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Common Desk’s expansion at the Ion is now open for business

DALLAS (November 13, 2023) – Common Desk, a flex office and coworking provider based in Dallas, has increased its footprint at the Ion, Houston’s innovation hub, by nearly 50% this year.

Originally opened in August 2021, Common Desk – The Ion was the coworking company’s third location in the Houston market, occupying the entire second floor of the Ion building at 58,400 square feet. The expansion agreement, which brings Common Desk’s total footprint at the Ion to 86,400 square feet, commits Common Desk to ten years of additional space on the fourth floor. Tenants of the added space will have full access to the features and amenities that have made Common Desk – The Ion a success, including bottomless drip coffee and an espresso bar powered by Fiction Coffee (a workday brand of Common Desk), bookable conference rooms, expansive workspace, flexible terms, and eye-catching design. To learn more about the coworking and flex office operator, visit thecommondesk.com.

“The Ion team and Rice University have made Common Desk’s first two years at the Ion a dream, and we’re excited for ten more. This expansion of Common Desk at The Ion was designed specifically to complement the existing amenities and serve remote and hybrid work styles. There’s a variety of video conferencing room types—from multiple individual private rooms, to a large group presentation-style room—all equipped with state-of-the-art technology that is also user-friendly. We doubled down on outfitting our space with more art from local artists and creative works that reflect the community. Altogether, we’ve built a range of workspace solutions to fuel creativity and productivity. We’re confident that this addition to Common Desk – The Ion will effectively help us serve the innovative community of Houston.” – Austin Gauley, Head of Design at Common Desk

“Common Desk’s expansion at the Ion is a testament to the community and experience we’ve created here,” says Jan Odegard, Executive Director, Ion. “Accessibility to connections and an array of amenities and resources continues to drive traffic for us, and we are thrilled to welcome the anticipated growth of new like-minded individuals coming to the Ion daily.”

Common Desk has additional locations in the works in DFW, San Antonio, and Phoenix as they continue their expansion efforts across the country in selective assets.

ABOUT COMMON DESK

Common Desk operates a growing portfolio of experiential coworking locations across the United States, with additional offerings found through its landlord services. Through their unique operating approach, Common Desk has cultivated a thriving community of freelancers, small businesses, fast-growing tech companies and enterprise businesses since 2012. Common Desk’s portfolio also includes an award-winning coffee brand, Fiction Coffee. For more information, visit thecommondesk.com.

ABOUT ION

Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward. From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

Houston Methodist Opens Healthcare Innovation Tech Hub at the Ion

Ion, Houston’s innovation hub, today welcomes its first healthcare-centric partner, Houston Methodist, as it opens the doors to the Houston Methodist Tech Hub at Ion, a collaboration space for innovators and a living laboratory for digital health technology.

The 1,200-square-foot space includes simulated environments for an inpatient hospital room, an outpatient doctor’s clinic and patient home experience. The Tech Hub at Ion is modeled after the Center for Innovation Technology Hub located at Houston Methodist’s flagship location within the Texas Medical Center, which provides a complete laboratory environment for clinical staff to evaluate innovations and pilot technology such as remote monitoring, ambient intelligence, and autonomous technology to improve human performance and the patient experience.

“Houston Methodist’s space at the Ion opens up even more opportunities for our start-up and entrepreneur community to embed and gain exposure to the latest innovations in health care, health technology, and digital health,” said Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director of Ion. “This partnership and opportunity provided by Houston Methodist, a leading healthcare organization in the country, is a testament to the ecosystem we’re building and the talent within our building. Furthermore, Houston Methodist’s approach and appetite for cross-industry innovation and collaboration meshes seamlessly with the Ion’s ongoing plans to support Houston’s growing innovation community in industries and fields that will change the world.”

The Houston Methodist Tech Hub at Ion is part of the hospital’s Center for Innovation, a network embedded into every aspect of the hospital that focuses on promoting transformational growth through the adoption of leading-edge digital technology. Innovation has been a hallmark of Houston Methodist for over 100 years, and the Center of Innovation has allowed the healthcare organization to take a more coordinated and focused approach with its innovation efforts and hyperdrive many projects within the organization, including the development of the smart hospital of the future, the ninth location in the Greater Houston area and most technologically advanced location currently under construction. Some of the technology on display at the newly launched Houston Methodist Tech Hub at Ion is part of the smart hospital of the future that’s set to open in 2025.

