Three Aussie teams advance to Hult Prize finals

Former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative are major partners of the Hult Prize
Former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative are major partners of the Hult Prize

Three Australian teams have made it to the finals of the prestigious Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good.

Teams of MBA students from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM), the Australian National University and Melbourne Business School have all advanced to the regional finals of the competition.

In partnership with 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. Student teams compete in six cities around the world for a chance to secure US$1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

AGSM team members Coco Liu, Nitin Parakh, David Roca, Peter Lo and Venkat Krishnan were selected from more than 10,000 applications received from over 350 universities in 150 countries and will travel to San Francisco to compete with other top-tier business schools and universities in the challenge on 7th and 8th March, 2014.

Team member Venkat Krishnan said they don’t want to give away too much about their concept just yet, but are excited to reveal the full idea in San Francisco.

“The competition is allowing us to implement our experiences from AGSM and newly acquired skills from the MBA program into a practical solution for real-life issues that can create a huge social impact.

“It’s great working with such a diverse team who not only encourages, but also challenges, ideas to help them succeed on a global platform.”

The 2014 Hult Prize will focus on providing practical and achievable ways to help the 250 million slum dwellers around the world suffering from chronic diseases.

“Our solution revolves around using throwaway TVs and Cellphones to get slum dwellers in touch with a doctor instantly,” said Venkat. “We are working on a scalable model that can reach more than 25 million people in 5 years’ time.”

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentorship, advise and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business.

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Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (rgcmm.com.au).