Impact Hub Houston Announces Third Annual “THIS: THE HOUSTON INNOVATION SUMMIT” Spotlighting Houston’s Innovation Ecosystem during Global Entrepreneurship Week

November 7, 2019 – Houston, TX – Impact Hub Houston, Houston’s locally rooted, globally connected 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering diverse changemakers and social entrepreneurs, is excited to present the third annual “THIS: The Houston Innovation Summit,” a week-long celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 18-24, 2019. THIS brings together local business stakeholders, startups and startup development organizations, incubators and accelerators, entrepreneurs, investors and funders through a series of events intended to showcase Houston’s innovation ecosystem and inspire, connect, and empower entrepreneurs across the region.

“We’re honored to continue the work started during Houston Startup Week,” said Grace Rodriguez, CEO of Impact Hub Houston and Founder of THIS. “From the first Summit in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey that highlighted how Houston’s tech community responded and helped in rescue and recovery, to the second year spotlighting the development of Houston Exponential and the HX Fund-of-Funds, we are excited to host this annual week with our community partners and bring together Houston’s startup community while raising awareness for our vast entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“In a city as large as Houston, THIS has become a great way to help local founders, innovators and investors meet, learn from, and celebrate each other as they grow the next generation of big ideas. We are also proud to announce that #THIS19 is an official event of Global Entrepreneurship Week: We’ll be promoting Houston’s innovation ecosystem to stakeholders here and abroad through both the Global Entrepreneurship Network and our community of over 100 Impact Hubs around the world.”

Through The Houston Innovation Summit, the general public will be treated to a series of speakers, panels and events highlighting innovative ideas and initiatives emerging throughout the region. Events include:

  • #THIS19 Official Kick-Off with Central Houston, Amegy Bank, The Cannon and Impact Hub Houston at the new “The Cannon Tower at Amegy on Main.”
  • Houston Exponential shares its “2020 Vision” for the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, with updates on its progress and plans for new Startup Development Organization and Corporate Innovation roundtables.
  • A Female Founders Breakfast for women entrepreneurs and the allies who support them, hosted by J.P. Morgan and Mercury Fund.
  • Panels on “How to Start a Global Startup” with the Founder Institute; “Fresh Perspectives” in the hot industry of food and agriculture startups with WeWork Food Labs; and “The Next Generation” of entrepreneurs and investors paving new paths for Houston’s economic growth with HCC.
  • Bunker Labs bringing its national community to Houston for “Southwest Muster Across America”: A full day of talks, networking, and a pitch competition for veteran- and military spouse-led startups.

To register for any of these programs and learn more about the full schedule of events, please visit http://thehoustoninnovationsummit.com/schedule.html

About Impact Hub Houston (https://houston.impacthub.net)

Impact Hub Houston is a locally rooted, globally connected, nonprofit startup development organization that aims to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global networkthe world’s largest community recognized by the United Nations for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)Impact Hub Houston intentionally designs places, platforms and programs to build an inclusive innovation ecosystem and empower diverse changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters to create the change they wish to see in the world.

Impact Hub Houston Puts Houston on the Global Climathon Map with First Climate Action Hackathon October 25

For Immediate Release:  October 7, 2019
Contact: Grace Rodriguez
Email address: grace.rodriguez@impacthub.net

HOUSTON, TX – Houston is no stranger to extreme weather and disasters due to climate change, with three 500-year floods—and the destructive Hurricane Harvey—in recent years. The “Energy Capital of the World,” Houston has one of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the country, emitting over 34 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2014 alone. To spark sustainable solutions to these challenges,  Impact Hub Houston is excited to announce it is organizing Houston’s first Climathon on October 25, 2019, with partners that include global organizer EIT Climate-KIC, the City of Houston, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Houston Community College, Sketch City, January Advisors, Bunker Labs, WeWork Labs, Syzygy Plasmonics and GoodFair. All designers, developers, entrepreneurs, students, policymakers, and people wanting to improve Houston’s quality of life are invited to participate.

“During Hurricane Harvey, we saw Houston’s talent rise to these challenges and develop solutions that not only helped rescue, feed and shelter local Houstonians, but went on to help people in Florida and Puerto Rico,” says Grace Rodriguez, CEO/Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston. “We’re excited to join the global Climathon challenge in order to give Houston’s changemakers a platform to develop sustainable air, water, energy, etc., solutions and take them to the next level. In such a diverse city with so many resources, it seems only natural that Houston can help lead the way in developing local solutions that can scale to other contexts.”

