HAMPTON, Va. (December 9, 2020) - Hampton University is participating in the newly launched Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative from Hampton Roads native, musical icon, and philanthropist, Pharrell Williams. Black Ambition provides a bridge to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are launching tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products/services start-ups.
“Entrepreneurship is such an important part of our economy, particularly now during the COVID pandemic, and especially in Hampton Roads. We look forward to seeing the innovative projects that our Hamptonians come up with for this initiative,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Black Ambition will better position underrepresented Black and Latinx entrepreneurs to build generational wealth that will transform the American landscape. Williams has partnered with companies and organizations including Adidas, Chanel, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation, Tony’s Chocolonely and the Visa Foundation.
“We need a voice…and in order for us to have a voice, we need to have some ownership,” Williams said earlier this week during a virtual conference call. “We thought the most fertile ground (for business ideas) would be HBCUs. We want to lift our HBCUs. They lift so many of us and they deserve to be in lights.”
As part of the launch, Williams announced two prize competitions:
The Black Ambition Prize
The Black Ambition Prize provides a platform for eligible entrepreneurs to access growth capitol, pitch feedback, and mentorship. Eligible applicants consist of Black and Latinx founders building across the distinct categories:
Consumer Products and Services – Design – Healthcare – Tech
Black Ambition’s goal is to fund bold ideas, and to help reduce barriers to capital. Black and Latinx entrepreneurs will be eligible to receive mentorship and win up to $1,000,000 in funding.
The Black Ambition HBCU Prize
The Black Ambition HBCU Prize taps into the vibrant and brilliant HBCU community, helping fund high potential ideas with our capital that can spark and support the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. The Black Ambition HBCU Prize contains two tracks – in on, entrepreneurs will be eligible for up to $50,000 in funding and in the other, entrepreneurs will be eligible for up to $250,000 in funding. Entrepreneurs in both tracks will be eligible for mentorship.
Teams must include at least one current HBCU undergraduate or graduate student (full-time or part-time), one recent alum within two years of graduation, or one former student within two years of attending the institution who is a member of the founding team. This HBCU-affiliated individual must identify as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/a/Latinx. Register here to join the Black Ambition Team for a webinar at 7 p.m. EST on Dec. 16, 2020.
For more information on Black Ambition, competition eligibility, and how to apply, please visit www.blackambitionprize.com and follow us on Facebook (@blackambitionprize), Twitter (@blackambitionpz) and Instagram (@blackambitionprize). Black Ambition is a fiscal sponsorship project of PolicyLink. The deadline to submit applications is Feb. 18, 2021. If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.