Putting Black People at Forefront of Fourth Industrial Revolution

Data News Staff Edited Report

We have enough bad news coming out of our beloved city. Here’s some great news that could potentially benefit a new energy technology venture-backable, high-growth, AFRICAN AMERICAN startups in New Orleans.

Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman of Opportunity Hub [OHUB], would be a great person to interview about how we ensure that Black NEW ORLEANIANS are at the forefront of the profits from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A new program at OHUB aims to increase the number of Black-owned venture-backed startups in New Orleans by 10x over the next four years.

Problem: Throughout history, Black people have made tremendous contributions to societal growth, but they often fail to get the monetary benefits. TechCrunch reports that just 1% of all venture capital goes to Black-founded high-growth firms. In New Orleans, the percentage of Black founders raising equity capital is even less than the national average.

The solution: Invest in Black people as we move forward in the next Industrial Revolution

How: OHUB is joining forces with Greater New Orleans, Inc., and Louisiana Economic Development to launch a New Energy Technology Incubator in New Orleans that will prioritize racial equity in innovation in the region. Each year, the program will invest up to $500,000 in five new energy technology venture-backable, high-growth startups in New Orleans. The idea is that we prioritize Black communities in New Orleans and allow the same access to resources as we do in White communities in Silicon Valley.

In a Shark Tank style, the New Energy Technology Incubator will introduce 100 aspiring high-growth new energy, climate, hydrogen, and sustainability company builders to the best practices for ideation, design thinking and business model generation; and will take 50 startups through its High Growth Company Building Certificate. Upon completion, founders will be ready to pitch investors and set up business development meetings with target customers.

Five high-growth, new energy startups will receive up to $100,000 each in seed-stage investment. A demo day and fundraising event will be planned annually during New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week. These founders will have an actionable framework for raising their seed rounds and connections to a local and national network of investors committed to investing in socially and economically disadvantaged communities.

The program is receiving $3 million in federal funding via the Economic Development Administration’s $1Billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge from Greater New Orleans, Inc., and $1 million investment into 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund via the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) from Louisiana Economic Development via United States Treasury Department.

The result of investing in Black innovation:

  • More Black multi-generational wealth
  • More societal access to our inventions
  • More job creation
  • Systemic change and solutions

It’s a win-win for everyone!
Rodney Sampson is just the guy to speak with about how to make it all happen! In addition to his role at OHUB, he’s the Inventor of Linear Streaming, General Partner of 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. He also helped diversify the well-known Emmy Award Winning show, Shark Tank.

RODNEY TESTIFIED BEFORE CONGRESS LAST WEEK and shared a wealth of information on how Black people can be included in the Fourth Industrial Revolution!
On Friday, May 5th, OHUB is hosting #OHUBFridays, a monthly authentic networking event and speaker series to connect the region’s emerging Black, Hispanic and Indigenous innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors. This month’s speaker will be Jasmine Crowe, Founder and CEO, GoodrCo. The event will be held at the NOLA Art Bar (2128 St Claude Avenue 70116) and it will begin at 6:00pm.

Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ohubfridays-tickets-576157070307 to purchase tickets. Please reach out to us to schedule an interview with Rodney ahead of the upcoming NOLA networking event.

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