INTRODUCING INNOVATIONMAP

Introducing InnovationMap: The new media outlet covering what's igniting change in Houston

InnovationMap tells the stories of innovation in Houston. Courtesy graphic

Houston innovation is now on the map. Gow Media, a leading multi-platform media company that includes CultureMap, SportsMap, Houston's ESPN 97.5 FM, and SB Nation Radio, has announced the launch of its newest digital media platform, InnovationMap.

As the new voice of innovation in Houston, InnovationMap shines a spotlight on innovation within startups, tech, health, energy, social impact, and more. In addition to thoughtful news coverage, the site will feature profiles of leaders within the industry and thought leadership content from a pool of expert guest contributors.

"Houston is on a great trajectory. The efforts of many are coming together to develop a strong entrepreneurial and innovation economy. We think the time is right for a media outlet that focuses on innovation in Houston. We also want to highlight the vision of our presenting sponsor, BBVA Compass, a longtime leader of the innovation economy in Houston," says David Gow, CEO of Gow Media.  

Joining Gow on the board of InnovationMap are Patrick Schneidau, software executive and chair of the Talent Committee of Houston Exponential; Brad Deutser, CEO of Deutser Consulting and author of the book Leading Clarity; and Jarred King, CEO of Swagger Media and president of Entrepreneurs' Organization in Houston.

Gow Media has tapped Natalie Harms to serve as editor of InnovationMap. Harms is a native Houstonian, graduate of the University of Houston, and former associate editor at the Houston Business Journal

The new media outlet was recently celebrated at a private pre-launch party hosted by Gow. An intimate group of Houston leaders across industries gathered to toast to the future of innovation in the city — and to get an exclusive first look at the site

InnovationMap is the second recent addition to Gow Media’s ever-growing portfolio. In October, the company launched GiftingMap, a new e-commerce site featuring a curated selection of gifts with a focus on brands tied to Texas.

"With the growth of GiftingMap and SportsMap, and the impressive success of CultureMap, we are now in a position to launch InnovationMap. With InnovationMap, we are leveraging our digital platform, editorial approach, and our cross-platform promotional power to establish the leading voice for innovation in Houston," says Gow.     

40 years later the amazing moment in sports history still holds its place

Do you (Still) believe in miracles?

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It's hard to believe, but this week marks the 40th anniversary of "The Miracle On Ice" A result and event where "if scripted", Hollywood would immediately reject on general premise, due to it's improbability. For a younger generation who is unfamiliar with the story (or the odds), visualize a bunch of nobodies and college kids two weeks ago trying to defeat Patrick Mahomes and the KC Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Then, magnify that by about 50 times, and you'll have the general scope and idea. You see, this is exactly what TEAM USA was comprised of, a bunch of college kids, and nobodies going up against the mighty Soviets.

The average age on the American team was 21. They lacked speed, fire power and the tenure of their opponents. The Soviets hadn't lost an Olympic Hockey game since 1968. They had won 4 straight Gold Medals with their core players intact for entire stretches of their Olympic and Global dominance. By contrast, the only American returning from the 76' games was Buzz Schneider. Schneider would actually score the first goal vs. the Soviets. If you ask most American's today, they probably think Buzz was one of the astronauts. The Soviets were so dominating in this era, they had even defeated the NHL All-Stars 6-0 in 1979 to easily win The Challenge Cup.

Lake Placid, New York served as the backdrop for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Lake Placid is a small village in Essex County, NY with a population today of around 2,500 people. If you visit, it's amazing because everyone in that town claims that "they" were in attendance or had their elders in the tiny 8500 seat arena with their families. What makes the story even more remarkable, is that the matchup wasn't even supposed to happen. The U.S. were heavy underdogs even their opening contests with Sweden & Czechoslovakia. Not to mention, that no one really anticipated a contest vs the Soviets as a mere two weeks prior, the Soviets had easily defeated Team USA in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden by a score of 10-3. Adding insult to injury in that loss, was defenseman Jack O'Callahan pulling ligaments in his knee. Jack remained on the Olympic roster, but played sparingly throughout the tournament.

The Soviets steamrolled through their tier of countries, defeating Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Finland & Canada by a combined margin of 51-10. The American's railed for a 2-2 draw in their opening game vs. Sweden, then stunned the Czechs, and then handled, Norway, Romania & West Germany. Thus the stage was set. There are edited versions of the historic matchup available for viewing on YouTube. Unlike the late Jim Mckay who refused to reveal the result on ABC's coverage (the game had been played several hours earlier) would never have had the impact in today's age of social media, and technology. Most American's had no idea the result prior to the game's airing on that tape delay. As a 9 year old kid at the time, this was certainly the case for me! This improbable upset didn't actually secure the Gold Medal. Team USA had to play Finland (trailed 2-1) before rallying 4-2 for the victory.

The "Miracle On Ice" launched some amazing sports moments in the decade to come. The Flutie Hail Mary, Lorenzo Charles stunning the Cougars, Nova shocking the Mighty Hoyas, but nothing could ever match American Pride on February 22nd, 1980 after the Soviets went down 4-3.

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