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Week six went by in a flash of lightning (literally, what is up with this weather?). On Monday, founders scaled Mount Everest, though some needed rescuing from the mountain. Kaz Karwowski, Executive Director at Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) led teams in a team decision-making simulation exercise. Founders balanced individual goals with those of the group in attempt to reach a summit on Mount Everest.

Tuesday was all about funding, funding, and more funding. Morning to evening, teams were busy getting rich in sessions about venture capital, angel capital, non-dilutive funding — PAUSE: we were interrupted by yet another fire alarm at TMCx — and crowdfunding. By the end of the day, we were green with knowledge, thanks to Blair Garrou of Mercury Fund, Rob Tucci of Houston Angel Network and Texas Halo Fund, Deborah Mansfield of Houston Technology Center, and Marc Nathan of T-Squared Agency.

Wednesday was theme day at the coworking space. We celebrated ‘Merica with Good Dog hot dogs, arcade basketball, ping pong — while decked out in red, white and blue.
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When you hear the name Potato Displays, you likely aren’t thinking of the Spontaneous Pop Up Display (SPUD). Founders Alex Wesley, Rocky Wu and George Zhu are creating SPUD, the only 20+ inch electronic display that collapses roughly to the size of a handful of tater tots. Backed with an eight-hour battery life, SPUD is a high-resolution 1080p display that wirelessly connects to your phone, tablet or laptop wirelessly, designed to increase productivity for the mobile professional.

“Our technology enables the increasingly mobile customer to have the large display they need wherever and whenever they want (and it’s really cool),” Alex says. The idea came when he was working as a product manager, often working away from his office. “I felt hobbled using my small laptop screen so I created SPUD.”
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In the Houston startup community, Deborah Mansfield is known for her ability to connect and enable people. In fact, you can find her on Twitter under the handle @dotconnector. “If you feed your network, the people are very generous,” she says.

In her roles of Director of Life Sciences Acceleration at Houston Technology Center (HTC) and Associate Director of the Gulf Coast Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (RCIC), Deborah provides strategic and tactical management, as well as investment advice to local early stage companies that are developing innovative technologies applied in the life sciences industry.
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07.16.2015  //  Startup Founders Series & Social with Jay Steinfeld
Join us for the next Startup Founders Series with Jay Steinfeld, as he shares anecdotal stories and lessons learned founding and launching Jay Steinfeld is the founder and CEO of, the world’s largest online window coverings store. After starting a small chain of window coverings retail stores in Houston, TX, he launched the Internet’s first blinds Web site in 1993 and sold his company to The Home Depot in 2014.
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08.11.2015  //  Bayou Startup Showcase
The Bayou Startup Showcase is a celebration of entrepreneurship, the Houston startup community, and the university accelerator programs that support them. Jointly hosted by OwlSpark and RED Labs, the event provides an opportunity for startup teams from both programs to showcase their businesses.
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Overheard at OwlSpark:

“Hello. I’m a lawyer.”

“QR codes are the opposite of joy."

"I think it should have a name, like you know how flip flops have a name?"

“A Gantt chart? 1995 called and they want their project management techniques back.”


relive our moments this week »


Rodman Johnson '86  ·  Michael Kane '83  ·  John Spencer '94  ·  The Benificus Foundation

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