Nationally recognized ecosystem development organization to provide capacity building to increase black and brown participation in the Virginia tech economy.
Activation Capital, a leading entrepreneurship and ecosystem development organization based in Richmond, Virginia, announced the launch of a partnership with Atlanta-based Opportunity Hub (OHUB), a leading technology, startup and venture ecosystem committed to increasing racial equity in the tech economy. The partnership utilizes OHUB’s nationally recognized programming specifically designed to increase the participation of black and brown founders in the high-growth community. The partnership is a central component of Action Capital’s effort, announced in 2021, to build capacity among entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) to deploy a culturally competent framework for entrepreneur development among black and brown founders.
Speaking about the partnership, Chandra Briggman, President and CEO of Activation Capital said, “There is exceptional talent in the region who have potential to be world-class entrepreneurs. Building a diverse pipeline of globally impactful entrepreneurs requires a multi-facet approach that recognizes the importance of community, curriculum, connections, and capital to nurturing disruptive innovators, and OHUB’s platform can help us build and deploy that model. Briggman continued, “Regional entrepreneurs will also benefit from connections outside of the region that will come with an OHUB partnership.”
Rodney Sampson, Chairman and CEO of OHUB stated, “Richmond is a logical expansion for OHUB high growth company building programming because of its density of diversity and potential to solve the region’s hardest problems and beyond utilizing edge technology, and we’re looking forward to our partnership with Activation Capital. Central Virginia already has the ideas, talent and resources; and by utilizing our proven framework for building inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems in communities of color, together, we begin the process of building a diverse, equitable and inclusive technology, startup and venture ecosystem in the fourth industrial revolution for all.”
Over the next six months, Activation Capital and OHUB will deploy components of OHUB’s platform in the region, including a launch event, startup master class for up to 100 participants, and month-long startup bootcamp for up to 50 idea stage startup companies with black and brown founders from the region, and an investor pitch event. The partnership will leverage experts and talent pipelines from regional colleges/universities including those at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, University of Richmond, Virginia Union University, Randolph-Macon College and Reynolds Community College, as well as talent pools from regional tech enterprises.
Following these events, OHUB will run a multi-day pre-accelerator for high-potential founders from the program with Lightship (formerly NewMe). Over the course of a few days, Lightship will take the selected founders through a program designed to prepare them for fundraising and customer acquisition. At its culmination, $50,000 will be invested into one select startup and introduced to OHUB’s network of early stage accelerators and investors, including Alchemist, TechStars, 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund, Lightship Capital, Fearless Fund, 100 Black Angels & Allies, Rare Breed Ventures, MaC Ventures and Zeal Capital Partners.
The initiative will be the kickoff to a sustainable diversity, equity and inclusion effort across Central Virginia and the Commonwealth. Activities will be based in Central Virginia but open to entrepreneurs from across the Commonwealth. To stay updated on the latest news and events, visit www.activation.capital/ohub.
About Activation Capital
Activation Capital is a leading innovation ecosystem development organization providing social, knowledge, and financial capital to clusters, entrepreneur support organizations, and entrepreneurs – accelerating their progress through development and maturation.
An independent authority of the Commonwealth of Virginia, its mission is to grow life sciences and other advanced technology innovation by promoting scientific research, commercialization, and ecosystem development that attracts and creates 21st-century jobs and companies. It operates the 34-acre Virginia Bio+Tech Park – the hub of life science and technology innovations in Central Virginia; oversees the Cluster Accelerator for Advanced Pharmaceutical R&D and Manufacturing; and supports the development and expansion of startup ecosystem assets such as Lighthouse Labs, Startup Virginia, Dominion Energy Innovation Center, Riverflow Growth Fund and 757 Collab. For more information, visit https://www.activation.capital.
About Opportunity Hub
Opportunity Hub was founded in 2013 as the nation’s largest Black owned multi-campus technology, startup and venture ecosystem building company. Today, OHUB is the parent holding company of a suite of businesses committed to increasing racial equity in the fourth industrial revolution; including a not-for-profit foundation and an ecosystem building investment fund. Leveraging our proven, metrics driven blueprint and methodology as outlined in “Building Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystems In Communities of Color” with The Federal Reserve Bank, OHUB delivers early exposure, skills development, job placement, entrepreneurship support programming, net new job creation and alternative capital formation via geographically placed technology hubs, citywide communities, campus chapters, managed programs and live experiences and technology that include thousands of college students, young professionals, founders, investors and ecosystem builders throughout America and beyond. Current subsidiaries include OHUB Futures College, OHUB Talent, Equity District, Grit, DEIS, and 100 Black Angels and Allies Fund.