NEW ORLEANS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#bootcamps–Today, on the heels of President Joe Biden signing the bill that designates Juneteenth a federal holiday, OHUB, First Boulevard Bank and 1532 Tulane Partners are joining forces in New Orleans, LA to convene the 2nd annual Juneteenth 4.0 Celebration, 1P – 6P CDT. Produced live from the future home of OHUB’s Equity District, the hybrid online and in-person experience includes an all-star lineup of nationally recognized expert leaders and a virtual casting call with ABC’s Shark Tank. The event will conclude with a ribbon cutting ceremony and private reception for OHUB x NOLA Innovation & Equity District. The experience is a salute to Black America’s triumph over chattel slavery, deconstruction and legalized segregation; and a critical call to action for our nation to get serious about advancing scable racial equity in the fourth industrial revolution and beyond.

Featured speakers include Congresswoman Barbara Lee [California’s 13th Congressional District], Congressman Ro Khanna [California’s 17th Congressional District], Congressman Troy Carter [Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District], Donald Hawkins [Cofounder & CEO, First Boulevard], Dr. Debra B. Morton [Senior Pastor, Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church], Sevetri Wilson [Cofounder, Resilia; Author, Resilient], Brandon Andrews [Minority Casting Director, ABC’s Shark Tank; Cofounder, Gauge App], Natalie Madeira Cofield [Assistant Administrator, Small Business Administration], Sherry Gamble Smith [CEO, Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce] Akeem Shannon [Founder & CEO, FlipStik]; Brad Feld [Co-founder, Foundry Group; Cofounder; Techstars], Seth Levine [Cofounder, Foundry Group; Author, The New Builders], Elizabeth MacBridge [Founder, Times of Entrepreneurship; Author, The New Builders] Davyeon Ross [CEO, ShotTracker; Co-creator, Coalition Venture Studio]; Dane Simmons [CEO, Simmons Surgical; General Partner, 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund]; Bridget Chisholm [Cofounder, BWC Capital & Economic Development Co-Chair, The Links]; Marcia Bowden [Physician; Economic Development Co-Chair, The Links] Vickie Gibbs [Director, UNC Chapel Hill Entrepreneurship Center]; John McElligott [Founder, York Exponential; Vice Chairman, OHUB Futures], David Weild IV [Former Vice Chairman of NASDAQ & Godfather of The JOBS Act], Sherrell Dorsey [Founder, ThePlug], Kieran Blanks [Chief Growth & Development Officer, OHUB Futures] Joseph Stebbins [Cofounder, 1532 Tulane Partners], Joe St. Martin [Project Manager, 1532 Tulane Partners] & Rodney Sampson [Executive Chairman & CEO, OHUB; General Partner, 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund].

During the public live event, OHUB will announce a series of key initiatives across its early exposure, education and skills development, talent placement, innovation, entrepreneurship, market and capital formation framework as codified in Building Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystems In Communities of Color with The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Key initiatives and announcements include:

  • Opportunity Hub and 1532 Tulane Partners, the redevelopers of the former Charity Hospital are joining forces to create the OHUB x NOLA Innovation and Equity District. The boundaries of the new innovation and equity district are Esplanade Avenue to the North; Pontchartrain Expressway to the South; North Broad Avenue to the West; and the Mississippi River to the East. Phase 1 includes the redevelopment of the Historic Butterworth and Hutchinson buildings immediately across from the hospital. The initial 55,000 sf is envisioned to have a private rooftop club, member lounge, startup co-working, innovation labs, curated event, and space dedicated to OHUB Futures & Fortress Academy’s software sales, software engineering, cybersecurity specialist and robotic technician bootcamps. The district will contain a mixed-use of commercial, residential and retail communities designed specifically to create, build and position all the citizens of the New Orleans region for equitable inclusion in the global technology, startup & venture ecosystem as a path to shared prosperity, meaningful reciprocity and multi-generational wealth creation in the future of work, fourth industrial revolution and beyond. Anchored by a membership model, the OHUB x NOLA Innovation & Equity District will bring together like minded people, startups, small businesses, investors, corporations, philanthropists, college students, youth, the overlooked, under-estimated and more for fourth industrial revolution exposure, rapid up-skilling, new career pathways, high growth company building, capital access, investment opportunities and more inside of a state of the art campus constructed at the intersection of culture, code and conscience. Founding advisory board members include Sevetri Wilson [Founder & CEO, Resilia], Aaron Walker [Founder, Camelback Ventures, Attorney James Carter [Managing Partner, The Cochran Firm], Dr. Debra B. Morton [Senior Pastor, Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church], Bambi Hall [Founder & CEO, Overflow Media], Wayne Encalarde [Principal, Encalarde Consulting], Arrid Hansell [Founder, Bio Mechanics]; Leroy Brown, and Alexa Authorlee [Founding President, Alliance of Black Solutions, Tulane University]. Prospective founding members can request information here.

