Reading time ( words)
During the recent SMTA Houston Expo & Tech Forum, I had the good fortune to meet and interview Joey Sanchez, senior director of ecosystems at The Ion, a 300,000-square-foot space in the renovated historical Sears building in the city’s Midtown section. Opened in 2021, The Ion is part of the 16-acre (12 city blocks) Ion Innovation District, which is currently under development. The facility is owned and managed by Rice University.
The Ion serves as a gathering place for entrepreneurs, students, corporations, and academics to connect, share ideas, learn, and collaborate on innovation. There are many resources onsite for innovation, including prototyping labs with 3D printing, CNC mills, training courses, mentors, and meeting rooms that are open to the public. More than 250 companies occupy the floors above, including Microsoft on the top floor.
Hundreds of events are hosted each year at The Ion, including Cup of Joey, which was started by Joey Sanchez as a walk-in event every Friday morning. It’s where people can meet, enjoy a cup of coffee, and make a connection with a wide array of people. I went to my first Cup of Joey in March, where I connected with people from all parts of life and industry, including Alert Tech SMT, a Houston-based EMS provider.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the May 2023 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.