Innovative Houston: Visits to The Ion and Greentown Labs

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 1:00–3:00 P.M.


Travelers on Houston’s Main Street have watched the rapid transformation of the former Sears building and Fiesta market into The Ion and Greentown Labs Houston. Join us to hear Ryan LeVasseur, Jan Odegard, and Emily Reichert reveal the activity inside these repurposed buildings as well as plans for future development of the Ion District, a joint initiative between Rice University and the City of Houston. The 16-acre mixed-use development is anchored by The Ion, a 266,000-square-foot building envisioned as a nucleus for innovation in Houston. The space fosters a community and culture where entrepreneurs and corporations come together to solve some of the world’s greatest problems.

Massachusetts-based Greentown Labs opened its first satellite location here to accelerate Houston’s evolution into a clean energy capital by supporting climate tech startups. The 40,000-square-foot incubator offers prototyping lab, office, and community space for up to 50 startup companies.

Ryan LeVasseur is the Managing Director of Direct Real Estate for Rice Management Company, Rice University’s investment arm, and is responsible for investments in strategic development opportunities in Houston. Mr. LeVasseur previously spent five years in Hines’s New York development office where he was a managing director.

Jan Odegard is the Executive Director at The Ion. Prior to joining The Ion, Mr. Odegard served as the Executive Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute at Rice University for 17 years, where he focused on building strategic partnerships to serve as catalysts for research, education, and external engagements in data and computing. He also served as the Associate Vice President for Research Computing at Rice for four years.

Emily Reichert is the CEO of Greentown Labs, the largest climate tech startup incubator in North America. As the organization’s first employee in 2013, she spearheaded the rapid growth of Greentown Labs into a global center for clean technology innovation.

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