Russ:  This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook.  I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with R.T. Dukes, Research Director with Wood Mackenzie, and Prajit Ghosh, Global Strategy Lead also with Wood Mackenzie.  Guys, welcome to the Playbook.

Prajit:  Thank you

R.T.:  Thanks for having us.

Russ:  You bet.  Give us an overview of Wood Mackenzie.

R.T.:  Wood Mack – we’re part of a larger corporation called Verisk Analytics.  It’s a data analytics company focused in the insurance, energy and financial services sectors.  We’re part of the energy vertical.  So Wood Mack we describe as part of the energy metals and mining, really the natural resources value chain.  I’m focused in oil and gas; Prajit’s more focused on the power and renewable side, and we’ve expanded quite a bit there over the last few years.

Russ:  I remember hearing and seeing that about a year ago, too; I thought it was interesting.  To me it was more of an indication that the renewables were gaining ground these days.  So before we get to renewables, why don’t you give us an overview, R.T., of where oil and gas is today and in the immediate future?

Continue Reading Fossil Fuels and Renewable Power – What’s in the Future?

Greetings from Microsoft Convergence! I’m here with my team and we’ve gotten off to a great start.  Yesterday, Kyle Collins and I helped build a 1000′ of fence at Good Hope Community Center, with the crew from Partner Power. We were also part of the Partner Power flash mob, check out the videos below, you might see some friendly faces!

Volunteering:

Flash Mob:

I’ve been Tweeting up a storm, including pictures from around the conference. Follow me @fromgregshead if you want to keep up with what we’re doing while we’re here.

Folks it’s that time of year again and that means Microsoft Convergence.  This year the event will be held in New Orleans, March 18 through March 22, 2013.

I will be there all week at our Partner Power booth. Check out this information from Partner Power about what they have planned. I hope to see many of my clients, friends, and business associates there.  I’ll be tweeting periodically, so follow me: @fromgregshead if you want to get updates. Also the Twitter hashtag for the conference is #Conv2013.

As many of you know my family has deep heritage to Louisiana so I am always up for a trip to our home State of Louisiana.  As they say there, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

Our friends at Partner Power International wrote a blog with a great video featuring PPI Vice President Henning Lund talking about how to prepare for Microsoft Convergence this year in New Orleans. He offers three key pieces of advice:

  1. Get a LinkedIn or Twitter account
  2. Bring comfortable shoes
  3. Wear a rogue hat

For companies doing international business, PPI is hosting a session called Go Global with Microsoft Dynamics. They’ll cover global deployment strategies for Microsoft Dynamics NAV as well as AX and CRM. Convergence always has great sessions, and my team and I learn a lot every year we go.

As promised, here are my remarks from last week’s FastTech 50.  I think you’ll find the stats and data about the winners, Houston, and the region very interesting. Again, congratulations to the FastTech 50 Class of 2012!

How about those Texans!  While we are all very proud of the Houston Texans this year and their impressive record of 6-1 this year, I am talking about you, the people who call the Houston region home!

On behalf of the Directors and Staff of PKF Texas it is honor and a privilege to be here today as we celebrate Houston’s future and the success of all these outstanding entrepreneurs, organizations, and their personnel.  PKF Texas is proud to again be the presenting sponsor of this great event for the twelfth consecutive year.  Congratulations to all of you, the Fast Tech 50 Class of 2012.

Back in January, Forbes ranked Houston as the #3 market in the country for job opportunities in 2012 with expected net job growth to be 14%.  The Houston Business Journal confirmed that in September of 2012 Houston was chugging along at YTD job growth of 13% and could top that number for the year given certain positive circumstances in the fourth quarter.

And some new information this year, Houston was recently ranked as the #2 place in the country for a Female Entrepreneur to start a business.  The list of rankings and awards goes on and on from Bizjournals, to Kipplinger to Forbes.

Sounds like fertile ground for potential investors to me.  Thank goodness we live in Houston, Texas!  And while energy related businesses are contributing to that growth it’s creating opportunities in other areas for our city.

Recently, I had the honor of joining our some additional distinguished colleagues from  the Tech Sector in putting on an Entrepreneurial Boot Camps for our folks in at the Houston Technology Center.   The response was fantastic.  This can do attitude, this desire to pick one’s self up and build something with your knowledge and expertise is as old as our country’s and state’s early history.  It’s in our blood, our psyche that we want to build and create something.  The American Dream is alive and well here in Houston!

