Plenty of businesses met their new partners. Photo by Luis Alvarez/Getty

Earlier in August, participants from around the globe gathered online for HealthTech Beyond Borders, a virtual summit hosted by ProChile that's designed to match American and Chilean businesses looking to explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector.

During the four-day event, registrants sat in on more than 65 meetings — or an average of 2.5 meetings per hour — that tackled such topics as "Why Chile? Exploring Chilean Medical Innovations," "Dynamic Growth for Healthcare Innovators/Innovations (Venture Capital)," and "Harnessing Healthcare's Regional Resources: Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia."

"I was really impressed by the quality of groups and speakers for this event," says Torrey Adams, senior director of global life sciences at Greater Houston Partnership. "It was a very well put together with excellent networking and connecting opportunities. I gained a much better insight on the possibilities of collaborating with Chilean companies."

There were 37 registrants from Texas, which also contributed such strategic partners as Houston Methodist Hospital, the City of Houston, Houston Exponential, The Cannon, Greater Houston Partnership, MediaTech Ventures, Central Houston Inc., and InnovationMap (hello!).

A total of 35 Chilean companies participated, with such heavy-hitters as Cens (the national center for healthcare systems), ChileTech (a health providers association), Apis (medical devices), and CNL (the national labs board) joining the roster.

"It was a pleasure to moderate the HealthTech Beyond Borders session," says José F. Núñez, vice president of global development at Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services. "It is forums like these that foster the exchange of ideas and bring together individuals and organizations to further promote innovation in the health sciences space. Kudos to ProChile, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia for the resources they provide to entrepreneurs in facilitating these connections."

Though it's impossible to know the actual numbers — ProChile isn't privy to private negotiations — a survey taken by the attending companies estimates that $1 million in immediate business will be done as a direct result of the event. In the next 12 months, that figure is estimated to jump up to $2.9 million.

"We created an inclusive 'village' of innovation where entrepreneurs and startups from around the world come to solve humankind's boldest challenges," says Robert Pieroni, director of economic development for Central Houston, Inc. "Events like ProChile's HeathTech Beyond Borders demonstrate how the world is responding to what Houston has built. With Downtown Launchpad, TMC Innovation, the Ion, and others, we are clearly becoming a global center of gravity to inspire innovation and support entrepreneurship."

Find your next global match. Photo by Tone Fotografia/Getty

Final call for virtual global healthtech summit — and it's free to attend

Get Your Tickets

It's nearly time: The online international summit HealthTech Beyond Borders is about to explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector. A special focus on medical and healthcare developments and opportunities in Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia is the highlight this year's event.

The basics
HealthTech Beyond Borders is sponsored by ProChile and runs August 10-13, with four days of virtual programming. You can reserve your spot for free here.

The topics
A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

The summits
There are three summits on the docket., each beginning at 9:55 am Central. Day one's focus is "Why Chile? Exploring Chilean Medical Inventions," while day two will cover "Dynamic Growth for Healthcare Innovators/Innovations." Day three's focus is "Harnessing Healthcare's Regional Resources: Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia."

The speakers
Panelists include Matias Gutierrez, CEO of Genosur LLC; Alberto Rodríguez Navarro from Levita Magnetics, and such Chilean organizations as Asocciación de Clínicas, Asociación de Proveedores de la Industria de la Salud, Associación Nano Cámara Nacional de Laboratorios, ChileTec, Cobre, and Hospital Fundación Lopez Perez.

From the United States, presenting organizations include MEDIATECH Ventures, Houston Methodist, MATTER Health, the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, City of Houston, City of Philadelphia, Greater Houston Partnership, The Cannon, World Business Chicago, and Widener University Small Business Development Council.

The stats
A whopping 13 percent of Chile's startups are healthcare related (according to the Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation Ministry of Chile) and the growth rate of robotic surgeries done in Chile between 2010 and 2018 increased by 674 percent.

An estimated 93.7 percent of the Chilean population is covered by health insurance, and the county has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America.

Likewise, the United States is the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices, representing over 25 percent of the total Chilean exports in the sector.

The Free Trade Agreement of 2004 and the Duty-Free status between the two countries also make Chile an attractive and reliable trade partner. So much so, that the U.S. is the No. 1 investor in Chile, with $22 billion invested in projects in the last 7 years.

You won't want to miss this virtual gathering — RSVP for free here.

