Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland-Nelson and welcome to another edition of Women Mean Business, coming to you today from Station Houston, one of Houston’s most innovative spaces. I’m here today with my guest, Grace Rodriguez, the Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer of Station Houston, to tell us all about Station Houston. Welcome Grace.
Grace: Thank you very much for having me.
Leisa: So, where am I? Tell me all about Station Houson.
Grace: That’s a good question. So, we were just talking about this. Asking me what Station Houston is, is like asking a woman who she is, right? Because there are so many things that Station Houston is and does. We initially founded it as a place that offered co-working and accelerator style programming, but it’s grown to now we’re launching station ventures, we have a few more ideas down the pipeline. So, the best way to describe Station is in terms of its vision, and our vision is to transform Houston into a world leading hub for tech startups and innovation, and in doing that, our mission is to serve entrepreneurs, and specifically, entrepreneurs. We’re a startup ourselves, we’re just about to celebrate our first anniversary, so I like to think, you know, we’re a startup for startups. If you have a great idea, and you need a place to kind of hone it, or build on it, find a team, find collaborators, find talent, Station is a good place to start. And then we have over 170 members now, spread out over about 100 companies. We also have about 100 mentors, which we are very proud of that we have a lot of veteran tech entrepreneurs, a lot of investors, service providers, as well as people who have successfully started, and launched, and sold tech companies.
Within that ecosystem, we make sure there is a lot of activity between mentors an members, because I’m also an advisor at the Texas Medical Center Accelerator, and I have been an advisor, mentor for things at the Houston Technology Center, so I want to take those best practices and make sure that it’s living and breathing here. And one of the things I found from a lot of the companies I worked with through those organizations, is that the entrepreneurs wanted regular access to mentors. So, we definitely, we try to provide that here at Station Houston, and we also provide them with access to investors. So, the Halo Fund is officed out of here, the Circular Board, which is a virtual accelerator for women entrepreneurs is officed out of here. We have May River Ventures officed out of here, so we do want to make sure that entrepreneurs also get that direct access to potential funders.
And then we provide fun events, social activities, and do a lot more educational programming to try to bring people in from outside of the tech community. Because you know, you’ve been in the tech community for a long time, so it becomes a kind of an insular crowd at some point, but we want to make sure that if you have an idea, whether you’re working at an oil and gas company, or you’re in the energy corridor, or in the Texas Medical Center, or you’re just sitting at home or sitting in a café trying to work on something, you find out about Station, you come here through our program that’s open and free to everybody. You’ll start to meet people who could help you. You’ll start to meet peers, you’ll start to be able to bounce ideas off of other people, and then hopefully start those kinds of high impact connections that will drive your idea forward.
Leisa: Fabulous, thank you very much. There you have it, another extraordinary woman doing extraordinary things. I’m Leisa Holland-Nelson, author, and voice of Women Mean Business. You can follow me on Twitter @lhnelson. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of Women Mean Business.
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