Hooking HBCUs To Black Tech: Rodney Sampson, GHOGH Podcast Episode 6

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Written by Dana Sanchez
HBCU@SXSW
Digital media entrepreneur Jamarlin Martin and Rodney Sampson, founder of Atlanta’s Opportunity Hub and HBCU@SXSW in Austin at SXSW 2018. Photo: Anita Sanikop/Moguldom

Rodney Sampson is passionate about reducing the racial wealth gap in the U.S. by advancing innovation, entrepreneurship and investment as a way of life for all.

A pioneering name in economic opportunity for Black tech, Sampson is the founder of HBCU@SXSW and the Atlanta-based Opportunity Hub.

Opportunity Hub, or OHUB, has become the largest multi-campus entrepreneurship center and tech hub in the U.S. focused on diversity and inclusion as a business thesis for developing startups. It aims to disrupt poverty in socially disadvantaged communities.

In 2016, OHUB started funding students from historically black colleges and universities to attend South By Southwest at a cost of about $3,000 each.

Fifty students attended the interactive HBCU@SXSW the first year it was held; 100 attended in 2017 and 125 attended in 2018.

“There’s an amazing opportunity right now to just really reboot our historically black colleges and universities with updated curriculum, internships, apprenticeships, co-op programs, and literally transform the business schools,” Sampson said during a GHOGH podcast.

Digital media pioneer Jamarlin Martin launched the GHOGH Podcast Franchise — Go Hard Or Go Home — at SXSW 2018, aimed at multicultural millennials.

Jamarlin spoke to Sampson about investing in Atlanta blockchain startups Storj and Patientory, and the importance of connecting HBCU endowments to Black tech. They also covered the intersectionality of oppression, discrimination against people of faith in Silicon Valley, and holding business leaders accountable for inequality.

Hear more of Rodney Sampson on Episode 6 of the GHOGH Podcast.

Other GHOGH episodes:

Episode 15: Clarence Wooten, a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, sold his first tech business for $23 million. He discusses his new venture — STEAM Role — meritocracy, and common mistakes founders make. He also talks about Bitcoin’s long-term prospects and how blockchain has opened up new capital-raising opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Episode 14: Barron Channer, founder of Miami -based Woodwater Investments, talks about turning down Harvard Business School, and whether Black-on-Black murders need to be prioritized over police-on-Black murders. He also debates what is to blame for the Black murder rate in Chicago and whether most U.S. police departments are racist in the second of a 2-part podcast.

Episode 13Barron Channer, founder of Miami-based Woodwater Investments, shares how he got to work for billion-dollar real estate developer Don Peebles. This Wharton MBA’s business focuses on real estate development and tech. He revisits how Barack Obama handled Rev. Wright in the first of a 2-part podcast.

Episode 12Keenan Beasley, co-founder and managing partner of New York digital analytics company BLKBOX, talks about his early mistakes, how NY and Silicon Valley investors differ, and the advantages of getting experience in an industry before trying to disrupt it. The Westpoint grad and former P&G brand manager also discusses M&A activity involving Richelieu Dennis, Byron Allen and Robert Smith.

Episode 11Travis Holoway, founder and CEO of peer-to-peer lending startup SoLo Funds, discusses Mark Zuckerberg as a liberal tech version of Donald Trump, Jake Tapper’s double standards on CNN towards Black leaders, and whether Silicon Valley has “negro helpers” who set the community back.

Episode 10: Karen Fleshman, the founder of Racy Conversations, talks about women of privilege exploiting civil rights and diversity movements, and whether Kamala Harris can be trusted on criminal justice reform. She also discusses Facebook’s problems, and whether these can be primarily sourced to Mark Zuckerberg’s and Sheryl Sandberg’s values and ethics.

Episode 9: Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson talk about Black Tech Week, economic empowerment, and the potential impact of Atlanta landing Amazon HQ2. They also discuss the politics of diversity favoring women of privilege, and whether or not Silicon Valley is the global capital of white supremacy.

Episode 8: Marlin Nichols, co-founder of Cross Culture Ventures, talks about the culturally-themed fund he started with Troy Carter. He discusses the burger-flippin’ robot, Flippy, and socially responsible investing. Marlon offers advice to founders seeking investment, and answers questions about whether there is too much “shut-up-and-dribble” in Silicon Valley.

Episode 7: Tayo Oviosu, founder and CEO of leading Nigerian mobile payments company Paga, discusses bitcoin prospects, superior Nigerian academic performance in the U.S., and why Nigeria is the African economic opportunity. The podcast also touches on Elon Musk, Aliko Dangote, and whether Oviosu would ever run for president.

Episode 6: Rodney Sampson, founder of HBCU@SXSW and the Atlanta-based Opportunity Hub, discusses investing in Atlanta blockchain startups and the importance of connecting HBCU endowments to Black tech. He covers the intersectionality of oppression, discrimination, and holding SV leaders accountable for inequality.

Episode 5Angela Benton talks about starting NewMe Accelerator, building her personal brand as a single mother while battling cancer, and whether or not most of the “diversity” gains in Silicon Valley will go to privileged white women.

Episode 4Detavio Samuels, president of Interactive One, leads a $30M digital media business that in 2017 acquired Bossip, Madamenoire, and HiphopWired. He discusses Richelieu Dennis’ acquisition of Essence, Facebook’s recent fumbles, and whether Complex Media is a culture vulture.

Episode 3Arlan Hamilton talks about Backstage Capital, the VC fund she dreamed up while she was homeless. She talks about the Silicon Valley establishment and about Tamika Mallory, who attended Saviours’ Day with Louis Farrakhan.

Episode 2Rodney Williams, founder and CEO of Lisnr, talks about raising $10 million in venture capital, HBCU endowments that invest in black tech, and how to fire loyal employees you like.

Episode 1Brian Brackeen talks about his path to starting his facial recognition firm, Kairos, how blockchain can be applied to the NFL, and whether Disney’s’ “Black Panther” is revolutionary.