“Our new Tech Hub at Ion supports not only our commitment to the Houston innovation community but also to the rapidly shifting healthcare industry,” Michelle Stansbury, Vice President of Innovation and IT Applications at Houston Methodist. “We know we can’t solve the healthcare challenges of the future if we confine ourselves within our hospital walls or even within our own industry. We look forward to the collaborative space our new Tech Hub will provide and the future programming opportunities we can create together to inspire, challenge, and foster a spirit of innovation in our city.”

In addition to showcasing current technology being piloted at Houston Methodist, the space will also serve as an extension for community collaboration and a networking hub for entrepreneurs and ideators to break into the healthcare industry. The tech hub also will host educational events such as reverse pitch sessions to share problems and crowd-source solutions. If you’re interested in scheduling a time to view the space or connecting with the Houston Methodist innovation team, reach out here.

About Ion

Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward.

From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now? — welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way.

About Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist is one of the nation’s leading health systems and academic medical centers. The health system consists of eight hospitals: Houston Methodist Hospital, its flagship academic hospital in the Texas Medical Center, six community hospitals, and one long-term acute care hospital throughout the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Houston Methodist also includes a research institute; a comprehensive residency program; international patient services; freestanding comprehensive care, emergency care and imaging centers; and outpatient facilities. Houston Methodist employs nearly 30,000 people and had more than 1.9 million outpatient visits and more than 138,000 admissions in 2022. For more information on Houston Methodist, see houstonmethodist.org.

Per Scholas Expands Tech Training to Houston

Ion Welcomes Per Scholas As Part of Community Investment  to Build Inclusive Technology Workforce; Now Accepting Applications

HOUSTON (July 17, 2023) – National tech training nonprofit Per Scholas today announced its expansion to Houston, joining Ion District, Houston’s 16-acre innovation district developed by Rice University. Through an innovation relationship with Ion, Per Scholas Houston will offer its tuition-free technology skills training from its newest campus located at 4201 Main Street. In addition to Ion selecting and investing in Per Scholas as the District’s workforce development partner, Per Scholas Houston has received generous support from BlackRock and Comcast NBCUniversal. 

“We are excited for Per Scholas to join the Ion as a workforce development partner, as well as recognize a CBA milestone by investing in developing a tech workforce of Houstonians,” said Jan Odegard, Executive Director of the Ion. “This investment will expand non-traditional learning opportunities for local Houstonians looking to develop new skills in our dynamic economy.”

Training by Per Scholas Houston will get underway in October, beginning with its best-in-class IT Support course. Applications are now open, and interested individuals can learn more and apply here. Learners will have the opportunity to earn the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and the CompTIA A+ certification, equipping aspiring technologists with the knowledge and skills to fill a wide range of entry-level tech careers. 

Per Scholas unlocks potential for individuals, communities, and companies by offering rigorous, 12- to 15-week tech skills training and connecting Per Scholas graduates to high growth careers in technology. Per Scholas Houston marks the nonprofit’s second campus in Texas, joining Per Scholas Dallas, which has been training technologists in a variety of tech skills since 2014. 

“The BlackRock Foundation’s longstanding partnership with Per Scholas is a natural extension of our mission to create more paths to financial security for more people,” said Claire Chamberlain, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director, Corporate Sustainability and Social Impact at BlackRock. “Through skill-building and mastery, the program expands access to careers in technology and is critical for unlocking the potential of a new generation of technical leaders. We are so proud to be a part of bringing Per Scholas to Houston.”

“A future of unlimited possibilities starts by providing ambitious, driven, and talented individuals with opportunities. That’s precisely why our partnership with Per Scholas is a perfect fit,” said Misha McClure, Comcast Texas’ Director of External Affairs. “Our investment will help build a diverse and thriving workforce here in Greater Houston by providing skills training for highly sought tech careers. We’re grateful to Per Scholars for its ongoing work to educate and connect our future business leaders with leading businesses. We look forward to what we can achieve together.”

Aligned with its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, 85 percent of Per Scholas learners are people of color, more than 40 percent identify as women, and more than half have a high school diploma as their highest education credential. Per Scholas graduates are hired into tech roles by more than 850 employer partners nationwide, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups. The Per Scholas model is proven and evidence-based. Per Scholas trained technologists go on to earn three times their pre-training wage in their first job following graduation. Plus, every dollar invested in Per Scholas results in an $8 net economic return. 

