & Friends

Female founders, funders and allies looking for connections with other like-minded go-getters in the Houston community should head on down. Coffee and breakfast will be provided.

This event is Thursday, December 21, from 9 to 10 am, at the Sesh Coworking. Click here to register.

Check out these conferences, pitch competitions, networking, and more all happening in September. Photo via Getty Images

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

WHERE TO BE

From networking meetups to pitch competitions, September has a smorgasbord of opportunities for Houston innovators.

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

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

Mark your calendars for November 8 for the annual Houston Innovation Awards, and nominate your company or another deserving business by September 19.

September 5 — Tech + Tequila Talk: Houston Innovation

Natara Branch, CEO of Houston Exponential, will delve into the most recent developments within the Houston Innovation Community, shedding light on Houston Exponential's latest initiatives. She will also provide insights into upcoming events, including the highly-anticipated Tech Rodeo and the forthcoming Innovation Awards Gala. After all of that education and conversation, unwind with an authentic tequila tasting and network with tech industry peers.

The agenda:

5:50 pm - 6 pm: Sign-in/Registration

6 pm - 6:30 pm: Tequila tasting

6:30 pm - 7 pm: Tech talk

7 pm - 8 pm: Networking & Tequilas

This event is Tuesday, September 5, from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

September 7 — Venture Houston 2023

Venture Houston 2023 is a major event for entrepreneurs, venture investors and ecosystem builders to plug into what is happening in Houston. Come learn how you can decarbonize in a digital world, connect with Houston's best founders, corporate leaders and top tier investors, and develop meaningful relationships.

The agenda:

7 am - 8:45 am: Registration

8:45 am - 12:30 pm: General Programming

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm: Networking Lunch

2:00 pm - 4:15 pm: General Programming

4:15 pm - 6 pm: Networking Cocktail Reception

This event is Thursday, September 7, from 7 am to 6 pm at Stude Concert Hall. Click here to register.

September 8 — Inspire & Transform: Celebrating Women In Data

Hosted by the Houston Chapter of Women in Data and Solidatus, this event will feature influential women who have made significant contributions to the field of data from the City of Houston, Exxon, EY, Google, Houston Methodist and more. The event will discuss and debate "The Intersection of Data, AI and Sustainability" and "What Does Good Look Like" through insightful panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Price of admission is $10.

The agenda:

9 am - Check-in and Network

9:15 am - Welcome

9:20 am - Panel 1: The Intersection of Data, AI & Sustainability

10 am - Networking Break

10:10am - Panel 2: "What Does Good Look Like"

10:45am - Scholarships Awarded

11am - End of event + Networking Opportunities

This event is Friday, September 8, from 9 am to 11 am at 200 Park Place. Click here to register.

September 9 — Revolutionizing Your Work: Eight Innovative Ways Entrepreneurs Can Leverage ChatGPT & AI to Scale, Grow & Succeed

Discover how successful entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and ChatGPT to drive their businesses forward. At this event, you'll gain valuable insights from industry experts who have leveraged AI and ChatGPT to grow, scale, and succeed. Learn how these technologies can enhance customer experiences, streamline operations, and drive innovation in your own entrepreneurial journey.

This event is Saturday, September 9, from 12:30 to 1:30pm at The R.O.C.K. - Broadway Campus. Click here to register.

September 13 — Small Business Exchange

The Small Business Exchange, powered by US SBA, is a lively and informative event designed to connect small business owners and entrepreneurs.

At the Small Business Exchange, you'll have the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, share your experiences, and gain valuable insights from industry experts. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting out, this event offers a unique chance to learn, grow, and collaborate.


This event is Wednesday, September 13, from 11 am to 2 pm at SBDC Office. Click here to register.

September 21 — 20th Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Forum

The Energy Tech Venture Forum, hosted by The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, will showcase energy tech innovations to shift towards a more sustainable, reliable and lower carbon future across interactive panels, inspiring keynotes and over 50 dynamic venture pitches, leaders.

At the 20th annual conference, discover more than 90 new technology ventures commercializing energy transition innovations and meet investors looking for disruptive energy technologies that can accelerate clean and renewable energy. Check to see if you are a Rice Alliance member or sponsor to confirm your free registration. Rice university faculty and staff can also attend for free. For non-Rice community members tickets are $245.

This event is Thursday, September 21, from 7:30 am to 5:15 pm at Rice University. Click here to register.

September 21 — UH Energy Symposium: Plastics, Chemicals, Circularity: What’s Next?

Focusing on the multifaceted nature and enormity of the challenge, this discussion will focus on what circularity means for the future of production and consumption, meeting consumer demand, and creating and preserving utility across the value chain, while addressing emissions reduction and waste management through new technologies, standards, regulatory mechanisms like extended producer responsibility, and stakeholder engagement.

