The non-profit initiative Black Ambition was announced last December, with Pharrell saying at the time that “recent events and tragedies” had again shown the “always existent” divisions in the American experience. With Black Ambition, Pharrell said when announcing the initiative, the aim is to boost the “pipeline of talented entrepreneurs” while also closing opportunity and wealth gaps.
Since launching in 2020, Black Ambition has received more than 1,700 applications, from which 34 finalists were chosen. From there, more than 200 of the highest scoring applicants were also given access to mentorship opportunities. Finalists, meanwhile, received personal mentors and pitch coaches, as well as introductions to venture capitalists and investors.
“These are the founders I dreamed would represent Black Ambition,” Pharrell said in a statement released Wednesday. “Today we celebrate their determination, resourcefulness and creativity. Because of Black Ambition, the world will be much more equitable. More people of color can pursue their ventures and get what they need to thrive. There’s been too much disparity and discrimination. Black Ambition will continue to create and push for more seats at the table, so that your talent, not your color, determines your results.”
The grand prize winner, Livegistics, will be awarded $1 million. The Black Ambition HBCU grand prize winner, Dosso Beauty, will get $250,000. Nine other teams will also receive prizes of more than $100,000, while all 34 finalists are being given awards of no less than $15,000.
Last month, Pharrell was announced to be partnering with Chanel for another mentorship-focused program, this time a two-part program with a focus on helping emerging talent in the business sector.