In honor of Startup Day Houston, I attended a breakfast today at Station Houston, the mecca of our city’s ‘young and hot’ companies that offers a fully baked co-work space with unlimited access to leading entrepreneurs. I’ve been camped out at Station for the past month consulting for my totally awesome and inspiring solar client that is taking the renewables world by storm.
Mayor Sylvester Turner kicked off the event with an inspiring and BOLD message to entrepreneurs: most job creation in any given city is fueled by companies that are under five years old. Houston is GREATLY lagging in the number of startups on a per capita basis. This has to change, and Mayor Turner committed to nothing short of a huge redirection to get Houston moving in the right direction.
1- The Mayor’s big vision is to support entrepreneurs in a big business case. It’s where the majority of new jobs will come from, and the role that young companies play is critical.
2- Mayor Turner recently returned from Israel where there are more startups per capita than any other place on the map. Israel is the size of New Jersey. Houston wasn’t anywhere on the map as far as startups go…
3- ALL companies, despite how young or old, must innovate or die.
4- We haven’t played in an integrative fashion, that’s been our downfall. There hasn’t been enough collaboration and integration of three key ingredients: talent, technology and diversity. Yet…Houston has a huge abundance of these ingredients. And now they have to be successfully integrated to support the growth of startups.
5- Now is the time for us to play and up our game. With commitment to an innovation district, data scientist database, and other resources, Houston is stepping up this game with the Mayor and his office leadership.
The event continued with a very dynamic and diverse panel that spoke to innovation and the support they receive from Station Houston.