Moguls in the Making was born from the need to act — to put our beliefs into practice by creating a program that would tackle the issue of economic mobility head-on. That’s why we, along with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Sean Anderson Foundation, launched Moguls in the Making, an annual entrepreneurial competition that helps foster opportunities for young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs from our nation’s publicly-supported historically black colleges and universities.
While we could not hold the event in-person this past spring, we were adamant that we find a way to keep the event going in 2020. So, we moved to a virtual venue for the second annual Moguls in the Making with a jam-packed weekend of fireside chats, team coaching sessions, and pitch trainings — and, of course, the final presentations for the panel of judges.
What is Moguls in the Making?
Over the course of a weekend, selected students from HBCUs had the opportunity to represent their schools and compete against other student entrepreneurs. While the event was last held in spring 2019, we held the 2020 event virtually on October 8–11.
Of the over 570 applicants, the top 50 students worked in teams virtually to develop and pitch a business plan around a specific industry, focusing on how to support economic mobility through the lens of the current climate around COVID-19 and social equity. Throughout the weekend, teams were guided by Ally mentors and team coaches, and had the opportunity to use industry mentors as a resource on their business topic.
In addition to working on their pitches, the young entrepreneurs attended various workshops like how to design a business model or pitching 101, as well as dinner sessions with experienced entrepreneurs and professionals.
These experiences help develop skills for future careers — some with us at Ally. This year, at least 20 students have been offered internships with us. In 2019, a number of participants also went on to join our ranks as employees!
Pitch Presentations and Prizes
On the final day of the competition, after a weekend of developing their pitching skills and team dynamic, the teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges — including Ally’s own Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer, and Lule Demmissie, president of Ally Invest at the time.
After a day of incredible presentations from our young entrepreneurs, we were thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s Moguls in the Making event:
1st place: Alabama A&M University
2nd place: Florida A&M University
Tied for 3rd place: Hampton University and Morehouse/Spelman College
The members of the first-place team will each be awarded an internship with Ally’s Design Concept Studio, as well as a $10,000 scholarship and a tech package. Members of the second and two third place teams will also be given internship opportunities at Ally and tech packages, in addition to $5,000 and $2,500 scholarships respectively.
All 50 moguls will be considered for internships or future employment with Ally and are invited to attend the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Leadership Institute Conference.
Why support economic mobility?
Building wealth through a steady build-up of income and assets over time is an instrumental part of financial planning — but historically, the Black community has faced systemic barriers to opportunities for wealth creation and through that, economic mobility. In fact, a typical Black family has approximately 1/10th of the wealth of a typical white family, according to 2016 from the Federal Reserve.
We at Ally recognize the impact HBCUs have had on black communities and businesses — though they make up only 3% of the country’s colleges and universities, HBCUs produce almost 20% of all African American graduates. We want to do our part to help the next generation grow their entrepreneurial skills and find opportunities for growth. One of our goals with Moguls in the Making is to cultivate new talent for our team at Ally — we strongly believe that each individual brings a unique perspective to our company, which makes us stronger and better able to serve our customers.
With Moguls in the Making, we look to help mobilize the next generation of entrepreneurs and help set them up for future success — whether at Ally or beyond.
You might be wondering what you can do to help support Moguls and the Making. While we’re not accepting donations at this time for Moguls in the Making, there are plenty of ways to help support economic mobility. Many organizations are working to create opportunities and break down barriers. Look for organizations that have local chapters — like two organizations we at Ally work with, Habitat for Humanity and United Way — that are doing good work in your community and check for volunteer opportunities.
You can also donate money to the cause. For instance, through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, you can make a real difference in a student’s life, as the organization’s funds go toward opportunities for students to journey through college and into a career.
Interested in applying for Moguls in the Making? Check back at the link below for timing on next year’s program.