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Diverse Innovators Shine at Pharrell’s Black Ambition Prize 2023: Discover the Champions

todayNovember 13, 2023

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Image of Felecia Hatcher, CEO of Black Ambition, Leo Creer, Co-Founder and CTO of Expert IEP, Grand Prize Winner Antoinette Banks, CEO and Founder of Expert IEP, and Pharrell Williams, Founder of Black Ambition (from left to right)

The third annual Black Ambition Prize Demo Day, held on November 9th at Spring Studios in New York, was not just an event; it was a celebration of innovation, diversity, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. This year’s grand prize of $1 million was awarded to Antoinette Banks, CEO and Founder of Expert IEP, marking a significant milestone in the journey of supporting Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs.

Empowering Innovation: The Grand Prize Winner Antoinette Banks, with her groundbreaking app Expert IEP, stood out among over 2,000 applicants. Expert IEP is a parent-focused application that enhances Individualized Education Plans with predictive AI for children with disabilities. This win is more than just a financial boost; it’s a recognition of the potential impact of technology in special education, especially for underserved communities.

Highlighting Top Innovators Black Ambition’s commitment to fostering diversity in entrepreneurship was further exemplified by other top winners. ECOMSPACES, an all-in-one e-commerce solution, and Monocle, a social e-reader fostering community engagement in reading, received $250,000 and $200,000, respectively. These awards reflect Black Ambition’s dedication to nurturing ventures across various sectors, including Consumer Products, Healthcare, Media, and Technology.

A Testament to Diversity and Excellence The event underscored the thriving ecosystem of Black and Hispanic entrepreneurship. With participants from diverse backgrounds and industries, Black Ambition’s Demo Day was more than a competition; it was a showcase of the rich tapestry of innovative thinking and excellence in these communities.

Celebrating Over 100 Entrepreneurs Funded Since its inception in 2020, Black Ambition has funded over 100 entrepreneurs, demonstrating its significant role in bridging the opportunity gap. This year’s event was a powerful reminder of the ongoing commitment to uplift and empower minority entrepreneurs.

A Gathering of Minds The event featured an esteemed panel of judges and speakers, including industry leaders and previous winners, who shared their insights and experiences. This gathering was not just about competition but also about learning, networking, and inspiration.

More Than Just Funding Beyond the monetary awards, Black Ambition provides mentorship, resources, and access to a network of investors. This holistic approach underlines the organization’s commitment to building sustainable and successful businesses.

Conclusion Black Ambition’s 2023 Demo Day was more than a gathering; it was a milestone in the journey of Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs. This event not only celebrated the grand prize winner, Antoinette Banks, and her innovative app, Expert IEP, but also highlighted the diverse talents and ventures of numerous other winners. These entrepreneurs are shaping the future of various industries, from tech to healthcare, underlining the importance of diversity and innovation in business.

Celebrating All the Winners In addition to the top awardees, Black Ambition recognized the achievements of numerous other entrepreneurs across two tracks: the General Track and the HBCU Track. Each winner has demonstrated exceptional innovation and commitment in their respective fields. Here’s a comprehensive list of these trailblazers:

$20,000 General Track Prize Recipients:

  • BarBella Co.
  • Bea’s Bayou Skincare
  • Hamilton Perkins Collection
  • The Jefas
  • KT Winery Inc.

$50,000 General Track Prize Recipients:

  • kweliTV
  • Clymb
  • Healthy Oceans Seafood Company (Pescavore)
  • Boxtown Team
  • IndiGenius LLC (CDIAL AI)
  • Saint Miles
  • Cerobrand / Singular Care
  • Rektify AI
  • Redress

$75,000 General Track Prize Recipients:

  • Katapulte
  • Gently Soap
  • Compensate Community (WorldSafe1st Inc.)
  • KIN Apparel
  • UnDelay
  • Therapeutic Innovations

$100,000 General Track Prize Recipients:

  • The Renatural
  • Uncle Waithley’s Beverage Company, Inc.

$250,000 General Track Prize Recipient:


$1,000,000 General Track Prize Recipient:

  • Expert IEP

$20,000 HBCU Track Prize Recipients:

  • Tendaji, Inc.
  • WENITE Inc

$25,000 HBCU Track Prize Recipient:

  • Parking Pin

$50,000 HBCU Track Prize Recipients:

  • DoctorFlow
  • Scholist App
  • Venture for T.H.E.M.
  • Darknore
  • Butter’d Bodycare

$75,000 HBCU Track Prize Recipient:

  • Suds Laundry Services LLC

$100,000 HBCU Track Prize Recipient:

  • Rejuvenation

$200,000 HBCU Track Prize Recipient:

  • Monocle

Continued Support and Impact Each of these winners not only receive monetary support but also benefits from mentorship, access to resources, and networking opportunities provided by Black Ambition. This comprehensive support system exemplifies the organization’s commitment to fostering sustainable growth and success for minority entrepreneurs.

Final Thoughts The achievements of these entrepreneurs and the continuous support from Black Ambition are testaments to the power of collective effort in fostering diversity and innovation. As we look ahead to the next competition, we remain excited about the future prospects and continued success of these inspiring individuals and their ventures.

Stay Connected For more details on these remarkable entrepreneurs and their ventures, visit the Black Ambition website and follow their journey on social media. Join us in celebrating their achievements and supporting their continued success.


Written by: HYFIN

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