Vlerick students advance to regional finals of Hult Prize

Top-tier schools compete for $1 million in start-up funding to solve President Clinton’s Urban Spaces Challenge

Two teams of full-time MBA and Masters students from Vlerick Business School have advanced to the regional finals of the seventh annual Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good. In partnership with 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. The 2016 Hult Prize asks entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses that double the income of 10 million people living in crowded urban spaces.

The first Vlerick team consists of full-time MBA students Bart Moens (Belgium), Vivek Dhawan (India), Benjamin Corvilain (Belgium/UK) and Caroline Baeten (Belgium). Professor Robert Boute, Programme Director of the full-time MBA, is very happy with this achievement: “Entrepreneurship is a core value of Vlerick Business School. We believe that an entrepreneurial approach is the best way to create jobs, empower the poor and transform communities. We are proud that a strong team of MBA students will be able to present their ideas at the regional finals of the Hult competition in London.”

From left to right: Bart Moens, Benjamin Corvilain, Caroline Baeten and Vivek Dhawan

The second Vlerick team consists of full-time MBA student Huyen Le (Vietnam), Masters in Financial Management student Karan (India) and Masters in General Management student Julian Tripicchio Guerrero (Colombia / Italy). They will be presenting their ideas at the regional finals in Shanghai.

From left to right: Julian Tripicchio Guerrero, Huyen Le and Karan

Each team selected was chosen from more than 25,000 applications received from over 500 colleges and universities in over 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional competitions will take place on March 11-12, 2016 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai. They are competing for a chance to secure US$ 1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.
Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize, attributes the success of the competition to the shift in the global economy and the millennial generation’s refusal to live in a world with inequality, “We are giving entrepreneurs from around the world a platform to innovate and revolutionise the way we think about servicing the poor.”

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into the Hult Prize Accelerator, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business. A final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates will select a winning team, which will be awarded the US$ 1,000,000 Prize by President Bill Clinton himself. 

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