GCU advances to regional finals of $1m Hult Prize

09 February 2015

GCU advances to regional finals of $1m Hult Prize

Students from GCU have progressed to the regional Hult Prize finals

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has advanced to the regional finals of the sixth annual Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good. 

In partnership with former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the innovative crowdsourcing platform identifies and launches social ventures that aim to solve the most pressing challenges. Student teams compete in five cities around the world for a chance to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

This year’s prize focuses on the building of social enterprises to address early childhood education in developing countries. The GCU team’s proposal involves development of a programme to train local practitioners in Bangladesh in early childhood education. The first cohort of students would be trained to pass on their knowledge to future cohorts, ensuring a local, sustainable stream of educators. The second key element of this proposal involves the use of Development Impact Bonds (DIBs) as a method to encourage retention of children in pre-primary school education.

GCU has an existing partnership with Grameen Healthcare Trust to improve healthcare education in Bangladesh through the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing (GCCN).

The team is composed of Emma Harris, Pedro Rosalis, Anna Marin, Annabelle Njenga and Usman Modibbo, students on GCU’s MSc in Social Business and Microfinance programme. Professor Simon Teasdale is coaching the team and will be joining them, along with Programme Leader Michael Roy, at the regional finals in London.

The 2015 Hult Prize will focus on building start-ups that provide sustainable, high quality early education solutions to ten million children under the age of six in urban slums and beyond by the year 2020.

President Clinton said: “The Hult Prize is about more than the solution to the problem, it’s about how the world has to work in the 21st century.”

Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize Foundation, said: “Our pioneering platform builds ecosystems by leveraging crowd and we couldn’t be happier Glasgow Caledonian University will be joining our mission with their participation in the sixth annual Hult Prize.”

Each team selected was chosen from more than 20,000 applications received from over 500 colleges and universities in over 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional final competitions will take place on March 13 and 14, 2015 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 incubator, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch and scale their new ventures. A final round of competition will be hosted by President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates will select a winning team, which will be awarded the $1 million prize.