Connect globally without ever leaving the States. Photo by Leo Patrizi/Getty

It's almost time for the free global healthtech event you won't want to miss

Reserve Your Spot

Imagine a gathering of such healthtech heavy-hitters as Genosur, Levita, MEDIATECH Ventures, Houston Methodist, and MATTER Health, all in one (virtual) room.

Now imagine hearing not only from these companies, but from a dozen more representing both America and Chile in a four-day online event, held August 10-13 that's free to attend.

HealthTech Beyond Borders, sponsored by ProChile, helps facilitate matchmaking opportunities between medical and healthcare organizations from both countries. Not only can they learn from one another, but hopefully these meetings will set the stage for future global collaborations.

The international summit will also explore the future and impact of new technologies in the healthcare sector. A special focus on medical and healthcare developments and opportunities in Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia is the highlight this year's event.

"We are proud to produce this event and bring so many innovative and leading healthcare organizations and associations together," says Sylas Bailey-Kelly, Chilean Trade Commissioner US Midwest. "Medical and healthcare innovation is an area where Chile and the United States can excel and continue to collaborate to benefit citizens in both countries, and around the world."

As the top investor in Chile, with $22 billion devoted to Chilean projects in the last seven years, the United States is the largest stakeholder in Chilean business developments and the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices.

Likewise, an estimated 93.7 percent of the population in Chile is covered by health insurance, and the country has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America. Chile currently spends nearly 9.14 percent of its GDP on health as compared to the United States, where we only spend 13 percent on healthcare.

Some helpful logistics about the event: Its matchmaking platform allows participants to customize meeting times to fit their own schedules. Attendees can pick and choose which days and times they want to attend and can have one-to-one meetings (25 minutes per meeting) with Chilean participants from research centers, universities, hospitals, healthcare solution providers, and other key Chilean institutions.

The schedule for panel discussions will be posted in advance of the meeting. Presentations on partnering with Chile and the economic opportunities available, along with conversations on geographic hot spots in the U.S. and access to capital, will also be topics highlighted throughout the event.

A more detailed list of the participants includes Chilean organizations Asocciación de Clínicas, Asociación de Proveedores de la Industria de la Salud, Associación Nano Cámara Nacional de Laboratorios, ChileTec, Cobre, and Hospital Fundación Lopez Perez. From the United States, presenting organizations include the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, City of Houston, City of Philadelphia, Greater Houston Partnership, The Cannon, World Business Chicago, and Widener University Small Business Development Council.

If your company develops and sells healthcare products and services, medical devices, and equipment, or is a hospital supply manufacturer, you should attend this unique event.

Registration for HealthTech Beyond Borders is free — reserve your spot now.

Connect globally for free. Photo by AJ Watt/Getty

Get a glimpse at the schedule and speakers for global healthtech event

Itinerary Time

HealthTech Beyond Borders is coming up August 10-13, 2021, where American healthtech companies can find their perfect match with Chilean collaborators. But what exactly can you expect from the free, virtual event?

Besides answering the question "why Chile?," the seminars will touch on everything from software solutions and medical facility management to healthcare products and services, and even venture capital opportunities.

A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

The first day includes such panelists as Matias Gutierrez, CEO of Genosur LLC, and Alberto Rodríguez Navarro from Levita Magnetics.

A discussion on the current healthcare innovation ecosystem in Chile and the region's strengths, as well as developments for key sub-sectors are also on tap.

Day two kicks off with everything you'd want to know about venture capital, and why the U.S. has been the largest for Chilean startups.

Find answers to questions like what do early stage companies need to consider and what steps do they need to take to best prepare themselves to receive funding, as well as what are the important tools for companies to reach VC on each territory?

Day three examines the question "Why the U.S.?" What have Houston, Chicago, and Philadelphia done to become key healthcare hubs in the world, and what role do international partners play in these efforts? Representatives from each city are participating.

Likewise, why do international healthcare companies prioritize your respective markets, and how do these cities support expansion? Learn how the global U.S. private healthcare sector can reach Latin America, and how ProChile — the event's sponsor — can help make these connections.

Registration is now open, so get your free tickets here.

Great collaboration doesn't abide by borders. Photo by Blue Images/Getty

Free virtual event helps healthtech companies go global

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

In the growing healthtech sector, two is better than one — two partners, that is. If you've ever been curious what collaborating with an international company would be like, HealthTech Beyond Borders can provide answers.

