Application Guide


This guide was created to help you successfully and confidently complete the Taco Bell Ambition Accelerator 2024 application.

This guide contains information on the application questions and example answers to the long-form questions.

Not sure where to start? Try starting offline on our application questions worksheet! Click here to access the application questions worksheet in English.

You will need to submit an application online to be considered for the awards and prizes.

When you’re ready to start your application, click the button below!

Apply Here

Application Sections

The application consists of seven sections: Choose Image, Eligibility, Contact Information, About Your Idea/Initiative, Why are you excited about the Ambition Accelerator, and Parent/Guardian Consent and References!

In this section, you have the opportunity to upload a banner image and card image to your application to make it more engaging. This is optional and not required, but we strongly suggest you upload images if you can! These images can be the logo of your project, images of your project in action, and more!

These images will be public, so if there are other people present in the images, we strongly encourage you to ask them for permission before posting.

In this section, there will be 13 statements that you’ll quickly select to verify your eligibility for participating in the Taco Bell Ambition Accelerator 2024.

In this section, there will be 9 short answer questions that ask about your basic background information (name, email address, etc.)

In this section, there will be 6 long-form questions (1000 characters or less) that ask you about your project, such as what problem you’re trying to tackle. There are also 5 short answer or check-in-the-box statements about your project, such as which sector or focus your project/idea has

In this section, there will be 3 check-in the-box questions that ask you about what you are looking to gain from this experience and how you heard about the Ambition Accelerator.

You will need to list three references: adults who know you well and are familiar with your idea or project. If you are under 18 years old, one of the references will need to be a parent or guardian.

After the final entry deadline, they will receive a short survey link that will take them 5-10 minutes to fill out. It will ask them about your role in the initiative and anything exciting that has happened!

Sample Answers

The part of the application that will be the longest time commitment is the “About Your Project/Idea” section, where you answer 6 long-form questions about your project. Answering these questions can help you better understand how to communicate about your project in a clear and convincing way!

We have provided example answers and tips for each of these 6 long-form questions. Hover your mouse over the purple text in the example answers to read the tips/comments! These answers and tips are not all-inclusive, and there are many ways to write a strong application.

Give a quick description of your idea or initiative and how it works. (750 characters)

Hint: Think of it this as an elevator pitch. The best summaries are short and informative – they leave the reader with a clear idea of what problem you are addressing and how you are making an impact.

Black Girls Talk is a social enterprise created to provide a safe space for Black girls in urban areasThey provided a brief and clear sentence on what the goal of their initiative is., especially those who have faced adultification bias. We offer a supportive community and youth development resources to create equitable opportunities for exploring career paths and developing soft skillsThey explained how their initiative achieves their goal/purpose. Our programming is currently based out of New York CityThey told us the location of where their program is based out off.. The first meeting of the month is dedicated to community building and check-ins. The second meeting provides our members with the opportunity to discuss issues that are impacting them and Black girls at large. We also host a monthly guest speaker seriesThey gave us a close look at what the actual programming looks like. for members to participate in workshops and talks led by Black women who have careers in STEM, business, and activism.

* From Black Girls Talk, Taco Bell Ambition Accelerator 2022 Finalists

What is the problem you see and why are you inspired to tackle it? (1000 characters)

Hint: Try providing context about the issue you’ve identified and why it’s compelling to you - explain what motivates you to take on this challenge. Tell us what sets your approach apart, emphasizing how it challenges conventions, addresses a new aspect of the problem, or introduces a unique perspective. Try to share tangible examples of how your idea will have a real-world impact and describe how it can contribute to fostering a culture of positive change within your community.