“Per Scholas commends the vision and commitment of the City of Houston, Ion, Rice University, and so many others, to catalyze change, grow ideas and innovation, and drive impact. We are thrilled that Per Scholas Houston is now part of the effort,” said Plinio Ayala, President and CEO, Per Scholas. “With tremendous investment from Ion, BlackRock, Comcast, our proven skills training will develop technologists to power Houston’s workforce today – and tomorrow – creating a more inclusive and equitable economy. We can’t wait to get started.”

To learn more about the Ion, please visit iondistrict.com. To learn more about Per Scholas Houston, click here, and follow Per Scholas Houston on LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

About Ion

Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward.

From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way. 

About Per Scholas

For more than 25 years, Per Scholas has been advancing equity and increasing opportunity across America. Per Scholas unlocks potential for individuals, communities, and employers through rigorous training for careers in tech. Partnering with dynamic employer partners, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, we are building sustainable and diverse talent pipelines, together changing the face of tech. With national remote training and campuses in 20+ cities and growing, Per Scholas offers tuition-free training in the most in-demand tech skills, including Cloud, Cybersecurity, Data Engineering, IT Support, Software Engineering, and more. To date, more than 20,000 individuals have gained the skills to launch high-growth tech careers, earning three times their pre-training wage. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is our DNA: 85 percent of learners are people of color, two in five are women, and more than half have a high school diploma as their highest education credential. Learn more by visiting PerScholas.org and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

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Ion District Announces Second Annual Activation Festival

Events designed to engage the community, showcase entrepreneurial talent, and celebrate the District’s expanding technology ecosystem

HOUSTON, MAY 8, 2023 – Ion District, Houston’s 16-acre innovation district, alongside its developer Rice Management Company, announced today its second annual Activation Festival is taking place May 17-19, 2023. Similar to last year’s inaugural event, which had more than 2,500 attendees, Houstonians and visitors of all backgrounds are invited to attend engaging and interactive programming, explore the Ion’s dynamic spaces and cutting-edge amenities, and learn about the myriad of available educational and upskilling opportunities. 

Admission is free but registration is required here

“Activation Festival continues to be a perfect showcase for the innovation, technology, entrepreneurial spirit, and collaboration that exists in Houston,” said Jan E. Odegard, Executive Director of the Ion. “We’re thrilled to be celebrating how Ion District sparks ideas and drives growth across Houston’s industry and communities. I hope to see both familiar and new faces throughout the three days.”

Activation Festival’s thoughtfully curated events drive the Ion and Ion District’s purpose for transforming and strengthening Houston’s economic resilience, and creating opportunities for  easy access to economic opportunities in the innovation and tech-enabled industries. The events will provide attendees the opportunity to experience businesses, networking, and programming that highlights and celebrates Houston’s vibrant entrepreneurial, academic, startup and corporate innovator communities. 

“Activation Festival gives an up close and personal look at how Ion District is harnessing Houston’s sprawling talent and innovation to endure as a tech hub, an industry thought leader, and a global economic force,” said Bryson Grover, Investment Manager, Direct Real Estate, Rice Management Company. “This flagship event will inspire people to experience Ion and Ion District, where we’re already working together to build solutions and solve real problems every single day.” 

Events are open to the public and will primarily take place at the Ion, located at 4201 Main St, with a few events occuring in the nearby surrounding District area, including Greentown Labs Houston, located at 4200 San Jacinto St. 

The line-up of key events can be found below. To register, please visit Ion’s event page here. We encourage you to register for all the programs but registering for one event will get you a pass for the full three days. Some venue space will be limited, and access will be first come first seated.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

  • Engage VC (9:00 am – 10:00 am CDT) – Led by HX Venture Fund, in partnership with Ion and Scale Ventures, this event focuses on how to utilize intelligent business software to move from founder-led growth to a repeatable go-to-market machine. 
  • Ion Prototyping Lab + Nexus: Robotics Day (9:00 am – 5:00 pm CDT) – Join the Ion Prototyping Lab and Rice’s Nexus Lab for a day of robotic displays, discussions, and lab tours.
  • Corporate-Startup Partnerships: How to Build Them, Sustain Them, and How They’re Key to Fast-Tracking Innovation and Growth (11:00 am – 12:00 pm CDT) – A panel discussion with Halliburton Labs, ExxonMobil and TMCx, moderated by law firm Baker Botts, on the importance of disruption to develop new technologies, and the role that corporate-startup collaborations play in innovation. 
  • ChatGPT Panel: Love It or Hate It: Exploring the Transformative Power of ChatGPT (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CDT) This panel deep dives into ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, including how it can be used and its pitfalls. 
  • Common Desk Happy Hour (3:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT) – An event to connect with like-minded professionals, expand your network, and discover the many benefits of working at Common Desk – Ion.
  • What’s Next, Now: Ion District Showcase (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT) – Featuring startups and corporations from Houston’s key industries, including healthcare, energy, finance and technology, that will showcase their innovative solutions and products that are transforming the way we live and work.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

