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Black Ambition: Apply to the Pharrell Williams Initiative for High-Growth Startups & Compete for Up to $1M

Black Ambition

The Black Ambition foundation is receiving applications to the Black Ambition Prize 2021 to close the opportunity and wealth gap of Blacks and Latinx through entrepreneurship.

The context Black Ambition operates in, is that, the Black and Latinx communities have historically, deliberately and painfully been excluded from access to growth capital for their business ventures.

They therefore see this prize as a future where ideas flourish, pathways to success are elevated and more Black and Latinx entrepreneurs are better positioned to build generational wealth that is going to transform the American landscape.

The non-profit organization invests capital and resources in high-growth startups founded by Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. It believes these group of entrepreneurs who have historically been left out of traditional investment funnels are building tomorrow’s companies.

The Black Ambition Prize

The objective of the Black Ambition Prize is to help change and open opportunity to ideas that will shape the future. It is a tiered opportunity to compete for $1,000,000 and learn with a network of talented founders and business leaders across sectors.

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There will multiple teams selected for funding at different levels. Prizes will be awarded both in cash and investments. All earnings from investments will be reinvested in Black Ambition’s ability to offer Prizes to competing entrepreneurs in the future.

Black Ambition

The Prize is an initiative of Pharrell Williams, a recording artiste, producer and entrepreneur, who explains that,

“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.”

Who qualifies?

The Prize is for startup ventures showing progress against the venture concept (tested the concept, working prototype, minimum viable product) and have raised less than $1 million in dilutive funding.

Eligible applicants should consist of Black and Latinx founders functioning across these categories:

  • Technology
  • Consumer Products and Services
  • Healthcare
  • Design

For African startup founders willing to apply, at least one founding member must be headquartered in the U.S. and the business(es) must be based in the U.S.

The prize process

After the deadline for submission of application draws to a close which is the 18th of February, 2021, the selected semifinalists will participate in a mentorship cohort refining their application and advancing their business.

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Grand prize winners will be announced at the Black Ambition Demo Day.

  • Semi-finalists to be announced and peer circles begin in April
  • Finalists are announced and mentorship begins in June
  • National Demo Day takes place in July

Adidas, VISA and Chanel as some the partners for the prize.

Find out more about the Black Ambition Prize and apply here.

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Opportunities

The Africa Startup Initiative Program In Search of 10 Startups Disrupting the Tech Space. Get €15K in Cash

Africa Startup Initiative Program

The Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) by Startupbootcamp AfriTech is looking for the nextgen of startups disrupting industry sectors including FinTech, InsureTech, AgriTech, eCommerce, Digital Health, and CleanTech.

This programme is ideal for startups with a mobile tech focus. It is currently backed by anchor partner Telecel Group and additional corporate partners are lining up to engage with startups through pilots and Proof of Concepts projects that can open the doors for longer term commercial agreements.

According to Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP), it intends scouting within the next month and the corporate Founding Partners will help determine the key focus areas of the startup applicants.

Corporate Partners are also invited to join the selection committee which determines the final 10 startups that participate in the 3 month ASIP Accelerator Program. This is a unique opportunity to bring startup innovation into your organization, and SBC AfriTech will help facilitate successful pilot projects with your organization.

Africa Startup Initiative Program

Since 2017, the programme has accelerated 29 African startups that have set an incredibly high standard for the next program, where 90% are still operating and scaling at impressive rates, 40% have raised follow-on rounds of funding and 50% of the startups raising capital have closed rounds at valuations more than 10 times since Demo Day.

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This is a 3 month intensive program designed to support entrepreneurs scale their industry-changing technology businesses.

Applications will soon open and the 10 startups in the program will receive benefits valued at more than €500,000, including credits from AWS, Google Cloud Services, and many more. SBC also invests €15,000 in cash.

Other benefits in the Africa Startup Initiative Program include;

Investor Access – Where you meet the most active VCs and Angel investors in your industry from around the world

Masterclasses – Expert-led sessions covering all scaling fundamentals – from business model canvas, lean methodology to fundraising

Living Expenses – €15,000 in cash per team to cover living expenses during the program. Find out more on the benefits.

Applications to the Africa Startup Initiative Programme will open on 15th March and close on the 25th April. Demo Day is 23rd of September, 2021. NOTE: StartupBootcamp takes 8% equity in the companies. Find out more.

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