How would you change the world with $1 million? The Hult Prize Challenge provides University of Nebraska–Lincoln students the opportunity to answer that question and compete in the first stage of an international competition for the chance to win $1 million. The deadline to register a team is November 11.
Planning the first Nebraska Hult Prize campus competition, Gloria Mwiseneza, a junior integrated science major, from Kigali, Rwanda, brought the competition to campus. Acting as the university’s Hult Prize campus director, she partnered with the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Husker International Business Club to host the event. Open to all majors, this year’s challenge asks competitors to develop an idea to provide meaningful jobs to 10,000 young people within the next decade. Working in teams of three or four members, students pitch their plan to a panel of judges. Those who do not have a team may register individually and are placed on a team. The challenge runs in a bracket format through a preliminary and final round. The three best teams compete in the final round.
“The Hult Prize Challenge requires students to stretch their innovative thinking beyond normal bounds, to find a market solution to a huge global problem, and in doing so – change the world,” said Dr. Samantha Fairclough, associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of practice in management. “While that sounds daunting –
and it undoubtedly is –
there is a great benefit to students' broadening their thinking to embrace the biggest social and economic problems in the world, and they might be surprised by what they can do. The act of brainstorming solutions can lead to the germ of an idea which is actually realistic and do-able. As the organizers of the prize say, start with making a difference to one life, then work on scaling it up.”
The winner from the competition at Nebraska bypasses the traditional application process to enter the global contest and fast tracks their idea to one of fifteen regional rounds of competition held around the world. From there, winning teams will compete in an international competition at Hult Castle in London, before moving on to the Hult Prize final, where six teams will pitch their ideas at the United Nations in New York.
“The challenge provides an opportunity to meet and connect with students from different majors and backgrounds, which aids students’ collective creativity and nurtures friendships and networks,” said Fairclough. “So to anyone still hesitating on competing, I say stretch yourself! Ask yourself if you can make a difference in the world. Compete and find out what you can achieve!”
There will be two information sessions on Thursday, November 1 at 12-1 p.m., and on Tuesday, November 6 at 5-6 p.m., both in the Center for Entrepreneurship (HLH 315). Students can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The university’s challenge takes place on November 16 in Howard L. Hawks Hall 018. Check in begins at 9 a.m. The first round of pitches happen that morning with the final round in the afternoon and winners announced at 4 p.m. To register a team for the event, visit: https://business.unl.edu/hultprize