  • Workforce Development with Per Scholas (9:00 am – 10:45 am CDT) – Led by Per Scholas, this panel and workshop brings together industry leaders, experts, and innovators to explore the critical role of workforce development and training in building a robust tech industry – from the latest trends in upskilling and reskilling to best practices for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace.  
  • Ion Prototyping Lab + Nexus: Open Innovation Day (9:00 am – 5:00 pm CDT) – Join the Ion Prototyping Lab and Rice’s Nexus Lab for a day of innovative displays, discussions, and lab tours.
  • Entrepreneurship as a Business Style by Hap Klopp, Founder of The North Face (11:00 am – 12:00 pm CDT) – This keynote speech features Founder and former CEO of The North Face, Hap Klopp. Klopp will speak to why he believes entrepreneurship is a mindset that must be employed by all businesses to ensure their vitality. 
  • Back to the Future of Innovation (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CDT) – This discussion focuses on how the Office of Innovation at Rice University is creating game-changing tech startups at speed and scale through public-private partnerships between industry, government, and the broader academic community. 
  • Innovation on Tap: EntrepreNeuro (5:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT) – In partnership with Ion, and part of the InterfaceRice 2023 conference, EntrepreNeuro features three presenters who will discuss their personal experiences particularly during periods of transition. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

  • Cup of Joey – Ion District (8:30 am – 10:30 am CDT) – This coffee shop networking event is taking place both at the Ion and Greentown Labs, serving up coffee from Common Bond; the event is an opportunity to meet new connections, expand current networks, talk tech, inspire innovation, and create community. All are welcome! 
  • Greentown Labs + Ion Activation Festival 2023 (8:30 am – 3:30 pm CDT) – Hop over to Greentown Labs for Cup of Joey from 8:30 am – 10:30 am, food trucks from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, as well as a panel of thought-provoking speakers and a showcase of GTL’s members at 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm. 
  • Ion Prototyping Lab + Nexus: Space Day (9:00 am – 5:00 pm CDT) – Join the Ion Prototyping Lab and Rice’s Nexus Lab for a day of innovative displays, discussions, and lab tours.
  • The Future of Space Tech by Douglas Terrier (11:30 am – 12:30 pm CDT) – Featuring Douglas Terrier, Associate Director for Vision and Strategy at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, this fireside chat, hosted by Alicia Llewellyn, Lead, Strategy and Formulation, Business Development & Technology Integration Office, NASA JSC, focuses on the future of space tech and what opportunities are ahead for startups and students.
  • SME Office Hours + Mingle Lounges (1:30 pm – 2:30 pm CDT) – This networking event is an opportunity to meet SCORE Houston representatives and SMEs in marketing, storytelling, and pitch deck preparation, and network with other entrepreneurs, SMEs, researchers, corporates, and investors.
  • Ion Block Party: Innovation on DisPLAY (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm CDT) – This community-wide party features a number of entrepreneurial local businesses showing off their dynamic technology on the Ion Plaza. Also includes food trucks and a special “battle of the bands” competition.

To learn more about Ion’s offerings and how it can benefit you by signing up for the newsletter here

About Ion District: Houston’s new innovation district takes our city’s talent and sprawl and connects it all, harnessing Houston’s potential to emerge and endure as a tech hub, a thought leader, a cultural core, and a global economic force. Twelve blocks built to encourage serendipitous collisions across all sectors and skill levels, and promote equitable businesses, products, and jobs in our image: ones that reflect our city’s diversity of ethnicities and enduring individualism, our big-hearted tenacity and wildcatting audacity, our gumption and resilience come hell or high water. An invitation to build the world we want to see.

About the Ion: Located in Ion District, the namesake building is the transformative centerpiece of Houston’s innovation corridor. Designed to bring our city’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities into collaborative spaces and programs, the sunlit structure of steel and glass is a home for advancing diverse knowledge, teams, technologies, and products that propel our world forward.

From Fortune 500s seeking flexible office space to first-time startups looking for the funding to design a prototype, the Ion provides wide-reaching space and support to connect every What if with What now?—welcoming individuals and teams of all kinds to a place to build a better way. 

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