Lara Cottingham, Chief of Staff & Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Houston, references the Mayor’s recently-announced Climate Action Plan and acknowledges that to scale the plan’s impact, “We must engage local citizens and the startup and entrepreneurship community in developing innovative solutions towards climate action.”

“Houston has a lot to lose as the weather changes,” said Jeff Reichman, founder of January Advisors and Sketch City. “We should be using our talents to elevate good ideas for our region, and to connect with one another for long-term collaborations.”

Houston’s biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions are transportation (47%) and commercial and residential buildings (49%). Other sources of emissions include manufacturing, waste, and fugitive emissions (4%). The Climathon Challenges address these problem sources, encouraging people to develop solutions in the areas of mobility, retrofitting, circular economy, food, climate finance, human behavior, water management, energy, extreme weather, waste management, and air pollution.

The Climathon is Houstonians’ opportunity to connect with leaders and subject experts for guidance in developing viable solutions in any of the challenge areas. Local judges will select the most promising ideas to submit to the Climathon database, for consideration to present at the Global Awards in Paris. The best may go on to win support from the global community!

For more information, please visit https://houston.impacthub.net/climathon2019.

To register to participate, go to https://climathon.climate-kic.org/en/houston

###

About Impact Hub Houston (https://houston.impacthub.net)

Impact Hub Houston is a locally rooted, globally connected, nonprofit startup development organization that aims to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global network—the world’s largest community recognized by the United Nations for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—Impact Hub Houston intentionally designs places, platforms and programs to build an inclusive innovation ecosystem and empower diverse changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters to create the change they wish to see in the world.

About EIT Climate-KIC (https://www.climate-kic.org/)

EIT Climate-KIC is a European knowledge and innovation community, working to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, they identify and support innovation that helps society mitigate and adapt to climate change. EIT believes that a decarbonised, sustainable economy is not only necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change, but presents a wealth of opportunities for business and society.

Impact Hub Houston Proudly Endorses the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development

We, the participants of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, adopt this document to advance the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development as it builds on the education and global citizenship focus in Gyeongju (2016) and the focus on people-centered multilateralism in New York (2018). This year we concentrate specifically on Sustainable Development Goal 11: “to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable by 2030.” We do so by highlighting inclusivity, climate change, peace, economic opportunity for our youth, and the development of infrastructure and technology needed to support sustainable growth. For each of these we affirm our beliefs, urge others to partner with us, and commit to action.

Without active recognition of the challenges facing sustainable societies, we will accomplish nothing.

Therefore, we affirm:

  • The importance of inclusivity, recognizing that sustainable societies must provide opportunities for all human beings to succeed regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, disability, or any other social or cultural backgrounds or associations.
  • The reality of climate change, acknowledging that it poses a grave threat not only to the sustainability of human society but to life itself.
  • The need to understand peace, a necessary component of sustainable societies, as not just the absence of war and civil strife, but as the active presence of justice, security, inclusivity, and lives lived in harmony with one’s neighbor and the earth’s ecosystems.
  • The obligation for societies to provide their youth with the skills and opportunities to sustain themselves individually while also contributing to the health, well-being, growth, and sustainability of the overall society, thus also enabling successive generations to thrive.
  • The importance of infrastructure and governance to the connectedness, commerce, and public health of a sustainable society.
  • The potential for wisely-chosen technology to address many of society’s problems.

Without stakeholders actively working toward solutions, simple problem recognition goes nowhere. Stakeholders can be individuals, NGOs, corporations, educational institutions, faith communities, governmental units, or other organizations, so actions need to be tailored to each goal and stakeholder group. We encourage all stakeholders to formulate individualized and organizational action plans to achieve the global goals.

Therefore, we urge all:

  • To apply inclusivity, striving to remove systemic barriers of bias and discrimination that too often marginalize large segments of society.
  • To protect our environment and the planet, working to reduce the destructive impact of our human footprint by powering our societies with clean, renewable sources of energy; to protect our air, our water, and our ecosystems in order to sustain biodiversity; and to replace unfettered consumerism with a conscious ethic of balanced production, consumption, reuse, and recycling.
  • To build and sustain safe and peaceful societies, free from war, civil strife, and rampant crime, by working to establish equal justice and opportunity for all regardless of ethnicity, culture, language, gender, and minority or other status.
  • To ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for our youth through educational opportunities that develop the skills needed to grasp economic opportunities.
  • To invest in infrastructure that enables the growth and sustainability of our societies, ensuring that development minimizes environmental harm and focuses on those regions and societies currently left behind.
  • To use appropriate technology, whether old, new, or future, to address the broad range of challenges to sustainable societies, including climate change mitigation, communication, education, commerce, human security, public health, and sustainable development.

