Pearland to open an innovation-focused hub to support local entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs in the Pearland region have a new resource to help them grow their business.

The Pearland Economic Development Corp. launched the Pearland Innovation Centeraimed at connecting small businesses with programs and services designed to help them succeed.

The Pearland Innovation Hub is managed through a partnership between Pearland Economic Development Corp. and The Cannon, a Houston-area business networking community for entrepreneurs, investors, and innovative businesses. For now, the hub does not officially have a physical space. The hub welcomes the local community into its launch party Thursday, May 19 at BAKFISH Brewing.

The Cannon has hired Brandy Guidry to manage the Pearland hub. She has over 17 years of experience in business operations; engineering; technical marketing; innovation; and strategic planning, project and program management.

Among the hub’s offerings are business plan competitions, business coaching, networking and programs.

Guidry’s office is at the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. “We can have small gatherings here,” she said. “Our goal is to hold as many events at local venues to help promote and patronize local business owners.”

Pearland Mayor Kevin Cole said in a Press release that the hub “will serve to establish Pearland as a community known for innovation and entrepreneurship and where emerging businesses want to locate”.

“The Pearland Innovation Hub is a groundbreaking initiative to support existing and future small business owners,” adds Guidry.

A Pearland Innovation Hub launch party is scheduled for 5 p.m. May 19 at Pearland’s Bakfish Brewing Co., 1231 Broadway St.

Pearland Prosperity Community Strategic Plan recommended the creation of an entrepreneurship and small business support centre. In April 2021, the board of directors of the economic development company set in motion the creation of the pole. Seven months later, Pearland City Council approved a three-year, $927,000 contract with The Cannon to operate the hub.

The Hub Advisory Board members are:

  • Matt Buchanan, chairman of Pearland Economic Development Corp.
  • Mona Chavarria, owner of A&A Cleaning.
  • Bill Jackson, Founder and CEO of Base Pair Biotechnologies.
  • Jim Johnson, President and CEO of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce.
  • Randeep Nambiar, board member of Pearland Economic Development Corp.
  • HR consultant Ann Strouhal.

During the first year or two of the hub, it will be managed by the economic development corporation. But the plan is to eventually turn the hub into its own non-profit organization that will establish a contractual relationship with the economic development corporation.

Besides Pearland Economic Development Corp. and The Cannon, hub partners include the City of Pearland, the Pearland Chamber of Commerce and the San Jacinto Community College Small Business Development Center.

Brandy Guidry is Pearland’s navigator with The Cannon. Photo via pearlandinnovationhub.com