The Hult Prize Foundation recently announced that the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University has advanced to the regional finals of the seventh annual Hult Prize.

Hult Prize

The Hult Prize is 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. Student teams compete in six cities around the world for a chance to secure US$ 1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

The team consists of Christian Ueland, First Year MPP, Sylvie Somerville, First Year MPP, and Johan Juul Jensen, an exchange student from the Hertie School of Governance 

“These students, reflecting our core values of service, character, and justice, have put forth a highly commendable plan that is grounded in creative thought and finely honed skills to address a critical policy challenge,” said Edward Montgomery, Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy. “I am tremendously proud of their endeavor and wish them the absolute best as they advance to the regional finals, where they will serve as distinguished ambassadors of the McCourt School and Georgetown University.”   

The 2016 Hult Prize asks entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses that double the income of 10 million people living in crowded urban spaces – a challenge personally selected by President Bill Clinton. 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 revolutionize the way we think about servicing the poor.” 

The McCourt team is creating Mobilized Construction, a company that is reinventing how dirt roads in rural communities are maintained. Mobilized Construction employs and empowers members of local communities to maintain roads by equipping them with shovels, pickaxes, wheelbarrows, and smartphones. They estimate they can lower the costs of road maintenance to 5-10 percent of today’s $16,000 USD per km costs while also shifting road maintenance availability to as frequent as once a week (versus once a year). By not using heavy machinery, Mobilized Construction avoids transportation delays and the high costs associated with sophisticated machinery and skilled labor.

In February, the team launched Project Road to Health in Luwero, Uganda to improve the access to the region’s only maternal health clinic, Shanti Uganda. So far they have rebuilt 1.3 km of the Nabagaya Road. Community members have seen taxi fares and travel time to the clinic decrease by 50 percent and have observed a 400 percent increase in traffic on Nabagaya Road. Mobilized Construction is expanding its impact in Luwero and raising money through its “Adopt-a-Road” campaign to help expand operations in Uganda.

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 took place on March 11-12, 2016 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai. Georgetown will compete in San Francisco. 

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.  The President has said, “The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.”

About the Hult Prize Foundation

The Hult Prize Foundation is a pioneer in crowd-based approaches to the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems and the acceleration of social enterprise. Its startup accelerator is the world’s largest and brings together the brightest college and university students from around the globe to solve the world’s most pressing issues. It has been named by TIME amongst the top five ideas changing the world. The annual Hult Prize Challenge is the world’s largest student competition and crowd-sourcing platform for social good, offering a grand prize of US$1,000,000. The Hult Prize Foundation has been funded by the Hult family since it was founded in 2009 by current CEO, Ahmad Ashkar, it is run in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative and is sponsored by the Hult International Business School. To learn more, visit www.hultprize.org.

About The Clinton Global Initiative 

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, CGI members have made more than 2,500 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $87.9 billion.
About the McCourt School of Public Policy