BioHouston CEO on How Houston Fosters Innovation and Research
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Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Ann Tanabe, Chief Executive Officer of BioHouston. Welcome back to the Playbook Ann.
Ann: Thanks for having me Jen.
Jen: So we’ve talked about some of the innovation at the TMC and other programs here in Texas, what’s really driving that shift towards innovation?
Ann: I think a lot of what we’re seeing today is a result of some of the leadership change that has happened within the Texas Medical Center in the last 3 to 5 years. So folks like Bobby Robbins who came to run the TMC and the great vision and entrepreneur spirit that he brought; Ron DePinho who came to us from Boston to be the head of M.D. Anderson. These gentlemen came with the vision of we’re going to do great academic research, which we’ve been known for, but let’s also couple that with translational research – innovation – to really give us the all around full package.
Jen: And how does BioHouston fit in with that?
Ann: We think of ourselves as kind of an integral piece of that. When you have kind of the early researcher and the early startup company you also need to put around and alongside that some support services and some community building and that’s what we bring. So we bring outside folks from people like PKF Texas and law firms as well as recruiters and talent to help support the whole process.
Jen: And really helping foster some of that entrepreneurial spirit.
Ann: That’s right, and I think the other piece that’s really great right now is from the student perspective. So if you think about the young students coming either as Rice Undergrads or coming to do their PhD at Baylor College of Medicine, they’re all coming to get their great academic careers going, but they all want that Zuckerberg factor. They too all want to be entrepreneurs. So I think you get it at the top, you get it at the bottom, and all over all around I think we’re seeing tremendous growth.
Jen: And do they partner with those MBA students too?
Ann: Of course. The Rice Business Plan Competition is a great example of that coming together.
Jen: Exactly. Perfect, that sounds fantastic. We’ll get you back to talk some more.
Ann: Sure, happy to do so.
Jen: This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas the Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.