FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Opportunity Ecosystem Announces HBCU@SXSW 2018 Call for Student Applications & Corporate Sponsors
ATLANTA, June 15, 2017— In tandem with the holiday that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth, Opportunity Ecosystem’s HBCU@SXSW 2018 will officially launch its call for student applications and corporate partnerships on Freedom Day, Monday, June 19th. Students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and participating LSAMP Predominantly White Institutions desiring to attend SXSW, gain an increased exposure to the innovation economy and connect with technology recruiters and startup entrepreneurs can apply at http://www.hbcuatsxsw.com.
Since 2015, HBCU@SXSW has exposed high potential technical and non-technical students from under-tapped backgrounds (African American, Hispanic, and Native American) to career possibilities within technology, and high growth inclusive entrepreneurship, while promoting long-term wealth creation as well. 100 students from 41 colleges and universities attend in 2017. NBC, USAToday, LinkedIn, Black Enterprise, Campus Lately and more provided media coverage.
The initiative is held in Austin, Texas at SXSW, the country’s premier festival for interactive, film and music, held March 9th to 18th. The third annual HBCU@SXSW will be held from March 6th to 12th during SXSWedu and SXSWInteractive. The event has a $1.5 million budget with a per-student cost of $3,000.
“Four years ago, my wife, a Howard University graduate, and I were at SXSW attending a VIP investor event. We realized that we were the only black people in the room and decided that early exposure to these unknown spaces was critical to increasing authentic inclusion in the innovation economy. So it was her idea to introduce HBCU students with access to the world we live and thrive in as early as possible,” says Rodney Sampson, Founder & CEO, Opportunity Ecosystem.
“Every day we’re seeing multi-generational wealth being created in the technology and startup world that has no reliance on access to pre-existing multi-generational wealth. Black and Latino must build her.”
The application is open to students from under-tapped backgrounds who are studying at an accredited institution at the undergraduate or graduate level. Applicants attending HBCU, HSI and participating LSAMP Predominantly White Institutions are encouraged to apply.
Now under the leadership of Corey Smith, #HBCUSXSW18 promises to be larger and more engaging than ever. Over the course of one week, college administrators and students will attend official workshops and panels sponsored by partnering tech companies, as well as networking and curated culinary experiences promoting tech careers, startup entrepreneurship and wealth creation. They will also be exposed to highly-respected entrepreneurs, business leaders, technologists of color, and investors from around the world. Past speakers include Founder & CEO of Act-1 Group, Janice Bryant Howroyd, the first African American woman to own a billion-dollar company, John Hope Bryant, Founder & CEO of Operation Hope, Van Jones, Founder & CEO of Dream Corps and #YesWeCode and billionaire Steve Case of AOL and Revolution Fund. A #DiversifySXSW House and #YesWeCodeFund Fundraiser are planned.
Past sponsors include more than 32 tech companies and Fortune 100 companies such as Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Mailchimp, Delta Air Lines and Booz Allen Hamilton.
“HBCU@SXSW and OHUB@ offers companies authentically committed to recruiting the best and brightest technical and non-technical talent scale in their initiatives to recruit from colleges and universities that are intentional about exposing, educating and engaging their high potential students with access today to the opportunities of the future”, says Corey Smith, Early Exposure Lead, Opportunity Ecosystem.
The ultimate goal is to bring 1,000 of the most diverse people on the planet to SXSW. 500 students and 500 influencers that will go back to their respective cities and launch chapters of
OHUB at their respective campuses, corporations, and communities.
The brainchild of Rodney Sampson, Opportunity Ecosystem promotes inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship, investment and wealth creation through a four-pronged approach: early exposure, education and training, ecosystem building and capital formation. HBCU@SXSW is an Early Exposure initiative of Opportunity Ecosystem. Learn more at http://opportunityhub.co/.
Started in 2016, HBCU@SXSW is a partnership between Opportunity Ecosystem, Huston-Tillotson University and SXSW that exposes traditionally under-tapped college students to possibilities within the technology sector, whether in technical or non-technical roles. The program includes notable business leaders, technologists, and investors as well as panels and student sessions. Learn more at http://hbcuatsxsw.com/.
Established in 1987, SXSW is an annual conglomerate of conferences and festivals that highlight music, film and the interactive. The event includes more than 60,000 registrants and showcasing artists from over 100 countries. SXSW 2018 will be held in Austin, Texas from March 9th to 18th, 2018. Learn more at http://hbcuatsxsw.com/.
Corey Smith, Early Exposure Lead