Today, Black Ambition founder Pharrell Williams announced the winners of the Black Ambition and Black Ambition HBCU (Historically Black College and University) Prizes during the initiative’s Prize Celebration.
“These are the founders I dreamed would represent Black Ambition. 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,” said Pharrell Williams. “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 winner of the $1 million grand prize, according to Billboard, is Livegistics, which features a collective of software developers, accounting professionals, and former construction managers that used their combined expertise to create a new cloud platform for civil projects.
Another winner, Dosso Beauty — a graduate of Hampton University, an HBCU — received $250,000 for her hypoallergenic braiding hair company, according to 10WAVY.com.
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) July 13, 2021
Cash prizes ranged from $50,000 to $1 million. All 34 finalists in the competition received $10,000. Nine other companies won $50,000 or more each — including BeeReaders, who won $250,000; PaperAI, who won the HBCU $50,000 prize; and Emagine Solutions Technology, who won $100,000.
The goal of Black Ambition is, according to its official website, to provide opportunities for Black and Latinx-led companies.
“[We are] a non-profit initiative working to close the opportunity and wealth gap through entrepreneurship. We invest capital and resources in high-growth startups founded by Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs historically left out of traditional investment funnels are building the companies of tomorrow,” writes the company.
As with last year’s event, this year’s Black Ambition Awards was hosted virtually and included remarks from Pharrell Williams himself. It remains unclear when the awards ceremony will return to “in-person” meetings again, or whether it will exclusively be held virtually in the future.
Black Ambition is supported by funding from adidas, Chanel, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation, Tony’s Chocolonely, and the Visa Foundation. Individual donors include Ron Conway/SV Angel and Jonah Peretti.
Eligibility for the next Prize competition will be announced later this year.