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Rodney Sampson Bio

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Bio of Rodney Sampson, co-chair for the 2nd Annual GA Blacks in Tech Policy Conference

Published in: Technology
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Rodney Sampson Bio

  1. 1. 1 @RodneySampson Accomplished tech entrepreneur, venture investor, inclusive startup ecosystem builder, author, professor. Rodney Sampson is heralded as the leading inclusive startup ecosystem builder in the world, particularly given his passion and mission to ensure that socially disadvantaged and under-represented communities have equitable exposure and access to the modern day multi-generational wealth creation opportunities afforded in the innovation economy as definitive paths to reducing poverty and closing the wealth gap everywhere. At the beginning of the 21st century, Sampson cofounded, built and sold two technology companies, including Multicast Media Technologies (Streamingfaith) and EFactor (EFCT). During this time, Sampson also built Intellectual Currency, a world class integrated go-to-market, business development, publishing and diversity and inclusion advisory firm with clients ranging from major Hollywood film studios and cable networks to tech companies and global corporates and publishers to African heads of state and the leaders of the leading black church denominations. A recognized authority in authentic diversity, inclusion and equity, Sampson previously served as the 1st Head of Diversity and Inclusion at One Three Media, a joint venture between Hearst Media and Mark Burnett Productions, executive producers of hit shows like ABC’s Sharktank, The Voice, Celebrity Apprentice, Survivor, Ben Hur and Son of God: The Movie. In his first season on Sharktank, Sampson increased the intersectional diversity of the founders who pitched on the Emmy award winning show and negotiated for Troy Carter (Lady Gaga, Atom Factory, Spotify) to appear as a guest shark. In 2013, Sampson cofounded Opportunity Hub (OHUB) as a follow up to the highly successful Kingonomics’ book release and large-scale conferences in Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC. OHUB, as it is affectionately known, grew to become the largest black owned multi-campus entrepreneurship center and technology hub in the United States specifically focused on diversity and inclusion as a business and investment thesis for the development of high demand technical talent and high growth startup companies. National programs like CodeStart and HBCU@SXSW were pioneered. Each year, 15,000 people walked through OHUB’s doors in Atlanta, GA to learn, engage, build & work as they pursued their innovative, entrepreneurship and investment dreams. In 2015, Sampson merged its real estate holdings with TechSquare Labs, a Google for Entrepreneurs Technology Hub, to launch a 25,000 s/f corporate innovation lab and safe space for diversity and inclusion programming and initiatives – all anchored by a $15 million seed stage venture fund and a quarterly $100,000 Atlanta Startup Battle. To date, TechSquare Labs’ portfolio companies have raised more than $250 million in follow on venture funding, are valued at more than $1 billion dollars, created more than 750 high demand permanent jobs and generate over $75 million in annual recurring revenue and growing. Via TechSquare Labs, Sampson also spearheaded the Obama Administration’s Atlanta TechHire Initiative which attracted a $7.6 million software development, entrepreneurship, career readiness and workforce training grant to the City of Atlanta and
  2. 2. 2 Atlanta Technical College. During this time, Sampson also worked with Megan Smith, the 3rd Chief Technology Officer of The United States of America to launch the YesWeCode Fund, a $100 million code school scholarship fund branded after the organization co-founded by the late artist Prince and Van Jones. The fund was designed by Sampson and The Iron Yard, Code Fellows and WeCanCodeIT! to provide full tuition scholarships and fellowships for socially disadvantaged and underrepresented minorities to receive immersive software development training while simultaneously preparing them for equitable careers as software developers, computer programmers and startup founders in an effort to exponentially increase the overall representation of women and men of color in tech. In addition to publishing four books, including the best seller, Kingonomics: Twelve Innovative Currencies to Transform Your Life, Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sampson launched and operated eDNA Press, the first book imprint at Pearson and Financial Times Press from 2012 – 2016. Today, Sampson’s audio works can be ordered in libraries via Findaway and via online retailers such as Google, Amazon and Audible. Today, as Executive Chairman & CEO of Opportunity Hub, Sampson is focused on scaling its suite of collaborative and interconnected technology products, programs and initiatives to position the company as the world’s leading inclusive ecosystem building technology, education and investment platform. A seasoned company builder, Sampson also advises high growth startups such as Digit, Patientory, Plum.io and SUDU. Sampson also serves on the non-profit boards of the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), AI4All, the Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA) and is a consecrated bishop in the International Bishop’s Conference of The Old Holy Catholic Church of America. Committed to research and theory, Sampson is a Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy program at the Brooking Institution in Washington, DC and a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Sampson, his wife & children are native Atlantans. Short bio Rodney Sampson is an accomplished technology entrepreneur with two exits, a venture fund investor, selective advisor and four-time published author, including Kingonomics: Twelve Innovative Currencies to Transform Your Life, Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Passionate about closing our nation’s racial wealth gap, Sampson cofounded Opportunity Hub in 2013 and built it into the largest minority owned, multi-campus entrepreneurship center, co-working space, pre-accelerator and code school. Via a 2015 merger, Sampson joined Dr. Paul Judge and Allen Nance to launch TechSquare Labs, a 25,000 s/f work space and $15 million venture fund. To date, TechSquare Labs’ portfolio companies have raised over $250 million in venture capital, are worth over $1 billion, generate $75 million in recurring revenue and have created over 750 high growth technology jobs throughout
  3. 3. 3 Metropolitan Atlanta and beyond. Today, as Executive Chairman & CEO of Opportunity Hub, Sampson is focused on scaling its suite of collaborative and interconnected technology products, programs and initiatives to position the company as the world’s leading inclusive ecosystem building technology, education and investment platform. Sampson is also a Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy program at the Brooking Institution in Washington, DC and a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. Sampson previously served as the 1st Head of Diversity at Mark Burnett Productions, executive producers of the hit ABC show, ABC’s Sharktank. Shorter bio Rodney Sampson is heralded as the leading inclusive startup ecosystem builder and is passionate about reducing our nation’s poverty and wealth gap by advancing the cause of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and investment as a way of life for all, with an emphasis on socially disadvantaged and under- estimated and sponsored communities in America and beyond. He accomplishes this via Opportunity Hub and via his research as a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Professor of Entrepreneurship at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

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