Opportunity Hub (OHUB) is set to return to South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festival for the third consecutive year with its flagship HBCU@SXSW program. The early exposure and recruitment initiative for African American and LatinX college students will take place March 9-12 in Austin, Texas. This year, the lineup of events has increased to include more than 50 speakers across three venues, six official SX panels, nine dedicated student recruitment events, the 4th Annual Innovators and Investors VIP Reception & Dinner, and #OHUBHouse—the first-ever inclusive tech, startup and blockchain house at SXSW.
“By 2053, the average net worth of an African American family is projected to be zero,” said Rodney Sampson, CEO of OHUB. “We can and must work to disrupt these statistics at scale by ensuring that minorities from socially disadvantaged communities are exposed, educated, trained and provided access with definitive opportunities to build a high demand career in tech, launch and grow a high growth startup company, and create multi-generational wealth.”
With over one thousand applicants from more than 200 schools, OHUB selected 125 students to attend this official SXSW event. The program aims to provide students with access to unknown spaces and firm recruitment opportunities through a fully immersive experience with the interactive technology on display at SXSW, leading tech companies, investors and influencers. In 2017, 90 percent of the students who attended HBCU@SXSW received paid summer internships, apprenticeships, or full-time positions.
Speakers over the weekend, include Celia Edwards Karam (Capital One), Timnit Gebru (Microsoft), Brian Bracken (Kairos), Janice Bryant Howroyd (ACT-1 Global), Rodney Williams (Lisnr), Kei Henderson (21 Savage), Rodney Bullard (Chick-fil-A), Sheena Allen (CapWay) and many other top experts and influencers from across different industries that are directly engaged in the innovation economy. Official SX panels will cover topics from hacking racial bias in artificial intelligence, to creating safe work spaces for millennials of color, and mining, trading and building blockchain companies.
Headliners performing in the #OHUBhouse include DJ Scream of Hoodrich Entertainment and Young Guru, best known for his work with Jay-Z.
In line with its commitment to improve inclusion and diversity in the tech sector, MailChimp has partnered with OHUB as the lead sponsor this year.
“MailChimp is thrilled to partner with Opportunity Hub through its HBCU@SXSW program to promote diversity in tech at SXSW,” said Chimére Faison Barnard, Diversity and Inclusion Talent Scout at MailChimp. “We recently collaborated with Opportunity Hub to launch #ATLTechRiseUp to attract and retain more diverse talent for tech jobs in Atlanta. HBCU@SXSW is one of the best opportunities for us to cultivate these meaningful relationships by sharing access to MailChimp and the tech community with talent in untapped minority demographics. In 2017, at HBCU@SXSW we were able to connect with some of the brightest and most driven talent from across the country, and we can’t wait to engage at a more prominent level this year.”
Other national sponsors include Comcast, Capital One, Chick-fil-A, Spotify, Facebook, Oculus, Spotify, Deloitte, Snapchat, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Microsoft, Twitter, Kauffman Foundation and CannaSOS.
“As part of our continued commitment to diversity at all stages of the pipeline, Capital One is proud to sponsor HBCU@SXSW to help expose more students to career opportunities in tech,” said Mark Mathewson, Managing Vice President, International and Small Business Technology at Capital One. “In addition to supporting their overall experience at SXSW, we’re excited to connect directly with HBCU students at the #CapitalOneHouse for several events, including our ‘Elevating Blacks in Tech’ panel discussion on March 10.”
Black and in Business Team contributes insight to the intellectual capital of its readers.