Russ: Hi I’m Russ Capper and this is HXTV and this episode is brought to you by BBVA. This is that show that champions innovation and entrepreneurs and I’m pleased to have as my guest today David Gow, the Founder of Gow Media. David, welcome to the show.
David: Thank you Russ, great to be here.
Russ: You bet. Tell us about Gow Media.
David: Well you know we have today three business units. We’ve got our two local sports radio stations, ESPN 97.5 and sportsmap 94.1. We’ve got SB Nation Radio, a national sports radio network where we’re creating shows that we syndicate across the country. And then we’ve got our digital platforms CultureMap.com and sportsmap.com.
Russ: Those are impressive, the breadth of your media company is really unique in my opinion and it’s getting ready to be wider right?
David: It is. Yes today we’re a multi-platform media company with two content categories, sports and lifestyle with CultureMap and SportsMap, and we’re on the cusp of launching a new media outlet, it’ll me called InnovationMap.com. So InnovationMap will be a media outlet that tells the story of innovation in Houston.
Russ: That’s a fantastic story and we love that you’re doing that. We champion those same people all the time and feel like they need more recognition throughout the industry. So what motivated that?
David: I think at the outset I stumbled across some members of the Houston Exponential team. I think there was a wide consensus that Houston needs a media outlet that will tell the stories of innovation and better tout what we do and how entrepreneurial this marketplace is. And so we really saw a need for the city and frankly a business opportunity for Gow Media.
Russ: So you heard me in the introduction that this episode is brought to you by BBVA, I understand InnovationMap has quite a relationship with BBVA.
David: BBVA is our presenting sponsor, so they’re going to be the entity that brings InnovationMap to Houston. I think they’re going to achieve some private benefit but significantly render some public good because this media outlet will help the economy here, will help the innovation economy and BBVA saw that and really stepped into the opportunity.
Russ: Give us kind of an overview of the content we might see along the way from InnovationMap.
David: Well it’s interesting, when we were first visiting about the opportunity there was a thought well maybe it ought to be called startupmap. But we went with a higher name, innovation; it’s a bigger umbrella right? So under InnovationMap we have a number of tabs of categories, certainly startups is one. We also have innovation in energy, med or health, tech and social impact. We want to tell the stories of innovation that aren’t just for private company profit, but render social welfare, social impact. So we’ll tell innovation across all of those industries.
Russ: That’s impressive. You know when you look at the word innovation it obviously covers all of those categories. And I always contend when really you look at Houston’s history it’s one the most innovative cities on the planet.
David: No doubt, no doubt.
Russ: You look at the ship channel, the moon shots, the medical world, it’s just phenomenal what they do. But somehow we started getting poorer grades than we deserve and it seems like it’s mostly just in that digital category so that’s one of your areas.
David: It’ll certainly be one area and we are very optimistic about the growth in that area for Houston and we want to be a part of telling those stories.
Russ: Okay, so is there a date; an actual launch date?
David: Yes. We are going to be launching on November 15th.
Russ: Oh my goodness.
David: So we are just about 3 weeks away.
David: We’re in the stage of loading up the site with stories, with images, with banners; we’re in construction mode.
Russ: So you have a leader picked out already at work right?
David: You’re right, we hired Natalie Harms and she’s on board. She’s the Editor of InnovationMap Houston. So she’s responsible for a number of things, certainly the planning of articles and the content that we want to carry, the assignment of those stories – she’ll be writing lots of stories, she’ll also be assigning them out to partners and freelancers – and then when all the content comes back she has editorial authority to create a voice and really a tone and presence for InnovationMap.
Russ: Our whole team has been excited, I think our whole audience has been excited about InnovationMap, and you and I kind of have an agreement that we’re going to be sharing some content as well, right?
David: You bet we will. This city is so big, so spread out, so diverse that it would be ridiculous for us to think that we could cover every story that’s happening and you guys are content creators as well, so we have a nice opportunity to share content across our platforms and we look forward to doing that.
Russ: So you’ve been a Houstonian a few years right?
David: All my life, born and raised here.
Russ: What is it about this place? It seems to me that it’s a great place for entrepreneurs, there might be challenges. What’s your perspective on Houston?
David: I think it’s an amazingly welcoming city and the people are more approachable here than just about any other city I’ve ever spent any time and there’s a real entrepreneurial spirit. People are willing to take risks, there’s a tolerance for failure, there’s an excitement for trying and Houston has that spirit.
Russ: And isn’t it unique in that it doesn’t matter in Houston where you live, where you’re from, where you went to school?
David: I agree completely. There’s no die that is cast. There’s an opportunity for everybody and it’s a very welcoming town and there’s a real spirit of if you roll up your sleeves and go to work you’ll be rewarded.
Russ: I totally agree. Well David I really appreciate you sharing your story, I love what you’re doing and I encourage you to go after it aggressively.
David: Well thank you, thank you for having me.
Russ: You bet David. And that wraps up my discussion with David Gow, Founder and CEO of Gow Media and InnovationMap. And that wraps up this episode of HXTV, brought to you by BBVA.
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