Angel Investor Rodney Sampson and Tennessee Titan’s Linebacker Derrick Morgan Partner For Opportunity Ecosystem
Rodney Sampson, the angel investor and founder of Opportunity Hub, along with Derrick Morgan and others are expanding the Opportunity Hub mission well beyond it’s Atlanta roots.
Opportunity Hub originally opened it’s doors in Atlanta in 2013. It was so well received that within months they had entered ito a joint venture to open up a second location in Atlanta’s west side. While other spaces in the Atlanta region catered to startups and entrepreneurs as well, OHUB was known as the true grit and grind place to start or continue something. They hosted over 300 events in it’s first year and have served 15,000 entrepreneurs, investors and innovators annually.
The ethos behind Opportunity Hub has always been about an all inclusive startup ecosystem, something that Sampson believes at the core.
In 2015 Opportunity Hub merged with TechSquare Labs in a story we covered here. With that came a 25,000 square foot incubator, innovation lab and seed fund, near the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Throughout this journey Sampson has been working out the kinks on taking OHUBs spirit, system and environment beyond Atlanta. Opportunity Ecosystem is that opportunity. Sampson partnered with Derrick Morgan to launch Opportunity Ecosystem. They were able to rally some of their friends and important startup ecosystem leaders for their launch next week.
Opportunity Ecosystem will launch their ecosystem building platform at SXSW (March 10 – 12th) by hosting a series of talks, panels, special events and receptions that will feature conversations with Van Jones (New York Times best-selling author and one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People), Steve Case (Billionaire founder of AOL and Revolution Fund), Johnetta Elzie (Cofounder of Campaign Zero), Janice Bryant Howroyd (Founder & CEO, ACT-1 and Forbes 34th richest self-made woman in the world) and Russell Okung (Denver Broncos).
Over 30 speakers will take part in Opportunity Ecosystem’s SXSW launch. For full details on these events, please visit http://www.hbcuatsxsw.co
Determined to ensure minority communities reach their full potential, Opportunity Ecosystem is currently hosting pop-up events and inviting minority college students to apply for an all expense paid trip to SXSW for the purpose of connecting with tech recruiters and leaders in the global startup community. Branded as @HBCUSXSW, Opportunity Ecosystem will bring over 100 of the brightest Black and Latino engineering and entrepreneurial students from our nation’s Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU’s), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSU’s) and Predominantly White Institutions (PWI’s) to this year’s SXSW to experience all that SXSW has to offer, including engaging and interviewing with over 20 technology companies including Snapchat, Google, Mailchimp, Microsoft, Delta Air Lines and Booz Allen Hamilton. Learn more about their crowd-funding campaign HBCU@SXSW here https://www.gofundme.com/
Opportunity Ecosystem will address the persistent opportunity gaps for people of color as they look to develop a career in technology or build a high growth startup via its early exposure, education, ecosystem building and capital formation initiatives. Through Opportunity Ecosystem’s access to the Tech Opportunity Fund, a $100 million diversity scholarship fund, and national network of serial entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, professional athletes, mentors, HBCU’s and regional business associations, the Opportunity Ecosystem will be able to offer student and minority entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn, network and engage with some of the world’s top innovators, entrepreneurs and investors like Troy Carter and Rashaun Williams.
Opportunity Ecosystem’s end-to-end ecosystem building platform will provide underrepresented technology and entrepreneurial talent access to the education, skills, best practices, mentors, business and technology networks, tools and capital necessary to maximize their opportunities for success in the innovation economy as they enter the workforce and start building companies.
The Opportunity Ecosystem seeks to increase the number of minority, high-growth technology and early-stage companies by developing, accelerating and incubating the talent as they seek to navigate the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem. Currently, less than 1% of angel and venture fund investments are invested in African American and Latino high growth companies. The Opportunity Ecosystem aims to change that by launching an equity crowd-funding platform, creating new angel investors and connecting new companies to capital opportunities. Ultimately, Morgan and Sampson seek to create a scalable model for economic development that can be replicated in low and middle-income communities across the country.
Find out more here