This event is Thursday, September 21, from 6 to 7:30 pm at the University of Houston. Click here to register.

September 22 — Future of Technology

This year's Greater Houston Partnership event revolves around one of the most talked about trends in tech - artificial intelligence. With rapidly growing adoption of AI across industry and everyday applications, this timely conversation explores the possibilities and challenges unlocked by AI.

This event is Friday, September 22, from 11 am to 1:30 pm at Omni Houston. Click here to register.

September 23 — OPEN Houston 11th Annual Conference

Head over to the OPEN Houston 11th annual conference which will focus on the important players building Houston’s emerging technology and startup ecosystem. Hear from and connect with the founders, executives, investors, and other leaders that are building Houston’s innovation economy. Admission is $25-$50.

The agenda:

9:00 AM - 10.00 AM - Registration

10.00 AM - 10:30 AM - Mayor Sylvester Turner Welcoming

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM - Keynote by Andrew Yang

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Founder’s Panel

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM - Lunch

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM - Business Pitch Competition

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM - Award Ceremony

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM - Happy Hour

This event is Saturday, September 23, from 9 am to 4 pm at Moran Hotel. Click here to register.

September 27 — Space IT UP: Demo Day

Presented by ITA and ASI in collaboration with the Space Foundation, this event celebrates the journey of six Italian companies as they launch their groundbreaking space ventures from Houston's thriving space ecosystem. Following a five-week accelerator program, these companies will be pitching their innovative space solutions at this Demo Day.

This event is Wednesday, September 27 , from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Ion. Click here to register.

September 27 — Pearland Innovation Hub Grand Opening

Come learn more about the Pearland Innovation Hub, tour the new space, and celebrate the expansion. Raffle prizes will be available for attendees and f ood and drinks will be provided for registered attendees.

This event is Wednesday, September 27, from 6 to 8 pm at Pearland Innovation Hub. Click here to register.

September 28 — Chevron Technology Ventures Pitch Competition

Chevron is looking for novel technologies or approaches that can be applied to transform their operations. With the goal of removing people from hazardous environments (e.g., confined spaces, working at heights), reducing the environmental impact (e.g., leak detection, emissions monitoring), and increasing the operational efficiency (e.g., autonomous operations, advanced inspection capabilities, predictive asset health capabilities) of their facilities in the decades to come.

Registered attendees will be able to take a tour of the Chevron workspaces within the Cannon West Houston, enjoy refreshments and network.

This event is Thursday, September 28, from 4 to 7:30 pm at the Cannon. Click here to register.

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

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

WHERE TO BE

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

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

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


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

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

The agenda:

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

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

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

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

August 1 — Exploring Energy Investments: A Panel Discussion

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

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

August 2 — Solar Switch Houston Q&A Social Hour

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

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

August 2 — Tenth Annual Bayou Startup Showcase

This annual event is a celebration of entrepreneurship, the newest startups and small businesses from Rice University and University of Houston accelerators, and the community supporting them. The showcase features 25 ventures from four accelerators: RED Labs, OwlSpark, RED Launch and BlueLaunch. You will be able to engage with these businesses, sign up for pre-orders, and buy products at their booths. Teams have recorded their pitches for you to learn about them in advance, watch during the event, or review afterward. RSVP now to receive updates and get early access to pitch videos, and confirm your spot at the event.

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

August 3 — Side Project Society: August 2023 Meeting

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

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

August 8 — Tech + Tequila Talk - Edtech

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

The agenda:

5:50 pm - Sign-in and registration

6 pm - Tequila tasting

6:30 pm - Tech talk

7:00 pm - Networking and tequilas

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

August 10 — Executive Angel: Economic Power of Diverse Founders

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

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

The agenda:

4 to 5 pm - Welcome and networking

5 to 6 pm - Fireside chat

6 to 6:30 pm - Closing and networking

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

August 10 — GROW Community Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The agenda:

8:30am - 9:00am Registration

9:00am - 12:00pm Business Conference

12:30pm - 3:00pm Lender Matchmaking

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

August 28-30 — Industrial Immersive Week

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

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

August 30 — Angel Investing in the Energy Sector

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

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

August 30 — 2023 Energy Research Day

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

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

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

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

where to be

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

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

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


July 6 — City of Houston Panel Discussion: Sales

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

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

July 7 — UH-DGH Center for Hydrocarbon Exploration Symposium

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

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

July 10 — Ion Open Accelerator: Monopolizing Your Industry Channel

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

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


July 11 — Leaders Who Lunch

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

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

July 13 — Texas Medical Center Veterans Committee Hiring Event

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

The agenda:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 13 — GROW Community Meeting

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

The agenda:

