Tulane honors 2024 Entrepreneurs of the Year

Chris Britt addresses audience at gala
Chris Britt (A&S '95) addresses guests at the 2024 Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards Gala, which took place on March 12 at the Audubon Tea Room. The gala honored Britt, co-founder and CEO of Chime, with the Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Tulane University honored Chris Britt (A&S ’95) and Andrea Turner Moffitt (NC ’00) as Entrepreneurs of the Year at the 2024 Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards Gala. The ceremony, an annual presentation of Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business, took place on March 12 at the Audubon Tea Room in New Orleans.

Tulane President Michael A. Fitts delivered remarks along with Freeman School Dean Paulo Goes, Lepage Center Executive Director Rob Lalka, and Tulane Chief Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer Kimberly Gramm.

Britt, co-founder and CEO of financial technology company Chime, received the Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and Turner Moffitt, co-founder of Plum Alley Investments and author of Harness the Power of the Purse: Winning Women Investors, received the Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The Lepage Center presents the awards each year to highlight outstanding entrepreneurs in the community. The Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors individuals who combine a history of entrepreneurial success with philanthropic generosity and service to the community. The Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals who are solving social problems and meeting community needs through the use of entrepreneurial principles.

“Chris and Andrea each embody the knowledge and values we strive to instill in our students,” said Goes. “Chris founded Chime to help Americans reduce their stress and anxiety around money and built the company into one of the leading online banking services in the nation, while Andrea has worked tirelessly to promote diversity in finance and investing, including engaging diverse investors and focusing on diverse founders committed to using technology for world positive outcomes. While their business activities are different, Chris and Andrea each demonstrate the power of entrepreneurship to transform the world, and I couldn’t be happier to honor them with our 2024 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

Clayton Britt, Chris Britt and President Fitts
Chris Britt, center, accepts the Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award from presenters Clayton Britt, left, and Tulane President Michael Fitts.

Britt co-founded Chime in 2012 with Ryan King to unite everyday people to unlock their financial progress. The company partners with regional banks to provide no-fee banking services including online checking, debit and credit cards, and high-interest savings accounts.

Prior to founding Chime, Britt served as chief product officer and senior vice president, corporate development, at Green Dot. Before that, he held roles as a senior product leader at Visa and as vice president and general manager at ComScore. He was also vice president of business development with Flycast Communications, CMGI and a management strategy consultant with Accenture.

Britt serves as a board member of coachart.org, a non-profit that connects chronically ill kids with free lessons in the arts and athletics. He graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Economics.

In accepting the award, Britt highlighted Chime’s ambition to serve millions of Americans, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck and are subject to steep fees from traditional banks.

“We set out to create a consumer app that would use technology to lower the service delivery cost and improve the experience,” said Britt, who received the award from his nephew, Clayton Britt (BSM ’25), a current Tulane student and a student fellow in the Lepage Center. “We wanted to create a company that would fundamentally profit with our members rather than from them, so we eliminated fees and help with short-term liquidity and credit building. And I’m proud to report that this aligned approach led to Chime being the number one most downloaded banking app in America last year.”

Britt also thanked the people in his life who supported his entrepreneurial efforts and helped make him successful, most significantly his wife, Alex Britt (NC ’96).

“If my path has proven anything, it’s that entrepreneurship is a team sport,” he said. “For every successful entrepreneur, there’s a large cast of often unseen heroes. My advice is don’t take these people in your life for granted. Surround yourself with more of them, honor them and also realize that you may end up being that person in someone else’s journey one day.”

Andrea Turner Moffitt speaks at Lepage Gala
Andrea Turner Moffitt (NC '00), co-founder of Plum Alley Investments and author of Harness the Power of the Purse: Winning Women Investors, delivers remarks after receiving the 2024 Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Turner Moffitt has been at the forefront of investing at the intersection of venture and disruptive innovation for world positive outcomes. She co-founded Plum Alley Investments, which has invested more than $80 million across 30+ portfolio companies. Turner Moffitt is currently a general partner for Plum Alley Venture Fund I, and she was previously the president of Plum Alley Inc., launching the firm’s direct syndicate investor platform.

Previously, Turner Moffitt spent a decade on Wall Street before launching the finance startup Wealthrive, a content-driven platform engaging women investors in private markets. She is also an accomplished author and thought leader on intentional investing and diverse investors. In 2015, she published the book Harness the Power of the Purse: Winning Women Investors. Her work has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Fortune, NPR and The Wall Street Journal.

Turner Moffitt is an honors graduate of Columbia University’s Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs and earned her BA from Tulane University. She is a board member of Columbia Business School’s Tamer Institute for Climate and Social Enterprise. She is also on the board of Tulane’s Innovation Institute, and she serves on the investment committee for Tulane Ventures Fund, a seed fund to bolster innovation in the south targeting underrepresented entrepreneurs in New Orleans and the greater Louisiana region. She is a previous Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

In accepting her award, Turner Moffitt shared the story of a talk she gave in 2018 highlighting the need for more diverse perspectives in finance. A year later, Denise Gibson, who attended the talk, called her to say she’d been so inspired by her remarks, she used her board position at the Consumer Technology Association to help spearhead a new $10 million CTA Diversity Investment Fund to invest in diverse venture firms backing diverse founders in technology. To date, the fund has invested in 10 firms.

“I hope that story exemplifies the power of igniting a conversation to inspire others to champion change,” she said. “Through the work of so many, including here at Tulane, we are moving the needle on funding to diverse founders. Importantly, many of these founders are using technology and science to tackle everything from climate and sustainable industry to health and creating more equitable economies.

“I invite all of you to consider,” she added, “in small and maybe increasingly big ways what kind of commitment you want to make with your time, capital and/or talent to have a world positive impact in your investments, your businesses, nonprofits, schools and our shared community.”

To see more photos from the gala, visit Freeman’s Flickr page.

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