But don’t take my word for it.  Let’s take a long look at one of the country’s well know “Tech States” –California.   According to the Texas State Data Center:

  • Texas’ population has increased 20.6% during the period of 2000 to 2010.
  • Texas has five cities on the population list of the top 16 and Houston is the highest ranked at #4.
  • More than 375,000 Californians moved to Texas in the past five years contributing to increasing our population at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the nation.
  • In 2010 alone, 70,000 Californians moved to Texas.

While the Texas miracle has been chugging along for 12 years, our Tech community has been rising, growing and gaining national as well as international attention.  Some accolades regarding our infrastructure include:

What are some examples of this you ask?

  • The SURGE Energy Software Accelerator was launched in Houston last spring and was a huge success.  And they are gearing up for another session.
  • The Houston Technology Center has been recognized as one of the Top Technology Incubators Changing the World by Forbes
  • And The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship has assisted over 1,000 start-up companies, who have raised more than $2.160 billion in funding.   And they oversee the largest and richest business plan competition in the world, awarding over $1.55 million in prize money last year.
  •  39 of Honorees are plugged into Social Media. And 15 of the top 25 use Social Media, primarily Twitter.

Part of that infrastructure includes:  the aforementioned (HTC); Rice Alliance; and support groups like: The Gulf Coast Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (RCIC), Bio-Houston, and the Houston Angel Network (HAN).  All of these organizations are providing forums for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and find financial investors and backers. And newcomers like Red House and the Surge Energy Software Accelerator are on the horizon as well.

The Class of 2012 will continue the trend of being one of the youngest we have ever had in our program. In comparing this year’s group of winners, it’s clear that they represent a much younger and still developing group of early stage companies.  They will have an impact on our local and national economy for many years to come, and they will add to the legacy of what makes Houston the top city in the country to start a business.  The average growth rate for this year’s group is a staggering 91%.

During this past year we had over 300 companies express an interest in becoming a member of this exclusive club.  The Fast Tech 50 class of 2012 continues Houston’s tradition of technology excellence.  And they also bring to the forefront new and different stories of entrepreneurial success.  This year’s list of honorees includes:

  • 17 first-time honorees,
  • 12 two-time honorees,
  • 7 three-time honorees,
  • 6 four-time honorees,
  • 2 five time honorees,
  • 3 six-time honorees and
  • 1 each of seven, eight and nine-time honorees.

We will have a special announcement about some of these companies in a few moments.

  • 19 of our honorees are five years old or younger.
  • 22 honorees are 10 years or older.
  • And 9 are between 6-9 years of age.

The local economic impact made by this year’s Fast Tech 50 is phenomenal!  When reviewing the entire 50 companies, an impressive overview quickly emerges.  These organizations are responsible for creating almost 2,850 jobs and over $640 million in revenues to our local economy.

In closing, I am reminded of something I saw on a web which said that Houston was a city of infinite possibilities. It is the next great international city of the world!

Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

Thank you!

We’ve just finished announcing this year’s Class of FastTech 50 winners. Congratulations to everyone!

1 IPT Global
2 StratITsphere Data Center Solutions, LLC
3 Drilformance
4 Technology Support  Incorporated
5 itRobotics, Inc.
6 Cimation
7 Soteica Ideas & Technology, L.LC.
8 Tradentrix
9 Encore Health Resources
10 Z-Terra, Inc.
11 Miracle TV Corporation
12 Commercial Wireless Solutions, L.P.
13 HPI Global Ventures, Inc.
14 Wildcat Development
15 Open Geophysical
16 Streebo Inc.
17 ABIS Consulting Group
18 Server Side Design, Inc.
19 EpiladyUSA, Inc.
20 Entrance
21 US LED, Ltd.
22 HSSK Forensics, Inc.
23 B Resource, Inc.
24 HighRadius
25 Centre Technologies
26 ChaiONE
27 Validas Inc.
28 Covelo Group
29 Small Screen Producer
30 Alert Logic
31 Gimmal
32 Techcess Group
33 EBUSINESS STRATEGIES, LLC
34 DYONYX, L.P.
35 ERGOS Technology Partners, Inc.
36 Empyrean Benefit Solutions
37 Canidium
38 Merrick
39 Idera
40 CAP Resources
41 Data Projections
42 RSA Corporation (Technology Transfer, Incorporated)
43 Intellicure, Inc.
44 Wave Imaging Technology, Inc.
45 Bouncing Pixel
46 CITOC, Inc.
47 Bluware, Inc.
48 Schipul – The Web Marketing Company
49 Applied Optoelectronics, Inc.
50 PrimeSys

 

FastTech 50 is rapidly approaching (November 2nd this year), and is shaping up to be another great event! We’ve secured Nilofer Merchant, columnist, best-selling author and tech guru as our luncheon keynote this year.

