Opportunity Hub returns to SXSW to unlock access to opportunities in tech, entrepreneurship, and investment for minority students with flagship program HBCU@SXSW

Feb 28, 2018 | Announcements, HBCU@SXSW


Today, The Tech Sector Workforce is Mostly White Males—Less than 2% are African American and Less Than 2% are LatinX American; These Statistics Represent The Need for Authentic Diversity, Inclusion and Equitable Opportunity and Opportunity Hub is Leading The Charge

MailChimp teams up with Opportunity Hub as Lead Sponsor of HBCU@SXSW; National Sponsors Include Comcast, Capital One, Chick-fil-A, Facebook, Oculus, Spotify, Deloitte, Snapchat, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Microsoft, Twitter, Kauffman Foundation

#ohubhouse  #hbcusxsw18

ATLANTA – (February 27, 2018) Opportunity Hub (OHUB) is set to return to South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival for the third consecutive year with its flagship HBCU@SXSW program. The early exposure and recruitment initiative for African American and LatinX college students will take place March 9-12 in Austin, Texas. This year, the lineup of events has increased to include more than 50 speakers across three venues, six official SX panels, nine dedicated student recruitment events, the 4th Annual Innovators and Investors VIP Reception & Dinner, and #OHUBHouse—the first-ever inclusive tech, startup and blockchain house at SXSW.

“By 2053, the average net worth of an African American family is projected to be zero,” said Rodney Sampson, CEO of OHUB. “We can and must work to disrupt these statistics at scale by ensuring that minorities from socially disadvantaged communities are exposed, educated, trained and provided access with definitive opportunities to build a high demand career in tech, launch and grow a high growth startup company, and create multi-generational wealth.”

With over one thousand applicants from more than 200 schools, OHUB selected 125 students from 60 schools to attend this official SXSW event. The program aims to provide students with access to unknown spaces and firm recruitment opportunities through a fully immersive experience with the interactive technology on display at SXSW, leading tech companies, investors and influencers. In 2017, 90 percent of the students who attended HBCU@SXSW received paid summer internships, apprenticeships, or full-time positions.

Over the weekend, more than 50 speakers will be featured including Celia Edwards Karam (Capital One), Timnit Gebru (Microsoft), Brian Bracken (Kairos), Janice Bryant Howroyd (ACT-1 Global), Rodney Williams (Lisnr), Kei Henderson (21 Savage), Rodney Bullard (Chick-fil-A), Sheena Allen (CapWay) and many other top experts and influencers from across different industries that are directly engaged in the innovation economy. Official SX panels will cover topics from hacking racial bias in artificial intelligence, to creating safe work spaces for millennials of color, and mining, trading and building blockchain companies.

Headliners performing in the #OHUBhouse include DJ Scream of Hoodrich Entertainment and Young Guru, best known for his work with Jay-Z.  

In line with its commitment to improve inclusion and diversity in the tech sector, MailChimp has partnered with OHUB as the lead sponsor this year.

“MailChimp is thrilled to partner with Opportunity Hub through its HBCU@SXSW program to promote diversity in tech at SXSW,” said Chimére Faison Barnard, Diversity and Inclusion Talent Scout at MailChimp. “We recently collaborated with Opportunity Hub to launch #ATLTechRiseUp to attract and retain more diverse talent for tech jobs in Atlanta. HBCU@SXSW is one of the best opportunities for us to cultivate these meaningful relationships by sharing access to MailChimp and the tech community with talent in untapped minority demographics. In 2017, at HBCU@SXSW we were able to connect with some of the brightest and most driven talent from across the country, and we can’t wait to engage at a more prominent level this year.”

Other national sponsors include Comcast, Capital One, Chick-fil-A, Spotify, Facebook, Oculus, Spotify, Deloitte, Snapchat, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Microsoft, Twitter and Kauffman Foundation.

“As part of our continued commitment to diversity at all stages of the pipeline, Capital One is proud to sponsor HBCU@SXSW to help expose more students to career opportunities in tech,” said Mark Mathewson, Managing Vice President, International and Small Business Technology at Capital One. “In addition to supporting their overall experience at SXSW, we’re excited to connect directly with HBCU students at the #CapitalOneHouse for several events, including our ‘Elevating Blacks in Tech’ panel discussion on March 10.”

For more on HBCU@SXSW please visit www.hbcuatsxsw.co  and follow us @ohubatl @hbcuatsxsw.

About Opportunity Hub

Opportunity Hub (OHUB) was co-founded in 2013 by Rodney Sampson as a follow up to the highly successful Kingonomics’ conferences in Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC. Prior to a 2015 merger to create TechSquare Labs, the Atlanta-based organization grew to become the largest multi-campus entrepreneurship center and technology hub in the United States specifically focused on diversity and inclusion as a business thesis for the development of high demand technical talent and high growth startup companies. To scale its current work to date, OHUB is building a suite of collaborative and interconnected blockchain technology products, programs and partnerships with corporations, tech companies, foundations, government agencies and entrepreneurship-led ecosystem building organizations globally. For more information, visit www.opportunityhub.co .

About Rodney Sampson

Rodney Sampson is an accomplished technology entrepreneur with two exits, a venture fund investor, selective advisor, inclusive ecosystem builder and four-time published author. Passionate about closing our nation’s racial wealth gap, Sampson co-founded Opportunity Hub in 2013 and built it into the largest minority owned, multi-campus entrepreneurship center, co-working space, pre-accelerator and code school scholarship fund. Via a 2015 merger, Sampson joined Dr. Paul Judge to launch TechSquare Labs, a 25,000 s/f work space and $15 million venture fund. To date, TechSquare Labs’ portfolio companies have raised over $250 million in venture capital, are worth over $1 billion, generate $75 million in recurring revenue and have created over 750 high growth technology jobs throughout Metropolitan Atlanta and beyond. Today, as Executive Chairman & CEO of Opportunity Hub, Sampson is focused on scaling its suite of collaborative and interconnected technology products, programs and initiatives to further strengthen its position the company as the world’s leading inclusive ecosystem building technology, education, entrepreneurial development and investment platform. Sampson previously served as the 1st Head of Diversity at Mark Burnett Productions, executive producers of the hit ABC show, ABC’s Sharktank.


Corey Smith, Early Exposure Lead