Brazos Spinners and Weavers Guild Brings Unique Experience to the Children’s Museum

Saturday, October 7, was an exciting spin-off for the Intersections juried fiber arts exhibit at the SEAD Gallery as the Brazos Spinners and Weavers Guild visited the Children’s Museum of Brazos Valley to bring unique experiences in yarnwork and art to the community.

In partnership with Advent GX, the Brazos Spinners and Weavers hosted a fun day of activities that included a spinning wheel demonstration, a “yarnbombing” of the You Build It house, and a make-and-take fiber arts craft station.

Since 1976, the Brazos Spinners and Weavers Guild has been bringing weavers, spinners, and fiber artists from the Brazos Valley together to share their passion for their art and craft with fellow artists and the public at large. This past week, the the Guild shared this love and knowledge with the community to create a singularly engaging experience for the Brazos Valley.

As part of Advent GX’s mission to create experience through innovation and development, this event combined interactivity with heritage preservation by making an historic art readily available for public immersion. Special thanks go to the Brazos Spinners and Weavers Guild, as well as the Children’s Museum of Brazos Valley, for putting this event together in the spirit of community development and cultural preservation.

To get the latest news on coming events, follow Advent GX on Facebook, or visit us online for more information.

An Evening of Conversation with ‘Intellectual Jack of All Trades,’ Pascal Bruckner

On Thursday, October 5, Advent GX partnered with Dr. Richard Golsan and the France/TAMU Institute (the Centre d’Excellence, part of the Scowcroft Institute at Texas A&M’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service) to bring Pascal Bruckner to the SEAD Gallery. This evening marked another in a series of events focused on transforming Bryan into a vibrant center of community engagement and economic growth through the exchange of international ideas.

A ‘New Philosopher’ and prize-winning novelist, Mr. Bruckner was warmly introduced by Dr. Golsan, Director of the Centre d’Excellence, as an “intellectual jack of all trades” before being handed the floor to tackle some of the tough issues in France and abroad.

To kick off the evening, Mr. Bruckner first touched on the controversy surrounding Islamophobia before delving into the French reaction to recent terror attacks, and then concluding with a conversation on the recent past and near future of French-American relations. Following a Q&A, there was a sparkling reception over fine food, wine, and company as guests devoted the remainder of their evenings to conversation and deliberation.

Advent GX is honored to have collaborated with the Centre d’Excellence and Dr. Golsan to bring Mr. Bruckner to the SEAD Gallery as part of its mission to promote community and economic development through the global exchange of ideas, innovation, and art.

We’d like to extend a very special thanks to Pascal Bruckner for taking the time to sit down and share his perspective with us for an evening of cultural and intellectual convergence. Thanks also goes to the SEAD Gallery for hosting and the staff who made the evening possible.

Follow us on Facebook to get the latest news on coming events, or visit the SEAD Gallery online for full coverage of the event.

Advent GX’s President Appears on “Mindless Millennials” Podcast

September 30 marked an exciting day for Advent GX (AGX) as its president and CEO, Jose Quintana, was invited to appear on Mindless Millennials, a free-flow conversational podcast hosted by Texas A&M’s Bailey Mullins, which revolves around the life experiences of its guests.

Focusing on innovative programs to propel community and economic development, Mr. Quintana  discussed the myriad of programs and projects in the Bryan/College Station area that have established the historic downtown into an area of experimental economics, as well as his take on technology and business practices in the modern market.

The projects that Advent GX has been spearheading in the Bryan/College Station area are dedicated to preserving an authentic Bryan cultural experience while also developing the economic climate. Among these projects are the Grand Stafford Theater, the SEAD Gallery, the Distributed Urban Farming Initiative, and the Ice House on Main, which is currently at the center of many upcoming AGX developments that could mean big things for the downtown scene in the near future, including a coffee shop, microbrewery, and a farm-to-table restaurant featuring the culinary talent of Ronan Cooking, LLC.

Mr. Quintana’s invitation to appear on this podcast offered a unique opportunity for Advent GX to share these messages, as well as AGX’s mission, initiatives, and experiences over a more modern medium. For this, we would like to offer special thanks to Bailey Mullins for bringing Jose on the air to speak about our community and economic development programs.

To listen to the podcast episode, please visit Mindless Millenials online and look for Episode No. 22 featuring Jose Quintana. For questions or further information on the content of the episode, feel free to email us at inquiry@adventgx.com.  

Young Entrepreneurs Showcase at Ice House on Main

Wednesday night was an exciting evening for young entrepreneurs at the Ice House on Main. On September 27, Startup Aggieland held its annual First Look event in our new downtown venue for mentors, investors, and start-up entrepreneurs to network and share their ideas within the business community.

First Look 2017

First Look is an annual event hosted by Startup Aggieland, which describes itself as “[a] globally-recognized, award-winning, job creation program disguised as a multidisciplinary business incubator and accelerator” (startupaggieland.com), as a division of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship and Mays Business School.

