Chattanooga has one of the most well-known and frequently spotlighted innovation districts in the country. Now comes word that eight organizations in Austin, TX, one of the nation’s entrepreneurial boomtowns, have joined forces to launch a related concept focused on underserved populations.
Named the “OHUB x Austin Equity District,” the effort includes the Opportunity Hub (OHUB), 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund, HR&A Advisors, Capital Factory, City of Austin, Huston-Tillotson University, NexGenT and DivInc that collectively are describing it as “an intentional plan to accelerate racial equity in the city’s thriving technology hub to spur local economic recovery.”
According to this news release, “The ‘Equity District’ concept leverages OHUB’s eight-year operating history in Atlanta and Kansas City.” It will be anchored on equitable place-making and mobility for the fourth industrial revolution and include:
- Space at Capital Factory;
- An online platform to foster networking, mentorship and communication;
- A monthly event series featuring high growth Black founders, active investors, technologists and hiring partners;
- Early exposure and hiring programs like OHUB.SXSW, a six-year old program that has been sponsoring college students studying engineering, business, finance, marketing and beyond to their first or next paid internships or full-time role;
- Rapid, in-demand re-skilling certificates in cybersecurity, full stack software development and technical sales bootcamps taught by NexGenT, The Fortress and Victory Lap in collaboration with Huston Tillotson University;
- Commitments from Austin-based employers to substantially increase their commitment to hire interns, entry-level and experienced talent from the OHUB ecosystem and pay the associated placement fees;
- Entrepreneurship support programming with Trajectory Series and DivInc; and
- An investment structure between 100 Black Angels and Allies Fund and Capital Factory to increase early stage investment in Black founders specifically.