St. Thomas MBA Team Advances to Regional Finals of Fifth Annual Hult Prize

Top-tier schools go head-to-head in world’s largest student competition, competing for $1 million in start-up funding to solve President Clinton’s Healthcare Challenge

The Hult Prize Foundation recently announced that a team of MBA students at the University of St. Thomas has advanced to the regional finals of the fifth annual Hult Prize. The Hult Prize is a program of the Clinton Global Initiative and Hult Business School committed to launching the next wave of social enterprises by encouraging teams to compete in solving the world's challenging problems through business. Teams will compete to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

The UST MBA team consists of Nana Yaa Dodi ’14 M.B.A. (Tema, Ghana), Pleasant Radford, Jr. ’14 M.B.A. (Park Forest, IL), Andrea Salazar ’14 M.B.A. (San Luis Potosi, Mexico), Rashmi Kandwal ’15 M.B.A. (Dehra dun, India) and Lukasz Wlosiak ’14 M.B.A. (Krakow, Poland). “These students represent the best of our MBA student body and their initiative highlights what creative cooperation in business can do to advance the common good,” said Christopher Puto, Ph.D., dean of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas.

The 2014 Hult Prize will focus on the 250 million slum dwellers around the world suffering from chronic diseases who need help. 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.

The UST MBA team’s proposal will leverage for-profit business and nonprofit organization to develop and franchise a line of products to provide a healthy, versatile and affordable meal option to slum dwellers in India. The concept directs proceeds to launching mobile clinics to diagnose and treat disease.

Each team selected was chosen from more than 10,000 applications received from nearly 400 colleges and universities in over 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional competitions will take place on March 7 and 8, 2014, in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. St. Thomas will compete in Boston with teams from Harvard, the University of Michigan, Rutgers and Purdue, among others.

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, 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 $1 million prize by Clinton.

About the Hult Prize

The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship which brings together the brightest college and university students from around the globe to solve the world’s most pressing issues. The annual initiative is the world’s largest student competition and crowd-sourcing platform for social good. The Hult Prize has been funded by the Hult family since its inception in 2009.