5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Editor's note: Trending this week are Houston innovation stories of various industries — like venture capital, real estate, and architecture — are reacting to the coronavirus outbreak and its subsequent challenges.
This week's innovators to know include University of Houston business school Dean Paul Pavlou, the PR Boutique's Karen Henry, and SecurityGate Founder Ted Gutierrez. Photos courtesy
As another week begins, there's a few people you should know within the business and innovation world of Houston.
This week's Houston innovators to know includes a quick-thinking business school dean leading a college virtually, a public relations expert with the reasons you need to focus on social media for your business, and an entrepreneur who's providing key resources for business owners looking to safely get workers back in the office. Read more.
Both commercial and residential real estate businesses have been greatly affected by social distancing mandate. These two Houston companies are using technology to help grow their business. Photo courtesy of Cameron Management
As the coronavirus impacts foot traffic throughout businesses in Houston, the real estate world is ushering in digital resources to adapt to a socially distanced city.
Mike Miller, vice president of Ashlar Development, saw the growing threat of COVID-19 in early March and knew he and his team had to find new ways to engage prospective home buyers safely. By the time Houston County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the stay-at-home order, Ashlar Development had started the process of drafting a 360-degree interactive map for its northeast Houston community, The Groves, that would allow homebuyers to virtually tour the property. Read more.
Out-of-state VC firm with eyes on Houston actively — but cautiously — continues to invest amid COVID-19
Despite the effect COVID-19 has had on Houston venture capital, this Kansas City, Missouri-based VC is looking to continue to connect with the local tech scene remotely. Getty Images
A Kansas City, Missouri-based venture capital firm has had its eyes on Houston since fall of last year, and it's not letting the pandemic slow down its immersion into the local startup ecosystem.
Flyover Capital focuses on tech startups based in the middle of the country — from Denver to Atlanta, and the Twin Cities down to Houston. Usually funding seed to series A rounds, Flyover's thesis is geared at "creating the next generation of tech success stories outside traditional tech hubs," says Dan Kerr, principal at the firm. Read more.
Learn how to contact trace COVID-19 with UH's new, online course. Photo by Getty Images
As the nationwide battle against COVID-19 surges on, the University of Houston is launching a free new program to train locals how to identify and warn potentially exposed individuals throughout the region.
The new contact tracing and case identification certificate program — dubbed Epi Corps for Epidemiology Corps — is meant to train up a new type of so-called "disease detective" to combat coronavirus. The 12-hour, online course is currently open to UH students, faculty, and staff — and will soon be made available to the general public, according to the university. Read more.
Here's how this work-from-home experiment has affected the office space — from a design perspective. Photo courtesy of Joe Aker
The last nine weeks have thrust businesses large and small into an experiment unlike anything we might have ever imagined. The impact has the potential to separate businesses that will stagnate versus those that will accelerate and thrive.
Our workplaces may become smaller as we realize we don't all need to be there at the same time, but they certainly won't go away. They will, instead, be more human-centered, more technologically robust, and more resilient for the next time. So, a warning too: If the office is unsafe, scary, or demeaning — if it doesn't put people first — employees will vote with their feet. Read more.