Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Pharrell Williams Launches $250,000 Black Ambition HBCU Prize

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams, whom is known for man things like Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer, also an entrepreneur. Understanding the challenges entrepreneurs and a desire to help, Pharrell has announced the launch of his new nonprofit called Black Ambition. The goal of the initiative is to help Black start-up founders reach their personal and business goals.

“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,” Williams said in a statement, noting that minorities in the U.S. have always encountered barriers to success but was even more emphasized by recent events and tragedies.

In line with that, the nonprofit created The Black Ambition Prize, a competition wherein chosen startup founders are provided seed capital, pitch feedback, and mentorship. A grand prize winner will receive up to $1 million in funding, while at least 9 other teams receive consolation prizes.

There is also The Black Ambition HBCU Prize, which is particularly for current and former HBCU students, wherein the grand prize winners will receive up to $250,000 in funding.

Applicants for both prizes must be Black or Latino with a focus on tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products and services. One of Black Ambition's goal is “for inclusive entrepreneurship to be the new normal.”

Moreover, Williams believe that the program will not only support entrepreneurs with fresh ideas but also build a strong partnership between them.

“We want to lift our HBCUs because they lift so many of us,” said Williams. “So, if we are going to do this, we need to do this together.”

For more information about Black Ambition and/or to join, visit

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