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WeekWise: Nine through Twelve

Another #bayoustartupsummer in the books! The most rewarding part of our jobs at OwlSpark is watching the progress our founders make over the summer (and beyond). With more than 400 in attendance at the Sixth Annual Bayou Startup Showcase, the startups showcased their businesses to the greater Houston community. 

Though we'll miss them so, we're excited to watch our startups continue to grow. Congratulations, OwlSpark Class 7, and best wishes for startup success!
It takes a village to raise a startup—and at OwlSpark, it is no different. Our gratitude and kudos to our village, our speakers and subject matter experts who shared their valuable time and insight over the summer, especially these final weeks:
Syed Biabani

Stephanie Campbell
Houston Angel Network
The Artemis Fund

Charles Connell
PredictMX, OwlSpark Class 5

Al Danto
Rice University

Carlos Estrada

Chris Georgen
OwlSpark Class 4

Ayman Haq
Vinson & Elkins

Trey Hebert
Vinson & Elkins

Keith Kreuer
RedHouse Associates

Samantha Lewis
SpecMobile, OwlSpark Class 5
GOOSE Society of Texas

Rob McKee
Examtron, RED Labs Class 4
University of Houston-Downtown

Gayle Moran
Rice University

Jon Nordby
Beth O'Sullivan
Rice University

Andrew Parks
AP Growth Strategies

Matthew Peña
OwlSpark Class 3 and 6

Kate Rainey
Vinson & Elkins

Andrew Swick
OwlSpark Class 1

Anderson Ta
Open Factory, OwlSpark Class 3

Alejandro Tortoriello
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Stephen Tsai
Tax Credit Hero
OwlSpark Class 6

Kevin Valdez

Adam Wulf
Milestone Made

Rassul Zarinfar
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company

Randy Zhou
Blume Laboratories
RED Labs Class 5

TeamWise: DASH Innovations

Can you imagine not knowing when you need to use the restroom? Your bladder fills up as it normally does, but you have no concept of how full your bladder is getting. This is the struggle that patients with neurogenic bladder face in their everyday lives. Having a neurogenic bladder means that their bladder and brain don’t communicate with each other. These patients always run the risk of their bladder becoming too full and pressure building to dangerous levels. This is where DASH Innovations steps in to save the day. They developed a device called UrinControl, a urinary valve for these patients.


TeamWise: Second Act

There are many milestones in life. First day of college, graduation, marriage, first child, first grandchild, retirement, and many more. Second Act, group of Rice MBAs and their friends, came together to focus on the life after retirement. They thought they found a huge market in the recently retired community, so they came up with the idea to match retirees looking for fulfilling opportunities with small to mid-tier companies looking for expertise. Unfortunately, after long thought and discussion, they have decided to not go forward with this idea.


PeopleWise: Brittany Barreto

When you think of a stereotypical entrepreneur, what do you think of? Someone with a degree in business? Brittany Barreto is unconventional. She jumped into the entrepreneurship world with a science-centered background—bachelor’s in biology and a doctorate in human genetics—and a crazy idea from college. As she worked tirelessly to finish the doctorate, Brittany devoted the little time she had to her startup, Pheramor, the nation’s first DNA-based dating app. More recently, Brittany was recruited as a venture associate in Capitol Factory and is working to fund Houston startups.


WordWise: Overhead at OwlSpark

“If the U.S. government can do that, so can we.”

“We've got a dongle problem.”

“There’s a company in The Woodlands I refuse to meet with because I don’t want to drive there.”

“I've got 99 startups and a pitch ain't one.”

“Again, I don’t know if I stressed this enough: we don’t do things. Work-life balance for a VC is good.”

“Have you ever thought about how when you're drinking coffee, you're drinking bean water?”

“When it comes to your bar tab, UrinControl.”
“We aren't paying you to figure it out. We are paying you to sell it.”

“I’m throwing so much shade I could be a palm tree.”

“Firing has gotten easier because I make other people do it.”

“Privacy is a myth.”

“The pain from the loss is greater than the pleasure from the gain.”

“I like dollars more than people.”

“Have you ever thought about the first guy who ever cracked open a pecan and ate the inside? Or the first guy to ever milk a cow?”

“Are the Gen X people breeding?”