PHARRELL WILLIAMS’ BLACK AMBITION TO AWARD $2.5M TO ENTREPRENEURS AT ANNUAL “DEMO DAY”
Black Ambition Grand Prize Winner to Receive $1 Million Financial Award
HBCU Grand Prize Winner to Receive $250,000 Financial Award
Black Ambition is supported by funding through adidas, Billionaire Boys Club and ICECREAM in partnership with Aku, Chanel, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Jonah Peretti, Ron Conway/SV Angel, The Rockefeller Foundation, Visa Foundation, Lennar Foundation, Heineken and Moncler
Black Ambition founder Pharrell Williams revealed that he will announce this year’s Black Ambition prize winners at his multi-day Mighty Dream Forum in Virginia. Kicking off the forum on November 1st, Black Ambition will begin its annual “Demo Day” event with a showcase of trailblazing Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, awarding funding up to 31 founders. The week’s events will also feature conversations with Black Ambition Network founders and 2021 Grand Prize Winners, as well as a featured conversation with a special guest. The audience will get to hear compelling stories about the entrepreneurs’ journeys from first hearing about Black Ambition to applying and participating in the program. Black Ambition will round out the forum announcing their top prize winners at their “Dinner with a Purpose” event on November 3rd, concluding with remarks from Pharrell and CEO of Black Ambition Felecia Hatcher. The pair will award approximately $2.5M to 31 founders over the course of the 3-day forum.
Black Ambition will be hosting several panels and programming throughout the week at Mighty Dream including two corporate sponsored panels discussing how corporate DEI and CSR initiatives can be optimized to advance entrepreneurs and small business communities and a Web 3.0 focused panel discussing how web 3.0 is transforming ideas around community, proof of fandom and access to content. There will be several networking opportunities including an exclusive Funder & Founder networking reception hosted in partnership with Black Brands, as well as the “So Ambitious” Fundraising Gala where the community can come together to network and celebrate Black and Latinx excellence. Black Ambition is also partnering with Bloomberg Philanthropies Greenwood Initiative for their “Lunch & Learn” event, focused on identifying actionable strategies for bridging the racial wealth equity gap.
Black Ambition is partnering with Black Girl Ventures to bring the Pull Up & Pitch Prize Competition to Mighty Dream, where local entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win funding for their business. For tickets and more information on all the great Black Ambition activations happening at Mighty Dream, please visit: https://blackambitionprize.com/events.
This year, Black Ambition saw a 20% increase in applications from the inaugural prize cycle in 2021. During the process, 249 of the highest scoring applicants received a 3-month cohort style mentorship program – an initiative that provides founders with peer-to-peer learning, curated training opportunities, and networking opportunities. For the 2022 prize cycle, Black Ambition added two additional prize verticals, “media and entertainment” and “Web 3.” Furthermore, Williams’ clothing, accessories and lifestyle brand Billionaire Boys Club partnered with Black Ambition to support the Web 3 prizes and founder training.
A panel of luminary judges will select the winners of the top prizes. Winners are determined based on the clarity of their problem and solution, business model and customer acquisition strategies, the strength of their team, addressable market and distinctive market position and overall application. Applicants to the 2022 BA prize have generated more than $405M in revenue and raised $72M in capital to date.
“I am honored to bring Demo Day to Mighty Dream in Virginia this year,” says Black Ambition founder Pharrell Williams. “We can’t wait to show some of the top business leaders of the world our prize winners and founders and how hard they have worked to bring their ideas and dreams to life. By investing in our Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, we are laying the foundation for more incredible people to have access to the resources they need to change the world.”
“It is an honor to host the second annual Demo Day at the Mighty Dream Forum where we are awarding over $2M,” says Felecia Hatcher, CEO of Black Ambition. “We are extremely proud of this year’s cohort of innovative ventures, and we are excited to continue this legacy of supporting Black and Latinx entrepreneurs excel, uninterrupted.”
The Black Ambition grand prize winner will be awarded $1 million and the Black Ambition HBCU grand prize winner will receive $250,000. An additional cohort of 25-28 founders building scaling ventures across media and entertainment, healthcare, consumer products and services, tech and Web 3.0 will receive awards varying from $15,000-$250,000. Black Ambition’s mentorship program was designed in partnership with Cinematica Labs and is an integral part of the scaffolding support provided to finalists. The 3-month program unlocks strategic relationships, programming, and tools that promote company growth, resilient networks, and founder well-being. Mentors include Justin Bayless of Bayless Healthcare and Ten Figures; Marie Rocha of Realist Ventures; Jill Johnson from the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership; and Miles Dotson of Devland, among others.
Members of the Black Ambition Network, composed of over 3,000 high scoring early-stage ventures, have access to a variety of curated supports, guest speakers, learning programs, and networking events throughout the 1-year prize cycle. Some of the upcoming programming available to the network includes Learning Labs with Heineken, Office Hours and Cloud Credits provided by Amazon Web Services, Mental Wellness Workshops led by Evók, and a Training on Advertising Strategies led by Snapchat. Black Ambition is committed to leveling the playing field and fostering the ingenuity, determination, and resilience of underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Black Ambition empowers Black and Latinx innovators and communities to excel uninterrupted. Founded by Pharrell Williams in 2020, ventures in consumer products and services, media and entertainment, healthcare, technology and Web 3.0 are eligible to win up to $1M. In 2021, Black Ambition completed its inaugural Prize cycle, awarding funding and resources to 34 Prize finalists, and supporting an additional 250 entrepreneurs with mentorship to strengthen their ventures. Over $3.2 million dollars were awarded to finalists, and these individuals have collectively raised over $40 million dollars since receiving a Black Ambition Prize. This endeavor has 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. For more information on Black Ambition please visit, www.blackambitionprize.com