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How will you change the world with US$1 million? Apply for Hult Prize 2020 Student Enterprise Challenge

Moving forward with the ninth annual Hult Prize, thousands of university students worldwide will team up to create start-ups aimed at solving an issue faced by billions in need. More than 10,000 applicants will begin the journey, and only 300 start-ups from around the world will move on to pitch their start-up ideas at one of five global locations: Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai.

Application Deadline: 17th December 2019 11:59pm EST

To be Taken: at any five Hult Prize regions. Grand Prize of $1,000,000 will be awarded at Washington D.C

About Award: The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities. Named as one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine, the annual competition for the Hult Prize aims to create and launch the most compelling social business ideas—start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people. Winners receive USD1 Million in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.

Theme: “2020 Hult Prize Challenge on Empowering the Earth: Bold Businesses for a Better Planet

To be successful in the Hult Prize this year (like every year) you will need to
design a business model that reliably generates positive unit economics from a financial perspective—a business that earns a profit.

The difference between this year’s challenge and others in the past—and
it is a big one—is that we’re also going to ask you to describe and quantify the environmental unit economics of your business: how you create a net positive environmental impact with every sale completed, dollar earned, and decision made. The more clearly you are able to define both your financial and your environmental unit economics, and the more fundamentally transformative will be the business you create, and the
more effectively your business will meet the challenge defined by this year’s Hult Prize.

To make it more real, here are two categories of existing companies
that look like answers to this year’s challenge.

The first category is ridesharing platforms (for example Uber, Lyft, Careem, and Gojek). These platforms use existing physical infrastructure— cars already on the road—and deploy that infrastructure as a flexible
transportation network. More shared vehicles means fewer vehicles overall for the same number of trips. Particularly when ridesharing platforms involve carpooling, they may reduce the total number of miles driven. At the same time, because of their low cost and convenience, they may induce some passengers to travel in a motorized vehicle who may otherwise have walked, taken a bicycle, or taken public transit.

Now consider meat-replacement companies (for example, Impossible Foods). Every pound of a plant-based meat substitute removes one pound of animal-based meat from the economy. One audited study estimates that a pound of plant-based meat substitute uses 90% less greenhouse gas
emissions, requires 46% less energy, has 99% less impact on water scarcity
and 93% less impact on land use than a pound of U.S. beef. This means that the same plot of land required to produce one U.S. beef burger can produce
fifteen meat-substitute burgers.

The success to date of these two models in the marketplace suggests that the financial unit economics of each are positive. But here is an open-ended
research question for you: Which of these two solutions has more powerfully positive environmental unit economics?

To be clear: We’re not looking for incremental improvements in efficiency
or ways to make current businesses less environmentally damaging than
they are today. We already know those pathways exist. We’re looking for transformative models that change the very nature of supply chains; that
introduce radically new business models; that cause us to rethink the most deeply-ingrained patterns in our behaviors; and to reimagine and replace
the goods and services to which we are most accustomed, without a reduction of performance, quality, accessibility, or price.

Selection Process: 

  • You will be asked to form a team of 3-4 students from your university and submit an application to participate at any of the regional finals locations held in: Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, Toronto, Mexico City, Quito, Bogota, Melbourne, Lagos, Nairobi, Cairo, Tunisia, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Alternatively, your university may be hosting a Hult [email protected] on-campus event, in which case you can fast track your team’s participation through competing in your local university edition.
  • Regional Finals will be held in March 2019.  Approximately 50-60 teams per region, will move on to present their innovative start-up ideas to an executive jury made up of regional CEOs, Non-Profit leaders and Social Entrepreneurs.
  • When you apply, you should carefully consider which regional final you would like to attend.
  • While we encourage you to pick a region within proximity to where you currently live, you are free to choose any of the five regions.  A regional champion will be selected live at the conclusion of each regional final event and that team will move onto spend the summer at the world-class Hult Prize Accelerator – an innovative incubator for the start-ups of the future.
  • Following the conclusion of your time working in the Hult Prize Accelerator, you will attend the Hult Impact Forum where the Hult Prize Global Finals will be hosted in September, 2019 in New York, USA. Within the meeting agenda, regional champions will pitch their start-ups in-front of a world-class audience, who along with other notable global leaders will select and award the winning team the Hult Prize, along with USD1 million in start-up capital.


It is important to read more about the Challenge and go through the FAQS before applying.

Visit the Award Webpage for Details

Award Provider: Hult Prize

1 Comment
  1. Sam says

    Thank you.
    My Mobile app isn’t showing deadlines as usual. I’ve deleted and re-downloaded yet, doesn’t correct!

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