Big Sean is one of the most evolved rappers in the game due to his witty lyrics, but also because of his big heart. A part of this is evidenced by his involvement for yet another year with Ally’s Moguls in the Making entrepreneurial pitch competition, where 60 students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) developed innovative and impactful solutions to socioeconomic challenges in underserved communities.
For the fourth consecutive year, the competition returned and took place from Sept. 15-18 in partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and Big Sean.
“After being involved with the development and launch of Moguls in the Making four years ago, I’m grateful that we’re bringing it back and continuing to give HBCU students the opportunity to see how their business ideas can come to life,” said Big Sean. “I’m so proud of the work TMCF, Ally and the Sean Anderson Foundation have done to empower Black students and the next generation of leaders.”
Ally Financial helped furnish cash prizes for the participating students, including a top award of $20,000 to Morehouse College contestants that came up with the winning idea.
“Moguls in the Making is an investment Ally is making in advancing financial and social inclusion,” said Ally Financial CEO Jeffrey J. Brown in a news release. “Not only do programs like this provide access and opportunities for HBCU students to learn core business and entrepreneurial skills, but it also helps build early talent pipelines with bright, passionate and creative individuals who will be our future leaders. Together with long-time partner TMCF and all of the participating HBCUs, we are breaking down barriers in education and taking tangible steps to boost economic mobility for diverse communities all over the country.”
Sixty students – 15 teams with four students each — developed a business plan to help support the upward mobility for underserved communities in the Charlotte, NC area, the center for Ally offices. In a Shark Tank-type environment, each team was given 10 minutes to present their strategy to a panel of judges, who awarded prizes to the top three teams based on the pitch.
Winners were also offered internships with Ally.
The winning idea, called HOPE Project(Home/Ownership/Property/Education), uses a new property ownership solution the students deemed “ACLO” Properties (Appreciation Capped Lease-to-Own Properties) that allows low-income renters to become homeowners and build equity without being exposed to the inflationary and deflationary housing market. The winning students are Amari Torrance, junior economics major from Redford, Mich, Travis Sherman, senior software engineering from Decatur, Ga, Kasai Rogers, junior economics major from Washington DC, Zion Melson, and sophomore business administration major from Alpharetta, Ga.