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The Growth of Venture Capital in Houston and the Impact on the Tech Ecosystem

September 22 @ 11:15 am - 1:00 pm

$55.00 – $75.00

Please join us for a luncheon with Sandy Guitar, Dr. Sunny Zhang, and Angela Wilkins on the Growth of Venture Capital in Houston and the Impact on the Tech Ecosystem.

Sandy Guitar

Sandy Guitar is a Managing Director at HX Venture Fund in Houston, Texas. Sandy is also a co-founder and Managing Director at Weathergage Capital, a venture capital fund of funds managing approximately $1 billion in venture partnership commitments. Prior to Weathergage, she was a Principal of venture fund of funds Knightsbridge Advisers. Prior to Sandy’s venture fund of funds experience, she was a consultant with Andersen Consulting and BSG Consulting. Sandy was also responsible for developing the first web-based IT architecture and strategy, and for developing the first global diversity strategy at Phillips Petroleum (now ConocoPhillips).

Sandy has an M.B.A from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A., cum laude, from the University of the South, Sewanee. Following her undergraduate degree, Sandy was awarded a one-year research Fellowship with the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. As a Watson Fellow, she studied business management in Japan, India, and Australia. She is also a graduate of the Venture Capital Institute.

Sandy currently serves as a Member of the Board of Regents and of the Investment Committee for The University of the South, Sewanee, and as a Steering Committee Member of Ignite Healthcare Network. Sandy has also served as a Board Member of Lawndale Arts Center in Houston.

Sunny Zhang

Dr. Sunny Zhang is a Founding Partner at Born Global Ventures, an investment firm focused on early-stage tech startups led by resilient immigrant entrepreneurs. She is also a tenured marketing professor at the University of St. Thomas.

Dr. Zhang specializes in venture investing and venture building with her expertise in behavioral science, digital marketing, social networks, and international business. Her research has been published in academic journals and she has taught at business schools for the past 18 years, including the University of Alabama, Indiana University, and Colorado State University, prior to the University of St. Thomas.

She is passionate about bridging gaps and closing divides for underestimated founders and underserved communities. She serves as the program advisor for Women in AI, on the Board of Advisors of George H. W. Bush Foundation of U.S. China Relations, and on the leadership team at Global Energy Mentors.

Dr. Zhang received her Ph.D. in Marketing with a Social Psychology minor and Master of Business from Indiana University, Bloomington, and her M.S. in Applied Psychology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She was recently recognized as the Outstanding Professor 2021-2022 at the Cameron School of Business, and the 2021 Small Business Champion of the Year at the US Small Business Administration Houston District.

Angela Wilkins

Angela Wilkins is Partner at First Bight Ventures.  First Bight is the first venture capital firm dedicated to investing and developing early stage synthetic biology companies to overcome their scaling challenges to reach their first milestones for commercialization. She also serves as Executive Director of Rice University’s Ken Kennedy Institute. In this role, she is instrumental in expanding the institute’s relationships with external partners, including industry and the Texas Medical Center.

Over her career, Angela has worked on data and computing problems in several disciplines, including engineering, life sciences, health care, agriculture, policy, technology, and energy. After earning a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Lehigh University, she shifted her focus to computational biology and spent nine years at Baylor College of Medicine as a researcher and teacher. She later served as Director of Clinical Research at the nonprofit Center for Science & Law.

In 2017, Angela founded Mercury Data Science to help early-stage companies solve data science problems. As co-CEO and CTO, she built a team of 20 data scientists and data engineers and helped dozens of companies achieve success. Active in the startup community, Angela acts as an adviser to the Texas Medical Center Innovation and a mentor for several companies. She holds four patents, has been involved in several federally funded projects, and published extensively.


September 22
11:15 am - 1:00 pm
$55.00 – $75.00
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The Briar Club
2603 Timmons Ln
Houston, 77027
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