Hult Prize October 12th Kickoff Event – Open To All Students And Staff

Headshot of smiling woman with short black hair in black blazerBy Shonakshi Chaubal, University of Toronto’s Hult Prize Campus Director

The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student case competition for social entrepreneurs. In partnership with the United Nations, the Hult Prize Foundation hosts college and university events around the world in search of the next game-changing start-up. Each year, the Hult Prize awards one million dollars in start-up funding to the team of students that develops the most radical and breakthrough idea to solve one of our world’s toughest social challenges. The goal of the competition is to foster social entrepreneurship among the brightest, youngest minds across the world, and each year, wonderful solutions are developed and presented.

The Hult Prize gives students the opportunity to learn, hands-on, about the distinction between non-profits and social enterprises, particularly where they fall on the scale of disrupting equilibria that perpetuate social disadvantage. You do not have to be a business student or a proclaimed entrepreneur in order to be on a team! Like the Innovation Hub, the Hult Prize values diversity and welcomes students from all walks of life, and all areas of study to participate. Training for our teams will include an introduction to Design Thinking methodology, in order to equip students with the tools they’ll need to be successful.

For the fourth year in a row, a special quarterfinal qualifying round for the Hult Prize will be held at the UofT on December 2. The winner of the intra-campus event will automatically advance to compete in one of fifteen regional finals happening around the world next March.  One winning team from each host city will then move onto a summer business incubator, 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 in September 2018, where the winning team to be awarded the $1,000,000 prize.

This year’s challenge focuses on harnessing the power of energy through one of six dimensions: food, water, mobility, connectivity, education, and health. As Campus Director for the Hult Prize at the University of Toronto initiative, I am proud to lead this opportunity at our school. Teams from UofT are poised for success in the Hult Prize competition. The UofT’s unique location, at the heart of Canada’s innovation capital, along with the breadth of world-renowned programs it offers, enables students to perform well through cross-disciplinary collaboration and leveraging the vast UofT network. In previous years, the most successful teams were the ones that were able to take advantage of this and I look forward to seeing the next generation of social entrepreneurs at UofT come together this year. Join us for a kickoff event on Thursday, October 12, at 6pm to learn more about how to get involved. Register here.

Shonakshi Chaubal is a second-year MBA student at the Rotman School of Management. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and worked in Insurance and fin-tech prior to pursuing an MBA at Rotman. Shonakshi has a keen interest in sustainability, particularly social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and social and governance issues in business. She is passionate about international development and spent her summer in Laos, doing a Global Consulting Project with Cuso International.

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