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Black Ambition Gives $2.5M to Startups

Mighty Dream: Dinner with a Purpose Awards $2.5M to Startups

On the final night of Mighty Dream Forum, Pharrell Williams recognized young minority entrepreneurs through his nonprofit Black Ambition. At the Dinner with a Purpose, Black Ambition give away $2.5 million to startups.

The top prize, $1 million, went to Pound Cake Cosmetics. Second place, $250,000, was presented to Skiimoo Tech, while $200,000 went to THE MOVE, an app for college students, which was in the Historically Black College and University category.

Black Ambition also awarded smaller prizes to 28 entrepreneurs ranging from $15,000 to $100,000. Emmanuel Perez ’21 was among those who received awards. His company, Novus Security Inc, received $50,000. The company builds anti-phishing tools within the web3 space. Additionally, Perez and company will receive a 3-month mentorship that will provide strategic relationships, programming, and tools for company growth, resilient networks and founder well-being.

Before the presentations, Pharrell praised Norfolk State University President Javaune Adams-Gaston as a visionary. “We have to thank the incredible Dr. J and the beautiful, beautiful people and fertile ground that is one of the greatest HBCUs in this country and the world, Norfolk State University.”

“Because when it was just a molecule of an idea—it was Elephant in the Room at that time—Dr. J raised her hand and opened up that campus and allowed us to plant a seed on that fertile ground that is a HBCU, and here we are tonight.”

Over the three-day Mighty Dream Forum, Norfolk State University was front and center. Follow the links below to see the events where the University’s presence and participation were felt.

Mighty Dream Forum included networking events, a local pitch competition, interactive learning sessions, a community block party and concerts in which some of the most successful business leaders, venture capitalists and artists participated, worked and mingled with attendees.

At its heart, Mighty Dream says that it seeks to create structural change through representation in entrepreneurship and venture capital while shining a light on HBCUs.