hult prize

By Ashi Bhat

The University of New South Wales has been selected to host the local edition of the Hult Prize competition, with students asked to answer come up with solutions to a social challenge posed by President Bill Clinton.

The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student startup competition. Held annually, it awards $1 million in funding to the team of students that develops the most radical and breakthrough idea to solve one of the world’s toughest social challenges.

The 2016 Challenge is focused on ‘Crowded Urban Spaces’. Students have been challenged to come up with ways to double the incomes of residents who live in some of the toughest conditions in the world through improved mobility and increased connectivity to people, products, services, and capital, by 2022.

The challenge is being answered by students at college and university events around the world, with winners from each campus event advancing to compete in one of five regional finals, in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai. One winning team from each host city will then move onto a summer business accelerator program, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set up to launch their new social business.

A final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at the Annual Meeting in September 2016, where CGI delegates will select a winning team to be awarded the $1,000,000 prize by President Clinton.

In the words of Clinton, “The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.”

The winners of the 2015 Hult Prize were IMPCT, a group from the National Chengchi University in Taiwan looking to combat the early education crisis in urban slums around the world.

The group came up with the concept of a Playcare, a small play-based daycare franchise, owned and operated by a local entrepreneur, which includes a purpose-built classroom. Staff are training to deliver a play-based Montessori curriculum and receive ongoing support, with each facility providing 20 nearby families affordable and accessible early education opportunities for their children. The group is also creating a system that will allow the world to invest in the business ideas of these people.

The UNSW Hult Prize event will be taking place on Tuesday December 8 at the UNSW Michael Crouch Innovation Centre.

Among the attendees will be Hon. Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, alongside esteemed judges, UNSW alumnus, students, and social entrepreneurs.

Siddharth Pai, campus director for the event, said, “This is our chance to show the world UNSW is dedicated to social impact and making change. I look forward to seeing UNSW students tackle the worlds toughest social problems.”

Enactus UNSW will be facilitating a workshop with Hult Prize alumni Des Viranna to help teams sharpen their pitches on December 5.

Teams interested in registering for the competition are invited to do so here.

Image: 2015 winners IMPCT. Source:

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