Birmingham Business School students perform exceptionally in Hult Prize regional finals

Hult Prize banner image

Top-tier schools have gone head to head in one of five regional finals of the world’s largest student competition, competing for $1 million in start-up funding to solve President Clinton’s Early Childhood Challenge. 

The Hult Prize teamOn 13 and 14 March 2015, a team from Birmingham Business School’s MBA programme took part in the regional finals of the sixth annual Hult Prize, winning their heat and only marginally missing out on a place at the eight week ‘accelerator’ in the US. The Hult Prize Challenge 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.

The team members from Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham consisted of, James O’Toole (United Kingdom) who acted as Team Leader, Michael Akinyemi (Nigeria), Jessica Cho (Taiwan) Huixi Yu, Nina (China) and Ronnie Versher (United States).  

Earlier this year we were delighted to announce that a team from our MBA programme had been successful in reaching the regional finals of the prestigious Hult Prize Challenge. Now the London finals have taken place and we can once again congratulate our home team who excelled against significant competition to be ranked in the top six teams for the region. It has been a fantastic opportunity for our MBA team who have shone amongst the initial 20,000 applications.
Simon Collison, Dean of Birmingham Business School

This year’s Hult Prize focused on building start-ups that provide sustainable, high quality early education solutions to ten million children under the age of six in urban slums and beyond by the year 2020. The Hult Prize gives entrepreneurs from around the world a platform to innovate and revolutionize the way society thinks about servicing the poor.

The Hult Prize London finals consisted of approximately 60 teams, from a range of elite Business Schools and Institutions. The team members from Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham were chosen as one of the six finalists of the day’s heats to participate in the deciding round. The team went on to pitch their concept to an audience of 1000 people, which was followed by an intense question and answer session. There were 15 judges involved in the decision-making process, including: Ania Jakubowsi, Managing Director, Coca-Cola, Simon Nowroz, Co-Founder of The Amazing Mr Anderson, an innovation studio, and Corinne Marsolier, Director and Leader of Life Science Health and Care at Cisco Consulting Services.  

I am immensely proud of the team and to be a part of this internationally recognised competition. We received valuable feedback from many judges, which is priceless information. As a team we have managed our time to the best of our abilities, worked hard throughout and have gained a reputation among our business school peers. It’s an experience I will never forget.
James O'Toole, Team Leader 

Notes to Editors:

About Birmingham Business School:

Birmingham Business School’s world-class research and teaching provides the insights, ambitions and skills to shape better, simpler and more sustainable business strategies. Birmingham Business School puts business in context and people at the heart of business.

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 start-up accelerator 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. The Hult Prize Foundation has been funded by the Hult family since it was founded in 2009 by current CEO, Ahmad Ashkar.

  • Learn more about the Hult Prize Foundation

About The Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of 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 over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $87.9 billion.

  • Learn more about The Clinton Global Initiative