September 26, 2000 Networking Dinner

What 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 City Council

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 tech projects.

What 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?

Atlanta: The New Economy Meets the Old South
Kansas City: High-tech Heartland
Ottawa: Great White North
Salt Lake City: Gateway to High-Tech Heaven?
What about Houston?

Logistics:

The Technology Entrepreneurs’ Exchange ("Texchange") cordially invites you to its:

Houston Technology Entrepreneurs’ Dinner
and Round-Table Discussion

Tuesday, September 26, 2000

6:30 p.m. Cocktails and open bar with our Special Guests (6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m)

7:15 p.m. Dinner and Round-Table Discussion 

Note:  Beginning at 6:15 p.m., Texchange will have representatives available in the Aspen Room to discuss membership applications, future events and Texchange activities.

Tonight’s Discussion Topic: What Will it Take to Make Houston a Major Tech Industry City?

Discussion Topic Remarks by Rob Shaw (founder-Ashford.com and Emerging) and Chris Bell, Member Houston City Council.

8:30 p.m. Wrap up, Networking, Open Discussion

The Houstonian—The Aspen Room
111 N. Post Oak Lane, 713.680.2626

Dinner is $55.00 for Members and $65.00 for non-Members—fixed price dinner. Advance reservations only.

First come-First served. Space is limited.

Please respond by e-mail with a major credit card to [email protected] (online payments available soon!)

Or by voice to: Melissa Ibanez or Crystal Jackson at Plunkett Research, 713.932.0000,

Or fax to 713.932.7080.

Reservations are non-cancelable, non-refundable.

Information Contacts:
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]

About our Special Guests:

Rob Shaw serves as President and CEO of Emerging, a leading architect of e-Businesses.  Shaw 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 .

Chris 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.

 


Copyright © 2000, Technology Entrepreneurs' eXchange. All rights reserved.