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From Idea to Entrepreneur in 1 Weekend


Last Updated on April 1, 2024

Excited students from North Carolina A&T State University, dressed in grey shirts, cheer enthusiastically as they celebrate their first-place victory at the 2023 Moguls In the Making competition.

Imagine a weekend that could redefine your future, where your brightest business ideas are not just acknowledged but are nurtured and celebrated. This is the essence of Moguls in the Making, an entrepreneurial pitch competition that stands as a beacon for HBCU students with a drive to innovate and lead.

Meet Natalie Brown: From Aggie to Ally’s Beacon of Change

Natalie Brown, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Ally, smiles confidently in a professional headshot.

Natalie Brown, an NC A&T alum and your biggest cheerleader at Ally – the nation’s largest all-digital bank – is the executive making sure HBCU students get their shot. She’s been where you are, balancing dreams and deadlines, and now she’s using her role to lift others up. “I’m also a legacy HBCU student. My husband and I went to North Carolina A&T. Both my parents went to HBCUs…so, like you, we have a long heritage of HBCUs in my family,” Natalie shares with pride. Her transformation from an HBCU student to overseeing Ally Financial’s Moguls in the Making program exemplifies leadership and dedication.

As Ally’s Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship, Natalie spearheads this transformative program. “Moguls fits within our community-based programming…I’m proud to lead this opportunity in partnership and collaboration with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund,” she explains, underlining the importance of collaboration in creating impactful opportunities for students.

What’s the Deal? Prizes That’ll Make You Want to Hustle

Moguls In the Making offers more than a competition; it’s a fast track to personal and professional growth. Natalie outlines the rewards, “We offer $20,000 for first place per student, $10,000 for second place per student, and $5,000 for third per student,” highlighting the significant financial support provided. Beyond the scholarships, the competition offers internships, mentorship, and invaluable industry connections.

The winning team from North Carolina A&T State University proudly displays their large prize checks at the 2023 Moguls In the Making competition.

The Blueprint: How to Jump In

You must be enrolled full-time at an HBCU, rocking at least a 3.0 GPA (with a little wiggle room for the real go-getters). Whether you’re a sophomore, junior, or senior, if you’ve got the vision and vibe, Ally and TMCF want you.

Natalie emphasizes the inclusivity of the program, “We don’t have a particular major that we’re looking for, which opens it up for those students who may never have that opportunity,” she states, inviting a diverse pool of talents and aspirations. Participants must be available to travel from October 2 to 7, immersing themselves in a life-changing experience.

Rep Your HBCU: The Roll Call

Enthusiastic HBCU students participate as audience members at the 2023 Moguls In the Making event, clapping and cheering for their peers.

From Alabama A&M to Virginia State, the competition welcomes students from various HBCUs, creating a melting pot of ideas and perspectives. Natalie is passionate about expanding the reach, “We’ve been very intentional to make sure we’re also exposing smaller HBCUs to Moguls as well…We want Bethune Cookman, we’ve had Fisk in the program before, Harris Stowe…we really want to hit some of these campuses and expose students to the opportunity.” Is your school on the list? Time to put it on the map.

Final Words from Natalie: Advice for Aspiring Moguls

Natalie’s dedication to the students and the program is evident, “This is a point of pride for me…I personally get excited. We’ve been in Charlotte these past few years and it wasn’t until this past year that my husband and kids got to come and see the competition.” Her message to students is clear, “We want them to not only just look at the website but really apply…if they’re a rising sophomore to a rising senior, and they don’t graduate before December of 2024, they’re eligible to apply for Moguls.”

Your Move: Apply Now for Moguls in the Making or Watch from the Sidelines?

Tick tock, the April 8 deadline is closing in. Wanna stand out and make an impact? ‘Moguls In the Making’ is your stage. Head over to Moguls In the Making application page and let the world see what you’re made of.

🔗 Apply now and transform your vision into your victory.

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