The Houston Innovation Corridor: Redefining Our City Center
Connecting Houston’s key industries, institutions and amenities, the 4-mile Innovation Corridor aspires to become a convergence zone that attracts fresh talent and new business to our city. Community leaders have set out to boost the appeal of the Innovation Corridor as a key feature of Houston’s “grand vision of becoming a top innovation hub.” Why is this important to our future and how will Houston look in 10 years?
Since the late 90’s, Blair Garrou has focused on operating, investing in and advising high-growth software companies. Blair is the co-founder and Managing Director of Mercury Fund, a venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs and innovation that originate in the middle of the U.S. Through his work in the Houston entrepreneurial community, Blair co-founded and is the Chairman of Station Houston, a software coworking accelerator; and SURGE, a seed-stage accelerator focused on startup energy software companies. He is also a board member of Houston Exponential, and is Chair of the HX Venture Fund Advisory Committee. Blair is a former Director of Operations of the Houston Technology Center, where he led the formation of the Houston Angel Network, consistently ranked as one of the most active angel investment organizations in the U.S. Blair is also a long-term Advisor to the Rice Alliance, and an Adjunct Professor at Rice’s Jones School of Business, where he teaches a course on entrepreneurism and venture capital.
Vice President, Regional Economic Development
Greater Houston Partnership
Jason Ford serves as Vice President of Regional Economic Development at the Greater Houston Partnership (the “Partnership”) where he leads the domestic business attraction and retention team for the 11-county Houston region. Since joining the Partnership in 2014, the Partnership has announced 64 corporate expansion projects supporting more than 33,000 jobs and $6 billion in new capital investments. Jason has worked in economic development leadership roles across three states at the local, regional and state levels. Prior to joining the Partnership, Jason served as a Special Projects Officer in Louisiana under Governor Bobby Jindal’s office of economic development. He also spent eight years as a regional and local level economic development leader in Austin, Texas. Jason is a graduate of Ole Miss and the Economic Development Institute at Indianapolis. In 2012 he received his CEcD economic development certification from the International Economic Development Council. Jason was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Gulf Coast Economic Development District.