TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Aspiring entrepreneurs could have a chance to win thousands of dollars thanks to a partnership between HBCUs like Florida A&M University and Grammy-winning artist Pharrell Williams.
On Wednesday, FAMU administration and Williams announced the launch of Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative that aims to serve as a launching pad for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.
At the heart of the initiative are two prize competitions: The Black Ambition HBCU Prize and the Black Ambition Prize.
The Black Ambition HBCU Prize competition offers prizes and mentorship for current and former students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as they form startup companies in the areas of technology, design, health care and consumer product services.
The grand prize winner will receive up to $250,000 and at least nine additional teams will receive smaller prizes.
The goal is to address the Black and Latinx wealth gap by creating entrepreneurship opportunities for HBCU students and former students. It will also provide mentorship, which Williams called the “strategic scaffolding,” that enables talented entrepreneurs to succeed.
“With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources,” said Williams.
The other competition, The Black Ambition Prize, aims to find, support, and seed early-stage companies in tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products and services.
The grand prize winner will receive up to a $1 million prize and at least nine additional teams will receive smaller prizes.
In July 2021, the two competitions will culminate in teams vying for these prizes by presenting to judges and investors.
For more information on Black Ambition, competition eligibility and how to apply, click here.