Varanasi: The Hult Prize announced the winning team from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) that has advanced to the 8th annual regional finals of the competition. The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship. The annual initiative is the world’s largest student competition and crowdsourcing platform for social venture. This year, the Hult Prize is focused around finding solutions for building sustainable, scalable, social enterprises that restore the rights and dignity of 10 million refugees by 2022.
There was a tie between teams Adept and Team InstaRef Support who both competed in the Hult Prize@ BHU event here on 12 November 2016 and built a solution to this year challenge by President Bill Clinton around ‘The Refugee Crisis & Life in Slums’. All team members are pursuing BTech Program at IIT (BHU) Varanasi. Each team had 4 members, team Adept included Divyanshu Kashyap, Kishan Kumar, Pulkit Raj, Aadarsh Kumar and team InstaRef Support included Shubham Gupta, Archit Agarwal, Sarang Agarwal, Saurabh Chopra. Both teams will advance to Regional Finals of 8th Annual Global Hult Prize, to be held in New Delhi in January 2017.
In partnership with former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, the Hult Prize is hosting college and university events around the world in search of the next game changing start-up in the social venture. The Hult Prize was organized for the very first time in BHU and saw 12 shortlisted teams competing out of 32 registered ones. These teams coming from Banaras Hindu University MBA, Ph.D. and undergraduate programs tested their grit in building a viable solution to this global social issue. Jury for the Hult Prize at BHU included: Mr Deepak Gadhia, Chief Mentor, EnerSun Power Tech; Mr Japan Vyas, Managing Partner, Sixth Sense Ventures; Mr Bethun Bhowmik, ex-Regional Head, East & South India OLA; and Mr Puneet Raman, Social Entrepreneur, IIM Ahmedabad.
Adept team aims at creating a holistic platform first by managing the household waste in slum areas in an unconventional manner. InstaRef Support has developed a model where they’ll connect refugees having eclectic range of skills to create a self-sustainable community.
Dhruv Goel, a junior undergraduate and the Campus Director at Hult Prize Foundation, said, “It is not every day that we get such platforms to showcase our ‘out of the box’ thinking. We have the potential as well as the dedication to bring about a catalytic change in the world.”
Prof. P. K. Mishra, the Coordinator of Malaviya Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship, came up to support the teams who couldn’t make it to the finals. He said “We would love to nurture these ideas at MCIIE. Also we’d help them further to develop their business models so as to make them competitive enough to undergo incubation.”
The teams will now move on to compete at the Hult Prize regional finals in January 2017 in New Delhi, then followed by at one of Hult International Business School’s five campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai.
Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business accelerator program, where they will receive mentorship on advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business. The final round of competition will be hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, where one team will be selected as the Hult Prize recipient.