Florida A&M University (FAMU) placed second in the 2020 Moguls in the Making, a Shark Tank style business plan pitch competition that offers 50 historically Black college and university (HBCU) students an opportunity to learn and practice vital business skills.
The second annual competition, presented by Ally Financial Inc., Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and Big Sean’s the Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF), showcased the diversity of ideas, thoughts and experiences these students can offer the business world.
The FAMU team pitchedan AutoShare concept – which includes community pooling of resources with usage-based pricing, cost-sharing and low and fixed membership rates – to help Detroiters who struggle to get their own cars. The team also proposed applying a credit union model to auto insurance to help lower insurance rates in the city of Detroit.
It is “essentially taking the credit union model and applies it to auto insurance,” the FAMU team said.
“The competition was extremely intense, but I thoroughly enjoyed analyzing the industry we were assigned and creating a truly innovative and paradigm-shifting solution,” said FAMU team member Maurice Gilbert, a third-year economic student from Ocala.
Among the other FAMU team members were 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., and Madison Johnson, an MBA student from Houston, Texas. Each team presented their 15-minute pitch to a panel of judges via teleconference on Sunday afternoon.
“In a fantastic competition like Moguls in the Making, being and thinking different is essential if you want to separate yourself,” Brave said. “FAMU students are different.”
The top three teams received prizes. The Alabama A&M University team placed first. Hampton University and the Spelman College/Morehouse College teams tied for third place. The FAMU team won the inaugural event in 2019.
All 10 teams developed business plans aimed at solving key issues in the context of today’s economic and social climate. All students who competed receive consideration for internship opportunities at Ally.
Fifty HBCU students were selected from more than 570 applicants from across the country to participate in the weekend-long competition and represent their school.
Teams from Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Virginia State University also participated in the contest.