Jason Pontin Speaks About Tech Community

by | Apr 29, 2009 | Tecknowledgy, Week in Geek

Last week, I had the opportunity to introduce Jason Pontin, Editor-in-Chief of Technology Review magazine and technologyreview.com, at the MIT Enterprise Forum April Flagship event.

Jason gave a great presentation on the Top Emerging Technologies of 2009. They are:

These companies are all doing really cool things.  For example, Paper Diagnostics created by George Whitesides, has developed cheap diagnostic tests made from paper.  This technology can be used to screen people in developing nations for a host of diseases, effectively and inexpensively.  The $100 Genome uses a nano chip to unravel DNA, untangling long strands of DNA molecules much quicker than standard techniques.  Bionanomatrix, the company developing the technology, is currently working on a process for sequencing the DNA.

We’re now linking to Jason’s blog, The New Commonplace in our blog roll, be sure to check it out when you’re reading the PKF Texas – The Entrepreneur’s Playbook every Friday!

I also want to share a few of my thoughts that I included in my remarks before introducing Jason.  I believe the idea of community is very important to the success of the emerging market and technology sector based here in Houston. 

The human spirit needs a sense of belonging to achieve its highest scale of success.  While Houston has a long tradition of success in innovation and technology development, most folks outside of our fair city don’t necessarily share that knowledge of our legacy.  And yes, while many people on the planet know of the Johnson Space Center, few understand the business and financial impact of that research center on a local and global basis.  Another equally important research center is the Texas Medical Center.  Between these entities, and many global oil and gas research and development centers our “community” has already established a track record for success.

We developed the Fast Tech 50 Awards program in connection with many of our friends and family in the Houston community.  During the past 8 years the Fast Tech 50 program has highlighted and showcased some outstanding examples of human spirit and achievement.  More importantly, we see tangible results that prove Houston is the place to be if you are entrepreneur.

I am struck with a sense of pride and accomplishment pertaining to the region’s tenacity and desire to take an idea and make it a reality, which quite frankly in other parts of the country would never see the light of day.  It’s a commitment to community-not the transaction that is the recipe for success.  When we lose sight of that, we lose our bearing or compass point.

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