With the McFerrin Center, Startup Aggieland also hosted First Look in association with Blackstone LaunchPad and together, these institutions created an opportunity for entrepreneurs in the Bryan/College Station area to pitch their ideas and their businesses in a relaxed setting that promotes the good spirit in which networking thrives.

First Look afforded its Aggies more than an opportunity to live out the American Dream as young entrepreneurs–it offered Bryan/College Station professionals a chance to do so in a new setting that reflects the culture and spirit of its community and its university.

Advent GX is honored to have been a part of this event with the university. We are excited to hear what the future brings for its young business community, and look forward to possible partnerships in the future.

For more information about First Look or Startup Aggieland, please visit their website listed above. To learn more about Ice House on Main or Advent GX, please visit our website or shoot us an email at inquiry@adventgx.com.


August Software Developer’s Cartel

Things got technical again at the Grand Stafford Theater for this months’ Software Developer’s Cartel Meet-up. First, we heard from Matt Leonard and Joe Morgan of T STAR and Texas A&M University (TAMU) respectively on their collaborations at the intersection of the space and education industries. Afterwards we heard from Patrick Smith, the founder of Job Loop.


Tackling tough questions like how particles interact with each in microgravity and how can you anchor up to an asteroid, Matt Leonard of T STAR and Joe Morgan of the Texas A&M Universities ESET program, discussed how their experiments can help us improve our understanding of loosely associated surfaces and how these experiments give undergraduate students real-world experience. T STARS’ successful STRATA-1 mission produced 75GB of imagery and accelerometer data after a year on-orbit and is pending publication with the National Academy of Science. The Hermes mission utilizes a capstone team of Aggie undergrad ESET engineering students who, guided by T STARS and their experience with NASA, were able to design a series of experiments using the CubeSat form factor. Hermes, a microgravity experimental facility, will arrive on the International Space Station in October of 2018 for it’s 5 year journey. Hermes will be able to facilitate science experiments as well as simple payloads that fit Hermes’ design and operations constraints.


Closing out the evening, we heard from Patrick Smith, the creator of Job Loop. Job Loop, a “Tinder..for jobs” app, was the culmination of a realization Mr. Smith had while comparing European job search apps with job search apps available within the US marketplace. Noticing a gap in the market, he got work. Mr. Smith, who has a background in accounting, pulled from his knowledge of development teams that he gained while working with IBM’s Watson program to construct the app. By this time the mainstream competition had caught onto the “Tinder for jobs” idea. In order to differentiate himself from the competition, Job Loop pivoted to part time jobs aimed at college students. Requiring a “.edu” email address to register, Job Loop is expanding outwards from TAMU to  other universities beginning with Texas Tech University.


Join us again next month for another round of specialty cocktails and intelligent conversation at the Grand Stafford Theater.

Software Developer’s Cartel July Meet-Up

This month’s Software Developers Cartel was a big success. Once again held at the historic Grand Stafford Theater, we heard from both Kelly Rowe of Insight and cryptocurrency expert Cody Marx Bailey.

We began by introducing our friend Kelly Rowe from Insight. Insight provides expertise in Networking, VoIP, Video, Security, Data Center, Network Storage and are looking to expand their operations. Insight would like to align Student labor with their Services Division so that full time positions can be more easily established for Students and Employer. In addition to their full repertoire of Cisco services, Insight will provide positions that line up with students’ educational profiles to provide a career pathway gaining real job experience in their related field of study.

Cody Marx Bailey, cryptocurrency hedge fund manager and expert, then took the stage and captured the full attention of the audience for over an hour with his fascinating talk on the mechanics and philosophy behind the block chain architecture applied within the digital currency Ethereum.

He began with an explanation on the inherent network resiliency due, in part, to its implementation in multiple coding languages used to distribute risk across the millions of nodes located around the world. He discussed the incentives and disincentives behind the honor system used to create new Ethereum using what Cody dubbed ‘Magic Math’, a system of cryptographic algorithms that have been in use since the 1970s. We also heard a description of the interaction between role the Public and Private ‘Keys’ that secure multiple transaction types utilizing Smart Contracts.

After his introduction, Cody explained the 14.5 second lifecycle of the block chain technology as a race from the time the last ledger was created. A “mining” blitz to factor a large prime number puzzle ensues during which time transactions and contract executions are taking place all over the world. When the puzzle is solved (approx. 14.5 seconds later) the system checks the lucky winner’s answer, who upon authorization, is awarded 5 Ether.  The ledger is updated and the next race to solve a new puzzle begins again bringing the cycle to completion.

The success of the currency relies on the open source nature of the technology which allows full transparency through the distributed network, in contrast to the more traditionally centralized design we see in major banks today. Ethereum is buoyed by the inherently open consensus which validates all transactions created. Extracting that information back out to the physical world, we are seeing a new beginning for intermediate services and private applications to be run for a fraction of the cost by cutting out the middle man.

Cody’s presentation ended with a healthy round of questions to an audience that was excited to learn over a few specialty cocktails.  We would like to thank Cody for his time as well as the Grand Stafford Theater for allowing us access to their historic venue and look forward to our August meet-up where we will once again convene to discuss technology and innovation in a way that allows growth and maintains our community of curious and passionate developers.

