Black Ambition Pledge

The truth is, Black Ambition is limitless, access is not. Black Ambition is 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, and we all have a united stake in opening opportunity.

Black Ambition is more than access to capital, we’re a network of leaders. We are thrilled that you are a part of our ambitious endeavor to transform the face of entrepreneurship. Circles by Betaworks Studios is an opportunity to be part of a peer mentorship program designed to support founders and decode the uncoded. Consistent with the vision of Black Ambition, we are asking all Circles participants and mentors to agree to the following principles.

What is Circles?

Circles provide mentorship, support, and guidance.
  • Mentorship for founders, CEOs, and company leaders. 
  • Intimate, confidential, bi-monthly support groups led by an experienced facilitator.
  • Connection with other startup leaders who understand where you are coming from and are experiencing similar successes and challenges.
  • A safe place to have real conversations.
  • Brainstorming and problem solving.
  • A private digital network, on-demand chat support, and access to invite-only events and sessions with thought leaders and successful executives.

Cohorts

  • Each Circle will include 5-8 participants and one mentor.
  • Circles are curated based on industry, stage, issues/needs and time zones. Founders are grouped along with similar companies/products/services but not with potential competitors.
  • Between meetings, Circles will stay connected via the Black Ambition Slack via private cohort channels.

Mentors

  • Each group will be led by an experienced entrepreneur who has personal experience leading and developing businesses. Mentors include current and former executives at companies like WeWork, Apple, Viacom, YouTube, Dots, Salon, AOL, Microsoft, and more.
  • Mentors are a resource and a guide — they are not coaches. Their role is to share their own experiences and facilitate the discussion among the Circle members.
  • Connection witMentors are available throughout the duration of the program (including between Circle meetings) to field questions and direct participants to the relevant resources made available by Black Ambition and Betaworks Studios. h other startup leaders who understand where you are coming from and are experiencing similar successes and challenges.

Meetings

  • Each Circle will meet 2x per month, for 75 minutes. 
  • All participants should attend meetings with their video on, with all noise and visual distractions minimized.
  • At the first meeting, participants will be introduced to their cohort, review the Black Ambition Pledge and agree to any additional rules for their specific group.
  • Commitment is important: participants are expected to join all scheduled meetings.
Sample meeting topics:
  • Fundraising and pitching to investors
  • Growth strategy
  • Branding, marketing, and advertising
  • Hiring, team building, and company culture
  • Balancing work and personal challenges
  • Connection-building through networks
  • Those tough questions you can’t or don’t want to discuss with your team, co-founder, board, or partner

Our Mindset

  • We believe that entrepreneurship should be inclusive, and we are creating a space where belonging is integral. We listen to others and treat everyone with respect.
  • Equity is our priority, and we know that change sometimes makes people uncomfortable. We are committed to doing what’s right, not what is comfortable. We set, and act with, the highest ethical standards.
  • We embrace innovation and celebrate creativity. We are searching for what’s next, not what’s always been done.
  • We serve the entrepreneurs poised to change the world with the gravity they deserve. 

Our Principles

  • Confidentiality
    We expect you will come across ideas that are exciting, compelling, innovative, and commercially viable. We ask that you support all to succeed with their business ideas by listening respectfully and providing quality feedback and counsel. We ask that you keep any information shared within Circles meetings (e.g., ideas, concepts, designs) confidential. 
  • Community
    We seek to build a community that cultivates a sense of belonging and is actively anti-racist. We are all accountable for addressing the asymmetries that exist towards building brighter, stronger and more diverse communities. 
  • Commitment
    Our collective success requires collective participation and presence. Your perspective is valuable to Black Ambition and will impact the motivation and outcomes of your Circle. For these reasons, we ask that you attend all scheduled meetings to your best ability and communicate with your mentor in the case of an emergency. We also ask that you do your best to minimize distractions and give your attention to your Circle.
  • Communication
    We seek to cultivate a culture of learning and growth. We look forward to your feedback about Black Ambition, and we will similarly share feedback with you. If you have any questions throughout your work with Black Ambition, please ask. We will do our best to address your questions in a timely fashion.