December, 2016

Ashoka University Advances to National Finals of 8th Annual Hult Prize in response to President Bill Clinton’s 2017 President’s Challenge

Ashoka University Advances to National Finals of 8th Annual Hult Prize in response to President Bill Clinton’s 2017 President’s Challenge

Ashoka University, Sonepat, 27 November, 2016: The Hult Prize has recently announced the winning team from Ashoka University that has advanced to the 8th annual national finals of the competition. The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship, which brings together the brightest college and university students from around the globe to solve the world’s most pressing issues. The annual initiative is the world’s largest student competition and crowd-sourcing platform for social good, and has been named one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine. This year, the Hult Prize is focused on building sustainable, scalable social enterprises that restore the rights and dignity of 10 million refugees by 2022 – a challenge personally selected by President Bill Clinton.

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The Hult Prize was organized for the very first time at Ashoka University and saw 10 teams competing for the National round. The winning team “FireFlies” from Ashoka University includes Aditya Arun V, Aananth Daksnamurthy, Pavithra R and Srinivasan S, who are students of the Young India Fellowship. The winners were selected by the selection panel which included: Mr Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, Actionaid India; Mr Manu Singh, Chairman of Sarva Dharma Samvaad and Miss Alpana Srivastava, Investment professional, Asha Impact.

The team competed in the Hult Prize at Ashoka University event on Sunday, 27th November, 2016 and built a solution to this year’s challenge. Their solution is a business model which revolves around transforming the refugee camps into cultural hubs and thereby promoting tourism which enables the leveraging of four unique elements in the refugee community: food, crafts, festivals and their stories. Tourist walks can be organized such that they experience the above four elements and thus can promote the livelihoods of the refugees and instill a sense of identity in them. The team will now move on to compete at the Hult Prize National finals in January 2017.

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Jeeva Mathew, Campus Director for Hult Prize and a student of Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University said, “This is just the beginning, and I am confident that students of Ashoka University are going to play an important role in promoting entrepreneurship and social good.”

Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize attribute the success of the competition to the global youth revolution. He said, “We continue to be moved by the large number of students from around the world who are capitalizing on the opportunity to develop business models that target those who are in most need. We wish every team the best of luck and thank Ashoka University for supporting this initiative.” “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.” – President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States.

The winners of the National Finals will advance to the regional finals in March 2017, which are being hosted at one of Hult International Business School’s five campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. One winning team from each host city will advance to an intensive 8-week summer business incubator, where they will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business. The final round of competition will take place in September, where a jury panel will select the annual Hult Prize winner. None other than President Bill Clinton himself will award the USD 1,000,000 Prize to the winning team.


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