So Ambitious HBCU Pre-Accelerator Program

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Fueling Bold Ideas at HBCUs
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 is working to close America’s wealth and opportunity gaps through an annual prize competition and a series of training initiatives for entrepreneurs at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and, more broadly, Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs across the country.
What is the So Ambitious Pre-Accelerator Program?
Black Ambition’s So Ambitious Pre-Accelerator Program is an 8-week, cross-institutional program powered by ACT House that provides entrepreneurship education, leadership development and ecosystem connections for HBCU students and recent alumni to validate, refine and scale early-stage business ventures across technology, media and entertainment, healthcare, AI and/or consumer products and services.

This virtual 8-week pre-accelerator program will address the following topics:

Program Details

  • How to Develop and MVP
  • Positioning Your Product in the Market
  • Branding and Marketing Your Business
  • Understanding Your Customer & Market Opportunity
  • Designing for Equity
  • Revenue and Financial Models
  • Mastering Your Pitch & Building an Investor Timeline
Participants will benefpit from:
  • Cohort-based programming designed for HBCU students & alumni
  • Exclusive network building opportunities with leaders in business, technology, & innovation
  • Mentoring from technical experts & experienced entrepreneurs
  • Access to $200k in funding support via a virtual Demo Day and pitch competition adjudicated by real investors and startup champions

Space is limited to 100 HBCU-affiliated entrepreneurs. Apply here. Applications are due by July 15th at 9pm EST.

Questions? Reach out to HBCUpre-accelerator@blackambitionprize.com

Eligibility Criteria
To Apply, you MUST be:
  • A current student (undergraduate or graduate) or recent alumni within 5 years (graduated or departed without degree conferral) of an accredited HBCU.

  • In the early stage of your for-profit venture, currently scaling or developing your MVP and have not raised more than $1m in dilutive funding to date.

  • Able to up to two 60-minute content sessions each week over the course of 8 weeks (content will be recorded)

  • At least 18 years of age
Our Ideal Cohort

Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by July 25th. For 8 weeks, between August 1- Sept 30th, participants are expected to commit up to four hours per week to attend content sessions, featured discussions and 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.The program will culminate with a $200k pitch competition for top participants.

This program will be Virtual.
This 8-week program is free and sponsored by Black Ambition.
No, your business does not need to be incorporated to participate.

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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