Building community by Bridging the Gap

The organization seeks to connect BIPOC students to opportunities in the business and finance sectors


Courtesy of BTG

The organization connects members to jobs and fosters professional connections.

Bella Ortley-Guthrie, Staff Writer

Collaborative, innovative, flexible, understanding and supportive; these are the words that come to the minds of Wake Forest students Mason Goodwyn and Savant Patel when thinking about Bridging the Gap. Bridging the Gap (BTG) is a diverse and inclusive community that supports Black and indigenous people of color (BIPOC) in the business field by providing consulting and financial experience. 

Devon Triplett, a current sophomore at the University of North Carolina, founded BTG when he noticed a need for connection and networking between BIPOC business leaders and minority-owned businesses.

“I started it as a first-semester freshman, which was kind of wild,” Triplett said. “I took part in my school’s consulting organization and noticed there was a lack of helping diverse students on a national scale. I was the only person of color in my consulting organization, and when COVID-19 came around, I realized that I wanted to provide consulting services to minority owned businesses across the country.”

Triplett connected with students at Stanford and Harvard to work on providing pro-bono consulting for minority-owned businesses – this resulted in BTG Consulting. From engaging in BTG Consulting, Triplett and his team noticed a need and potential model for building mentorship and networking for future BIPOC business leaders — leading to BTG’s development.

BTG focuses on consulting and finance through its pro-bono consulting and BTG Nexus Fund programs, allowing students to have hands-on learning experience through consulting and by working on digital asset funds, “through a structured, thesis-driven approach.” 

BTG recently expanded into finance with the BTG Nexus Fund which focuses on digital asset portfolio investing, including non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrencies. Current BTG students work at numerous companies, including Deloitte, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

Bridging the Gap offers two paths for students: BTG Family and BTG Launch. BTG Family consists of 87 students across schools such as Wake Forest, Stanford and the University of Miami. BTG Family is also more competitive, with a 10% acceptance rate and a selective application process. 

The second path, BTG Launch, is an inclusive program with over 180 students representing schools across the country. In BTG Launch, students are provided weekly meetings with services like case prep programs where BTG executives bring in professionals and prep students for interviews with firms. They invite guest speakers, conduct cover letter/resume-writing workshops and even host stress management workshops. Both offer similar opportunities for networking – the only difference is that BTG Family is a smaller and more intimate experience for students. BTG’s focus on mentorship and networking extends to both BTG Launch and BTG Family. 

“We have tons and tons and tons of mentorship. From just the upperclassmen who are in the organization down to the underclassmen — everyone’s just one Slack message away,” said Triplett. 

Part of these mentorships extends to a big and little — where a big (upperclassmen student) is assigned two or three littles (underclass) — to help build a resume and answer any of their questions.

“We’re very intentional about fostering an environment to facilitate connections and mentorship. We also have companies and professionals who come in to help development of our students, our Nexus fund and our pro bono consulting engagements,” said Triplett. 

The inclusive environment is appreciated by students across the country and at Wake Forest University. 

“It was great to join this organization overall, because it’s a community of people that look like me in business,” said Goodwyn, a Wake Forest freshman who recently joined BTG Launch. “And we need more of that at Wake Forest at times, especially when it can be isolating in the business school or other classroom environments.”

Goodwyn also gained experience from the networking BTG Launch provides. 

“I realized most people at BTG I could talk to for just experience,” Goodwyn said. “I can ask, ‘Hey, how would I do this interview for X company? A lot of people have given me great tips. I’ve been able to give other people tips. So, it’s a great circle of receiving help and giving help to other peoples in the community that pushes us forward.” 

To learn more, follow @the_btgfamily on Instagram.