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Cambridge Judge team wins through to regional finals of fifth Hult Prize

L-R: Gopal Rao, Vidhi Chopra, Jacqueline Gilbert, Nidhi Sheth, Andrew Quan

Gopal, Vidhi, Jacqueline, Nidhi & Andrew

A team of five Cambridge MBA delegates has beaten off competition from hundreds of universities and thousands of students to secure a place in the regional finals of the world’s biggest student competition.

The Hult Prize Foundation has announced that the Cambridge Judge Business School team has advanced to the regional finals of the fifth annual Hult Prize. CJBS team members Gopal Rao, Jacqui Gilbert, Andrew Quan, Nidhi Sheth and Vidhi Chopra are from the current MBA class of 2013.

The Cambridge Judge team was selected to go forward out of more than 10,000 applications from over 350 colleges and universities in over 150 countries.

The teams are competing for USD 1 million in start-up funding to solve President Bill Clinton’s Healthcare Challenge. In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the innovative Hult identifies and launches disruptive 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 USD 1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture. This year President Clinton has set the Hult teams the challenging task of how to help the 250 million slum dwellers around the world suffering from chronic diseases.

The Hult Prize regional competitions will take place on 7-8 March 2014 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. Cambridge Judge Business School’s team will compete in Dubai.

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentoring, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and get set 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 their prize by President Clinton himself.

Paul Tracey, Professor of Innovation & Organisation at Cambridge Judge, who is leading a new Social Innovation specialism on the Cambridge MBA, said:

It’s a fantastic achievement to go through the regional finals of the Hult Prize. Not only does it need an innovative idea, it also takes an incredibly strong team with passion and drive, and with the right mix of skills and experience. I’m very excited about their progress, and am looking forward to seeing how they get on in the next round!

Cambridge MBA alumna Akanksha Hazari took the Hult Prize in 2011 when the prize teamed up with Matt Damon and Water.org to challenge students worldwide to tackle the world’s clean water crisis. Akanksha and her team’s proposal of an innovative incentive scheme to bring clean water and sanitation to those living at the bottom of the economic pyramid, through mobile technology, strategic telecom partnerships and a rebate programme, went on to become m.Paani, an independent social enterprise working to bring safe water, education, healthcare, energy, nutrition and mobility to communities in rural India. Akanksha has since been recognised as one of the top 10 female social entrepreneurs in India.