If you’re an entrepreneur looking for funding opportunities for your project, there are prizes and in-kind support to USA entrepreneurs affiliated with HBCUs to support business ventures. Funding is intended for businesses in one of the following categories: technology, design, consumer products and services, and healthcare.
At least one of the founding members of the team must identify as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx. In addition to cash prizes, applicants may also receive investments, mentoring, and access to a speech coach and graphic designer.
Black Ambition is a fiscally-sponsored project of PolicyLink.
Ventures must be focused in one of the following categories:
- Consumer Products and Services: “Goods or services sold to consumers for their own use or enjoyment and not as means for further economic production activity.” (Investopedia)
- Design: Businesses that include but are not limited to ventures specializing in wearable (apparel, footwear, fashion), physical (product design, transportation, material, and architectural), and digital (VR, audio) items that deliver creative solutions for particular needs.
- Healthcare: Businesses that provide medical services, manufacture medical equipment, provide medical insurance, or otherwise facilitate the provision of healthcare to patients.
- Tech: “Businesses revolving around the manufacturing of electronics, creation of software, computers or products and services relating to information technology.” (Investopedia)
Entrants must meet certain requirements to qualify for the following prize tracks:
- Business Concept Track: Only Ventures that, as of the date of Entry through and including the date of winner selection, have generated no revenue and raised no dilutive funding will be eligible to compete in the “Business Concept” track.
- Early Business Track: Only Ventures that have (i) made progress against their concept (e.g., a working prototype, minimum viable product), as of the date of Entry; and (ii) generated less than one million dollars ($1,000,000 USD) in total dilutive funding, as of the date of Entry, through and including the date of winner selection, will be eligible to compete in the “Early Business” track.
Black Ambition’s focus is on Black and Latinx entrepreneurs from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
– Current undergraduate or graduate students (part-time or full time)
– Recent Alumni (graduated within the last 2 years)
– Former students (attended in last 2 years, with at least one year of course credits)
– Award totals reflect the grand prize amount in the category. This is a tiered Prize, and multiple teams will be selected to receive funding at different levels. Eligible applicants can only apply to one of the two Black Ambition HBCU Prize tracks.
– The Black Ambition HBCU Business Concept track is for ventures that have not raised any revenue or dilutive funding to date. This category is for projects that have identified a unique and relevant challenge. The team has ideas to frame better solutions towards solving that challenge or set of challenges. These ventures will compete for up to $50,000 in funding.
– The Black Ambition HBCU Early Business track is for ventures that have raised no more than $1M in dilutive funding to date. – This category is for projects that have shown progress against the venture concept (tested the concept, working prototype, minimum viable product). These ventures will compete for up to $250,000 in funding.
– Prizes will be awarded as cash and, in some instances, investments. Any earnings from investments will be used to support Black Ambition’s ability to offer Prizes to future entrepreneurs.
– Launch date: December 2, 2020, 06:00:00 EST
– Deadline date: February 18, 2021, 21:00:00 EST
– Teams will know whether they have been selected for the semi-finalist round within 2-3 months of the Entry Deadline, on or about May 3, 2021.
These two premier prize competitions will culminate annually in a major national event where a select group of high-potential entrepreneurs will present in front of an audience of luminary judges and investors and be awarded cash grants. In addition to this event, Black Ambition will seek to connect the most promising entrepreneurs to venture and angel investors, and accelerator opportunities.
Eligible entrants, competing as teams, may submit their entries between December 2, 2020, at 6:00 AM Pacific Standard Time (“PST”) and February 18, 2021, at 6:00 PM (PST) (the “Entry Period”), and selected teams will be asked to take part in educational and evaluation activities as part of the judging process in May and June of 2021; the finalists will be asked to present their business at a “Demo Day Event” on or about July 15, 2021.