11 - 11:15 am - Welcome and Introductions

11:15 - 11:30 am - GROW Overview

11: 30 - 11:45 am - GROW Updates

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

12 - 12:30 pm - Lunch

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

12:45 - 1 pm - Attendee Announcements

1 PM - Closing

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

July 17 — Mingle Mondays Med & Health Tech

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

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

July 17 — The State of Latino Entrepreneurship Reception/Networking

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

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

July 18 — Heated Dialogues Unleashed: Navigating Difficult Conversations

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

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

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

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

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

July 20 — Female Founders and Funders Meetup

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

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

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

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

These are the topics you can expect to be covered:

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

July 27 —  Summer Sizzle Happy Hour with Dell for Startups

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

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

July 28 - July 30 — Melanin Minds Mental Health Conference

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

The agenda:

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

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

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

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

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Houston innovator raises pre-seed funding for health care staffing platform

just closed

A Houston health care innovator is celebrating an oversubscribed round of pre-seed funding to improve on her startup's unique staffing platform.

Ayoade Joy Ademuyewo founded Lokum last year to create a solution to better connecting medical specialists with health care facilities nationwide. The new platform, which cuts out the middleman and lowers staffing costs, raised $700,000 in pre-seed funding that will go toward further development of the technology.

"Healthcare organizations spend $26 billion annually to support a crippling dependence on third-party agencies for connecting with clinical staff," Ademuyewo says in a news release. "Technological solutions that are pointed precisely to streamline and strengthen the relationships between highly specialized clinicians and their future employers are vital to alleviating this detrimental dependance, and central to our mission.

"I'm incredibly proud to have earned the trust of my colleagues, investors, team, and mentors in solving this complex problem."

Ademuyewo raised the round with support from local investors, including Aileen Allen, an adviser and investor associated with the Houston Angel Network, Mercury, and The Artemis Fund; and Matt Miller, former Liongard product executive, as well as from Houston-based VC firm South Loop Ventures. Techstars and JP Morgan also contributed to the round.

"Lokum has found a way to disrupt an organically inefficient and expensive market with an elegant solution that doesn't just save hospitals time and money, but also increases the pool of specialty providers in a market that is consistently strapped for such expertise," Jerry Varnado, venture partner at South Loop Ventures, adds. "This is what disruption in healthcare looks like — scalable commercial solutions that contribute towards better patient care, and we're happy to be part of Lokum's journey."

Ademuyewo has the idea to start Lokum after her experience as an independent contract nurse amid the height of the pandemic as she witnessed third-party recruitment agencies take advantage of medical professionals like herself.

Now, the platform's early pilot, which focuses on clinicians in anesthesiology, has served clients across nearly 200 hospitals and surgery centers in 20 states. Ademuyewo also participated in 2024’s cohort for the Google for Startups Accelerator Program-North America, where she spent 10 weeks developing and building her company and platform.

How to best implement company volunteer programs, according to this Houston expert

guest column

Businesses continue to find new and innovative ways to promote volunteerism in alignment with efforts around corporate social responsibility. While larger corporations may have the resources to implement extensive volunteer programs, smaller corporations seek resourceful and cost-effective ways to give back to the community.

In addition to giving back to the communities' businesses serve, volunteerism is a great opportunity to support organizations that align with a company’s goals and further support or positively impact their industry. Similarly, prioritizing opportunities that are relevant to employee’s passions and interests can help boost participation from the organization.

Expanding one’s social responsibility doesn’t have to break the bank. Smaller companies trying to make an impact should start by establishing initiatives that lay the foundation for a successful volunteer program. To further build out a volunteer program, leaders should look to their employees to define what organizations or causes they are passionate about. In addition to surveying employees, identifying social concerns and personal cases such as a family member who is battling an illness within the organization, is another opportunity to build upon altruistic efforts.

While the demands of managing a philanthropic project may be a lot for one person to carry, establishing an internal council or team to help coordinate volunteer opportunities can help streamline efforts. Beyond a hands-on approach to volunteerism, companies can help multiply efforts by providing paid volunteer hours, matching gift programs and designating community service days.

Paid bolunteer hours

One cost-effective way for companies to give back through volunteerism is investing in paid volunteer hours for employees. Paid volunteer hours allow employees to commit a set number of hours each month or quarter to take paid time out of their workday to volunteer. Establishing a couple of hours of paid volunteer time can reap positive benefits for companies, their employees and the non-profit organizations they serve.

For many non-profits and charities, donating time to volunteer can be just as valuable as donating funds. Establishing a system where the team identifies a new volunteer opportunity every quarter can motivate employees to give back and continuously contribute to the volunteer program. In addition, providing paid volunteer hours is often seen as an employee perk and can be a great way to attract and retain top talent. Finally, coordinating volunteer opportunities does not have to be a burden, companies should lean on volunteer coordinators from organizations they are interested in partnering with to set up shifts and learn about how they can continue to give back.

