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Houston House Returns to SXSW to Spotlight Tech and Innovation

Published Mar 17, 2023 by Taylor Tatum

Panelists at Houston House at 2023 SXSW

Houston House returned to Austin for the South by Southwest Conference for its third year, bringing a new group of panelists and industry experts together to deliver a full day of thought-provoking content for over 750 attendees. Houston-based industry leaders and innovators discussed the startup journey, how they’re challenging the status quo in their respective industries to improve products or services, and more. If you were unable to join the Partnership at SXSW, check out our recap of the conversations below. 


Demystifying the Startup Journey 

Houston House kicked off its day of programming by dispelling the mystique surrounding the startup journey and answering questions about hiring, funding, and finding the right product-market fit. Panelists discussed in-depth how to find and attract the right talent, including cost-effective strategies and solutions for cash-strapped founders, and what they wished they had done differently during their various rounds of funding. 


Ted Gutierrez, Co-Founder and CEO, 

Gaurav Khandelwal, Founder and CEO, Velostics 

Simone May, Co-Founder and CTO, Clutch 

Moderator: Natalie Harms, Editor, Innovation Map 


The Future is Female: Triumphs of Women in Tech 

It’s no secret that female founders face a unique set of challenges compared to their male counterparts, especially when funding their next business venture. The panel discussed funding challenges, how they challenge stereotypes in male-dominated industries, and overcoming the feelings of guilt and inadequacy that plague women in business. 

“The insecurity women feel that ‘we're not good enough' needs to go. Men don't experience that.” - Lydia Davies, Founder & CEO of TEAMATES 


Lydia Davies, Founder and CEO, TEAMATES 

Taci Pereira, CEO, Systemic Bio 

Janice Tran, Co-Founder and CEO, Kanin Energy 

Moderator: Carrie Colbert, Founding and General Partner, Curate Capital 


Building a Tech Unicorn 

Every tech startup hopes to become the next unicorn, but not everyone makes the cut. Featuring an in-depth conversation with Solugen’s co-founder and CEO, Gaurab Chakrabarti, the panel covered his background growing up in Houston, the surprising marketing campaign that put Solugen on the map, and the journey leading to it becoming a tech unicorn. 

Gaurab Chakrabarti, Co-Founder and CEO, Solugen 

Moderator: Payal Patel, Principal, Softeq Ventures and Director, Softeq Venture Studio 


People packed the room at Houston House to hear from Solugen CEO Gaurab Chakrabarti.


Unlocking the Power of AI: Insights & Innovations 

Technology and innovation converged in this panel discussing recent developments in artificial intelligence and what the future of business will look like as it becomes more widespread and advanced, including the policies and legislation that may become necessary as AI becomes more intelligent. From song lyrics written in the style of Taylor Swift to how the health care industry is utilizing this technology to better serve its patients, it is clear that we are just beginning to scratch the surface of AI’s capabilities. 

“The Ion [in Houston] is going to bring innovation, elevate clean tech energy, and push health care to the next level. That’s why we want to be involved and that’s why you should too.” - Murat Uralkan, Director of Innovation at Houston Methodist


Sidd Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, Nesh 

Rob Meadows, Founder and CEO, AI Foundation 

Murat Uralkan, Director of Innovation, Houston Methodist 

Moderator: Dave Mathews, Principal Venture Capitalist and CTO Advisor, Softeq 


Connecting Industries, Empowering Innovation 

Ever wondered what it looks like when the brightest minds in different industries come together? The nexus of innovation and collaboration across industries in Houston took center stage in this discussion of how industry leaders can continue to break down traditional barriers and create advancements in everything from biotech to the energy transition. 


Barbara Belvisi, Founder and CEO, Interstellar Lab 

Moji Karimi, Co-Founder and CEO, Cemvita Factory 

Nic Radford, Founder, President, and CEO, Nauticus Robotics 

Moderator: Brad Rossacci, Creative Director, Accenture 

The Houston House program at SXSW 2023 will be available to stream on-demand soon. 

Learn more about Houston’s innovation ecosystem

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