Two teams from Tribhuvan University (TU) and Kathmandu University (KU) have advanced to the regional finals of the Hult Prize competition to win funding to build a sustainable, scalable startup enterprise that will restore the rights and dignity of refugees.
‘Team Aegis’ and ‘Team Utopia’ emerged as the winning teams from TU and KU respectively last week. More than 300 students participated in the competition with 40 teams from TU and 42 teams from KU.
“We congratulate all teams from Nepal, who generated an impressive array of ideas to promote refugee empowerment,” said Kevin J. Allen, UNHCR Representative in Nepal. “Addressing the challenges of forced displacement requires innovation and solidarity — qualities which were impressively displayed during this event.”
The teams competed in the Hult Prize at Tribhuvan University and Hult Prize at Kathmandu University events on December 15, 2016 held at Yalamaya Kendra and Dhulikhel, showcasing their innovative solutions to this year’s challenge, 'Refugees: Reawakening Human Potential,’ which was personally chosen by President Bill Clinton.
The best teams were chosen by a panel of judges including professors, representatives of start-up business enterprises in Nepal, and officials from UNHCR and World Vision International.
The winning teams will be provided with two months of residency program, starting from January 2017, at Nepal Innovation Lab to refine and polish up their ideas before they compete in the regional finals.
This was the first on-campus Hult Prize event in the country and was supported by UNHCR and Nepal Innovation Lab (World Vision International).
"The Lab is delighted to partner with the Hult Prize Nepal team and inspired by the great ideas all the University teams presented. We are looking forward to working closely with UNHCR to ensure that the two winning teams have a successful journey during their residency at the Lab over the next two months in preparation for the Regional Finals in March," said Aradhana Gurung, Lead Manager at Nepal Innovation Lab.
The teams will now move on to compete at the Hult Prize 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.
Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize attributes 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 them for supporting this initiative.”
The winning teams from the regional will be provided with international mentorship and housed in Boston who will then compete in the global level hosted in New York. Winner of Hult Prize 2017 will be receiving USD 1 million to implement their social entrepreneurship idea.