Two teams of MBA students in running for $1m prize

26 February 2015

Two teams from Warwick Business School have the chance to win $1 million after entering the sixth Annual Hult Prize.

This year the theme revolves around solving the problem of early childhood education in the urban slum, and not one, but two teams from Warwick Business School have reached the regional finals.

The Hult Prize regional final competitions will take place on March 13 and 14 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai.

Team SEED comprises  WBS students Arya Choudhury, Lola Apampa, Daniel Van Beest Van Andel, Shaurya Mehta and Prerna Kumra, who will be representing WBS at the San Francisco regional finals, while Team Konnect, consisting of students Richa Jaswal, Farookh Muqri, Yukio Takahashi, Bassem Awada and Rita Wan, will be attending the London regional final.

Team SEED representative, Mr Mehta, said: “Our team name, SEED, stands for Social Enterprise for Education & Development. We thought it a fitting name for this competition as it is our aim to plant the seed, so to speak, of early childhood education in the urban slums of the world and nurture young children through education for a better and brighter tomorrow.

“Early childhood education is one of the fundamentals which must be put in place if a society is to progress.

“As a team we are honoured to compete in the Hult Prize and look forward to being part of an initiative with the potential to greatly improve those communities that need it most.”

Team SEED (left to right) Daniel Van Beest Van Andel, Prerna Kumra, Arya Choudhury, Lola Apampa and Shaurya Mehta

In total, 20,000 applications were received to participate in this year’s competition from over 500 colleges and universities in over 150 countries. Of which, only 250 were selected to compete in five cities around the world for the chance to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

The 2015 Hult Prize will focus on building start-ups that provide sustainable, high quality early education solutions to 10 million children under the age of six in urban slums and beyond by the year 2020.

This year’s challenge was selected and set by former US President Bill Clinton, who 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.”

Team Konnect representative, Mr Muqri, added: “As a team we believe that education should not be a privilege but a right to every child regardless of class, nationality or gender, which will provide hope and growth opportunities to future generations.

“We want to do this because we come from countries suffering from this disparity. We were the lucky children and we want the kids on the other side of town to be lucky too.”

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.

Team Konnect
All smiles: Team Konnect (left to right) Bassem Awada, Richa Jaiswal, Farookh Muqri,  Rita Wan, Yukio Takashi

A final round of competition will be hosted by Mr Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates will select a winning team to be awarded the $1 million prize by Mr Clinton himself.

Dean of WBS, Professor Mark Taylor, said: “It is great news to see, not one, but two teams of Warwick MBA participants have reached regional finals, for the fifth year in a row.

“This time our MBAs will not only be represented in the European finals in this challenge, but also in the San Francisco regionals too.  It is evidence that we are producing world-class, socially responsible, creative leaders and managers who think on a global scale. We wish them all the best for their challenge in London and San Francisco on March 13 and 14.”


About the Hult Prize Challenge – The annual Hult Prize Challenge is 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 disruptive and catalytic social ventures that aim to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges. 

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