Detroit-based financial company Ally Financial Inc. gathered 50 talented students from 10 HBCUs across the country to host the innovative entrepreneur competition, Moguls in the Making.

The company worked with Detroit native, entertainer and entrepreneur, “Big Sean” through his Sean Anderson Foundation, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to host Moguls in the Making. The purpose of the program is to inspire students and provide them a platform to equip them with the resources to pursue a future in entrepreneurship.

50 students were selected by Ally and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, out of over 500 applicants, to compete in the weekend-long challenge that was held from March 29 to March 31.

The young entrepreneurs represented from TMCF member-schools: Alabama A&M University, Elizabeth City State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Tennessee State University and Virginia State University.

Each student worked in teams of five from their respective schools to develop business plans to address economic mobility issues that various industries are facing in the Motor City.

Moguls in the Making panelists/Photo: Ally Financial Inc.

They had the opportunity to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges including Big Sean; Andrea Brimmer, Ally chief marketing and public relations officer; Anand Talwar, deposit and consumer strategy executive; Tommey Walker, principal of Detroit vs. Everybody; and George Spencer, executive vice president of business development and innovation & entrepreneurship at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.  

Since Detroit is known as a city for its entrepreneurial success, it was the perfect place to provide a platform for the future leaders to obtain the best business skills to succeed.

The young moguls participated in entrepreneur workshops by TMCF, mentoring sessions taught by Ally employees, attended a financial education class, met Big Sean and heard from local business leaders, including TMCF President & CEO, Harry L. Williams, and Ally Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Brown.

Big Sean, who is a big advocate of inspiring the youth, found it important to provide students with the chance to obtain the knowledge they needed to have bright futures and become the leaders they are destined to be.

“I’m passionate about inspiring and helping young people,” Big Sean said. “This is all about finding and creating opportunity for our next generation of entrepreneurs.”

FAMU competition winners/Photo: Ally Financial Inc.

Students from Florida A&M University (FAMU) were the big winners of the competition, walking away with Ally internships, a $5,000 scholarship and MacBook Air computers for each team member.

"By bringing Moguls in the Making to Detroit, Ally Financial is able to showcase our home city of Detroit while investing in the future of aspiring business leaders to help them realize their full potential," said Brimmer. "As a company committed to economic mobility and diversity and inclusion, we're happy to work with like-minded organizations as well as other notable Detroit natives to bring this initiative to life."

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This piece is brought to you by Ally Financial, Inc.