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Plans for Midtown Innovation District announced by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Rice University
by Lynda Guidry
Friday, April 13, 2018

Midtown Innovation DistrictHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Rice University, at a press conference held on Thursday in the former Sears building at Fannin and Wheeler, announced plans for the new Midtown Innovation District to be developed on a 9.4-acre site, with the historic Sears building as its hub.  The district will bring together entrepreneurial, corporate and academic communities to collaborate in maximizing digital technological expertise in the region.

The site meets the stated criteria for a successful innovation district identified in the 2017 Mayor’s Technology & Innovation Task Force report.

They are:

Ability to grow and DENSIFY over time

Cultural and entrepreneurial DIVERSITY

WALKABILITY and multi-modal transit access

INCLUSIVITY for all organizations


Midtown Innovation DistrictRice President David Leebron opened the program by stating the goals of the endeavor. "We aim to attract talent and support all stages of the innovation life cycle through state-of-the-art resources, incubators and accelerators, classroom and event space, technology, prototyping facilities, networking opportunities and entrepreneurship support and training."

"Houston is always transforming," Turner said Thanks to Rice and our many other partners in the innovation district being announced today, the city is poised to make yet another dramatic leap into the future. We are laying the groundwork to make Houston the next great center for startups and imaginative endeavors in the digital universe, and now we have a pivotal physical home for our work on the next frontier."

Bill McKeon, Texas Medical Center president and CEO and John Reale Jr., co-founder and CEO of Station Houston as spoke to attendees. 

Kudos from the speakers went to Mayor Sylvester Turner for his leadership and commitment to moving forward on the initiative with urgency, as a result of working with the stakeholders, city council and city planners.

Listen (33:13) to the full recording of the speakers comments and a brief Q and A.  (The audio has a slight echo).

Remembering Jim Guidry

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