Seven Southeast startups could win $1 million as 2022 Black Ambition Finalists

By Shannon Smith, Teknovation Assistant Editor, PYA

If you’ve ever started a business, you know that any amount of capital investment or funding makes an impact. Now imagine what you could do with a $1 million investment.

That will soon be one start-up’s reality, as finalists have been announced for Pharell Williams’ 2022 Black Ambition Prize.

The singer, songwriter, and producer launched Black Ambition in 2021 as a way to invest in Black and Latinx start-ups.

According to the Black Ambition website, “certain communities have historically, deliberately, and painfully been excluded from access to growth capital for their businesses. With the Black Ambition Prize, we see a future where ideas flourish, pathways to success are elevated, and more Black and Latinx entrepreneurs are better positioned to build generational wealth that will transform the American landscape.”

Earlier this year, 249 semifinalists were selected and are now nearing the end of their “3-month-Mentor program, an initiative that provides founders with peer-to-peer learning, curated training opportunities, and networking opportunities.”

Now, the top 50 move on to the chance of winning one of seven cash prizes. Those include:

  • One $1,000,000 grand prize
  • One $250,000 second-place prize
  • Five $50,000 prizes for runners-up

Seven of these finalists are in the Southeast and can win not only the $1 million grand prize but also a $25,000 prize for being voted crowd favorite. You can vote here for your favorite through October 21. Finalists in our area include:

Start-ups eligible for the Black Ambition Prize must have Black or Latinx founders and fall into the following categories: Consumer Products and Services, Media and Entertainment, Healthcare, Tech, and Web 3.0. This mentorship and prize competition is for “ventures that have shown progress against the venture concept (tested the concept, working prototype, minimum viable product) and have raised no more than $1M in dilutive funding.”

According to their website, “During the inaugural Prize cycle in 2021, Black Ambition awarded $3.2M in funding support to 34 founders and supported an additional 250 entrepreneurs with mentorship to strengthen their ventures. Since the 2021 Prize competition, Black Ambition founders have gone on to collectively raise over $50M.”

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