Ms. Grace Rodriguez
CEO / Executive Director, Impact Hub Houston
After co-founding Station Houston to unite the local innovation ecosystem and help entrepreneurs grow high-tech startups, Grace Rodriguez recognized that many entrepreneurs from diverse communities were being left behind. To address this, she decided to leave Station to help lead and launch Impact Hub Houston, a locally rooted, globally connected organization that inspires, connects and empowers changemakers and social entrepreneurs across Houston. Working in tandem with the United Nations to foster inclusive collaboration and innovative solutions towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Impact Hub Houston works to make Houston a role model for how the world solves its most pressing issues. Grace has strategic expertise and hands-on experience in design thinking, behavioral transformation and business operations, which she leverages to serve Houston’s broader community as an advisor for organizations including the City of Houston Women and Minority Business Task Force, Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute, TX/RX Labs, Houston Public Media, Discovery Green, Writers in the Schools (WITS), Women In Tech: Houston, and TEDxHouston.
Grace has helped spread ideas, shape experiences, and spur action as a speaker, workshop facilitator, panel moderator, and events and community organizer over the past two decades, directly reaching over 246,000 people (based on event attendance). During Hurricane Harvey, she helped disseminate accurate and timely information to a quarter of a million people across Houston and helped connect Sketch City's tech volunteers with information and resources to help people across the city get informed, get rescued, find shelters, and access food. As TED's Creative Director for the TEDActive Conference, she engaged, entertained and energized over 800 high-profile, international participants; and helped elevate perceptions of Houston to over 17,000 people over the seven-year run of “Houston at SXSW.”