Three years ago in Athens, I met a Pakistani woman and her son who fled tribal conflict just as my father had done 30 years earlier. Like my father, they used informal migration methods. They had even traversed mountains and drifted in the sea, arriving in the winter without even coatsThey used a powerful story to illustrate their passion for the issue.. I was shocked to hear their story, finding parallels to my father’s anecdotesThey clearly explained their personal connection to the problem. about his migration. At that moment, I realized how deeply intertwined immigrant roots like mine are with the struggle of refugees as peoples displaced from their country of originTheir passion for the problem seemed to have come naturally from their own experiences.. Since my father’s migration 30 years ago, seeking refuge has become even more difficult. Instead of providing avenues for refugees to feel welcome and the basic resources they need to rebuild their lives, refugees encounter racism and inhumane living conditions.They highlighted the problem that they are tackling. However, by supporting the rights of refugees we claim that refugees deserve to be treated with humanity and the opportunity to mend their lives after facing such great lossesThey shared how their solution will impact the lives of their target audience..

* From Duniya, Taco Bell Ambition Accelerator 2022 Finalists

How are you hoping to address the problem you identified, and what is unique or innovative about your approach? (1000 characters)

Hint: Start by explaining the unique aspects of your approach. Describe how your solution challenges the status quo, addresses a previously overlooked challenge, or provides a fresh perspective on a well-known problem. Be specific about the innovative elements of your project, whether it’s in the solution itself, the target audience you’re focusing on, or the problem you’re addressing.

I co-founded Pandion with two Native friends and mentors, Tiyana Casey and Josiah PinkhamThey briefly mentioned the team they’ve built and how the voices of the target audience are involved., to address the contemporary challenges of displacement and strengthening dissolved (eg, systemically oppressed) cultural connections and valuesThey briefly reminded the reader about the problem they are tackling.. We sought to do this in a way that is generative, by positioning Native communities, and especially youth, not as victims to be helped but as leaders whose heritage of Land-based cultural connection makes them best-positioned to address the big-picture issues we collectively faceThey stated why their solution is unique – what they’re doing that others are not., in particular anthropogenic climate change and other socio-ecological challenges. Sustained engagement with Land is central to our praxis; by running Land-based educational trips with Native educators for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous groupsThey clearly outlined what their solution consists of., we center their perspectives and build capacity. Finally, this work builds networks of relation and reciprocity between individuals, cultural groups, and organizations- building resilience in a changing worldThey discussed how their solution has a larger impact and builds community..

* From Pandion, Taco Bell Ambition Accelerator 2022 Finalists

How are you building a team around your idea? What is your plan to mobilize partners, teammates, or other collaborators to support your idea and tackle the problem you identified? (1000 characters)

Hint: Describe your plan for mobilizing others to join your initiative and leveraging your skills and resources to make this happen. Emphasize how you actively engage others and motivate them to act with your idea. Provide examples of how you’ve already involved people with your idea and how their involvement has driven positive change in your community.

We always aim to engage our community as we know collaboration can accelerate progress & impact. To spread our reach, we’ve recruited a team of 12 diverse womenThey demonstrated that they have a team that is working together to support each other and build their initiative. who believe in our cause to help with our social media presence, and our blog on our website, which has articles about women's safety & empowerment. We have monthly discussions about women’s safety & Guardial’s mission, while they reach out to their own networksThey explained how their team members activate their own networks so that the impact is multiplied. to continue the conversation. So far, Guardial has connected with people from all over the world through customer validation surveys, interviews, & prototype testing. Through our surveys/interviews, we’ve reached 500+ people in our target market.They used statistics to powerfully highlight their reach with their target audience. They used statistics to powerfully highlight their reach with their target audience with our message for women’s safety while obtaining feedback from them on our app prototypes & pain points they face. We’ve also met individually with many women in college at each phase of app development to keep our target market involvedThey highlighted how they use a bottom-up approach, getting feedback from and involving their target. Through it all, we’ve grown Guardial’s community with our newsletter & social mediaThey used multiple methods, including social media and newsletters, to mobilize others..

* From Guardial, Taco Bell Ambition Accelerator 2022 Finalists

What are your project goals and how do you plan to get there? (1000 characters)

Hint: Share your vision for the impact your idea can have and how it has already made a difference, if applicable, or outline your strategy for getting your idea off the ground or taking it to the next level, emphasizing how it will lead to lasting change. Be specific about what you aim to achieve, then, describe your plan for reaching these goals, including how you intend to access knowledge, resources, and other necessary elements. Highlight your commitment to your project by detailing actionable steps you’ve taken or plan to take.