As stakeholders, our affirmations and commitments need to be embodied in concrete actions ordered toward economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable cities and communities.

Therefore, we commit individually and collectively:

  • To apply conscious inclusivity in our daily lives, our corporate and organizational efforts, and our governmental laws, regulations, and practice.
  • To practice care for our environment by taking steps individually and collectively to mitigate climate change and its adverse impact.
  • To promote sustainable peace as the presence of harmony and inclusive collaboration.
  • To inspire, encourage, and support our youth in their visions and ensure that they are prepared for, and have access to, a sustainable future.
  • To urge governments at all levels to build, upgrade, and repair infrastructure in ways that maximize sustainability, minimize adverse environmental impact, and ensure its ability to withstand the impact of climate change and other natural disasters.
  • To use appropriate technologies to develop sustainable societies characterized by inclusivity, peace, and human and economic security while mitigating climate change and other adverse environmental effects.

Therefore, be it resolved:

We, the participants of the 68th United Nations Civil Society Conference, will continue to work to further the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as we move toward the United Nations’ 75thAnniversary in 2020.

We thank the people and the Government of the United States of America, the State of Utah, and the City of Salt Lake City for the kind welcome and gracious hosting that they have given to the 68thUnited Nations Civil Society Conference and for their efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

For the original draft, visit https://outreach.un.org/ngorelations/content/uncsc2019-outcome.

Climathon 2019: Hacking Solutions to Houston’s Climate Challenges!

Bring Your #ClimateAction Ideas to Life at Climathon!

Oct 25, 2019 | Impact Hub Houston @ HX

Missed the event? Hear about it on Houston Matters: Brenda Ruiz of Houston Public Media covered us!

Submit Your SolutionsChallenges & Schedule

Houston, “The Energy Capital of the World,” has experienced three 500-year-flood disasters—including the destruction from Hurricane Harvey—in the same amount of years. We’ve seen local talent rise to these challenges in the past, and want to give them a platform to take their solutions to the next level. In such a diverse city with a tremendous amount of resources, it seems only natural that Houston can help lead the way in developing local solutions that can scale to other contexts…especially in light of the Mayor’s recently-announced Climate Action Plan

Climathon 2019 is Houston’s opportunity to:

  • Engage the nonprofit, startup and entrepreneurship communities to develop innovative solutions towards climate action
  • Build stronger relationships among impact-oriented organizations and communities
  • Connect thought leaders and subject matter experts with designers, developers, entrepreneurs, policymakers and activists for more creative, effective, and viable solutions
  • Send talented Houstonians to present their solution at the Climathon Global Awards in France!

What happens during Climathon?

Presenting the Challenges: Entrepreneurs, students, developers, and more are invited to come up with innovative solutions to Houston’s climate challenges.

Creating Solutions: You’ll connect with city officials and partners around a shared vision for a healthier city. You’ll help bring this vision to life by participating in the hackathon October 25, 1pm-10pm: You can bring an existing idea to work on, or develop a new solution with an inspiring team. Coaches and experts will be on hand to help you develop promising solutions to Houston’s climate challenges. Participants can win passes to the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, courtesy of the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition!

What happens after Climathon?

You can continue working on your solutions on October 29 at Open Project Night and over the next two weeks. For those serious about turning their ideas into viable businesses, we’ll help you prepare to pitch to our panel of judges, who will evaluate which ideas move on to the next phase. The highest scoring team will be awarded the opportunity to work with Topl to build a customized Impact Tracker for their solution: This Tracker will give the winners the opportunity to turn their sustainable solution into verifiable action by creating, analyzing, and eventually exchanging Impact Credits on Topl, the impact blockchain!

The top three solutions will be submitted for a chance to go to the Climathon Global Awards in Paris and win a Citizens Award and cash prizes: 1st) EUR 10,000 / 2nd) EUR 5000 / 3rd) EUR 2500

Finalists selected to move to the next phase will receive:

  • An invitation to the Climathon Global Awards Ceremony on January 31 in Paris during the ChangeNOW Summit
  • A dedicated one-day bootcamp to grow your idea, on January 30 in Paris
  • Free entrance to the 3-day ChangeNOW Summit
  • Travel and accommodation for one person per team of semi-finalists is complimentary (additional team members are more than welcome to join at their own expense!)

