09:24 AM

UST is Founding Education Partner with New Digital Media Venture Houston Inno

Emerging as a leader in Catholic higher education innovation, the University of St. Thomas - Houston has inked a deal with Houston Inno, a new digital media, events and data company focused on local innovation.

UST is the only founding educational partner in the Houston launch. Other partners from bayou city are Accenture and Ion.

Bob Charlet, Market President & Publisher of the Houston Business Journal, said, “The University of St. Thomas and Dr. Beena George have been leaders in innovation in Houston. Dr. George earned the title of Chief Innovation Officer at University of St. Thomas, which was both an internal and external commitment for the University. When HBJ added an Innovation Awards component to our legacy Fast 100 event in 2019, Dr. George was asked to be one of our judges. University of St. Thomas also sponsored the Innovation Awards event to further demonstrate their commitment to innovation in Houston. Through this robust partnership, it was a natural evolution for HBJ to reach out to Dr. George and University of St. Thomas to become one of our Founding Partners for HBJ’s launch of Houston Inno. The addition of St. Thomas, with now years of innovation initiatives that benefit students, faculty, and businesses in Houston, will enhance and help grow Houston Inno to its fullest potential for Houston and the Houston innovation Ecosystem.”

Houston Inno Launch

Houston Inno launched on April 15, 2021, part of a network of digital media ventures across the U.S. overseen by parent organization American Inno, which is owned by the American City Business Journals, making it a sister publication to the prestigious Houston Business Journal.

The new digital publication is part of a growing network of 19 sites across the country including four in Texas – North Texas, Austin, Dallas and now Houston. These publications are committed to covering, connecting and catalyzing the people, companies, trends and topics that are defining local startup and tech communities and shaping the future of economies like Houston.

UST Embraces Innovation, Goes Boldly Forward

Turning the traditional higher education model on its ear, UST began forging a new path into the 21st century while staying true to its Catholic mission. UST jumped on the innovation bandwagon in 2019 formalizing its strategic plan Call Toward Tomorrow and embracing the plan’s “big, hairy, audacious goals” to increase enrollment; renew its ethos, culture and spirit; and improve its academics and organizational structure, infrastructure and awareness in the community.

In fall 2021, UST will offer free fall tuition for its associates' programs in cybersecurity, network technology, electronic technology, general business, and alcohol and drug counseling to support the Greater Houston and Texas workforce. These degrees help students retool their skills and get a good-paying job in a thriving employment market. UST offers this support during the pandemic in fulfillment of its Catholic mission.

UST’s Strength is Bringing the Human Element to Innovation

In 2019, former UST Business Dean, Dr. Beena George, became the University’s first Chief Innovation Officer and launched the Maximilian Kolbe Innovation Network as a virtual think tank. UST drew inspiration from St. Maximilian Kolbe, often referred to as the patron saint of innovation. He used radio in early 20th century Poland to build the largest Catholic media apostolate in the world.

When George was named to the post, UST President Richard Ludwick said, “Dr. George will help UST play an instrumental part in positioning the University within Houston’s explosive growth in technology and innovation.”

Dr. George and the UST community have held steady to their goal of focusing on the human element.

George said, “UST’s strength is bringing the human element to innovation. How can we use technology to foster human development, prepare our students for their future and meet the needs of our community?”