Join us once again at the historic Grand Stafford Theater on August 15th for another evening of drinks and tech!

Software Developer’s Cartel June Meet-Up

The Software Developer’s Cartel is dedicated to bringing the community together to hear expert presentations on technical subjects. The June Software Developer’s Cartel was another successful evening of interesting talks on subjects as diverse as they are interesting.

First, we were delighted to hear from Robert Warden, Professor and Director of the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Center for Heritage Conservation. Mr. Warden’s presentation titled “Existential Resonance of Heritage” outlined the evolution of architectural preservation methods of historical sites from hand drawn blueprints made with pencil, paper and loads of advanced geometry to ground-penetrating radar to bleeding edge photogrammetry. His work has taken him around the world to locations including multiple trips to France, Montezuma’s Castle in Arizona and even exotic locations deep into the Bolivian forest to record Mayan ruins.

Andrew Erwin, a freelance web and application developer, closed the evening with his discussion on “MVC Tools and Applications” where he outlined the advantages and disadvantages of the MVC structure of software development.

Join us next month on July 18th (or every 3rd Tuesday!) where we will once again meet at the historic Grand Stafford Theater for specialty cocktails and software talk from experts who are excited to share their work. See you there!

Celebrating a Year of PechaKucha-Bryan

Nearly a year ago, AdventGX (AGX) partnered with the Institute for Applied Creativity (IAC) at Texas A&M to establish PechaKucha Bryan, launching our local PechaKucha Night with a series of 20×20 (20 slides, 20 seconds each) presentations and introducing Bryan to the worldwide PechaKucha community. Started in Tokyo, PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps — just about anything, really — in the PechaKucha 20×20 format.

IAC and AGX have hosted three PechaKucha Nights in Bryan including the first event in November of 2014. We’ve had the privilege of hearing notable experts and friends speak on a wide variety of topics. Noted architect and professor Rodney Hill’s stunning photo log, “From Welding to Wood to Bronze” showcased years of sculpting. Benedict Nguyen’s “3D Printing: A Whole New World” introduced us to his passion for this emerging market and Barbara Kline offered lessons learned from her couch surfing adventures in “Couch Surfing: A New Way to Travel.” These presentations and many more inventive, artistic and insightful talks from past PechaKucha Nights in Bryan have us looking forward to tonight’s Pecha Kucha Bryan.

When we gather at Grand Stafford Theater, we will hear presentations from dynamic locals, including: Michael Wienen on robotics; Matt Michalka, organizer of Brazos Valley Makers; TAMU Aviary rep Constance Woodman; John Firth of the International Ocean Discovery Program; and the visionary Dean of the College of Architecture at Texas A&M, Dr. Jorge Vanegas.

PechaKucha Nights are now happening in over 700 cities around the world, providing a venue where people can show and share their work in a relaxed way. Following the live events, presentations are shared via the worldwide PechaKucha site.

We’re excited for our fourth event and look forward to seeing you there!

Advent GX Launches 3rd SEAD Summer Academy in Downtown Bryan

Advent GX launched its third season of SEAD Academy summer camps with T-STAR Space Camp this week. Throughout the week, campers will learn the basics of the Mission Control Center and how to be a Flight Controller. Participants will become expert in a Space Station systems and culminate their experience through a series of simulations in which they have to demonstrate their knowledge and work together to solve problems on the space station.

SEAD Academy is a community and economic development project by Advent GX that develops and presents immersive, interdisciplinary programs and classes for learners of all ages. Through these classes, Advent GX seeks to encourage innovation and promote the discovery of new ways to understand and positively impact our communities and our world.

Leadership Brazos Tours Bryan Community Development Campus

AdventGX team had the privilege of hosting this year’s Leadership Brazos graduating class for a tour of some our local community development initiatives.

After a brief introduction by AdventGX President, Jose Quintana, the group began the grand tour, which is not for the faint of heart or those wearing uncomfortable shoes. Starting at the SEAD Gallery, our guests had the opportunity to choose their favorite “Character” from Marie-Renee Hoek’s exhibit in the SEAD Gallery and see a live demonstrations of the ArtInteractive app. Following, the group was taken to the Innovation Underground, AdventGX’s private small business incubator, where they were briefed on the various businesses currently supported and even snapped a picture with the Innovation Underground’s mascot, the Innovation Crow.



Then it was time to take a stroll to Main Street where the tour made a brief stop at Grand Stafford Theater, a live performance venue and current AdventGX project. The tour made it’s final stop at Amity Project where our guests were given an up-close and personal introduction to adaptive reuse and were updated on the excited plans we have for the newly acquired space.

Leadership Brazos is a program of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce. The class, led by Mike Record, is made up of community members and business owners within the Brazos Valley that have the desire to learn more about our area including its rich history and heritage as well area arts and culture. Following their time at AdventGX, the Leadership Brazos cohort had the opportunity to hear from Art 979 founder, Kristi Petty and tour Arsenal Tattoo.