OwlSpark | Rice University Startup Accelerator | PeopleWise
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PeopleWise

No matter how much we hate to admit, our parents are sometimes usually right. In seventh grade, Melanie Jones’ parents told her that she needed to be an entrepreneur. They were spot on. Melanie now runs her own firm, Marketing Interface, which helps startups and growing organizations select the best tools and strategies to scale their marketing operations and...

Starting his first business in high school and teaching himself to code from a young age, Nir Leibovich has always had an interest in entrepreneurship. From day one, Nir has been inspired to build phenomenal products, make an impact on people, and control his own destiny. Currently, he is the CEO and Co-Founder of Houston-based GoCo, Inc., which aims to...

Leaning on a background in software development and business, Adam Wulf launched several ventures after graduating from Rice University in 2005, working for several major software companies along the way. He now resides in Houston, Texas where he runs his two companies, Graceful Construction and Milestone Made, and serves as mentor for OwlSpark startup teams....

The other day, we sat down with Ray Simar, founder of Rebel Putter and OwlSpark Class 2 alum. In the year after OwlSpark, Ray has added another product to his line of putters. Drawing from his first iteration, the Jedi Putter, his new product is aptly called the Sith Putter. Ray has continued development of the Sith Putter with the...

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In his early years, Mike Evans, worked in a company’s R&D department on a promising combustion technology. When his company decided to scrap the project, Mike Evans, along with a group of four colleagues, decided to salvage the project....

In the 1980s, the most popular method of marketing and advertising was door-to-door sales, lugging around product samples, brochures and other marketing materials. During a time when eCommerce was just beginning to take off, Jay Steinfeld tossed aside the brochures and product samples, and digitized his marketing strategy. In 1996, he launched NoBrainerBlinds.com (now Blinds.com), an online store for window...

This summer, Kaz Karwowski has taught multiple sessions on leadership, with a focus on team-building, decision-making, negotiation, management, communication, motivation and ethics. While some leaders are born, others like Kaz are bred. Kaz’s own leadership style has evolved from interactions with those leaders he worked with during his 21 years of service in the United States Army....

Most founders have always known they have the “entrepreneurial DNA.” For others, there is a defining moment, one where the possibility of entrepreneurship is dropped into their lap. Emma Fauss, however, has both. Though her parents each started their own businesses, they never talked about the idea of entrepreneurship....

In the Houston startup community, Deborah Mansfield is known for her ability to connect and enable people. In fact, you can find her on Twitter under the handle @dotconnector. “If you feed your network, the people are very generous,” she says. In her roles of Director of Life Sciences Acceleration at Houston Technology Center (HTC) and Associate Director of the Gulf...

John Reale has a background in finance, but his experience extends far beyond that. Using his expertise in business, consulting and startups, John currently serves as Managing Director for Arete Ventures, where he works with entrepreneurs and early-stage tech startups to accelerate time to market, focusing on customer development, industry-validated milestones, and positioning companies for outside investment. John also serves...

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