OHUB.KC: 3rd Fridays Entrepreneurship Series

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The Shops on Blue Parkway

4401 Blue Parkway

Kansas City, MO 64130

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OHUB x KCUP present a monthly entrepreneurship series w/ inclusive startup founders, venture capitalists & entrepreneur support experts.

About this Event


Every 3rd Friday, OHUB x KCUP host a monthly event series featuring startup entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, entrepreneur support programs and ecosystem builders from across the nation and beyond. This event series serves as an introduction to the OHUB ecosystem and feeder into OHUB's entrepreneurship support programming which will include our masterclasses, bootcamps, pre-accelerator and accelerator. Welcome to the ecosystem.

FRIDAY, January 24th, 2020

(Moved from January 17th due to weather)

Featured Funder

Chandler Malone, Director of Entrepreneur Development, Atento Capital

Chandler is two time entrepreneur who is now investing in early stage companies through Atento Capital. His journey began as a college student, building a 6 figure events business before launching his first software company that he exited in 2019. He is an angel investor in Atlanta-based MedFlik and St. Louis-based Ideate and has a passion for helping minority entrepreneurs and using technology to improve quality of life.

Featured Founder

Don Ward , Founder, Laundris Corporation

Don is the founder and CEO of Laundris Corporation. Laundris, based in Austin, TX, helps hotels streamline inventory and asset management of linens. His platform saves customers $15,000 per year per hotel and extends linen life an additional 18 months through advanced tracking, reporting, and analytics. Prior to founding Laundris, Don was a sales executive skilled in generating revenue for top tier accounts at software companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and VMWear for 17 years. Today Laundris has seen great momentum as a cohort member of the renowned Capital Factory Accelerator in 2019 and will participate in the University of Texas Venture Program in 2020.


Lesa Mitchell, Managing Director, Techstars

Lesa has over twenty-five years of executive experience in enterprise technology, product management, product licensing and mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industries and as an entrepreneur. Lesa spent ten years as the VP Innovation and Networks at the Kauffman Foundation where she seeded numerous large-scale models focused on initiating new markets. Not for profit models Lesa seeded through to scale were Startup Weekend, StartX, Startup America Partnership, MIT Venture Mentor Service, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Astia and the NSF I-Corp program. Lesa’s is the Managing Director of Techstars where she identifies, invests in and supports early stage companies growth.


Tommy Felts, News Director, Startland News

Tommy is the news director for Startland News, a Kansas City-based nonprofit newsroom that uses storytelling to elevate the region’s startup community of entrepreneurs, innovators, hustlers, creatives and risk-takers. Under Tommy’s leadership, Startland News has expanded its coverage from a primarily high-tech, high-growth focus to a more wide-ranging and inclusive look at the faces of entrepreneurism, innovation and business. Before joining Startland News in 2017, Tommy worked for 12 years as an award-winning newspaper journalist, designer, editor and publisher. He was named one of Editor & Publisher magazine’s top “25 Under 35” in 2014.


Rodney Sampson, Chairman & CEO, OHUB

Rodney Sampson is heralded as the leading inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem builder in the world, particularly given his mission to ensure that everyone, everywhere, particularly socially disadvantaged communities, have equitable access to the new multi-generational wealth creation opportunities afforded in the future of work and fourth industrial revolution as definitive paths to reducing poverty and the racial wealth gap everywhere.

Throughout his twenty year entrepreneurial career, Sampson has cofounded startup companies that have overcome the odds by collectively raising more than $20 million in angel and venture capital, created hundreds of new jobs and generated tens of millions in revenue before acquisition or going public.

At the beginning of the 21st century, Sampson cofounded, built and sold Multicast Media Technologies ( and EFactor (EFCT). He was one of three Black co-founders during this era whose high growth technology startups raised over $1 million in angel and venture capital and were subsequently acquired for eight figures.

During this time, Sampson also built Intellectual Currency, a world class integrated go-to-market, publishing and advisory firm with clients ranging from major Hollywood film studios, cable networks, tech companies, global corporates, publishers, the United States government, African heads of state and leading Black church denominations.

