Houston House returns to SXSW to put the spotlight on technology and innovation

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 how to start up, how they challenge the status quo in their respective industries to improve products or services, and more. If you weren’t able to join the Partnership at SXSW, check out our recap of the talks below.

Demystifying the startup journey

Houston House kicked off its day of programming by demystifying the startup journey and answering questions about hiring, funding and finding the right product market. The panelists discussed in depth how to find and attract the right talent, including cost-effective strategies and solutions for struggling founders and what they wish they had done differently during the various funding rounds.


Ted Gutierrez, Co-Founder and CEO, SecurityGate.io

Gaurav Khandelwal, Founder and CEO, Velosticks

Simon May, Co-Founder and CTO, Clutch

Moderator: Natalie Harms, editor, Innovation Map

The Future is Female: The Triumph of Women in Technology

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 guilt and inadequacy that plague women in business.

“Insecure women who think ‘we’re not good enough’ need to leave.” Men do not experience this. – Lydia Davis, Founder and CEO of TEAMATES


Lydia Davis, Founder and CEO, TEAMATES

Tachi Pereira, CEO, Systemic Bio

Janice Tran, Co-Founder and CEO, Kanin Energy

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

Building a technological unicorn

Every tech startup hopes to become the next unicorn, but not all succeed. 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 that led to its transformation into a tech unicorn.

Gaurab Chakrabarti, Co-Founder and CEO, Solugen

Moderator: Payal Patel, Director, 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 and Innovation

Technology and innovation came together in this panel, discussing the latest developments in artificial intelligence and what the future of business will look like as it becomes more pervasive 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 healthcare industry is using this technology to better serve their patients, it’s clear that we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of AI’s capabilities.

“The Ion [in Houston] will bring innovation, elevate clean energy technology and push healthcare to the next level. That’s why we want to be involved, and that’s why you should be involved too.” – Murat Uralkan, Chief Innovation Officer at Houston Methodist


Sid Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, Nash

Rob Meadows, Founder and CEO, AI Foundation

Murat Uralkan, Chief Innovation Officer, Houston Methodist

Moderator: Dave Matthews, Chief Venture Capitalist and CTO Advisor, Softeq

Connecting industries, empowering innovation

Have you ever wondered what it looks like when the brightest minds in different industries come together? The connection between innovation and collaboration among Houston industries took center stage in this discussion about how industry leaders can continue to break down traditional barriers and create advances in everything from biotechnology to the energy transition.


Barbara Belvisi, Founder and CEO, Interstellar Lab

Moji Karimi, Co-Founder and CEO, Cemvita Factory

Nick Radford, Founder, President and CEO, Nauticus Robotics

Moderator: Brad Rosaci, Creative Director, Accenture

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

Learn more about Houston’s innovation ecosystem.

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