CLIMATHON 2019 PARTICIPANTS

Thank you for joining us for Houston’s first Climathon!

We’re so excited to see what solutions you develop to make Houston a better place to live for all. Please check your inboxes or click the button at right to review the Welcome Letter for day-of instructions. If you have any questions, please contact us at houston@impacthub.net. We look forward to seeing you on October 25!

Climathon Houston Challenges

Challenge #1: Crowdsource Solutions for the City of Houston

Stakeholder and citizen engagement are an important part of solving Houston’s climate challenges. The City seeks solutions towards multiple goals from the Mayor’s Climate Action Plan, which guide the strategies and actions that the City and community can take to reduce our GHG emissions and help prepare for a changing climate

Challenge #2: Better Decisions from Better Carbon Visibility

By giving consumers visibility to the carbon footprint of different energy sources, which companies utilize these sources, and the degree to which they utilize these sources, we can empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions about their energy supply.

Challenge #3: Impact Climate Awareness and Action

When sustainability is taken into account, not every action carries the same weight. How can we motivate people to adopt a new, sustainable lifestyle and act in meaningful ways in their everyday lives in order to address the main causes of climate change?

Challenge #4: Houston Electric Vehicles (EV) Challenge

For a developing EV market to thrive it is important that would-be adopters have awareness of and convenient access to options that suit their needs and preferences.

Climathon Houston Schedule

October 25, 2019

1:00 pm
Check-In

 

Participant check-in and mingling

1:20 pm
Welcome!

 

Welcome Video featuring Kirsten Dunlop (CEO, Climate-KIC); Prize Award description from Topl; Participant Introductions and Instructions
1:40 pm
Team Formation

 

Challenge Sponsors present challenges, Innovators present ideas, and teams form around projects

2:00 pm
Get Hacking!

 

The hacking begins!

6:00 pm
Break for Dinner

 

Teams break for dinner. We’ll discuss how judging and submission for the Global Awards will work. Everyone is welcome to continue working through dinner, though!

10:00 pm
Wrap Up!

 

Teams wrap up for the evening. We’ll share next steps. If you’d like to continue working on your solutions among peers, join us at Open Project Night on October 29!

Experts

Meet Our Coaches, Judges and Experts

Jeff Reichman
Jeff Reichman

Founder, Sketch City & January Advisors

Kevin Doffing
Kevin Doffing

Houston Lead, Bunker Labs

Lara Cottingham
Lara Cottingham

Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Houston

Rachel Powers
Rachel Powers

Executive Director, Citizens' Environmental Coalition

Carlos Estrada
Carlos Estrada

Labs Manager, WeWork

Grace Rodriguez
Grace Rodriguez

CEO, Impact Hub Houston

Trevor Best
Trevor Best

CEO, Syzygy Plasmonics

Ravi Brahmbhatt
Ravi Brahmbhatt

Director of Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Houston Community College (HCC)

Topl Tech Team
Topl Tech Team
Support Solutions to Houston's Climate Challenges!

Where It’s At

Impact Hub Houston @ HX
410 Pierce St, Suite 215
Houston TX 77002

This Event is Free, But There’s Only Room for 60!

Partners & Sponsors

Many thanks to our partners and sponsors for spreading the word and making this event FREE to participate in!

Entrepreneurial Networks are Driving Global Change, According to Impact Hub Network’s 2019 Global Impact Report

Ahead of this year’s Global Climate Strike (20-27 September) and the Global Goals Week (21-30 September), the Impact Hub network is launching its 2019 Global Impact Report. The report features details of how communities of entrepreneurs globally are creating significant change in combating the world’s most challenging problems and are contributing significantly to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The report marks Impact Hub network’s role as an industry thought leader in the impact sector, utilizing a local community-based, yet globally connected model. Impact Hub’s report demonstrates how such communities are offering viable solutions towards sustainable development, with statistics in the report showing that 60% of members are putting ‘impact-first’.

