The Hult Prize is the world’s premier sustainable startup competition for students, referred to by the Huffington Post as the “Nobel Prize for Students.” The competition is focused on a different theme related to sustainability each year, challenging teams to create solutions to urgent issues such as food security, water access, energy, and education. This year’s theme is “Food for Good – Transforming Food into a Vehicle for Change.”
Hundreds of teams will compete within their universities for the right to represent their school at one of the Regional Rounds, held at various locations around the world. The winners of the Regionals (~40 teams) spend the summer in an accelerator program further developing their ideas before competing in New York City at the United Nations for a chance at the $1M Grand Prize, presented by Bill Clinton (COVID permitting).
The competition is almost entirely student-run, with local campus directors coordinating the on-campus competition, recruiting judges, and advising teams on their pitches. I volunteered to be the campus director this year after a great experience competing last year. Our team, the Stuff Library, won the IESE competition, presented at Doing Good Doing Well, and made it to the Top 6 at the London Regional Round in 2020 (all credit to my teammates and fellow IESE MBA ’21s – Emilie Mendes de Leon, Sweta Desai, and Robert Ralph). It was a fantastic experience and a highlight of the first year, and it inspired me to stay involved and organize the IESE competition in 2021.
This year’s competition should be a great one. We have a diverse panel of judges, including two esteemed IESE professors, Joan Jane and Mathieu Carenzo; Anna de Gea Fiter from impact investment group Ship2B; Marta Gonzales-Mesones, food business director for Unilever Spain; and Eric Dargent from innovative food-tech startup Refarmers. Fourteen IESE teams have signed up for what should be a great evening of pitches. I encourage anyone interested in startups, sustainability, food, or supporting your classmates to join!
The event will be held remotely on December 3rd from 19:00 – 22:00 (CET) via Zoom, you can click on this link to attend or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. See you there!
Joseph Liotta, MBA Class of 2021
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