Travis Montaque

June 1, 2024
5 min read

Early life

Travis Montaque is well-known for founding Emogi. He was born on 5th April 1992 in Florida, where he later attended education at Everglades High School in Miramar. Travis began displaying his accountability and commitment by managing a Chick-fil-A franchise before quitting work at 19. Montaque is the founder and CEO of Holler, an American messaging technology that uses emojis to measure conversational dimensions for corporate organizations. Travis Montaque is also the co-founder and CEO of Group Black. This media initiative facilitates and advances media property ownership rights and freedoms among people of colour, primarily Black communities.

Education

Montaque attended his education at Everglades High School, Miramar. He was a successfully focused student that could also work while studying. He began working as a cashier at Chick-fil-A organization at just 15 years and worked with the company until he was 19. During the four years, he was attached to Chick-fil-A, his task was managing and overseeing two franchises of the organization.

He later joined the University of Miami, where he was quickly elected as the Vice Chancellor of the Hyperion Councilor of the School of Business and Undergraduate Dean’s Advisory Board. Even though little is known about Travis’s cradle family and his younger years, he was born to Aldo Montana and Gallimard Francoise - father and mother. They solely raised him while instilling responsibility and accountability until he was adult enough to carry on by himself. By allowing their son to attend school while still working, they helped Travis breed influential business and people skills. These skills and qualities later became pivotal to facilitating Montaque’s partnerships with some of the most important household names, such as IBM, back in 2016.

Holler

Months after founding Holer, Travis rejected a job at Splyst, which was later renamed Emogi in 2014. In the non-profit sector, Travis Montaque was influential from all perspectives. He could strike meaningful relationships with some of the most dominant players in the game. A perfect example is Ellen, his friend at college.

Travis created a meaningful relationship with the former President of the Clinton Global Initiative at the Blackstone meeting, Donna Shalala. He also created a strong bond with his current massive partner, Oliver Libby. These three make mountains move in the non-profit world as their philanthropic efforts have funded several billion-rated projects and individuals. This aspect inadvertently makes Travis equally possess a meaningful say in the policies and regulations of the non-profiting world.

Travis Montaque admits in a recent interview that were it not for Oliver’s belief in his skills and will to be an impressive mogul in the future, he might not have pursued his dreams. He desired to become one of the most sought-after youngest billionaires below 30 years. Oliver played a massive role in laying a formidable foundation for the inception of Holler. In the real sense, Oliver Libby and Travis valued more than the company could offer. It is a result of such big dreams that Oliver stopped at nothing to fund each project, no matter how big or small, dear or cheap.

“He values what I and my company stand for, including my stance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”  

Montaque founded his company after turning down an opportunity at Goldman Sachs. The sole reason behind the inception of his Holler organization was to design an evidence-based and engaging platform that took conversations and message protocols to a whole new level. It was not easy to diversify alone; thus, Travis sought capital partnerships with Richelieu Dennis, one of the founders and entrepreneurs of Holler.

The cardinal purpose of the existence of Holler in the world today is to facilitate and advance peer-to-peer communication using timely, personalized, and compelling content creation designed to promote maximum user engagement. Holler uses suggestive artificial intelligence to match and deliver contrasting content to different people at the right time to align with consumers’ effective feelings, behaviors, and actions using personalized protocols. The company helps users by providing real-time responses about various corporate issues, including new products and services’ entry into the market, trending innovative concepts, and other significant news. The updates are provided by the second, an indication of Holler’s ability to keep at par with all developing stories.

Early Career

Travis laid the perfect foundation for his entrepreneurship years by pursuing higher education and accommodating mentors and allies at the least expected places. Growing up in Florida and being supported by his family to work at Chick-fil-A gave Travis Montaque the perfect opportunity to work under Jude Hughes, the operator, and owner of the Florida branch of the franchise. Working under Jude ensured that Travis stayed dedicated and professional to his obligations. He never missed a single work day for the four years he worked for the company.

Jude believed in him and implored him to value his education. This pushed Travis to join higher learning at the University of Miami. He began demonstrating his passion for career dynamics, such as founding UM Economics Clubs and joining other influential organizations at the school. He also graduated with an accounting and finance degree in 2014 from the University of Miami. Montaque met Ellen at the University, a heavily invested influencer who mentored him in diverse business and technical matters.

Ellen was also one of the most critical but genuine mentors and allies that Montaque had during his higher pre-career years. She had a massive impact on Travis’ business career trajectory in the subsequent years. Travis Montaque became one of the most influential Black founder moguls immediately after college. He began striking partnerships with significant influencers like Oliver Libby, the current biggest partner to Montaque’s entrepreneurial businesses.

Montaque worked as a cashier at a Chick-fil-A franchise before being tasked as the manager for the other two branches of the same organization. At College, he was an accomplished analyst at Trivest, Barclays Capital, and Goldman Sachs.

Travis Montaque Holler
“Being a mentor and an ally to some is crucial to their growth and directly influences how much they can accomplish.”  

Leadership role and awards

Travis Montaque is helping society in several ways. First, he founded Holler in 2014 and started his company with a maximum of 5 employees. Less than ten years into its inception, the company employs close to 100 people, indicating that Montaque creates employment opportunities for others in the community. Travis also revealed that as a result of mentoring by Ellen and Oliver in the unlikeliest of all time, he had taken pleasure in mentoring, allying, and partnering with several other Black people to facilitate the legitimate owner of Black-owned media resources and properties.

Holler’s current funding value is $51.4 million, while the estimated employee revenue is $140,000. However, the recent spread and impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic shrank the company’s employee growth and inclusivity rate to 11% by 2021. As the new dawn rises, Holler and Montaque’s philanthropy is bound to decide the trajectory of several schools of life that are less fortunate. They include the fight against hunger, poverty eradication, and an effort to eliminate racism and discrimination in meaningful circles of life. Montaque’s work has been recognized on all fronts since his early life and pre-career years.

For instance, several years after Jude willingly let Travis quit; he admitted he was one of the most competent professionals. Travis valued accountability, hard work, and business integrity above all other perks that come with earning good money at such a young age.

At college, he partnered with Richelieu Dennis, who admitted that his role in advancing the involvement of young Black entrepreneurs back in the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative deserves more credit than its current hype. Furthermore, Travis is dedicated to promoting inclusivity and diversity in the workplace. Despite hailing from a Black history foundation, the company accommodated several contrasting employees that vary in terms of background, ethnic matters, and religious preferences. In this age, every CEO wants to prove to the world that gone are the days when discrimination and other types of social class differentiation used to define the order of the day.

Many global policymakers recognize the work of inclusivity and diversity efforts laid forth by Travis Montaque. His philanthropic dedications are not to be forgotten, as it was due to such help that he managed to lay a concrete foundation for the current Holler company set-up. Travis Montaque’s role in facilitating companies’ public review protocols, providing stable employment to tens of people, and serving as a massive undercover philanthropist does not require any recognition for them to be significant. It is evident that at that 30 years, Travis Montaque has achieved what many people, including those older than him, would only dream of achieving in the next life.

What makes Travis Montaque’s Black founder story so inspiring is that Forbes named him among the top 50 most daring entrepreneurs in 2018 and the fastidious 30 under 30 billionaires across the globe.

Travis Montaque is part of our Black Founders50 Series. Download the complete 2023 BBVA Founders50 list here.

BBVA envisions a vibrant Canadian technology ecosystem with significant participation from members of the Black community. We are on a mission to help establish 1000 successful, Black-led tech and tech-enabled businesses in Canada by 2030.

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