Pharrell & FAMU launch ‘Black Ambition’ for HBCU Entrepreneurs

Pharrell Williams has announced Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative that aims to provide a bridge to success for Black and Latino entrepreneurs who are launching tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products/services start-up.

“We need a voice,” Williams said. “We have the smallest slice of the American pie, in terms of ownership. The Asian dollar stays in this community for about 30 days; our Jewish brothers and sisters, their dollar stays in every community for 20 days. The African-American dollar stays in its community for six hours, because we don’t own much.”

As part of the launch, Williams announced two prize competitions — the Black Ambition HBCU Prize and the Black Ambition Prize – which culminate in one major national event.

The Black Ambition HBCU Prize offers prizes and mentorship for current and former students at HBCUs as they develop seed or early-stage ideas and launch companies in tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products and services. The grand prize winner will receive up to $250,000 and at least nine additional teams will receive smaller prizes.

The prize will launch with a nationwide call for applications from eligible founder teams. Williams stressed: “Whether it’s a $250,000 Prize, or it’s a $15,000 Prize. If you win something, you are going to get mentorship, the strategic scaffolding, that you’re going to need to make sure that we are you know setting you up for the odds to be in your favor.”

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