Cepha will be successful when it’s not only fast and accurate but also accessible and used in 10+ clinicsThey clearly stated what their goal is and how they will know when they’ve reached their goals.. While Cepha doesn’t need an internet connection and has haptic/audio instructions, its user interface was designed for, not with, the PD community. Thus, I’m collaborating with the UCSF Medical Center on a studyThey explained the partnerships they’ve built so far and are utilizing to further their initiative. where PD patients evaluate their experience using Cepha via a rating scale questionnaire. After the study, I'll redesign Cepha's user interface based on their feedback. I'll then pilot Cepha in 10 PD Foundation centers I've interacted with as a volunteer–Cepha and neurologists will diagnose the same patientsThey outlined the next few steps to ensure their initiative continues to scale.; if the diagnoses match, the pilot will expand. If not, I’ll integrate the data into Cepha and retestThey demonstrated how they will utilize feedback and data to build their initiative.. I hope to target clinics without access to neurologists by partnering with nonprofits like the We Are Family FoundationThey had specific partnerships they are planning to create., which I’m already working with. Here, Cepha will be successful when PD misdiagnosis rates decrease and patient satisfaction rates increaseThey thought of how to define success so that they can ensure they reach their initiatives goals..

* From Cepha, Taco Bell Ambition Accelerator 2022 Finalists

In a 1-2 minute video, tell us why this idea/initiative is important to you and your team, why you are tackling this issue and how your solution tackles the problem you care about. This video is an opportunity for reviewers to hear directly from you and for you to emphasize any information from your application (Text: 500 Characters)

Hint: Imagine you are talking to a funder or investor to get them excited about your initiative. You are not required to appear in the video. However, if you would like, feel free to get creative using any other format like a video recording of a voice-over slideshow or any other option that works best for your circumstance. We’re not looking for a “perfect” video, we are looking for a sincere expression of how you see your idea/initiative. We will be focusing on the content of the video, not the editing quality. Make sure you speak clearly and that we can hear your voice in the video. Once you have recorded the video, upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, or Google Drive, and share the link to your video on the application form here. Please make sure you test the link accessibility; you are responsible for checking if it works before submitting it. For more tips, check out the information below.


Technical Tips:

  • When recording, make sure you can find a place where the noise won’t interfere with your video.
  • Please make sure you speak up and that we can hear your voice in the video.
  • Remember the video must be between 2 and 3 minutes long.
  • When uploading your video, in the “Visibility” section, select the “Unlisted” option which will allow anyone with the link to access the video. Then post the link to your video on the application form. Please make sure you text the link accessibility; you are responsible for checking if it works before submitting it.

Content Tips:

  1. Put passion and emotion above perfection. Remember: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (thanks Maya Angelou!) So, don’t worry about getting it perfect when recording or reading off a piece of paper. Be comfortable making mistakes. They are real and relatable!
  2. Consider the evaluation criteria. Refer back to the evaluation criteria and consider how your answer demonstrates these 4 criteria.
  3. Paint a picture. Illustrate specific moments and experiences, don’t just tell them. Focus on the emotions, not the actions.
  4. Imagine your audience. Before hitting record, visualize your audience, then reimagine the impact you make on the audience after they connect with your words, ideas, and passion.
  5. Try it out. Practice a few times and play back what you record. It’s okay to make mistakes.
  6. Make eye contact with the camera. If you are recording yourself, Imagine that the camera isn’t a machine, but the eye of the audience you’re trying to make an impact on. Eye contact is powerful. Remember: “Eyes are the window to the soul!”
  7. Step into your story. Own it, have confidence, and speak loud! We want to hear you!


    Need Support?

    Email us at [email protected] or if based in the U.S, text us at

    (571)-622-1066 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


    Submit your idea HERE!