Since 2007, Sampson has worked closely with high growth startups and seed stage venture funds as a selective advisor, investor and limited partner. His current investment and advisory portfolio include Cross Culture Ventures, TechSquare Capital, Digit, York Exponential,, Patientory, The Mentor Method and Momentum Learning.

In 2013, Sampson cofounded Opportunity Hub as a follow up to the highly successful Kingonomics’ book release and large-scale conferences in Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC. OHUB scaled quickly to become the leading multi-campus coworking space, entrepreneurship center and tech hub featuring over 300 events a year, a startup pre-accelerator, coding boot-camp and scholarship initiative and angel investing platform for founders from underestimated and under-tapped communities. Over 15,000 people walked through OHUB’s doors each year.

From 2015-17, Sampson was a Partner at TechSquare Labs, a tech hub, seed stage venture fund and creator of the $100,000 Atlanta Startup Battle. Today, TechSquare Labs' portfolio companies have raised follow on capital of nearly $300 million, are valued at over $1.5 billion, generate over $100 million in annual recurring revenue and employ over 1000 people and growing. He remains the largest minority limited partner in the fund.

Today, as Executive Chairman & CEO of Opportunity Hub and OHUB Foundation, Sampson is focused on scaling OHUB as the definitive global future of work, opportunity and wealth creating platform by ensuring that everyone, everywhere has early exposure to tech, startup and venture; in demand technology education, training and talent placement; inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem building; and capital formation. This is driven by the thousands of college and young professional members and growing from hundreds of colleges and universities across America and beyond.

OHUB is a supplier, vendor and partner to over 50 tech companies, major corporations, high growth startups, venture funds, municipalities, foundations, associations, colleges and universities and growing. Current national initiatives include OHUB@Cities, OHUB@Campus, HBCU@SXSW, 100 Black Angels Fund I and DEIS, a new strategy, service and future software platform to operationalize diversity, equity and inclusion across the major divisions of growing enterprises.

Sampson is also a Nonresident 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.

A strong believer in philanthropy and its role in social impact and advocacy, Sampson supports and serves on the boards of Artificial Intelligence for All (AI4All), Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC), International Bishops Conference, and GA Technology for All Policy Summit.

Sampson was educated at Tulane University, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Keller Graduate School of Management.

Sampson resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife and six children.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18th, 2019

Minda Harts, Author, The Memo

Brandon Andrews, Co-founder of Gauge, and Casting on ABC's, Shark Tank


Jasmine Crowe, Founder & CEO, Goodr

Sergio Marrero, General Partner, Stat Zero


Megan Holston-Alexander, Senior Associate, Unusual Ventures

OHUB Cohort Founders

FRIDAY, January 24th, 2020

Don Ward, Founder, Laundris Corporation

Chandler Malone, Director of Entrepreneur Development, Atento Capital


Opportunity Hub (OHUB) is the leading future of work, startup entrepreneurship, early stage investment and wealth creating platform to ensure that everyone, everywhere has early exposure to the tech, startup and venture ecosystem; in demand technology education, training and talent placement; inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems; and early stage capital. This is driven by our geographically placed technology hubs, citywide communities and campus chapters that include thousands of college students, young professionals, entrepreneurs and new investors from hundreds of colleges and universities across America and beyond.

For enterprises, OHUB is a supplier and partner to over 50 tech companies, major corporations, high growth startups and venture funds and growing. Current national initiatives and programs include OHUB@Experiences, OHUB@Campus, HBCU@SXSW and DEIS, a new strategy, service and future software platform to operationalize diversity, equity and inclusion across the major divisions of growing enterprises.

For municipalities, OHUB launched OHUB@Cities to create and sustain inclusive in-demand workforce and entrepreneurial ecosystems in the form of public private partnerships to disrupt income inequality, poverty and the racial wealth gap while increasing a region's economic mobility and growth for all its constituents. Collaboratively, we persevere to ensure equity in the future of work and the 4th industrial revolution for everyone, everywhere.


KC-UP is an innovative strategy for the Kansas City area focused on promoting entrepreneurship for minorities, proposing the development of an ecosystem that provides early stage capital for the businesses that demonstrate growth opportunities and supports inclusive minority entrepreneurship as a basic commitment of Kansas City’s business and civic culture.

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The Shops on Blue Parkway

4401 Blue Parkway

Kansas City, MO 64130

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