Black Ambition Prize Competition 2023

Bold Ideas, Uninterrupted

BLACK AMBITION is a set of Prizes to fund bold ideas and companies led by Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs.

We know there are great business ideas that don’t surface in traditional investment processes. Prizes provide an opportunity for a broader set of entrepreneurs to share their ideas, and can spark innovation and dialogue across participants, audiences, and investors that would otherwise not be connected. The Black Ambition Prizes are designed to benefit a broad range of applicants beyond those that receive funding — hundreds of teams will get access to peer support and mentorship to refine their ventures, and all eligible applicants will receive feedback on their idea.

We Invest In Bold Ideas. The Black Ambition Prize seeks to strengthen pathways to entrepreneurship, increase access to capital and expand pathways to growth, and highlight the talents of Black and Hispanic founders.

Teams applying for the Black Ambition Prize must have at least one founder or co-founder that identifies as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/a/. A member of the founding team is defined as having a VP or C-Suite level role. Eligible ventures must 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).

To learn more about eligibility requirements for the Black Ambition Prize, please visit our website . For additional support to complete your application please refer to our application resource guide.

The prize

Over the past few months, we have been working to identify a high-impact way to structure Black Ambition’s prizes for entrepreneurs – with the goal of providing exceptional entrepreneurs with significant capital to scale their ventures. After significant discussion with our attorneys about the impact of this approach on Black Ambition’s charitable purpose and applicants, we finalized the terms for this year’s prizes:

  • All awards will be given in exchange for a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE) instrument, with the potential exception that awards for the Black Ambition HBCU Prize below $100,000 to current students may be grants
  • However, Black Ambition will only count 50% of the prize award, up to a maximum of $250,000, toward the Investment Amount in the Black Ambition SAFE – in other words, 50% of the award will not provide economic value to Black Ambition
  • The venture must be validly formed as a legal entity (e.g., C Corporation, LLC, etc.) within sixty (60) days of completion of Financial Counseling that is provided to prize winners after Demo Day and convert to a C corporation at or prior to its initial Equity Financing.

For Black Ambition HBCU applicants:

    • Eligible early-stage businesses will compete for up to $200,000.

For Black Ambition Prize applicants:

    • Eligible early-stage businesses will compete for up to $1,000,000.

Eligibility criteria

Black Ambition Prize: Businesses in the field of consumer products and services*, healthcare, technology, Web 3.0 ventures, and/or media and entertainment are eligible to apply.

  • Consumer products and services – “businesses that sell goods sold to consumers for their own use or enjoyment and not as means for further economic production activity” (Source: Investopedia)
  • *Consumer products include consumer packaged goods, home goods, food/beverage, and fashion/apparel, but does not include music
  • 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” (Source: Investopedia)
  • Media & Entertainment: businesses focused on meeting consumer needs in creative industries inclusive of cinema, television, radio, theater, publishing, gaming, advertising and music.
  • Web 3.0: businesses offering web-based products or services that leverage artificial intelligence, speech recognition, the metaverse, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and/or augmented or virtual reality technologies to empower internet users to search for, organize, and process data.

Note: Black Ambition is not focused on highly capital-intensive businesses that require significant long-term investment (e.g., biotechnology, pharmaceuticals)

Black Ambition HBCU prize: Eligible teams must include at least one of the following as a member of the founding team:

  • A team lead who is a current HBCU undergraduate or graduate student (full-time or part-time*)
  • A team lead who is a recent alum within 5 years of graduation
  • A team lead who is a former student within 5 years of attending the institution
  • The team lead must identify as Black/African/African American and/or Hispanic/Latino/a/Latinx.
  • A team lead is defined as having a Vice President or C-Suite level role (i.e., the CEO or an executive-level direct report to the CEO).

*Part-time students must have completed at least one year of course credits by time of application.

Black Ambition Prize Competition 2023

Black Ambition Prize Competition 2023


May 8, 2023
Organizer Black Ambition
Website Visit website
Africa, Americas, Antarctica Region, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Micronesia
Sectors Sector agnostic