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2024 Prize
Competition

Bold Ideas, Uninterrupted

Words of Advice from 2023 $1M Grand Prize Winner
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What would our world look like if Black and Hispanic innovators were given the access, guidance, and support needed to excel, uninterrupted?

This is the question Black Ambition seeks to answer.

Apply Now

Applications for the 2024 Black Ambition Prize Competition are now open.

If only…

If only you had the right guidance, 
If only you had the right capital, 
If only you had the shot.

Today, we remove “if” from the equation.

Today, we embrace the fact that you are ready, you are qualified, you are Black Ambition at its finest. 
And we want to see it, right now. 
 
Not after your business has made its first five figures (or even it’s first five dollars).
Not after you gain thousands of followers. 
Today. Unhindered. Uninterrupted. Undisrupted.

Black Ambition finds, funds, and fuels the businesses of the future. Most importantly, we believe that the future looks like you.

The Black Ambition Prize competition provides a platform for Black and Hispanic founders across the nation to access growth capital, coaching, and a curated community of innovators and mentors. Eligible applicants consist of Black and Hispanic innovators building early-stage ventures across five distinct categories:

Consumer Products and Services

Healthcare

Media and Entertainment
Technology
AI

Consumer Products and Services

Healthcare

Media and Entertainment

Technology

AI

You must apply as a team (with a minimum of two members).

We know that building bold ideas and innovative companies requires collaboration and support. Eligible ventures will compete for awards between $15,000 to $1,000,000. Up to 250 semi-finalists will be selected, with one grand prize winner receiving $1,000,000.

Why Apply? 

Because it’s time to even the playing field. There’s not just space for more Black and Hispanic leaders in these industries, there’s an overwhelming necessity. Your ideas and innovation, combined with the right support, will tip the scales in a way that permanently changes the landscape in these arenas. We know that building bold ideas and innovative companies requires collaboration and support.

Eligible ventures will compete for awards between $15,000 to $1,000,000. Up to 250 semi-finalists will be selected, with one grand prize winner receiving $1,000,000.

In short, we need you:

Select applicants will receive the following support services.

Capital

Prize award of $15k-$1M

Coaching

Pitch, Wellness and Leadership workshops

Community

Online and in-person events and funder introductions

Capital

Prize award of $15k-$1M

Coaching

Pitch, Wellness and Leadership workshops

Community

Online and in-person events and funder introductions

Cohort-based Mentorship

Exclusive Training Opportunities with Global Brands
Resources – Supports valued at more than $20k through partners

Graphic Design Support

Marketing Opportunities

Cohort-based Mentorship

Exclusive Training Opportunities with Global Brands

Exclusive Training Opportunities with Global Brands

Graphic Design Support

Marketing Opportunities

What’s New for the 2024 Black Ambition Prize competition?
We are expanding several initiatives to better find, fuel and fund HBCU-affiliated entrepreneurs. We have replaced the dedicated HBCU Prize track with two special initiatives.
So Ambitious HBCU Tour
Black Ambition, Techstars, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund are collaborating to gather undergraduate and graduate students studying across disciplines at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. Students ideate, learn to validate business ideas, and create real companies with support from mentors, investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs. The 3-day tour stop concluded with a pitch competition that connected top participants with capital to launch and/or grow their businesses. Follow us on social media @blackambitionprize to sign up to participate in an HBCU tour stop near you.
So Ambitious HBCU pre-Accelerator program

An 8-week, cross-institutional program that provides entrepreneurship education, leadership development & ecosystem connections for HBCU student and recent alumni (within 5 years of graduating or departing) to refine and scale early-stage business ventures across technology, media and entertainment, healthcare, AI and/or consumer products and services. Top participants will be awarded up to $100k in funding. Follow us on social media @blackambitionprize to learn when application open.

Program Features
  • Cohort-based programming designed for HBCU students & alumni
  • Mentoring from technical experts & experienced entrepreneurs.
  • Demo Day with real investors and startup champions.
  • Investments of up to $100,000.
2023 $1M Grand Prize Winner

“Winning the 2023 Black Ambition Prize has been a transformative experience for us. As an education technology company catering to families and children with learning differences, we operate in a niche within a niche. This demands unapologetic focus, strategic resource management, community engagement, and securing capital in a market often overlooked by mainstream investors.

The Black Ambition Prize not only provided vital financial support but also opened doors to merge special education and luxury. For many families, having help to navigate special education is a luxury, and we aim to provide that experience by offering top-tier technology advantages without the struggle. This approach is made possible through Black Ambition’s extensive network, resources, and empowering community.