The 2019 Global Impact Report is the culmination of gathering relevant data from a number of their 16,500 members of 100+ locations in over 55 countries around the globe. The members surveyed said that being part of such a network had helped them to:

  • Feel part of a larger community: 84%
  • Gain access to a better working infrastructure: 78%
  • Strengthen their motivation: 77%
  • Partner and collaborate with other members: 76%
  • Connect to advisors and experts: 68%
  • Develop skills and capabilities: 65%
  • Come up with new ideas: 65%

The report also highlights how Impact Hub members are encouraging economic growth, especially in the social impact sector, with 10,000+ new ventures and 29,000+ net new jobs created since 2012. Collaboration also permeates the report as one of the primary benefits for change-makers working in our network, with the members who made many connections ending the following year with a total of 17,300 USD more investment than their peers who made fewer connections.

The data shows the impact that tailored support programs can have for entrepreneurs looking to develop an idea or scale a venture. In 2018, the Impact Hub network ran over 100+ successful entrepreneurial support programs and 100+ collaborative innovation programs focused on SDGs and ecosystem development globally. The results show program participants attributing 40% of their professional success to Impact Hub. Here are some examples of Impact Hub’s programs:

My life in my hands

Run by Impact Hub Caracas, ‘My Life in My Hands’ tackles early pregnancy, violence and drug use among youth: crucial topics in the country with the highest rate of teen pregnancy in Latin America. Through a holistic range of methodologies, it has improved the quality of life of 280 children in slums, providing 7,500+ meals, and teaching them how to lead a worthy life.

Startarium

Impact Hub Bucharest and ING Romania created Startarium, a program supporting entrepreneurs by using mentorship, online courses and networking in three areas:  learning, testing and financing. With a total of 35,000+ community members, 60+ mentors, 400 learning materials and 3,500+ business ideas, Startarium is unique in combining the mechanisms of incubators and accelerators to assist entrepreneurs.

The network also fosters a society that promotes innovation, education, and gainful employment, among others. Notable works in 2018 include Impact Hub San José’s efforts with the vice president of Costa Rica in enabling 20 farms to export to the United States; Accelerate2030, where 16 Impact Hubs are working with the United Nations Development Programme to identify and scale innovative ventures tackling the SDGs; and Impact Hub Amsterdam’s partnership with the World Wildlife Fund on the Plastics Free Ocean Accelerator, which in turn garnered environmental business, ‘Ioniqa’, a €12 million investment and a partnership with consumer goods giant Unilever.

Interested parties may visit local Impact Hubs to learn more about Impact Hub network’s commitment and programs under the 17 SDGs. Know more about how you can make a change by using #bepartofthechange#networksforchange#scalingimpact on social media.

Visit www.bepartofthechange.impacthub.net for more information and to download the full report.


About Impact Hub Network

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,500 change-driven entrepreneurs in more than 55 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. We build ecosystems to drive collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation around the Global Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.

Media contact:
Edilaine de Abreu
Global Communications Lead
edilaine.deabreu@impacthub.net

UNDP and Impact Hub Announce Accelerate2030 Program Finalists

Together, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Impact Hub are pleased to announce the international finalists for the Accelerate2030 programme. Accelerate2030, is an international programme that supports high-impact ventures tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since 2016, the Accelerate2030 programme has been implemented across 24 countries, covering 16 developing countries in this year’s edition.

Selected from over 1100 applications, this year represents a diverse cohort of impact-driven ventures covering numerous SDGs including innovative solutions for rapid and inexpensive diagnostics, bioplastic from olive seeds, and using artificial intelligence in agritech, to name only a few.

“This year’s cohort of Accelerate2030 ventures are developing innovative solutions to important Sustainable Development Goals. It is innovators like these entrepreneurs who set the pace for addressing the world’s most pressing challenges related to the environment, food security, clean water, and many other important challenges manifested by SDGs.” notes Artak Melkonyan, UNDP.

Photo Credit: ImpactHubSanJose

The 10 International Accelerate2030 finalists are:

Unima (Mexico): Biotechnology company that develops rapid and inexpensive diagnostic and disease surveillance systems. The company’s goal is to solve the lack of access to rapid diagnostics for the 3 billion people in developing and resource-poor countries.

Portal Telemedicina (Brazil): Portal Telemedicina’s mission is to enable universal access to quality healthcare, through a platform that provides reliable, fast, and low-cost diagnostics to over 300 cities in Brazil and Africa by allowing doctors to diagnose online empowered by artificial intelligence (AI).

Bio Live (Turkey): Biolive produces 100% natural bioplastic granules made from olive seeds, in order to overcome environmental problems of plastic consumption, and to fulfil the deficiencies in bio/plastic market.

