IIMB team advances to 7th annual regional finals of Hult Prize 2017

PGP students Akshay Kumar, Devendra Meel, Parijat Panja & Rujhan Gupta come up with an idea called ‘Socio-Tech Alpha’ which addresses the issue of livelihood for the marginalized

 Bengaluru: The Hult Prize has recently announced the winning team from IIM Bangalore that has advanced to the 7th annual regional finals of the competition.

The Hult Prize is a crowdsourcing platform for social good, named one of the top five ideas changing the world. In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the innovative crowdsourcing platform identifies and launches disruptive and catalytic social ventures that aim to solve the planets most pressing challenges. This year, the Hult Prize is focused around finding solutions for building sustainable, scalable, social enterprises that restore the rights and dignity of 10 million refugees by 2022.

The HULT Prize at IIM Bangalore was launched on 4th October, 2016 and received an overwhelming response from students across the different management programs of IIMB. The jury for the event included Nagaraja (Naga) Prakasam, Mentor-in-Residence, NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore; Anil Misquith, Senior Advisor – Villgro Innovations Foundation & Executive Director –Strategic Initiatives at Samhita Social Ventures and Utham Chenagappa, Founding Partner – Mani Chengappa & Mathur (a boutique law firm).

The winning team members from IIM Bangalore include Akshay Kumar, Devendra Meel, Parijat Panja and Rujhan Gupta, whose idea is called ‘Socio-Tech Alpha’. All four are currently pursuing their Post Graduate Programme in Management at IIMB.

Their aspiration is to create a sustainable and scalable social enterprise that aims to provide the marketplace and smart tech solutions to address the fundamental issue of livelihood for 1 billion migrants and slum dwellers globally. Socio-Tech Alpha is a holistic and inclusive business model that caters to daily wage labour, semi-skilled, and skilled segments of the marginalized and excluded population.

The team competed in the Hult Prize event at IIMB on 30th October 2016 and built a solution to this year’s challenge which is around ‘Reawakening Human Potential’.

The team will now move on to compete at the Hult Prize regional finals in March 2017, which will be hosted at one of Hult International Business School’s five campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai.

In his concluding remarks, Nagaraja Prakasam encouraged all the teams, including the ones who couldn’t make it to the next round, to take this as a step forward for to become future social entrepreneurs and said, “We would like to mentor the winning team at the N S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning, based at IIMB, and help them prepare for the subsequent rounds of the HULT Prize 2017 Challenge.”

Manish Kumar, PGP2 student at IIMB and Campus Director, HULT Prize Organization, is confident in his fellow classmates’ chance to go all the way and win this year’s Hult Prize. “This is an opportunity to use our skills to create an impact. The kind of impact that will affect the life of millions people,” he added.

Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize, attributes the success of the competition to the global youth revolution. “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 the bottom of the pyramid. We wish every team the best of luck and thank IIM Bangalore for supporting this initiative.”

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business accelerator program, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business. The final round of competition will be hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, where one team will be selected as the Hult Prize recipient.

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