Transforming their ideas into investment-ready startups
1.What is Hult Prize and what is its vision and mission?
Today, the Hult Prize Foundation is the world’s biggest engine for the launch of for-good, for-profit startups emerging from university with over 2500 staff and volunteers around the world. Training over one million youth in impact entrepreneurship over the past decade, the movement has deployed more than $50M of capital into the sector and mobilized and empowered millions of young people to re-think the future of business as it continues to breed disruptive innovation on college and university campuses across 100 plus countries. The Hult Prize has been called the”Nobel Prize for Students,” is ranked amongst the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Co. and was featured in a TIME Magazine Cover Story highlighting the “Top 5 Ideas Changing the World.”
2.What are the steps for Hult Prize?
Each year, the Hult Prize team issues a big bold challenge aligned with a large market opportunity meant to inspire and enable the world's brightest minds to solve it's greatest problems. A reknown and accomplished challenger issues a personal call to action, which is broadcast widely through our unparalleled network to University students in more than 100 countries.
As students join the movement, learning opportunities abound through seminars, workshops, speakers, and dedicated mentorship and coaching. University students are transformed into budding entrepreneurs with business concepts, multi-disciplinary teams, and a focused pathway to changing the world.
As entrepreneurs are funneled through a robust in-person screening and selection process led by hundreds of independent and leading judges, they compete against fellow teams, refining their pitches, improving and iterating on their business models, and effectively creating the world's largest crowdsourced arena for social and business innovation.
The best teams who emerge from rigorous competition rounds are invited to one of the Hult Prize's leading business accelerators, live-work programs that leverage leading business, academic, and legal experts who help transform these ideas into investment-ready startups with management teams, business plans, and prototypes.
Through a one-of-a-kind network of mentors, coaches, advisors, and experts, the Hult Prize introduces startups to potential customers and partners who help grow the companies' core business activities, open new markets, and develop the right advisory network to succeeed.
The Hult Prize takes personal ownership in startups' success post scale, as we continue to see your company through additional rounds of financing and business expansion ultimately to transforming industries and re-imagining the way business intersects with customers, community, shareholders, and the world.
3.What are the criteria of choosing the finalists?
Alignment: with the challenge topic/ theme
Impact: positive effect and outcomes for customer and community
Feasibility: technical and commercial
Disruption: level of innovation in the idea/ distribution model
Scalability: potential for idea to grow beyond the pilot/ cross national borders / applicability
4.What was the topic this year?
We are challenging youth to create opportunities for meaningfulwork for 10,000 youth.
“Meaningful work” as defined by the Hult Prize can take manyforms. Two conditions of meaningful work are as follows:
It must be paid and offer a minimum of 10 hours of employment per week
It must create positive social impact–“purpose.”
5.What are the projects of the finalists?
· Apple House
Lebanese Canadian University
Apple House seeks to turn under-utilized natural agricultural resources into high value added products by licensing their proprietary recipes and ingredients to farmers and landowners across the world, enabling them to sell their products at higher prices and in new markets.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik–Zahle
Beepers is a do-it-yourself hi-tech bee keeping kit that enables anyone to produce and sell honey. With a very small up front investment, thousands of people around the world can become entrepreneurs, while safeguarding the survival of one of humanity’s greatest gifts, bees.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik - Kaslik
Dr. Leda is an online, anonymous, and affordable counseling platform that connects experienced professionals to customers who need help. This enables the patients to receive assistance fast and 24/7 while professionals are able to earn extra income on their own schedules.
·Rafiki Youth Center
American University of Beirut
Rafiki produces biodegradable shopping bags from sustainable bark cloth, found in abundance in Kenya. Their innovation lies in a distribution model that allows unemployed youth to sell their bags to small vendors in and outside of large cities.
Lebanese American University - Beirut
Roly is an application that allows users to recycle by requesting a pickup for their material by an in-network driver. Individuals are able to register with ROLY as drivers to pick up recyclables and transport them to Roly’s material recovery facilities, in return for income.
·Shop On Wheels
Islamic University of Lebanon
Shop On Wheels is a combination of traditional and online shopping. Customers can book an appointment online and the van ‘shop’ will show up and give the customers an unforgettable retail experience, with all the clothes designed by newly fashion designers graduates.
6.What happens during the Accelerator phase?
Winning teams from the Hult Prize Lebanon Semi-Finals will have the chance to join the Hult Prize Lebanon Accelerator Program at the Beirut Digital District. A global ecosystem of business leaders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners help forge a path for our students to become entrepreneurs and support their development for life. Our network opens doors to capital, mentorship, marketing, business development, customer acquisition, and talent recruitment.
7.Did the participation of the students increase or decrease during the years?
Student and University participation has increased significantly. Hult Prize Lebanon, now in its second year, saw a more than doubling of University campus participation (from 24 to more than 50), with student applications following suit. We are today the largest student movement for entrepenreurship in the country, but this is just the beginning.
8.Are Hult Prize and Changemaker festival related?
These two organizations are not related. The Changemaker Festival is the Middle East’s largest event for youth. It’s second Beirut edition will be running on September 28th, and will host the Hult Prize Lebanon finals as one of its principal events. It will also feature other startup competitions, free workshops for youth, a food zone, and a trading hub focused on enabling small and medium sized enterprises.