I firmly believe in doing things fabulously and fiercely because ambition is my habit. With the support of Black Ambition, we are empowered to pursue our dreams confidently, knowing we have a strong community backing us every step of the way.”

-Antoinette Banks
Founder/CEO of Expert IEP

2022 $1M GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Camille Bell, 2022 Black Ambition Prize Winner and Co-Founder and CEO of Pound Cake.

Since winning the Black Ambition Prize 2022, I’m feeling invigorated, energized, and excited about our future! The Black Ambition Prize experience has made me so much more confident when pitching our brand to other investors, retailers, suppliers, and more! I’ve also been able to make new and meaningful connections with folks I’ve only dreamed of networking with!

I feel like an expert now when it comes to pitching our brand now that I’ve completed the Black Ambition experience. Whether I need to pitch our story in 15 seconds, or five minutes, I’m prepared. If you’re on the fence about applying, DO IT!! I wasn’t too sure where I would land since the competition was so fierce. Not only did Pound Cake come in first place, but I learned how to be a better leader and businesswoman.

Camille Bell

This is not about a short term cash injection or a “feel good” pep talk and a pat on the back. We’ve specifically designed the structure of each prize level to focus on the longevity of your business, so your ideas can continue coming to fruition 5, 10, or 15 years down the line.

This will not only change you, but it will also change your business, and with time…your entire industry.

That is why we want to see you apply.

With that in mind, we have carefully curated our eligibility requirements to ensure the prizes hold the highest impact potential for those they are awarded to.

BLACK AMBITION PRIZE RECIPIENTS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Be a for-profit venture in the fields of consumer products and services, healthcare, media and entertainment, technology, and / or AI.
  • Are already, or intend to be, legally incorporated in the U.S.
  • Have demonstrated progress against a business concept as illustrated by a minimum viable product and/or existing consumer base.
  • Have raised less than $1M in dilutive funding at the time of applying for the award.
  • All team members must be at least eighteen (18) years of age
  • Eligible teams must include at least one founding member that identifies as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx. A founding member is a team member having the title of CEO, Vice President or other C-level role (e.g., the CEO or an executive-level direct report to the CEO).
  • Each team must have a minimum of two team members. A team member is defined as an individual playing a critical role for the venture (e.g., employee, essential contracted support) with responsibilities for specific work streams or deliverables for the venture.
  • The lead of the venture (defined as the CEO or President, or most senior role on the founding team) must be a legal U.S. resident and based in the U.S.
Black Ambition Prize Information Session
March 11, 2024 | 3pm EST/12pm PST
Register to attend this general information session and get your questions about the Black Ambition Prize competition answered.
Alumni Prize Winner Panel & Q&A

March 18, 2024 | 3pm EST/12pm PST

Register to hear from winners of the 2023 Black Ambition prize competition regarding application development strategies followed by Q&A.

Program Timeline

The application will be open for 10 weeks, plenty of time to bring your A-game. Selected semifinalists will participate in a mentorship program to refine their application and advance their business. These teachings will not just serve them in their efforts during this endeavor but through their entire business journey. Prize winners will be announced at the Black Ambition Demo Day in November 2024.
February 26, 2024

Application Open

May 3rd, 2024

Application Close

June 2024
Semi-Finalists Announced
July 2024
Black Ambitionist Mentorship Program kick off
September 2024
Top 50 Finalists announced
September 2024

Public Voting Competition

November 2024
Winners announced at National Demo Day Celebration
2021 $1M GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Justin Turk, 2021 Black Ambition Prize Winner and Founder and CEO of Livegistics

People who think that winning Black Ambition is about the prize money have it all wrong. The network, the education, the resources are so much more important than the dollars. Being part of this organization has changed the trajectory of all of our lives here at Livegistics. Everyone who is part of this process will leave better off than they came. When 2022’s competition is over, don’t let money be the only thing you walk away with.

 

– Justin Turk, CEO of Livegistics

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“With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs…
Pharrell Williams
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…and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources.”
Founder of Black Ambition
ABOUT BLACK AMBITION

Black Ambition empowers Black and Hispanic innovators and communities to excel uninterrupted.

Founded by Pharrell Williams in 2020, Black, Hispanic, and HBCU-affiliated ventures in technology, healthcare, consumer products and services, media and entertainment and Artificial Intelligence are eligible to win up to $1M.

To date, Black Ambition has trained approximately 750 founders and awarded nearly $10M in growth capital to 101 founders. Black Ambition’s endeavors have been recognized by Forbes, Essence, Complex, and many more for driving meaningful change. It also was the winner of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas award for Impact Investing and named one of Fast Company’s 2022 Most Innovative Companies.

Please fill out the form below to get access to our Impact 100 Report.