N.C. A&T Team Wins Top Prize in 2021 Moguls in the Making Pitch Competition

By Jackie Torok / 09/30/2021

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 30, 2021) – Five North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University students have won the top prize in the 2021 Moguls in the Making pitch competition.

Lance Davis, Claudia Duverglas, Kameran Harris, Darren Rippy and Joshua Weaver each received a $20,000 scholarship, guaranteed paid internships offers at Ally, a laptop and other prizes as members of the winning team.

The competition, presented by Ally and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), offers 50 students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) the opportunity to learn and practice vital business skills while competing for scholarships and internship opportunities.

Now in its third year, the event also featured special appearances by actor/entertainer and Aggie alumnus Terrence Jenkins ’04 – better known as Terrence J – as well as multi-platinum artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Big Sean.

Teams of five students each representing 10 HBCUs showcased their business savvy through the development of business plans focused on advancing economic mobility in Charlotte, North Carolina, then pitched their ideas to a panel of judges representing the business community.

Ally mentors and team coaches, including past Moguls in the Making participants and HBCU alumni, worked with the students to help formulate their plans. Students also had the opportunity to attend virtual learning workshops and fireside chats with business leaders.

Davis, Duverglas, Harris, Rippy and Weaver focused on a new way to generate power locally to lower electric bills for residents in low-income neighborhoods.

“The Moguls in the Making program is a strenuous 72 hours of rigorous learning and ideation, and these students impressed us with their energy, creativity, and enthusiasm for solving real-world challenges,” said Ally Financial CEO Jeffrey J. Brown.

Members of the A&T team represent the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Engineering, and Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics. Davis, of South Holland, Illinois, is studying computer engineering. Duverglas, of South Easton, Massachusetts, is studying business management and administration. Harris, of Detroit, is studying marketing. Rippy, of Richmond, Virginia, is studying public relations. Waver, of Charlotte, is studying industrial and systems engineering.

“This was a weekend well spent impacting and participating in life-changing moments, all while representing our university,” said Rippy.

The other participating HBCUs were Alabama A&M University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Morgan State University, Spelman College, Tuskegee University and Virginia State University.

“As a proud product of an HBCU, I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate my support for the institutions responsible for molding some of the greatest minds in the country,” said Jenkins, a TMCF ambassador. “I’m happy to build on the work that Ally has established to spotlight the invaluable position HBCUs hold in communities of color, and to help propel Black students toward professional and personal success.”

The success of Moguls in the Making enables Ally to reach diverse talent and underscores the significant value of HBCUs in developing future leaders in various industries. Since the first year of the program in 2019, Ally has employed 25 participants as interns and hired nine as full-time employees across a variety of functions, from IT and marketing to product design and development. Fast Company also cited the competition in ranking Ally sixth on its 2021 list of Best Workplaces for Innovators, which recognizes companies that foster creative cultures.

“Working with Ally for another year is an honor, and we are excited to be a part of a growing movement to amplify incredible, untapped talent,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president and CEO. “Moguls in the Making is a necessary initiative that is helping to bridge the racial wealth gap and support high achieving students by creating pathways to economic mobility and lucrative job opportunities.”

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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