Team Exult

Business School students one step closer to winning $1 million Hult prize

Top-tier Business Schools go head-to-head in world’s largest student competition, competing for $1 million in start-up funding to solve President Clinton’s Early Childhood Challenge.

The Hult Prize Foundation recently announced that Team Exult from the University of Exeter Business School has advanced to the regional finals of the sixth annual Hult Prize. The annual Hult Prize Challenge is the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good. In partnership with President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the innovative crowdsourcing platform identifies and launches disruptive and catalytic social ventures that aim to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges. Student teams compete in five cities around the world for a chance to secure USD1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

The team members are from the One Planet MBA and the members are (in alphabetical order) Anuradha Ananth (India), Felipe Hernandez (Colombia), Nathanael Minja (Tanzania), Navroze Vania (India) and Ujjwala Medhi (India).

Professor Nicolas Forsans, Director, One Planet MBA said: “This is a fantastic achievement. The One Planet MBA is all about promoting innovative business thinking to make a difference, and the achievement of our MBA participants in one of the world’s most prestigious competitions demonstrates the ability of our students to be agents of ‘change for good’.”

The 2015 Hult Prize will focus on building start-ups that provide sustainable, high quality early education solutions to ten million children under the age of six in urban slums and beyond by the year 2020. This year’s challenge was selected and set by President Bill Clinton, who said: “The Hult Prize is about more than the solution to the problem, it’s about how the world has to work in the 21st century.”

Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize Foundation, attributes the rapid growth of the SRI sector to new demand being created by the international market place. “Servicing the world’s poorest through profitable and sustainable enterprise is not just good for the world, its great business. Our pioneering platform builds ecosystems by leveraging crowd-funding and we couldn’t be happier that the University of Exeter will be joining our mission with its participation in the 6th annual Hult Prize.”

The Hult Prize gives entrepreneurs from around the world a platform to innovate and revolutionise the way society thinks about servicing the poor. Each team selected was chosen from more than 20,000 applications received from over 500 colleges and universities in more than 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional final competitions will take place on March 13 and 14 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. The team from Exeter will compete in London.

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentorship, together with advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and prepare to launch and scale their new ventures. A final round of competition will be hosted by President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates will select a winning team, which will be awarded the $1 million prize by President Bill Clinton himself. 

Date: 23 February 2015

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