HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Station Houston, a growing hub for startup technology companies, corporate innovation and entrepreneurship, announced today the appointment of Gabriella Rowe as its new CEO. Rowe, an experienced business leader and innovation strategist, will accelerate the transformation of Station Houston into a world-leading innovation hub, establish powerful partnerships amongst academic institutions, corporations, investors and entrepreneurs, and help drive the development of Houston’s Innovation District alongside numerous startup development organizations, educational institutions, corporate partners and the City of Houston.
Rowe assumes the leadership of Station Houston from John Reale, who will remain on the Board of Directors and an active mentor of Station’s startup companies. Reale co-founded Station Houston alongside Blair Garrou, Emily Keeton and Grace Rodriguez in 2016. Through Reale’s leadership, Station quickly established itself as the hub of software entrepreneurship in Houston, helping to support the region’s innovation and entrepreneur community. Reale was instrumental in forging Station Houston’s partnership with Rice University and developing key initiatives to help launch and support Houston’s Innovation District.
“What JR has done in such a short amount of time is incredible. I’ll work closely with him during this transition period and leverage his expertise as we continue to grow and support even more startups and attract more venture capitalists to Houston,” said Rowe. “I am so excited to get started because I think we are only scratching the surface relative to the resources, education, and collaborations we can bring to make Houston a groundbreaking city for long-term innovation and entrepreneurship. I am looking forward to leading the team and working with our community of 180 startups and 350 corporate and individual members as we begin this next phase of growth.”
Co-founder Garrou, Managing Director at Mercury Fund and a board member at Station Houston, said, “We took a huge step forward when the city announced the development of the Innovation District earlier this year, but it’s just the start. Gabriella brings a diverse background of executive and civic experiences and embodies everything we were looking for in our next leader. We are thrilled she agreed to help us take Station Houston to the next level, with the goal of further accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship within Houston.”
“The first time I met Gaby, I was immediately impressed. I believe in her and her leadership, and I’m so glad she will be leading Station forward. This is an important day for Station and more importantly, Houston,” said Reale. “I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past two-and-a-half years as we now look to this next phase of growth. Our ecosystem is thriving because Houston continues to be a great ecosystem for entrepreneurs. I’m grateful for our team and all the community’s support.”
Prior to Station Houston, Rowe was the Director of Project Management and Corporate Development at Nord Anglia Education. Just prior, she was the Head of School at The Village School in Houston, a position she was actively recruited for and, after one year, grew student enrollment by 20 percent. There, she spearheaded major school expansions and innovative curriculum updates, such as required coding classes for middle-school students, an entrepreneurship diploma with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a partnership with MIT to enhance Village’s STEAM program. Before Village, Rowe was an education executive, investment banker and management consultant in New York City for more than 25 years.
“Gabriella’s enthusiasm for the innovation district that Rice and its partners are establishing is phenomenal,” said Alan Arnold, Investment Director for Real Estate, Rice University. “She has a deep management skill set developed during a distinguished career building and advising businesses, including laser focus on the infrastructure and organizational tools required for accelerating growth and success. Rice is grateful for the work that Station Houston has done thus far, and we are excited about the continuation of our partnership under Gaby’s leadership.”
Beyond education, Rowe is a champion of the growth and success of Houston. Currently, she is the chair of the Learning Committee for Houston Exponential, a member of both the Greater Houston Partnership’s Economic Development and Trade Committee and the Greater Houston Partnership’s Executive Women’s Committee, while also serving as a board member of TXRX Labs and First Tee of Greater Houston. Rowe has also been a mentor at Station Houston for the last 18 months and in 2017, she was named to the Houston Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” list.
“I believe in Houston and our ambitious community. I have great faith in the people of this city and the leadership and competitive spirit of our civic leaders,” said Rowe. “When we all come together and support the hopes, dreams and expectations of our entrepreneurs, I have little doubt that Houston’s startup founders will achieve success synonymous with other technology hubs across the country.”
For Station Houston
Amy Christie, 312-329-3903