entrepreneurship

50 Cent bankrolls new Houston high school business program with $600,000 donation

Rapper 50 Cent really means business. 50 Cent/Twitter

Rap star and Newstonian 50 Cent is giving back to area schools in need of help. The recently relocated rapper/producer/entrepreneur/rodeo wine bidder is teaming up with the Houston Independent School District and Horizon United Group to bolster entrepreneurship programs at Kashmere, Worthing, and Wheatley high schools.

He has funded the project with a $600,000 donation, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced on May 17.

Dubbed the G-Unity Business Lab, the new program will encourage students to engage in MBA-level lessons that represent the full lifecycle of a product or concept, from idea creation, to market branding, to even running a company, a press release notes.

Starting fall 2021, selected students from Kashmere, Worthing, and Wheatley high schools will work with HISD educators, Houston business leaders, and the G-Unity Foundation to complete an after-school course.

The curriculum and concepts align with the core values preached by 50 Cent (nee Curtis Jackson) in his book, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter.

Utilizing a Shark Tank- styled competition, student work will be judged by 50 Cent, Al Kashani, president of Horizon United Group, and other community leaders. Winners will receive seed money to begin their businesses that are incubated in Houston.

"It's great to be giving back to this community that's already given me so much," said 50 Cent in a statement. "These young kids can do great things if they just have the right skills and tools. This program is going to help get them there."

Turner noted that the plan lines up with his initiative to create jobs. "I am deeply grateful to Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson for investing in Houston ISD students," he said in a release. "This program will have a big impact on the lives of students and their families. It will provide a platform to help young people grow their skillset by learning how to be future entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and business leaders."

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

The Ion has announced its latest startup-focused program. MediaTech Venture's Houston startup incubator is launching next month. Photo courtesy of the Ion

Houston has a new incoming incubator program for innovators within the media technology space.

The Ion announced a new partnership with MediaTech Ventures, an Austin-based global media industry venture development company, that will bring the MediaTech incubator program to Houston. Applications are open now, and the first cohort will kick off the program in January.

“Modern media has to continually evolve and adapt to new market channels, and with each platform comes the opportunity for innovation to leverage what is possible. It’s why Houston continues to build its market and resources for media technology entrepreneurs and startups looking to make an impact in this constantly evolving space,” says Jan E. Odegard, executive director of the Ion, in a news release.

“We’re thrilled to partner with MediaTech Ventures to further bolster the startups that are an integral part of our innovation community," he continues.

The 12-week program will help early-stage companies tackle marketing, development, and production with education and mentorship with MediaTech Ventures' startup curriculum and platform. The Ion will house the initiative and startups will have access to the hub for programming and networking.

“Ion is the perfect home for our incubator program,” says Josh Sutton, Houston Program Manager at MediaTech Ventures, in the release. “Our goal is to not only tap into the Ion’s valuable innovation ecosystem both within its four walls and beyond it, but to catalyze the development of media technologies and offer more resources for entrepreneurs looking to advance modern media.”

Founded in 2016 to advance the media technology economy, MediaTech Ventures focuses on "unifying innovation with capital, and validating and scaling technology-enabled media startups," per the news release. The program's startups have raised over $10 million following the completion of the curriculum.

An info session is taking place on December 5 at Second Draught in the Ion, and interested applicants can meet, ask questions, and learn more about the program.

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