| September 26, 2000
Will It Take to Make Houston a Major Tech Industry City?
Special Guests: Rob
Shaw (founder-Ashford.com and Emerging) and Chris Bell, Member Houston
is clearly a changing city - a simple comparison of downtown a few
years ago and now is proof enough of that. New business districts such
as the Beltway/Briar Forest area are springing up all over town, and
tech companies are a visible and integral part of the city's changing
landscape (anybody heard of Questia?). Yet despite the growing number
of technical companies in the area, including powerhouses such as
Compaq, BMC Software, and NASA, Houston has received only scant
attention as a tech city. In fact, Houston ranks behind Austin and
Dallas in both popular perception and overall investment dollars for
are the necessary conditions for a major tech industry city? What
other city models should we be studying? What are critical
characteristics that Houston is missing? What can Houston do to
bolster its image as a tech city? Simultaneously, what can tech
industry participants do to help the city attract public attention and
investment dollars to the area?
The New Economy Meets the Old South
City: High-tech Heartland
Great White North
Lake City: Gateway to High-Tech Heaven?
Technology Entrepreneurs’ Exchange ("Texchange") cordially
invites you to its:
Technology Entrepreneurs’ Dinner
and Round-Table Discussion
Tuesday, September 26, 2000
p.m. Cocktails and open bar with our Special Guests (6:30 p.m. to 7:15
7:15 p.m. Dinner and Round-Table Discussion
Beginning at 6:15 p.m., Texchange
will have representatives available in the Aspen Room to discuss
membership applications, future events and Texchange activities.
Discussion Topic: What Will it Take to Make Houston a Major Tech Industry City?
Topic Remarks by Rob Shaw (founder-Ashford.com and Emerging) and Chris Bell, Member Houston City
p.m. Wrap up, Networking, Open Discussion
Houstonian—The Aspen Room
111 N. Post Oak Lane, 713.680.2626
is $55.00 for Members and $65.00 for non-Members—fixed price dinner. Advance reservations only.
come-First served. Space is limited.
respond by e-mail with a major credit card to [email protected]
(online payments available soon!)
by voice to: Melissa Ibanez or Crystal Jackson at Plunkett Research,
fax to 713.932.7080.
are non-cancelable, non-refundable.
Mike Goodwin (Continental Airlines) 713.324.3997 [email protected]
Bill Keough (IBM) 713.940.1486 [email protected]
Jack W. Plunkett (Plunkett Research, Ltd.) 713.932.0000 [email protected]
Marco Rimassa (Starlight Capital) 713.225.0298 [email protected]
our Special Guests:
as President and CEO of Emerging, a leading architect of
founded Emerging in November 1999 to offer rapid development and
deployment of customized e-Business solutions to entrepreneurial
ventures and Global 2000 companies. Emerging is now a leading architect of e-Business solutions,
combining cutting-edge technology skills with top tier strategy and
creative design. Shaw is a pioneer in the world of electronic
commerce. In 1998, he founded Ashford.com (NASDAQ: ASFD), now the
leading Internet retailer of luxury and premium personal accessories.
Backed by Benchmark Capital and Sequoia Capital, Ashford.com has grown
to include more than 12,000 products in less than two years of
existence. Ashford.com completed an initial public offering in
September 1999, and Shaw currently serves as chairman of the company's
board of directors. In
June 2000, Shaw was presented with the Emerging Entrepreneur of the
Year Award from Ernst & Young for the Houston area. In March
2000, the Texas Electronic Commerce Association presented Shaw with
the Texas eComm Ten Award for his leadership and contributions
to e-Business in the state of Texas. See www.emerging.com/about/rob_shaw.php
Bell - Council
Member R. Christopher (Chris) Bell was first elected to Houston
City Council in February 1997 in a special election to fill an
un-expired Term and then re-elected in December 1997.
Council Member Bell chaired the Council Committee on
Customer Service and Initiatives, which was created for him by
former Mayor Bob Lanier to carry out his goal of providing Customer
Driven Government to the citizens of Houston.
Customer Driven Government applies common sense and basic
business principles to City Services with the objective of making city
government more responsive to the needs of taxpayers.
A twice yearly City Services Survey and a Mystery Shopper
program are two of the initiatives the committee has launched to gauge
satisfaction with city services and employee helpfulness.
Chris also served as Chair of the Council Committee on
Fiscal Affairs. During
the year 2000 budget process, he implemented a new amendment review
that helped streamline the entire budget process.
Chris is an attorney with Beirne, Maynard & Parsons
and is a graduate of South Texas College of Law.
While attending law school, he worked as a reporter for KTRH
Radio and was awarded Best Radio Reporter by the Texas Associated
Press in 1991. He
received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at
Austin in 1982. Council
Member Chris Bell is the first city official that sponsored a live,
online (AOL), town-hall meeting.