5 most popular innovation stories in Houston this week
Another week has come and gone, and it's time to round up the top headlines from the past few days. Trending Houston tech and startup news on InnovationMap included innovators to know, Rice University alumni winning big at a pitch competition, events not to miss this month, and more.
This week's roundup of Houston innovators includes Sam Dike of Rice Management Company, Barbara Burger of Greentown Labs, and Joe Alapat of Liongard. Courtesy photos
Editor's note: In this week's roundup of Houston innovators to know, I'm introducing you to three local innovators across industries — from clean energy to software — recently making headlines in Houston innovation. Click here to continue reading.
Here's your one-stop shop for innovation events in Houston this month. Photo via Getty Images
Houstonians are transitioning into a new summer month, and the city's business community is mixing in networking and conference events with family vacations and time off. Here's a rundown of what all to throw on your calendar for July when it comes to innovation-related events. Click here to continue reading.
Retaining employees is no easy feat these days. Encouraging a healthy PTO policy can help avoid burnout. Photo courtesy of Joe Aker
As many small businesses continue to operate in a challenging, fast-paced environment, one thing that has arrived at breakneck speed is midyear, along with the summer months. Theoretically, to ensure work-life balance, most employees should have 50 percent of their PTO remaining to use for summer vacations and during the second half of the year. In reality, that is probably not the case given workers are hesitant to use their PTO, leaving approximately five days of unused PTO on the table during 2020 and 2021 .
While the pandemic affected PTO usage the last two years, the labor shortage appears to be a major contributor in 2022, which has led to PTO hoarding and increasing levels of employee burnout. Although these factors can be compounded for small business owners because there are fewer employees to handle daily responsibilities, it is imperative for workers to take PTO, returning recharged with a fresh perspective on the tasks at hand.
Many employers might feel caught off guard by the amount of unused PTO that remains, but the good news is there is plenty of time to address the issue. Below are five ways for small business owners to help prevent PTO hoarding and encourage workers to take their allotted time off. Click here to continue reading,
These three startups walked away from a pitch competition with thousands of dollars in equity-free prizes. Photo c ourtesy of Rice University
Three startups founded by Rice University graduates have won investment prizes at an annual pitch competition.
The annual H. Albert Napier Rice Launch Challenge, or NRLC, welcomed a panel of judges to hear from six alumni-founded startups in the finals last week. The prizes on the line totaled $65,000 in equity-free funding. The event, which is separate from the student version of the competition , is hosted by Rice’s Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship . Click here to continue reading.
Veronica Wu, founder of First Bight Ventures, recently announced new team members and her hopes for making Houston a leader in synthetic biology. Photo courtesy of First Bight Ventures
Since launching earlier this year, a Houston-based venture capital firm dedicated to investing in synthetic biology companies has made some big moves.
First Bight Ventures, founded by Veronica Wu , announced its growing team and plans to stand up a foundry and accelerator for its portfolio companies and other synthetic biology startups in Houston. The firm hopes to make Houston an international leader in synthetic biology.
“We have a moment in time where we can make Houston the global epicenter of synthetic biology and the bio economy," Wu says to a group of stakeholders last week at First Bight's Rocketing into the Bioeconomy event. "Whether its energy, semiconductor, space exploration, or winning the World Series — Houstonians lead. It’s in our DNA. While others look to the stars, we launch people into space.” Click here to continue reading.