Five Florida A&M University students are competing virtually this week on the Moguls in the Making, a Shark Tank-style business plan pitch competition that offers historically Black College and University (HBCU) students an opportunity to learn and practice vital skills.
The FAMU students are Macus Brave, a senior economics student from Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Kameron Gomez, a senior business administration student from Decatur, Ga.; Rahjanique Locklear, senior business administration student from Lake Hamilton, Fla., Madison Johnson, an MBA student from Houston, Texas, and Maurice Gilbert, a third year economic students from Ocala. They hope to repeat the success of the 2019 FAMU team, who won the competition.
The event is a business plan pitch competition offering 50 students — grouped into teams of five from 10 HBCUs — an opportunity to develop and present business plans aimed at solving key issues in the context of today’s economic and social climate, taking place virtually Oct. 8–11, 2020.
This second annual competition is presented by Ally Financial Inc., the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and entertainer and entrepreneur Big Sean’s foundation, the Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF).
Moguls in the Making gives 50 students — grouped into teams of five from 10 HBCUs — an opportunity to develop and present business plans aimed at solving key issues in the context of today’s economic and social climate. The event will showcase the diversity of ideas, thoughts and experiences these students can offer the business world. Winners receive scholarships and internship opportunities with Ally.
To learn more about the program and the experiences of last year’s participants, view this short video. Six of the 2019 Moguls in the Making participants have joined Ally as full-time employees.
“Moguls in the Making is an impactful way to celebrate the talent of HBCU students and to support a diverse pipeline of candidates whose contributions are critical to making both our company and our communities stronger,” said Ally Financial CEO Jeffrey J. Brown.
The business case for diverse workforces is clear: in 2019, companies in the upper quartile of ethnic and cultural diversity of their executive teams outperformed those in the fourth quartile by 36 percent in profitability.
The Moguls in the Making program has already helped Ally expand its diverse pool of young talent, while amplifying awareness of the vital role HBCUs play in building Black middle and upper classes. HBCUs are responsible for 22 percent of current Black bachelor degrees and, despite the fact that HBCUs account for just 3 percent of four-year nonprofit colleges, their alumni account for roughly 80 percent of Black judges, 50 percent of Black lawyers and doctors, and their students account for 25 percent of Black undergraduates who earn degrees in STEM.
In 2019, the FAMU team won “Moguls in the Making.”
FAMU’s winning team of Emmanuel Blake Dawson, a third year Supply Chain Management student from Louisville, Ky., Nalani Kelley Marsh, a fourth senior Business Administration student from Malibu, Calif., Earl Perry, a third year Economics student from Miami, Livi Grant, a third year Business Administration student from Atlanta, and Keishon Smith, a third year Electrical Engineering student from Daytona Beach, Fla., rose above teams from nine other HBCUs.
The victorious students each were awarded a $5,000 scholarship, MacBook Air computers and internships with Ally Financial, a bank holding company.