Matching gift programs

In parallel to donating time, donating funds is another effective way to support non-profits and charities. Companies who are looking to make a bigger impact through financial support can organize matching gift programs. Matching gift programs are a philanthropic approach where companies financially match donations their employees make to non-profit organizations.

Deciding how much money to set aside annually for social investment is the first step to budgeting appropriately for matching gift programs. After setting aside a budget, determine what portion of funds will be allocated for monetary versus goods and services such as meals, gifts, etc. Following prioritization of the budget and how funds will be allocated, determine how much money the company is able to match employees. Most importantly, establishing ground rules for gift matching ensures the company supports its employees' philanthropic efforts while aligning with its own realistic expectations. Matching gift programs are considered a great opportunity to make a positive impact and help employees maximize their donations.

Community service days

Donating time and or money on a consistent basis may not be an ideal option for every company, especially those who are beginning their corporate volunteer efforts from the ground up. Community service days are a practical alternative to paid volunteer time and matching gift programs.

Community service days offer more flexibility as they can be sporadic and align with times when an organization is most available. Community service days are established days to choose projects or offer services free of charge which in return give back to the community. These services could include planting trees at a local park, working with the local animal shelter, hosting blood drives or delivering food to homebound residents. Companies should look for opportunities to support the community especially in times of crisis or natural disasters. Identifying how a business can support a community in need after major events like hurricanes, floods and other catastrophes can have a huge impact on a business’s corporate social responsibility.

Ultimately, volunteer programs provide a platform for employees to make a positive impact in the community. The effects of volunteer efforts through financial or in-kind donations expand beyond employee engagement. These opportunities further build relationships within the communities they serve and position participating businesses as a supportive partner.

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Jill Chapman is a director of early talent programs with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions.

Collaborative life science organization selects 7 innovators for inaugural Houston cohort

chosen ones

A group of seven groundbreaking scientists has been chosen as the first cohort of a top-flight new program for medical innovators.

Last year, the National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded the Gulf Coast Consortium with a $4 million grant. Its use? The Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub, known as REACH. REACH combines the powers of one of the world’s largest inter-institutional cooperatives — including eight Houston-area medical research organizations— to help accelerate fledgling innovations.

According to program manager Lacey Tezino, REACH received 31 applications over the course of a month last fall.

“They were really solid applications. I was just like, ‘Can we take all of them?’” Tezino tells InnovationMap.

The seven successful applicants were chosen through technology feedback forums led by experts in each field represented. According to Tezino, some of the industry and subject-matter experts went on to become mentors to the members of the first cohort, while others were simply too busy to contribute more of their time.

But the seven teams that were selected can rest assured that they’re in spectacular hands.

“When you are bringing a novel technology to us, I can find someone who is an expert in almost anything that you're doing within health care technology — everyone's at our fingertips. So when it comes to getting advisors, because we're in the Texas Medical Center, the network that we have in the ecosystem is so rich with health care technology, that the support that those who apply for REACH is sort of unmatched,” Tezino says.

Even more impressive, Tezino explains that there are NIH officers waiting to review the projects. For early-stage entrepreneurs, that means that they will be pushed to gain what will likely be their first NIH and SBIR (small business innovation research) grants.

“We get their plan together and then we basically put them on a platter for the NIH,” says Tezino.

Each innovator selected was chosen for their commitment to addressing health care challenges and their sheer brilliance in their subjects, says Tezino. They include:

  • Fernanda Laezza, from the University of Texas Medical Branch, who is seeking to create next-generation pain medications by developing small-molecule drugs.
  • Robert Y. Tsai, from Texas A&M University Institute for Biosciences and Technology, who is testing a medicated, mucoadhesive patch as a non-invasive treatment of oral precancers.
  • Jean X. Jiang and Johanna Webb, from Riverwalk Therapeutics in San Antonio, who are working on new treatments for metastatic cancer and fibrotic retinal diseases.
  • Nadia German, from Texas Tech University, who seeks to treat triple-negative breast cancer and neuropathic pain with novel drugs.
  • Daniel Diaz and his team at Intelligent Proteins in Houston, who are using AI tools to engineer new proteins for use in cancer treatments.
  • From Texas A&M University, Thomas Kent is developing oxidized carbon nanoparticles to treat mitochondrial diseases, including Friedreich’s ataxia.
  • Mario Escobar, from Rice University, who is advancing a novel biologic gene therapy to treat heart failure.

The REACH program lasts nine months, but before the end of that time, the GCC will have recruited and begun working with the next cohort. Interested scientists can apply for the program on a rolling basis at GCCREACH.org. Tezino says that GCC plans to work with three cohorts a year, so there are ample opportunities for qualified candidates.