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How to Start a Startup

Category: Academic Network, Community & Engagement, Corporate Innovators, Founders & Startups, Investors & Capital, Networking




April 16, 2024
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm CDT


4201 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002


You have an idea…now what? Before you start looking for funding, it’s important to ensure that your idea is both viable and valuable — if it doesn’t have a sound model and a market willing to pay for it, investors won’t be interested anyway.

Target Audience:

  • Startups and Entrepreneurs: early-stage entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs testing ideas for a pivot
  • Community Members: people with an idea for a startup but unsure what to do next, small business owners
  • Corporate Innovators: intrapreneurs, decision-makers tasked with creating and leading sustainable change
  • Academic Partners: students or faculty with an idea for a startup

About the Speakers:

Heath Butler, Mercury Fund

Heath focuses on B2B SaaS and B2B2C Marketplace investments in future-of-work and fin-tech themes. Heath also manages the organization’s venture studio and network platform, including corporate, service provider, and startup community relationships.

Prior to joining Mercury, Heath co-founded Gestalt Theory Venture Partners, a venture studio and angel investing group. Prior to Gestalt, Heath held leadership roles as a seasoned go-to-market and corporate development executive at Insperity (NYSE: NSP), the nation’s leading HR outsourcing services provider. Prior to Insperity, Heath led business development for, founded a fin-tech startup, and developed his foundational management skills at UPS.

Outside of Mercury, Heath is an active angel investor and advocates for democratizing access to private equity opportunities for all investors. He is an active start-up mentor, including the Houston innovation community, and a regular speaker/mentor within The Ion. Heath enjoys traveling with family and likes to read, golf, cycle, and is an avid poker player.

Tré Baker, Techstars Tulsa

Tré Baker is the Managing Director of the Build in Tulsa Techstars Accelerator. He is a serial entrepreneur, investor, non-profit founder, and author of In The Black 2050: A Model for Black Economic Leadership in the 21st Century.

Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Tré is a Vanderbilt University and Harvard Business School graduate. His corporate experience includes various roles at Brown-Forman and renewable energy commercialization at GE Energy.

As an entrepreneur, he has founded/operated several companies in consulting, e-commerce, cpg, entertainment, biofuels, and blockchain. As an angel investor, Tréhas built a portfolio of over 80 startups and counting.



Ion District Parking Garage

Enter 4111 Fannin Street into your GPS for directions directly to this parking garage, located a block from the Ion. Parking in the Ion District Garage is free for the first two hours.

Red Parking Lot

Enter 4203 Fannin Street into your GPS for directions directly to the red parking lot, located across the street from the Ion. This lot is for overflow guest parking and tenant parking and is free for the first three hours.

For more information and access to pay online for parking in the red lot, click here.


69 Going
Last day to RSVP