The free virtual event, sponsored by ProChile and set for August 10-13, 2021, was created to offer matchmaking opportunities and set the scene for global collaborations focused on innovative medical technology between companies from Chile and the United States.

A curated group of successful Chilean and U.S. healthtech companies are participating, including those that specialize in artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, medical robotics, gene therapies, nanomedicine, neurotechnology, eye care tech, telehealth, imaging diagnostics, wellness and fitness, mental health, and more.

You can explore everything from software solutions and medical facility management to healthcare products and services, and even venture capital opportunities.

And if you're wondering "why Chile?" there are some pretty compelling stats.

A whopping 13 percent of Chile's startups are healthcare related (according to the Science, Technology, Knowledge, and Innovation Ministry of Chile) and the growth rate of robotic surgeries done in Chile between 2010 and 2018 increased by 674 percent.

An estimated 93.7 percent of the Chilean population is covered by health insurance, and the county has one of the highest shares of health spending in relation to its gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America.

Likewise, the United States is the top destination for Chilean exports of medical devices, representing over 25 percent of the total Chilean exports in the sector.

The Free Trade Agreement of 2004 and the Duty-Free status between the two countries also make Chile an attractive and reliable trade partner. So much so, that the U.S. is the No. 1 investor in Chile, with $22 billion invested in projects in the last 7 years.

And with Houston being home to the largest hospital center in the world — Texas Medical Center, which served 13 million patients in 2020 — it only makes sense that healthtech companies here would be looking for ways to improve and expand. Reserve your free spot for the event here.

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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."

Here's the income it takes to live among the top 1 percent in Texas

isn't that rich?

Wondering how "the other half lives" is so outdated, especially when we we can easily peek into what life is like for the "one percent." A new report from SmartAsset reveals how much money you'll need to be considered the top one percent in Texas.

With two Houston suburbs landing among the richest cities in Texas in a recent report, it's obvious that the Lone Star State is dotted with pockets of wealth. But how much do you actually need in your pocket to have a top one percent income?

In Texas, an annual income of $641,400 will land you at the top, while $258,400 only gets you to the top five percent.

To come up with those numbers, SmartAsset analyzed 2019 data from IRS tax units and adjusted the figures to 2022 dollars using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For comparison, "the average American household earns a median income of under $70,000," according to the study. And per the latest figures from the U. S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Texas (in 2021 dollars) is $67,321. That leaves plenty of us with a long way to go in our financial striving.

So now we know how we compare to our neighbors, but where does that put the affluent population of Texas in comparison with other states?

For starters, Texas claimed the 10th highest income required to reach top income levels.

The one percent income threshold is hardest to meet in Connecticut ($955,000), Massachusetts ($900,000), New Jersey ($825,965), New York ($817,796), and California ($805,519). Only these five states have thresholds that exceed $800,00, and it's a pretty steep drop down to Texas ($641,400) in 10th place.

The five states where it's easiest to attain one percent status (even though that doesn't seem like good news) are Kentucky ($447,300), Arkansas ($446,276), New Mexico ($418,970), Mississippi ($383,128), and West Virginia ($374,712).

The SmartAsset report also included average tax rates for top earners in each state. There was surprisingly little variance in the top 10 states, with Washington state having the lowest rate (25.02%) and Connecticut collecting the highest tax rate (27.77%).

Texas was in the middle of the pack with a tax rate of 25.71% levied on top one percent incomes.

The 10 states with the highest earnings required to be a one-percenter and their tax rates are:

  1. Connecticut ($955.3K, Tax rate 27.77%)
  2. Massachusetts ($896.9K, Tax rate 26.4%)
  3. New Jersey ($826K, Tax rate 27.36%)
  4. New York ($817.8K, Tax rate 27.48%)
  5. California ($805.5K, Tax rate 26.78%)
  6. Washington ($736.1K, Tax rate 25.02%)
  7. Colorado ($682.9K, Tax rate 25.24%)
  8. Florida ($678.8K, Tax rate 25.23%)
  9. Illinois ($666.2K, Tax rate 26.23%)
  10. Texas ($641.4K, Tax rate 25.71%)
If you're on your way to being a top earner and want to do a deeper dive on those numbers, you can view the full report on the SmartAsset website.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

How Houston businesses can support employee mental health in 2023, according to expert

guest column

In 2023, it is imperative leaders keep the wellbeing of their workforce at the forefront of their minds.