“The Phase 1 launch will support the vision of creating an inclusive and equitable innovation hub in New Orleans that only adds to the energies supporting the hundreds of millions of dollars being invested within the immediate 10 block radius”, says Joseph St. Martin, Partner, 1532 Tulane Partners.

  • OHUB Futures, the learning company of Opportunity Hub, is partnering with Victory Lap to launch a technical software sales bootcamp to re-skill and up-skill New Orleans residents that may be unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic. The first cohort will start as early as the fall with tuition financing options powered by Leif and Grit, a future crowdfunding platform for rapid re-skillers and founders. Interested learners can apply here.
  • Leif, the nation’s leading funder of income sharing agreements is partnering with OHUB and Grit, to launch a racial equity pledge for the bootcamp industry designed to increase operationalize diversity, equity & inclusion solutions at the more than 500 bootcamps and growing in the county.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with OHUB Futures to provide a career pathway for New Orleans residents into software sales leading to new opportunities and economic mobility that very few jobs can match. Our bootcamp has helped over 1,000 individuals realize their potential by providing training, career coaching, and job placement in over 300 companies. Our formula works and we’re all in on ensuring it leads to racial equity within the tech ecosystem in New Orleans and beyond,” says Brian Bar, Founder & CEO, Victory Lap.

  • Equity District, the new straightforward, non-performative podcast for the startup ecosystem with Rodney Sampson & Brad Feld launches on Apple and Spotify today. The podcast is produced by New Jersey based ABF Creative founded by Anthony Frazier; and hosted on the Sounder platform.
  • Brad Feld, Seth Levine, Sevetri Wilson and Minda Harts are also investing in 100 Black Angels and Allies Fund, joining Arlan Hamilton, Keisha Knight Pulliam, Dr. Keith Hodge and others as Limited Partners.

“Seth & I are excited to invest in 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund; and encourage other serious co-conspirators in this work to create a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem to do the same. Rodney’s investment thesis for diversity, equity, and inclusion solutions based ecosystem infrastructure development will be key to normalizing Black fund managers, founders, accelerators and innovation districts. We’re all in”, says Foundry Group & Techstars co-founder, Brad Feld.

  • The Links, Incorporated will follow on their initial investment in 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund with the creation of an investment syndicate designed to open up the investment opportunity to their accredited members throughout America. Additionally, every chapter of The Links will be encouraged to sponsor two members to complete the Black Technology Ecosystem Investment Certificate offered in collaboration with UNC Chapel Hill Kenan Flagler, Duke University and Stanford Technology Ventures Program. The goal is to create a new emerging class of Black investors to ensure that Black owned innovation & equity districts, venture funds & founders have the capital they require to launch, grow & scale.
  • The Links will also work with OHUB to create technology, startup and venture campus chapters and ecosystems by and for Black college students and alum from Historical Black colleges and universities, minority serving institutions, community colleges and predominantly white institutions committed to racial equity.
  • First Boulevard Bank, co-founded by Donald Hawkins and Asya Bradley, is rolling out the beta launch of its mobile banking app, which includes financial education modules, spending recommendations and real-time insights based on a user’s purchases, and the ability to passively save for personal goals. First Boulevard also has a “Cash Back for Buying Black” program and will be the first to pilot Visa’s new suite of crypto APIs, which allows customers to buy and trade digital assets, such as cryptocurrency, to build wealth. First Boulevard members also can earn points for making positive financial decisions and redeem them for things such as cash back, covering transactions, or in the near future, for acquiring fractional investments or cryptocurrency. First Boulevard, which built its app in less than a year, originally planned to launch the app in the third or fourth quarter but worked to move up the deadline to Juneteenth, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. The neobanks CEO, Donald will join OHUB for an in-person panel in New Orleans to officially announce the launch.

Immediately following the summit, OHUB and 1532 Tulane Partners will host a small gathering of New Orleans’ movers and shakers for a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration.

“In 1991, I traveled to New Orleans to attend Tulane University. 30 years later, I am returning to the Big Easy with my entire family, fraternity brothers, respected experts and key members of our team to launch the OHUB x NOLA Innovation and Equity District in a joint venture with 1532 Tulane Partners. Together, we will celebrate the new federal holiday – Juneteenth – while reflecting, ideating and working on what is required to ensure that every American, especially Black, Latinx and Indigenous Americans are equitably included in the fourth industrial revolution and beyond. The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes yet a second later”, says Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman, CEO, OHUB; General Partner, 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund.

Take action

  • Register for Juneteenth 4.0 Celebration
  • Request OHUB x NOLA Innovation & Equity District membership
  • Donate to OHUB Foundation
  • Register for Black Technology Investment Certificate
  • Sign up for First Boulevard Bank



Lyndon Breckenridge