Black Enterprise has extensive coverage on the wealth gap that persists between black and white America, as well as the importance of building generational wealth in the black community to narrow and eventually fill that gap.
Now, Rodney Sampson, founder of Opportunity Hub (OHUB) has vowed to do something about economic inequality.
During this year’s SXSW Conference & Festival, in addition to chatting with Young Guru about igniting the spark in America’s Youth through the arts and bringing 125 students to SXSW, the ecosystem builder made a series of announcements that surround the fulfillment of his goal to develop sustainable generational wealth-creating opportunities for communities that have traditionally been underrepresented and disadvantaged.
21 Savage Partnership
During OHUB’s 4th Annual Innovators and Investors Dinner, Sampson announced that he was appointing rapper Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, best known as 21 Savage, to his board of advisers. Realizing that music influences the masses, 21 Savage has agreed to collaborate on a tech and startup anthem designed to inspire and create a new generation of future innovators and entrepreneurs, as well as a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency to increase minority representation in the innovation economy.
“I’m really excited, he’s joining our board of advisors and he’s going to be involved in really growing Opportunity Hub as much as his time will allow. I wanted someone who could build something from nothing. This kid comes from the streets. He’s surrounded himself with people who know things that he doesn’t know. He’s the archetype of a unicorn,” stated Sampson to Black Enterprise.
Ecosystem Wealth Mobile App
During the event, OHUB also launched its Ecosystem Wealth mobile app, a peer-to-peer, personalized, engaging and learning platform built to navigate the innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment ecosystem allowing you to match with like minds, learn expertise from peers and mentors, and build your products and startups. Additionally, the platform highlights the ability to save and invest to create wealth.
The Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) of Kansas City
Additional announcements included the expansion of the community by partnering with The Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) of Kansas City to create an inclusive ecosystem building guide for municipalities, foundations, and funders to understand what inclusive ecosystem building is and the power of funding these efforts in cities across America. The FRB will also convene the nation’s black ecosystem builders in a capacity-building summit on Oct. 10, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Later this year, the company will be launching OHUB@Campus across the U.S. Opportunity Hub is partnering with students, alumni, and administrators at more than 60 colleges and universities across America to launch campus chapters of OHUB. Branded OHUB@Campus, each chapter will have a private channel in the ecosystem wealth app offering content, programming, mentorship, and connections to advance their career in tech, launch their high-growth startups and build multi-generational wealth. Kent Bazemore, an Atlanta Hawks NBA player, philanthropist, and CEO of the ARMS Foundation, is sponsoring chapters at Old Dominion University and Winston Salem State. OHUB plans to launch 1,000 active chapters over the next five years.
CodeStart Boot Camps
More partnerships include launching CodeStart boot camps with CodeFellows and Six Month Startup (6MS). As a follow-up to the launch of the #YesWeCode Fund with Van Jones at the 2017 SXSW, Opportunity Hub is now partnering with CodeFellows and Six Month Startup to launch CodeStart coding and entrepreneurship boot camps at minority-serving institutions, community colleges, and technical colleges throughout the country, starting with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Black Ecosystem Network
Additionally, according to Sampson, they are launching the Black Ecosystem Network. Founding members include OHUB (Atlanta); TRIBE & Black Tech Week (Miami); BLKTECH INTERACTIVE (Charlotte, North Carolina); Inclusive Innovation Incubator (Washington, D.C.); Innovation Villages (Baltimore); South Box (Philadelphia); Harlem Co-lab & Capital (New York City); BLUE 1647 (Chicago); and PACE (Seattle).
“The criteria is that you have to have a physical space, you have to have programming that teaches technology education or entrepreneurial education in the form of a pre-accelerator, incubator, or accelerator and you have to invest at some level,” stated Sampson. “What really strengthens the general ecosystem is that there’s a lot of capacity building among the ecosystems themselves.”
To add to that, a curriculum is being built and implemented to educate communities on inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment. OHUB completed the first module of its college-level course on inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment and instructional design is being developed by Wisewire in collaboration with Milamber.