AgroCognitive (Venezuela): An affordable and smart precision farming platform for every farm size and food industry. It is powered by an artificial intelligence (AI) visual recognition engine, analytics models, blockchain, and it is compatible with IoT management devices.

Ekofungi (Serbia): Ekofungi is a mid-sized organic mushroom producer using an innovative circular mushroom-production model that harnesses local cellulose-based wastes (in a 30 km radius), creating mushroom substrate and cultivation mushrooms using unique energy-efficient innovations.

Impact Water (Nigeria): Delivering safe water to developing country institutions (schools and health facilities), via the sale, installation, and maintenance of water purification systems which use established technologies that perform effectively for decades with relatively simple, preventive maintenance.

InvestEd (The Philippines): InvestEd enables institutions and individuals to invest in loans to unbanked college students through an innovative credit scoring tool that predicts repayment and employment.

Sampangan (Indonesia): An innovative waste processing solution using carbonisation technology (heat radiation) to efficiently decompose any kind of solid waste (organic & inorganic) into carbon for organic agriculture and other industries.

Costa Rica Insect Company (Costa Rica): Creating sustainable insect-based solutions, and providing high quality and healthy solutions for malnutrition. In addition CRIC seeks to use of insects to develop biochemical components for unsustainable industries such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, technology or even packaging.

SoluBio (Brazil): SoluBio’s mission is to eliminate the usage of chemicals in agriculture through a technology that enables farmers to produce their own biofungicide, biopesticide and other necessary products in agriculture.

For more information on the ventures, visit https://accelerate2030.net/2019-global-finalists

These ten finalists will join the global Accelerate2030 scaling programme, kicked off by an intensive
week of activities in Geneva from 4-11 of October, benefitting from a set of services and support offered by UNDP, Impact Hub, International Trade Centre, Pfizer, Amazon Web Services, UNAIDS, Boston Consulting Group and other program partners. The Geneva week is part of the Building Bridges Week, connecting key players working in the field of sustainable finance, with the entrepreneurs presenting at the SDG Geneva Finance Summit (SGS Geneva) on October 9th, and the Factory17 event on October 10th.

About Accelerate2030

Accelerate2030 is a multi-stakeholder program, co-initiated by Impact Hub and UNDP, with the mission to scale the impact of entrepreneurial solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme has to-date been implemented in three editions, in 24 developing and emerging economies across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, reaching 2 million people and more than 1500 entrepreneurs, and engaging around 50 partners globally. Within this time, the programme has brought together numerous entrepreneurs, investors, UN agencies, multinational organizations, consultancies, local authorities and other stakeholders around a common mission of addressing the SDGs through entrepreneurial solutions.

This year the program was launched across 16 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Cambodia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Turkey, Serbia, and Armenia.

For more information & interview requests, please contact:

Impact Hub Geneva UNDP Geneva
Ljupka Mitrinovska, Accelerate2030 Sarah Bel
Email: ljupka.mitrinovska@impacthub.ch Email: sarah.bel@undp.org
Tel: +41 76 396 64 13

Learn more about the program at www.accelerate2030.net.
Media kit with photos and visuals available here.

The Cannon and Impact Hub Houston Partner to Expand Diversity-Centered Programming in Houston’s Startup Ecosystem

HOUSTON, (August 27, 2019) – The Cannon and Impact Hub Houston are excited to announce their new partnership to create more inclusive and diversity-centered programs across the Greater Houston area.

Impact Hub Houston, a member of the global Impact Hub network—the world’s largest community dedicated to helping social entrepreneurs create impact at scale—aims to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. With collaboration as a cornerstone, Impact Hub Houston and The Cannon will work together to deliver events that connect and empower diverse changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters across the Greater Houston area.

The Cannon recently welcomed nearly 500 of Houston’s most accomplished entrepreneurs, small businesses and service providers into their community with the opening of their newly-constructed 120K sq. ft. Main Campus in West Houston in late July. Lawson Gow, Founder and CEO of The Cannon, notes, “One of Houston’s best differentiating qualities is that we are truly a melting pot. We want our community to reflect the amazing diversity across our city, so we have to move beyond simply discussing diversity and work to create an environment where innovation can thrive and real change can happen. We are confident Impact Hub will be the perfect partner to bring those aspects to our community.”

