Following a career-high season, Derrick Morgan of the Tennessee Titans has partnered with veteran angel investor and founder of Opportunity Hub, Rodney Sampson, to create Opportunity Ecosystem. The partnership – which will launch at this year’s SXSW – was created to develop inclusive startup technology ecosystems in cities throughout the United States in an effort to increase diversity in the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment economy.
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 Timesbest-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 herehttps://www.gofundme.com/hbcusxsw
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.
About Derrick Morgan
Derrick Morgan is a Cofounder of Huddle Ventures, the parent company of Opportunity Ecosystem. Derrick is also a first round draft pick and seven-year starting outside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans who just finished his best season to date. Morgan attended Georgia Institute of Technology, received his MBA from the University of Miami and has invested in several high growth startups and venture funds.
About Michael Peterson
Michael Peterson is a Cofounder of Huddle Ventures, the parent company of Opportunity Ecosystem. A graduate from Georgia Tech School of Management, Peterson uses his affiliation with athletes to leverage their funds and businesses as an advisor. Peterson has employed his power to influence as a Sales Specialist with major fortune 500 IT corporations like IBM, Lenovo, and Hewlett Packard Enterprises.
About Rodney Sampson
Rodney Sampson is a Senior Advisor of Huddle Ventures and Chairman and CEO of Opportunity Ecosystem. Sampson is also a veteran technology entrepreneur, angel investor, published author and experienced ecosystem builder focused on diversifying the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem as a solution to closing the racial wealth gap in America and beyond. He accomplishes this via the following entities – Opportunity Ecosystem, TechSquare Labs (a 25,000 s/f technology incubator and venture fund in Atlanta), Huddle Ventures, Tech Opportunity Fund (a $100 million diversity scholarship fund for aspiring coders and software engineers) and Kingonomics.
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