Mission & Overview
The Hult Prize Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs. It encourages the world’s brightest business minds to compete in teams to solve the planet’s biggest challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises. Annual Hult Prize winners can make their ideas reality with the help of USD 1 million in seed funding.
The annual, year-long competition crowd-sources ideas from MBA and college students after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics such as food security, water access, energy, urban spacing, education, etc. The Hult foundation donates USD 1 million in seed capital to help the winning team launch a social enterprise. The Prize is a partnership between Hult International Business School and the Clinton Global Initiative(CGI). Bill Clinton selects the challenge topic and announces the winner each September.
In 2009, Hult Prize CEO and Founder Ahmad Ashkar left the banking industry during the economic downturn to pursue an MBA at Hult International Business School. A lecture given by One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Director Chuck Kane introduced Ashkar to the concept of social entrepreneurship and sparked his idea for the Hult Prize (originally called the Hult Global Case Challenge). In 2013, the Prize attracted more than 10,000 MBA and undergraduate applicants.
Organizers host regional rounds of competition each spring in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai, plus an online-only round, with a final “pitch-off” held at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting each fall. Regional and online winners are invited to participate in the Hult Accelerator, an intensive program held at Hult International Business School in Boston each summer.
In 2010, the Hult family decided to donate USD 1 million each year to fund the Hult Prize recipients. The winning student team is awarded USD 1 million in seed capital to launch their idea as a social enterprise.
The 2011 Hult Prize was won by a business school team from Cambridge University headed by MBA student Akanksha Hazari, who went on to implement their winning idea, m.Paani. The company is now based in Mumbai, India, and develops impact-focused loyalty programs that leverage mobile technology to under-served communities.
The 2013 Hult Prize was won by a team from McGill University headed by MD / MBA Student Mohammed Ashour. The team continues to implement their idea of growing edible insects for food and feed under the name Aspire The company is based out of Montreal, Canada, and has active operations in Ghana, Mexico, and the United States.
The Hult Prize 2014 was won by a team from the Indian School of Business, called NanoHealth. NanoHealth specialises in chronic disease management and provides holistic and affordable healthcare at the doorstep. NanoHealth creates a network of community health workers called ’Saathis’ and equips them with a low-cost point-of-care device called the Doc-in-a-Bag. NanoHealth aims to avoid more than a million premature deaths every year by providing affordable healthcare at the door step of the urban poor.
Previous Hult Prize winners have gone onto create the largest alternative protein industry in micro-livestock, the world’s largest distributor of solar lights and India’s fastest growing loyalty and rewards program target at the world’s poorest. The ability to build as opposed to identify great social ventures is what differentiates the Hult Prize from any other platform in the world.
Hult Prize at BUET 2016
The Grand Finale of the Hult Prize Quarter-Finals was organized by BUET HULT Prize Committee and co-sponsored by AB Bank and RFL Water Pump and was held on 12 November, 2015, Thursday, in the Seminar Room of Department of Civil Engineering, BUET. The final 6 teams-Aguntuk, BUET Sparklers, Elixir, Excel_sure, Little Wins and Team Rocket, presented their unique social entrepreneurial plans to solve the challenge of ‘Urban Crowded Spaces’, in front of an elite judge panel consisting of Md. Sabur Khan, Chairman of Daffodil International University and Daffodil Group; Mahmudul Hasan Sohag, Chairman of Onnorokom Group and Naveed Mahbub, Founder and CEO of Naveed Mahbub Inc. Dr. Md. Rafi Uddin, Associate Professor, Department of Physics acted as the Chair of the program. The President of BUET Career Club, Ankur A. Adib was also present. After watching the presentations of some of the most unique ideas that one can ever see , the judges deliberated and finally came up with Team Little Wins as the winner of Hult Prize at BUET 2016. Team Elixir and Aguntuk were announced as the 1st and 2nd runner-up respectively.
Mahe Rukh, Nafisa Tasnim, Mahe Jabeen and Tasneem Tabassum from the department of Chemical Engineering in BUET formed the team ‘Elixir’. Their proposed business idea was highly praised by the judges and peer panels in Dubai semifinal. They were among the top three teams from their panel and not only that, they also secured a callback round which put them in a position as one of the top teams among large pool of competitors there. They used intriguing scientific ideas in their business. The idea was to grow indoor mushroom and connecting those urban people who still now lives under poverty line in urban areas. Another part of the plan focused on environment and they planned to get mycofoam from the cultured mushrooms
from which we could make one time cups. The plastic material used to make one time cups at present is cancerous and non-biodegradable. This is detrimental to our health and would give us a sinister environment. The team Elixir not only solved this dilemma but gave a profitable solution which can help millions of people living in the urban city of Dhaka.
BUET Entrepreneurship Development Club would love to see a BUETian standing on that platform with this reputable trophy. We strongly urge the students to participate and represent our country in the international arena. We are keen to rear your potential and drive your goals to get a better future.