Tim Monzingo wrote an excellent article in the Houston Business Journal covering Merchant’s thoughts on social media. A former executive for Apple, she has a unique perspective. She said “the impact of social technologies is a dissemination of innovation into a larger playing field.”  She goes on to say “social media sites are just a small part of the social era.”  It’s an interesting concept, and I’m looking forward to her remarks at the luncheon.

 If you need more information about this year’s FastTech 50 visit the website or contact Lee Ann Semmel at the Houston Business Journal, lasemmel@pkftexas.com.

MaryLynn Greg Brad at NASDAQ

So for the past few years the winner of the Rice Business Plan Competition (BPC) (www.alliance.rice.edu) has been invited to go to New York City and ring the bell at the NASDAQ and get some additional publicity for their startup company. This year’s winner was NuMat Technologies out of Northwestern University from Chicago.  It was nice to see the changes in the personnel and their success begin to accelerate as a result of winning the Rice BPC.  Several members of the Houston business community were also present at the bell ringing and it was a great testament to desire of the City to bring new companies and great ideas to grow and prosper in our city.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review a Kauffman Foundation report on the Rice BPC and its impact on the community as a whole.   The study showed “that university business plan competitions can go beyond simply being an academic exercise or educational experience. They can serve as a vehicle for building a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem and serve as a launching pad for new businesses, especially high-tech, high-growth startups.”   The Kauffman report went on to say that “all net new jobs created in the United States come from startups-companies less than five years old.”  Our eco-system benefits from the Rice BPC and we are excited to be a part of that community.

Times Square RBPC at NASDAQ 

Well after waiting for what seems like an eternity, I finally got something to see and look at as it pertains to the iPhone 5.  Followers of my blog know that I have been raving about this product for well over 4 years now using an iPhone 3 GS.  I skipped the iPhone 4 in anticipation of something bigger with an iPhone 5. And I got it. I was searching for some information re the new release and found this link which has both feedback on the phone and its appearance.  The new iPhone is both bigger and faster, but smaller 18% and lighter 20% than the iPhone 4 and much more than the iPhone 3 GS that I have.  Selling 2 million iPhones in 24 hours is pretty impressive.  I wish I had that ERP order for Apple to help them with their supply chain consultingJ.

So being an “innovation disciple of Steve Jobs”, it’s the iPhone and then everybody else. It just works…I am ordering mine tonight.

Greg: This is PKF Texas the Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Greg Price, Director of Consulting Solutions, and I’m here again with Robin Tooms, the Vice President of Strategy for Savage. Robin, welcome back to the Playbook.

Robin: Thank you, Greg.

Greg: So Robin, in my blog, I talk about digital tools, fads, what’s going on out there today, and it’s changing really rapidly. How does one stay on point with all of this stuff?

Robin: Oh, you’re right. It’s tough. I get questions all the time like, “Should I be on Facebook?” Everyone’s just getting so seduced by all the channels that are emerging every day but really you have to take a step back and look at your strategy first, then choose which channels you need to be on.

Greg: So that sounds great, but how do we get started down the path?

Robin: Well, I would say a process for getting started on digital strategy would be to first look at what your core user experience should be and develop your content strategy from that. Then think about how your audience likes to engage with you. So your relationship marketing and this is where you consider channels such as social media or e-mails. And finally, really look at how you’re integrating all of this with your analytics and your metrics, so that you can have the proper ROI and lead generation numbers from all of this.

Greg: Wow, Robin, that’s great insight. I know our audience will appreciate that value you provided right then. Can we have you back at some time in the future?

Robin: Yes, definitely.

Greg: Okay, great. We’ll have you back on the Playbook. This has been another Thought Leader Production, brought to you by PKF Texas, the Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter and remember, if you’re looking to enhance or provide clarity to your digital world for your company, go to savagebrands.com.