According to an October 2022 publication from the McKinsey Health Institute, 59 percent of the global workforce report having at least one mental health challenge either now or in the past. These challenges not only threaten employee wellbeing but can also impact performance by a reduction in productivity.

Numerous factors outside of work impact individual mental health. Nonetheless, employers can make a difference with a few key steps, such as properly training management to mitigate toxic behaviors, prioritizing inclusivity and providing mental health resources.

Management training

To start, leaders need to prepare their managers to set the tone for employees. Frontline managers can have a large influence on employee wellbeing through their daily interactions with their teams. Even if organizations offer a host of mental health benefits, employees might not take advantage if their managers do not buy in. There is no substitute for the genuine care and concern that a supportive manager offers their employees, and they can tell the difference when they are authentically cared for or not.

Although the vast majority of managers have good intentions toward their employees, managers also may hold themselves and their teams to high standards without realizing the impact on mental health. Managers should receive training in how to respect work-life balance, help employees prioritize their duties, and create and maintain a supportive, positive work environment. These things may not have been on the radar for management in the past, but it is now the norm to lead with the wellness of the whole person in mind.

Beyond helping employees balance their lives, managers also need support in balancing their own, particularly to avoid burnout. Employees and managers may both face pressure to perform, and leaders need to make sure mental health initiatives for junior employees do not simply transfer excessive workloads to their supervisors. To accomplish that, train managers in time- and stress-management techniques and keep the lines of communication open with the executive team. Staying in tune with the pulse of wellness at work requires open communication and the commitment to support work-life balance by all members of the organization.

Prioritize inclusivity

Since 2020, inclusivity has become a bigger and bigger part of the conversation about workplace culture. The impact of a discriminatory workplace on mental health can be profound. When employees experience or indirectly experience discrimination in the workplace, their overall wellbeing suffers, with engagement and satisfaction decreasing as well, according to a 2021 survey from Gallup. The good news is most workplaces already have policies in place to prevent and report discriminatory practices.

However, a truly inclusive workplace will go beyond anti-discrimination policies to create an affirmative environment where employees can fully embrace their identities. Steps to promote inclusivity include celebrating holidays of various cultures, creating opportunities for employees to discuss their heritage and traditions, organizing relationship-focused exercises and offering educational opportunities in the workplace. To promote unity in the workplace, leaders should take care to discourage the formation of cliques and ensure all employees feel welcomed and not judged or mistreated by coworkers. Valuing diversity and honoring the individual drives the culture of tolerance and acceptance, which promotes a harmonious and productive work environment and team.

Provide mental health resources

To promote mental health and wellness, employees need access to the right resources and the knowledge to navigate those resources. In many cases, employees with the biggest mental health challenges may also face the most obstacles in receiving care. For employers offering health care benefits, employees may need training on how to find mental health practitioners in their area. What is more, employees accustomed to inconvenient appointment times or long wait lists for therapists may benefit from learning about online therapy platforms, which can offer care sooner and outside of typical work hours.

Many employers also choose to offer an employee assistance plan, or EAP, which can offer further mental health programs, free of charge. Despite their relevance to employees in need, EAPs are often overlooked and underutilized, making it even more necessary for managers or HR to proactively reach out to employees and educate them about their EAP benefits.

For organizations without the budget to provide health care benefits or EAPs, their leadership should investigate free or low-cost mental health resources in their region. In many cases, local government will provide free access or subsidies for mental health care. Nonprofit organizations may also offer free programs for those meeting eligibility requirements.

Employers should keep in mind employees may feel afraid to use mental health benefits for fear of stigma. While managers should be careful not to intrude on employees’ personal lives, managers can still gently offer caring support to employees who show signs of struggling with mental health, including chronic tardiness, absenteeism, low mood and a sudden change in personality or work performance. The ability to know if a behavior is out of the norm for an employee, the manager needs to have built a relationship with them and to care enough to notice the change.

As employees continue to face mental health challenges in their personal lives, employers can be part of the solution by educating managers, emphasizing inclusivity and offering mental health resources and support. Being a caring human being goes a long way, even at work.

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Karen Leal is a performance specialist with Houston-based Insperity, a provider of human resources offering a suite of scalable HR solutions available in the marketplace.