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How to Start a Startup and Happy Hour

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




July 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.

Join us for a Happy Hour, sponsored by JP Morgan.

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 EnergyWorkspace.com, 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.

Wade Pinder, Product Houston

With over 30 years of experience in product management and IT, Wade is a seasoned professional who leads and mentors teams to deliver innovative and customer-centric solutions.

As a co-founder of the Houston Product Community, he is passionate about sharing my knowledge and expertise in product management, agile development and scrum with other professionals and aspiring product owners. Wade holds certifications in Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO), Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), and Emotional Intelligence, and has developed products for ecommerce, finance, esports, commercial real estate and healthcare. Wade’s specialties include product vision, strategy, road mapping, backlog management, mentoring, public speaking, and problem-solving.





4:45 - 5:00
Check In
5:00 - 6:30
Panel and Discussion
6:30 - 7:00
Networking Happy Hour, Sponsored by JP Morgan


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.