What We're Looking For

What We're Looking For

The famous media moguls of history were often underestimated by their communities and business peers.

A hundred years ago, our country was changing fast (sound familiar?), and a group of immigrants and misfits saw opportunity as new audiences emerged for news and entertainment and new markets for goods and services. Opportunity was everywhere, but most established media barons of the time missed it. Or worse, they tried to get new audiences to adopt their story narratives and forms of entertainment. The misfits and outsiders became the new media moguls, with names we know as the established media leaders today: Disney, Pulitzer, Warner, Gallup, Hearst and other lesser-known names with large, successful media empires. 


There were other misfits and under-appreciated groups and people who created whole genres of media. Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie created jazz and basically created the music industry that brought it to mainstream audiences. More recently, cable television brought us other media moguls, such as Oprah and Ted Turner. 

Rising media moguls tend to be renegades, innovators and misfits, usually under-appreciated. Including Jaden Smith in movies and social media, Angelica Nwandu of Shade Room on Instagram, and Reonna Johnson, advertising executive and co-founder of Three’s a Crowd


History shows us what happens when opportunity meets talent and hard work. And that’s why we are piloting the Black Media Mogul Maker program in Syracuse, New York. 


Syracuse is not a major media center, but it has a great history in media innovation. L. Frank Baum grew up here and wrote the Wizard of Oz, a 100-year-old franchise that continues today with books, movies, broadway plays (The Wiz), and TV shows. Some of the pioneers of the early days of television came from this region, including Rod Serling and Dick Clark, and more recent media innovators who broke the mold include Al Roker, Chris Wedge, Grace Jones, Tom Kenny, Jim Brown, Lakshmi Singh, Bruce Coville, Daniel Donigan (a.k.a. “Milk”), and Tom Taylor (a.k.a. Tsquared)!


Only a handful of people in this world dare to think differently, and clearly Syracuse has a pretty-good track record of success in media and entertainment innovation.


Black Media Mogul Maker is searching for innovators, misfits, under-appreciated creators, and under-achievers with something to prove. We want people who have grit. We want people who are creative in all meanings of that word. Unstoppable. Curious. Coachable. Hardworking. Focused. We want people who are interested in making a difference. If you have an idea or concept already, that’s great. If not, no big deal. History shows the best startup ideas have to change to succeed! 


If you were told by your teacher: “Could do better if they applied themselves,” you may be what we’re looking for. If you have had people doubt you, but you believe in yourself and your unusual way of looking at the world, you might be what we’re looking for. If you were labeled ADD or ADHD (A lot of successful entrepreneurs are!), you might be what we’re looking for. If you are willing to put in the work (Entrepreneuring is not an easy money scheme.) and you like working on passion projects, you might be what we’re looking for.


Steve Jobs once said: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” And more recently, Dave Salvant, Black co-founder of Squire, a company that offers software for barbershops, said in a Wall Street Journal article: “Anybody can create a business. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not.” 

With Black Media Mogul Maker, we are looking to fix that uneven distribution of opportunity and give you access to elite training, resources and connections. Maybe you are straight out of college or high school, or you might be much later in your life — or anywhere in between. It doesn’t matter. We want participants who want to change the world and who demonstrate persistence, ability to learn, and a passion for the power of story and creativity. 


If this sounds like you, come join us. This is your time.