Grace Rodriguez, CEO and Executive Director of Impact Hub Houston, shares, “Over the past few years, Lawson and I have brainstormed how we could work together to connect and grow our region’s innovation ecosystem, and demonstrate how organizations can evolve from competition to true collaboration. I’m so excited that those talks have developed into this partnership: Through The Cannon and Impact Hub Houston, we’ll be able to effectively ‘meet people where they are’ geographically, socially, and culturally, helping diverse entrepreneurs and startups at the myriad intersections of place, purpose, demographics, psychographics, and business growth stages. We at Impact Hub Houston look forward to doing more good with the great team at The Cannon!”

Impact Hub Houston will establish a #PopHUB at The Cannon – Main Campus and provide programming there, at The Cannon – Post Oak just west of the Galleria, and at additional new locations as they open. Members of each organization will also receive access to both organizations’ locations across Houston.

To kick off the partnership, the organizations will host a joint AMA panel and reception at The Cannon on September 11, 2019, followed by Impact Hub Houston’s Social Entrepreneurship Meetup. Both events intend to bring their communities and the general public together, as all are invited to come learn more about the organizations, the partnership, and what this and future collaborations will mean for Houston.

###

About The Cannon (https://thecannonhouston.com)
The Cannon is a coworking space and entrepreneurship hub located at the center of the 32-acre Founders District on the west side of Houston, just north of Interstate 10 and Beltway 8. Currently, there are over 200 companies in The Cannon community working at The Cannon – Main Campus, a brand new 120K square foot converted warehouse that is one of the largest coworking and offices spaces in the world, and at The Cannon – Post Oak, the first of many satellite locations that will allow for even more flexibility and resources for Houston’s entrepreneurs. The Cannon plans to headquarter over 800 of Houston’s most accomplished entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses, and will be surrounded by service providers and resources geared to help their businesses grow.

About Impact Hub Houston (https://houston.impacthub.net)
Impact Hub Houston is a locally rooted, globally connected, nonprofit startup development organization that aims to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. A member of the Impact Hub global network—the world’s largest community recognized by the United Nations for accelerating entrepreneurial solutions towards measurable and scalable impact for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—Impact Hub Houston intentionally designs places, platforms and programs to build an inclusive innovation ecosystem and empower diverse changemakers, social entrepreneurs, and impact supporters to create the change they wish to see in the world.

The Secret to Driving Change: Embracing Your Humanity

As I dig into my own research on organizations changing lives for the better, it’s only fitting this month’s UN theme be Human Rights. Uniformly, I find the businesses and charities championingnhuman rights (through economic inclusion, physical safety, or personal autonomy) and thriving put one thing at the forefront of their work.

Their humanity.

What better way to move the needle on the world’s challenges (like human rights violations) than to remember our own humanity? The more founders embrace who they are, and infuse
themselves into their work, the more traction and attention their work gets.

It’s easy to see why that’s the case. Humanizing our work builds culture and it’s culture that creates loyalists and communities invested in our success. The social capital that comes with community investment beats out tote bags and hashtags any day.

As you put your own solutions out into the world I challenge you to take the more “humane” approach to business by remembering a few things:

Lean Into the Messy
In the world of decks and pitches, there’s a ton of pressure to have all of the answers and execute. Thing is, you’ll never have all of the answers. Even worse, if you preoccupy yourself with finding answers you’ll miss some pretty interesting problems.

Move yourself and your team away from the need for certainty, and embrace the humanity of evolving. Curiosity is one of the best ways to explore empathy, and empathy is how you get to
the root of a successful solution.

Build in a student mindset and I promise you’ll start to see new ways of integrating clients, engaging beneficiaries, new solutions to thorny problems, and identify growth opportunities that fit who you are and who you serve.

Talk About Yourself
Don’t mistake this for prattling on about yourself endlessly. What draws people into adopting, supporting or not protesting solutions is understanding your relationship to, and passion for, the problem. Why is the problem so important to you and your team? How are you touched? What have you experienced?

Talking about your interest(s) in the problem creates transparency, trust, and humanizes it for the listener.

People move when they are moved.

Chunk the Persona
So listen up, we have all read the same twenty or so startup books with the same advice and mantras. So when you copy and paste these into your pitches, donor materials, or projects they tend not to stand out because we have all seen it before.

Even worse? When we co-opt based on the lens of another there’s almost always incongruency between who we say we are and what we do.

