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Webinar | Houston Innovation Ecosystem Series Part 2: Startups & Accelerators
Wednesday, July 21, 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT
Category: Houston

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (Pacific)
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Mountain)
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM (Central)
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM (Eastern)

Zoom invitation will be shared the day before the event.


The Houston Chapter of the Private Directors Association® is pleased to offer a three-part series focused on the thriving innovation ecosystem in Houston. The series will provide a roadmap for how PDA Members can become engaged in strategic opportunities with these innovative companies.

The first event was held on June 16th and featured panelists from two Incubators as well as another panelist intimately engaged in the startup financing network known as Angel Investors.

The event on July 21st is the second in the series and will offer the perspective of the entrepreneurial team, providing an overview of the areas where PDA members can become engaged as advisors and mentors to help the startup advance to its next stage of development.

The event on August 25th will be the third and final event in the series, providing more detail on the capital stages and sources available to startups, describing the criteria these players use, and offering some perspective on the benefits a board of advisors can provide in the process and where the PDA can add value.

The three-part series will help answer questions and guide our members through this labyrinth, leaving you with a clearer perspective of where your role may be best focused. 

Thank you to our National and Gold Chapter Sponsors!



Payal Patel
Plug and Play Tech Center

Payal Patel is a Director in the Energy & Sustainability team for Plug and Play, an active VC and innovation platform.   She is based in Houston, Texas, and is responsible for generating and managing relationships with corporate partners as well as building operations for one of Plug and Play's newest markets, Houston.

Payal began her career as a management consultant for restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal and previously worked at consumer goods company Unilever and executive search firm Spencer Stuart.  Most recently, Payal ran the corporate business development function for Station, a startup incubator in Houston.

Payal has degrees in finance and accounting from Texas A&M University and an MBA from London Business School.  She is a member of the Junior League of Houston and is President of the London Business School alumni club in Houston.  In her spare time, Payal enjoys Crossfit, reading, and traveling. 


Emily Resier
Senior Manager, Innovation Community Engagement
Texas Medical Center

Emily’s mission is to enable intentional and meaningful improvements in health outcomes at scale. Currently, she manages the innovation community at the Texas Medical Center where she build connectivity between healthcare entrepreneurs, investors, clinicians, and advisors in order to harvest a strategic pathway for true progress in healthcare innovation.

Emily’s gateway into medical innovation was research. She became fascinated by how therapies move through the body to their destination, so she did her dissertation on the delivery of cancer vaccines for immunotherapy. From day one, Emily knew she needed to look beyond the discovery period to the development, regulatory, and commercialization stages, so she explored avenues to learn and develop in these areas.

Enventure unlocked these opportunities by providing hands-on experience, growing a napkin idea into a business plan, conducting market research and customer discovery, consulting with early-stage companies, and building new companies in the life sciences. Emily applied these concepts to support the early business development of Noleus, a medical device company seeking to improve outcomes after abdominal surgery. Across these experiences, she found the thrill of doing something that had never been done before and discovered the teams and processes to move a concept further toward patient impact. This middle ground between discovery and implementation is what makes innovation become reality, and is where she loves to be helpful.

Today, Emily partners with pioneering medical device and digital health companies with the potential to impact patient care at the Texas Medical Center.


Steven Diedrich
Executive Director
Baylor Angel Network

Steven Diedrich serves as the Executive Director for the Baylor Angel Network. In this role, Steven leads the strategy and operations of an investor network that makes early-stage investments in promising companies and ventures. He also provides oversight of Baylor University’s BAN analyst program for undergraduate students and occasionally teaches finance courses.

Steven’s previous experience includes work with large multinational firms, small businesses, and entrepreneurial ventures. He began his career at Accenture, where he helped some of the nation’s largest financial services firms solve problems in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. He also worked as an Associate with Stanmore Partners, a startup real estate development and investment firm that successfully purchased and developed several multifamily properties in Texas and Florida valued at over $250 million.

Steven earned his Master of Financial Management from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School and his BBA in Finance and Economics from Baylor University, where he was a part of the Baylor Business Fellows program and an analyst with the Baylor Angel Network. Outside of work, Steven enjoys carpentry and spending time outdoors with his wife and four children.




Mark Winters
Managing Director

Mark has 25+ years’ experience as a successful leader and operator of businesses in the healthcare, technology and manufacturing space. He has successfully exited companies providing home/physician office infusion services, sterile products and specialty pharmacy, home care, medical wholesale, SaaS and contract research services. His passion for entrepreneurship and giving back is exemplified through his position as a mentor for companies in the Texas Medical Center Innovations Institute and the Baylor Angel Network, where he shares knowledge gained from managing, investing, or advising in over 100 companies in the healthcare, retail, entertainment, and software sectors. Alongside his managing director role at BriteOak as an Investment & Executive Advisory Consultant, Mark currently serves as a member and advisor to private boards of directors and is the healthcare investment committee chair for the Baylor Angel Network and the Affinity Fund.  In his free time, Mark enjoys writing/composing, singing and performing original light rock music under the "stage name" @markwintersband.