Houston Technology Center Chooses Banker, Civic Leader as New CEO

Houston—Lori Vetters, a longtime Houston commercial banker, has been selected as the next CEO of the Houston Technology Center.

Vetters, most recently the head of HSBC’s regional bank based in Houston, becomes the first woman to lead HTC, which serves as an incubator for young tech companies. “I spent 30 years in the business community helping companies grow and build their businesses, and raise capital,” she says. “This is really where my heart resides; I enjoy working with entrepreneurs and businesspeople.”

Vetters (pictured, left) assumes the position at a time when the Houston innovation ecosystem has gotten a growth spurt. Among the additions to Houston’s tech scene include efforts focused on healthcare (TMCx accelerator, JLabs, and the AT&T Foundry for Connected Health), general technology (Station Houston), and university accelerators (RedLabs and Owlspark.)

Though Vetters has not had direct experience working with tech startups, she says her financial and banking experience—namely, know-how in connecting entrepreneurs to capital—will be key in boosting the city’s innovation ecosystem. “I’m really looking at financing resources for entrepreneurs,” she says. “There is a shortage of venture capital in our market. That’s something that the Houston market’s been trying to solve for a number of years.”

She also points out her experience building Wachovia Bank’s business here “from scratch to 1,500 employees and 100 locations” with giving her the knowledge of building a business.

Prior to joining HSBC, Vetters was Houston regional president at Wachovia and a Texas-based managing director at J.P. Morgan Chase. She has an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a bachelor’s degree in geology from New Orleans-based Tulane University.

Vetters has been active in Houston civic affairs as well, including board positions with the Greater Houston Partnership, Teach for America, and the Houston Zoo. Vetters says she … Next Page »

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Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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