2023 GNO Jobs Report: Explore the top occupations in the region

June 6, 2022

GNO, Inc. Partners with Regional HBCUs and Local Startups for the Second Year of Internship Program

Greater New Orleans, Inc., in partnership with The Idea Village and Opportunity Hub (OHUB), is proud to announce the second cohort of participants in our HBCU Entrepreneurship Internship Program. Selected Juniors and Seniors from our local HBCUs— Xavier University of Louisiana, Dillard University, and Southern University at New Orleans, are paired with startup companies in the region who are seeking qualified and diverse talent for a paid summer internship. 

“It is very important that we continue Greater New Orleans’ legacy of Black entrepreneurship,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “The HBCU Entrepreneurship Internship Program will give students access to local startups where they can learn how to be successful entrepreneurs, grow their businesses, and gain connections and experience that will aid them in the future.” 

The goal of the program is to bring together the local startup community to train the next generation of successful entrepreneurs of color, inspire students to become innovative change-makers, and increase the innovation capacity of regional startup firms.

This paid internship introduces the students to the entrepreneurial mindset and provides hands-on training in high-impact, real-world entrepreneurship settings.  Participants will develop creative capacity, entrepreneurial confidence, mentorship, and acquire the necessary skills to build scalable startups that solve real problems.

“The Idea Village is proud to once again participate in the HBCU internship training program,” said Jon Atkinson of The Idea Village, New Orleans’ leading high-growth startup accelerator. “Innovation is enhanced when we prioritize bringing diverse voices to the table and building a truly inclusive pipeline. The HBCU internship training program plays a critical role in doing just that, and our startup community will be all the better for having these young leaders integrated into the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Each internship cohort launches as a week-long program to provide students with an interactive startup experience that will equip students with what it takes to be a successful startup founder. The week starts off with a two-day program titled The HBCU Startup Internship Workshop presented by The Idea Village, which will provide information on the overall startup ecosystem, resources, and exposure to founders. Following the The HBCU Startup Internship Workshop there will be a three-day training at OHUB where interns will develop a mock product or service and then pitch it on the final day—“Mock Demo Day.”

“It is imperative that students and alum at HBCU’s be exposed to high growth company building in the fourth industrial revolution as a career path or entrepreneurship journey,”  Rodney Sampson, Executive Chairman of OHUB. “Doing so ensures that Black communities and beyond are positioned to obtain upwardly mobile careers, start scalable firms, create net new jobs and build new multi generational wealth creation with no reliance on pre-existing multi-generational wealth. This is why OHUB is excited to join forces with Greater New Orleans, Inc. on their upcoming HBCU Startup Internship.”

The HBCU Entrepreneurship Internship Program is part of GNO, Inc.’s Economic Mobility Strategy, which focuses on action-oriented initiatives to promote Black wealth creation in Greater New Orleans. The program is also part of GNO, Inc.’s ongoing effort to increase regional opportunities for paid internships in the Greater New Orleans Region. 

The HBCU Internship participants for Summer 2022 are:

  • Antione Hawkins, Southern University at New Orleans, NOBIC
  • Rachel Jackson, Dillard University, Obatala Sciences
  • Devon Preston, Xavier University of Louisiana, Torsh
  • Deonka Howard, Xavier University of Louisiana, Junum
  • Kynnedy Hudson, Xavier University of Louisiana, Henley Ion
  • De’Auan McClaine, Dillard University, Rocket Insights
  • Rainne Crowder, Dillard University, El Guapo Bitters
  • Ceyonce Audrict, Dillard University, LeBlanc + Smith
  • Kevin Green, Xavier University of Louisiana, Cotinga Soft
  • Jace Watkins, Xavier University of Louisiana, Life City
  • Nayah Thomas, Xavier University of Louisiana, Lucid
  • Hailey Washington, Southern University at New Orleans, Advano

Thank you to Landis Construction and Phelps Dunbar for their generous sponsorship of this program.