How would you provide meaningful jobs for 10,000 unemployed youth within the next decade?
This is the question being deliberated on at the second annual Hult Prize at UR. Students will showcase their start-up solutions in teams of three or four members with the end-goal of possibly competing in the worldwide finals for $1 million in start-up funding.
“It’s not everyday that you have an opportunity to change the world,” student ambassador and junior Sara Anis said. “This is your chance to show the world you are dedicated to impact. […] It’s not just centered around engineers or business professionals, anybody from any topic can participate.”
The event will take place Nov. 3 on-campus in the Simon Business School. The first half will be teams giving their pitches and the second half will be the award ceremony.
The UR’s Hult Prize page has a registration for teams who want to compete in the competition on-campus. The registration asks to identify each team member and provide a quick background on the team including a team name. It closes Oct. 25.
Globally, the Hult Prize competition is a worldwide competition that features applicants from over 350 colleges in more than 150 countries. Students who do not win at the on-campus competition are encouraged to fill out the global application.
“The first place winner gets a direct shot into the regional competition,” Anis said. “Normally, if there was not an on-campus event, they would have to apply through the Regionals online. Those applications usually get around 20,000 applicants from all around the world.”
There are 15 different countries that host Regionals in 25 locations. 50 winning teams chosen as Regional winners will head to a castle in London, for an eight-week accelerated program where mentors will help them refine their start-up.
Then, there is a round within the accelerator program itself crowning the top six, who will compete in the global finals at the United Nations for the grand million-dollar prize.
For judges of the on-campus event, Anis, other organizers, and the Career Center have reached out to top CEOs, State Counsel members, and other professionals from the Rochester area.
Leading up to the competition, there will be many workshops focusing on “project ideation, pitch workshops, a pitch clinic and informative sessions about what Hult Prize represents” held in iZone and the Writing center, according to a UR press release.
“We are trying to get people interested and start thinking about topics they are interested in solving and […] find other people that are also interested in the same thing,” Anis said. .”
The Writing Center is also offering personalized feedback to teams’ pitches.
Anis is hoping second and third place can receive a local prize. Her team plans to also help them apply in the worldwide Regionals competition.
“Even if they don’t win […] amongst those 20,000 other groups they would still have a better chance because they came second or third,” Anis said.
This event took place last year at UR and globally, in which the problem concerned harnessing the power of energy to transform the lives of 10 million people. This year, Anis wants to expand the applicant pool.
“It was predominantly on Simon campus,” Anis said. “I’m hoping that this year […] more undergrads will get involved because last year, we sent one team to Shanghai and another team to Dubai to compete in the Regional round.”