I always thought of myself as an innovator, and during my undergrad engineering studies at Carnegie Mellon, I felt compelled to cultivate my ideas by adding a business minor. When searching for grad schools, I learned that Howard University had a well-regarded MBA program for minorities. Through lectures and travel at Howard, I was able to meet top corporate executives, including a BET executive and the youngest business-made black millionaire in the world.
Johnetta Hardy, director of Howard's entrepreneurship program, told me about the FSB Business Plan Competition and helped me form a team to pitch my idea for digital billboards on the tops of taxicabs. Using our technology, companies will be able to advertise their products to a specific demographic based on the location of the given taxicab. My team included Omar Hashmi, who was focusing on marketing; finance whiz Meiling Assam; the articulate and driven Adonna Bannister; and Nyema Pinkney, who knows supply chain management.
Although we didn't win, the process definitely helped us. We decided to focus on an un-tapped foreign market - Beijing - and we're still seeking funding. Now I've got another project that might help me get noticed. I'm writing, producing, directing, and starring in my own cable TV comedy program in Washington, "The Tommy Taylor Show." At Howard, you learn that you can't just sit around and let things happen to you.