APPLY: Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition Announces Its Third Annual Prize Competition To Award $1M

Pharrell Williams and Felecia Hatcher
Pharrell Williams and Felecia Hatcher



Felecia Hatcher announced the arrival of the 2023 Black Ambition Prize in 2022.


Today, she and Pharrell Williams’ nonprofit effort has relaunched, not only with a prize competition but also with a new program for Black and brown entrepreneurs.

According to a news release issued on March 1, Black Ambition stated that applications for the third annual Black Ambition Prize competition are now open until May 8.


The top prize winner will get a million dollars, while at least 15 other teams will receive prizes ranging from $15,000 to $250,000.

According to the press announcement, Black Ambition has awarded $6 million in funding and resources to 65 prize winners.


Courtesy of Black Ambition


“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,” Williams said in a press statement. “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.”

What’s more, finalists receive guidance from top-tier mentors to support their ventures.

“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,” Hatcher said in a press release. “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, participants must:

-Have or aspire to achieve a national or global business reach for their product and/or service

-Have at least one founder or co-founder that identifies as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/a/Latinx

-Have a member of the founding team that is defined as having a senior role, such as a VP or C-level role

Additionally, Black Ambition will provide HBCU students and alumni with the opportunity to win an HBCU Prize. The grand prize winner is set to receive up to $200,000.

To be eligible, teams must have:

-At least one current HBCU undergraduate or graduate student (full-time or part-time)

-One recent alum within five years of graduation or one former student within five years of attending the institution who is a member of the founding team

-An HBCU-affiliated individual that identifies as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/a/Latinx

In addition to the prize competition, Black Ambition has launched an HBCU pre-accelerator program. The press release detailed that Black Ambition is co-sponsoring an eight-week So Ambitious HBCU Pre-Accelerator Program, launched in partnership with 3 Day Startup and Cinematica Labs.

Applications open on March 1 and close on March 20 for the accelerator program.

To learn more, click here.

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