Pharrell Williams Black Ambition to Award $3 Million in Prize Money to Innovative Black and Hispanic Entrepreneurs



In his mission to close the opportunity and wealth gap, Pharrell Williams is offering $3 million in prize awards to empower Black & Hispanic entrepreneurs through his non-profit initiative, Black Ambition. Its annual Black Ambition Prize Competition—which opened for applications March 1 through May 8— provides mentorship, resources, connections, and up to $3 million dollars in Prize awards to founders innovating in consumer products and services, media and entertainment, healthcare, technology, and Web 3.0 industries.

“We’ve accomplished so much in such a short time, and it’s been amazing to see our impact so far. Every year just gets better,” said Founder Pharrell Williams of the three-year-old competition. “It’s not just about creating space for our Black, Hispanic and HBCU entrepreneurs, it’s about equity, it’s about giving them the tools, resources and hands-on mentorship to excel uninterrupted. I am constantly blown away by the ideas and businesses that our applicants have developed and created.”

The grand prize winner will receive a $1 million prize along with mentorship, resources, and connections to additional investors and funding. Winning recipients will also attend town hall meetings with Pharrell and receive life coaching and therapeutic workshops, both in groups and 1-on-1, encouraging a holistic career approach. Previous participating founders have shared that they are now more confident in pitching their business to other investors and are grateful for the opportunity to meet new investors through Black Ambition’s network and invite-only company events.

The competition says it is seeking those who think big and are building the world-changing companies of tomorrow. Businesses must be committed to transforming the landscape in their communities, in their hiring practices and in their contribution to giving back and uplifting those around them.

In addition to the grand prize winner, at least fifteen additional teams will receive prize awards from $15k-$250k. All awardees receive bi-weekly office hours with leaders in marketing, PR, and brand building with global brands such as Heineken, Snapchat, Netflix, and other participating companies.

Felecia Hatcher, CEO of Black Ambition, states, “As we approach year three of the Black Ambition Prize, we continue to build on our legacy of supporting and empowering Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs to achieve unparalleled success, this year presents even greater urgency with reports showing a drastic decline in funding for diverse founders in the venture space.  The work that we’re doing is more important than ever. This year’s Prize is designed to provide a plethora of resources and opportunities to Black, Hispanic, and HBCU founders, allowing them to transform their innovative ideas into successful and impactful businesses.”

To be eligible for the Black Ambition Prize, applicants must have, or aspire to achieve, a national or global business reach for their product and or service and have at least one founder or co-founder that identifies as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/a/Latinx – a member of the founding team is defined as having a senior role, such as VP or C-level role. The grand prize winner will receive a $1 million prize and at least fifteen additional teams will receive prize awards from $15k-$250k.

In support of historically Black colleges and universities (“HBCUs”), Black Ambition has launched an HBCU Pre-Accelerator Program. The grand prize winner will be awarded up to $200,000, with additional teams receiving smaller prizes.

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