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Investing in Black entrepreneurs benefits everyone.

Black Ambition works to increase the pipeline of diverse entrepreneurs as well as the number of underrepresented entrepreneurs who succeed at raising the startup capital needed for their businesses. Black Ambition pursues these goals and seeks to close America’s wealth and opportunity gap through an annual prize competition for entrepreneurs at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and, more broadly, Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs innovating nationally across healthcare, technology, media and entertainment, consumer products and services, and Web 3.0 ventures.

To bolster and equip HBCU application, Black Ambition has partnered with ACT House,Inc, an organization that helps innovators reach their dreams through diverse accelerator programs, to offer a 4- week So Ambitious pre-accelerator program to applicants to the 2023 Black Ambition HBCU Prize competition. This virtual 4-week pre-accelerator program will address the following topics:

  1. How to Develop and MVP
  2. Product Market Fit
  3. Customer Acquisition
  4. Revenue and Financial Models

These topics coupled with Fireside Chats and optional mentor hours will provide necessary context building for applicants on their business but also their application. The pre-accelerator program will culminate with a $10k pitch competition for program participants.

What is the So Ambitious Pre-Accelerator Program?

The So Ambitious Pre-Accelerator Program is a 4-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, web 3 and/or consumer products and services.

Program Details

  • Cohort-based programming designed for HBCU students & alumni
  • Networking with Black, Latinx, and Indigenous leaders in business, technology, & innovation
  • Mentoring from technical experts & experienced entrepreneurs
  • Demo Day with real investors and startup champions

Cohort Perks

  • Cash grants up to $10,000 co-sponsored by Black Ambition Prize
  • LLC support
  • Feature in HBCU Founders’ Initiative Lookbook
  • Techstars Mentor Network

Session Topics

  • Develop Effective Problem Statements
  • Aligned Solutions
  • Understand Your Customer & Market Opportunity
  • Positioning Your Product in the Market
  • Designing for Equity
  • Branding and Marketing Your Business
  • Grow Your Business and Check Progress with KPIs
  • Master Your Pitch & Build an Investor Timeline
Key Dates

Last day to sign up is April 4, 2023
Space is limited to the first 100 participants. Sign up today!

04/01/2023

Last day to Sign-Up 

04/5/2023

Orientation into Pre-Accelerator Program

04/6/2023

Diffusing Innovation: How to Develop the MVP

04/12/2023

Fireside Chat with HBCU Founder

04/13/2023

Product Market Fit – Learning the Human Xperience

04/20/2023

Customer Acquisition: Fundamentals and Funnels

04/21/2023

1st Mentor Hours Set

04/26/2023

Fireside Chat with HBCU Founder

04/27/2023

Revenue Models: Touchpoints of Value Exchange

04/28/2023

2nd Mentor Hours Set

05/8/2023

Application Deadline for the 2023 Black Ambition Prize

05/12/2023

$10k Pitch Competition

Eligibility Criteria
To Apply, you (or a team member) MUST be:
  • current student or recent graduate (2019 to current) of an accredited HBCU
  • In the idea stage or early stage of your venture
  • Able to join an hour-long session once a week
  • Able to meet with a Mentor once a week
Our Ideal Candidate Is:
  • A self-starter: takes initiative and willingness to undertake new challenges
  • Adaptable: flexible in new situations
  • Curious: has a love for learning, including but not limited to academic, interpersonal and experience-based
  • Persistent: resilient through obstacles and challenge
  • Community-Oriented: open to working with others and striving towards building a community
Our Ideal Cohort
Mentorship Program

The So Ambitious HBCU Pre-Accelerator Program is designed to support the growth and development of HBCU founders and underpin the growth of a thriving HBCU entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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Frequently Asked Questions

From April 5th to May 12th 2023, participants are expected to commit up to four hours per week regarding programmatic workshops. Although there is no required time commitment for independent work, participants are highly encouraged to work on their business in between sessions. Note, sessions will be recorded.

You must be building a business in one of Black Ambition’s five focus areas which are: media & entertainment, healthcare, technology, web 3 and consumer products & services.

Develop Effective Problem Statements, Aligned Solutions, Understand Your Customer & Market Opportunity, Positioning Your Product in the Market, Designing for Equity, Branding and Marketing Your Business, Grow Your Business and Check Progress with KPIs, and Master Your Pitch & Build an Investor Timeline.

The program is free and sponsored by Black Ambition to help you develop the most compelling application to the 2023 Black Ambition Prize competition possible.

Only one founder/representative from your venture may participate in the program. Capacity is limited to 100 participants.

No.
  • What topics are covered
  • Diffusing Innovation: How to Develop the MVP
  • Product Market Fit – Learning the Human Xperience
  • Customer Acquisition: Fundamentals and Funnels
  • Revenue Models: Touchpoints of Value Exchange
  • Diffusing Innovation: How to Develop the MVP
  • Product Market Fit – Learning the Human Xperience
  • Customer Acquisition: Fundamentals and Funnels
  • Revenue Models: Touchpoints of Value Exchange

Higher Net Worth

The median net worth for Black business owners is 12x higher than Black non-business owners.

Greater capital returns

Startups with ethnically diverse founders typically return more capital to investors.
Diverse Hiring Practice
Black businesses are more likely to hire diverse employees regardless of the diversity of the surrounding area.

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