This Friday, July 25, the OwlSpark startup teams have been invited to take a tour of the Johnson Space Center. Therefore, Willy’s Pub will be closed and our weekly happy hour is canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience, but hope to see you next week when Happy Hour will resume, on August 1.

Register for the Bayou Startup Showcase HERE

This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Shell Auditorium, McNair Hall, Rice University

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For the 2014 pitch day, OwlSpark and the University of Houston’s Red Labs are joining forces! We are pleased to announce the 1st Annual “Bayou Startup Showcase that will take place on August 14, 2014, beginning at 2:00 pm.  A collaborative demo day featuring the companies graduating from both Rice’s and the University of Houston’s startup accelerators, this event will offer the respective cohorts the unique opportunity to put all their hard work to the first major test, and showcase their companies to a large audience of invitees that will include successful entrepreneurs, seasoned executives, mentors, and accredited investors.

Here’s what people are saying about the Bayou Startup Showcase…

“Collaboration is a key ingredient to any successful entrepreneurial ecosystem – although it is sometimes difficult to achieve in a city as big as Houston. Rice and UH are paving the way for future institutional collaboration with their joint accelerator demo day.  The Bayou Startup Showcase is a real benefit to their entrepreneurs, mentors and others in the Rice and UH communities. — Blair Garrou, Managing Director at Mercury Fund

“The inception over the past 3 years of the accelerator community in Houston has sparked entrepreneurial phenomena previously un-encountered by this city. We at SURGE especially appreciate RED Labs and OwlSpark as to fostering bright, preliminary-staged companies which will develop into candidates for our program.” — Kirk Coburn, Founder & Managing Director, SURGE Ventures

“I think the world of OwlSpark and Red Labs.  They are cornerstones of Houston’s startup community.  Kerri Smith and Hesam Panahi are excellent collaborators — with one another and the community — and these accelerator programs are preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs.  It also provides a model for how community organizations with similar missions should work together.” Jeff Reichman, Principal at January Advisors

No charge to attend, but pre-registration is required. Register here.

Media interested in covering the event should contact or

2:00 pm       Registration and networking
2:30 pm       Welcoming remarks and introductions
3:00 pm       Startup team pitches
3:45 pm       Networking break
4:15 pm       Startup team pitches
5:20 pm       Closing remarks
5:30 pm       Startup showcase and networking

Rice University
McNair Hall – Shell Auditorium
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas  77008

Startups Presenting
Big Delta Systems
One Jump
Nexus Software LLC
Rebel Putter
RaptorBird Robotics
Thermal Nomad




1589_business_mentoring Get involved as an OwlSpark Mentor.  We’re looking for serial entrepreneurs to set the tone for our company founders and accelerate their businesses to the next level. Apply Now! Contact Kerri Smith for information.



Check out OwlSpark’s new coworking space at Willy’s Pub.  See how a pub can be transformed into a creative work space that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship. Think: Willy’s with a tech startup vibe.