Make it easy, and be yourself. Infuse your values, mission, and vision in all that you touch. If democratic and inclusive discussion are paramount to you, your legal business structure should reflect that. If you support wealth-generation and equity, your supply chain should reflect the local economy. If you want to fundraise in a way that builds wealth and equity, really think about venture capital versus a crowd-funding approach.

If we look at a list of your dreams, mission, and vision then look at your business operations, model, and recruiting there should be alignment between the two.

Own Your Impact
The research is in, and it turns out we as humans like to be liked. There are a number of historical and anthropological reasons for this, but the bottom line is it’s uncomfortable to be different. Which is why there’s a gut inclination for some impact organizations to apologize for not fitting neatly into boxes the philanthropic, corporate, or venture create. Either squeezing themselves in or erasing their distinctive nature.

But projects solving the world’s largest challenges are complex and messy because the WORLD is complex and messy. Organizations moving the needle understand this and embrace it.
The next time you feel the need to apologize because someone doesn’t understand why you do what you do, fight the urge to apologize and translate instead. How does your business model
educate and promote more charitable behavior? What are the economics behind inclusion and mental wellness?

Don’t shrink when confronted, expand.

Create Your Own Definitions
I’ll end with saying, not everyone’s dreams will be your dreams; nor should they be. There are milestones startup media heralds as indicative of “success.” Thing is, those milestones may not work for you and what you’re doing. Organizations solving the problems others haven’t dared touch, such as human rights violations, must define for themselves what success looks like…for them.

I truly believe running a business, charity or project should never require we co-opt someone else’s experiences or discard any parts of our own. The best way to have a positive impact and move us all into forwarding change will come when you embrace that you have a perspective and experience that no one else has had or will have again. Use that to your advantage and see how much progress you make.

Impact Hub Houston thanks Erin McClarty for authoring this piece. Erin is a mix between a business coach, attorney, impact architect, and vision doula. She helps people run businesses, foundations, initiatives, and movements that are unique to the founders. In doing her work, Erin works to carve out spaces that are the truest of expressions of who they are, allowing them to heal themselves while they heal their communities. Learn more about Erin and the services she offers by clicking here to visit her website. 

June 2019 Impact Updates

Impact Friends and Family,

June has been filled with celebration at Impact Hub Houston!

Did you hear? We are excited to partner with Houston Exponential for a summer pop-up! Stop by to say hello!

What else?

We launched the Impact Hub Houston Community Membership this month! We’re working to offer you more programs to learn from, more events to connect at, more storytelling to inspire you, and new virtual and physical spaces to empower your networking and coworking! Learn more at https://houston.impacthub.net/membership — if you’re ready to take our relationship to the next level, apply to become an Impact Hub Houston Community Member, today!

Before June flies by, be sure to connect with the Impact Hub Houston fam on Friday, June 28:

…and don’t miss out on these opportunities from Houston’s broader impact + innovation ecosystem:

We look forward to seeing you at these events!
Team Houston

Impact Hub and WWF Join Forces for the Oceans!

JOIN FORCES FOR THE OCEANS: For any of our members and partners addressing themes like climate, energy, food, water, and oceans — some of WWF’s key areas of focus — Impact Hub has a partnership with WWF that aims to bring together innovators from our two networks, identify high potential solutions and provide these with access to WWF’s deep expertise in nature conservation as well as credibility and support in scaling and access to finance.

Impact Hub’s partnership with WWF builds on 8 years of successful collaboration and now enters a new phase. Our ambition is to expand our collaboration to many more countries around the globe, working together on a deep strategic level to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. 

First, we need to have a better sense of the kind of solutions within the wider community. Then we might, for example, provide ventures with best practices from Impact Hubs around the globe, reach out regarding relevant events, WWF projects, joint programs, support offers, among other things to inspire and enable you to move forward with your project.

One dump truck full of plastic waste enters our ocean every minute and by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. As unsettling as these facts are, there are lots of changemakers out there already getting involved and acting for a more sustainable world. If you are one of them, don’t miss the chance to learn from our experience and make a difference. Register now!: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScKtXZYmF-Cnqnz61Txg9GPD7bypXoBtjdNMLll_yOGEUhSBw/viewform

To learn more, go to http://wwf.impacthub.net/about/. If you’re an Impact Hub Houston member and apply to participate, please let us know! >>> houston@impacthub.net

…and if you’d like to become a member and participate in this opportunity, sign up now at https://houston.impacthub.net/membership. We look forward to helping you create the impact you wish to see in the world!