Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is set to host the first ever Hult Prize on-Campus Competition, Saturday, December 16, 2017 at the Main Campus, Juja.
The Hult Prize is a partnership between the Hult Foundation and the United Nations, and is the world’s largest student competition for advancing social good. Recognized by Bill Clinton, former US President and the TIME Magazine as one of the top five ideas changing the world, the Hult Prize challenges students to build a sustainable and scalable social enterprise that can radically change the world in response to a United Nations global issue topic selected each year by former US President, Bill Clinton. The winning team globally, receives USD 1,000,000 to make their ideas a reality.
The on-campus competition will see top 15 teams comprising of undergraduate and postgraduate students pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges consisting of leading executives and entrepreneurs. The judges include: Dr. Bahaa Eddine Sarroukh, head of Africa Innovation Hub, Ms. Iman Cooper of BuuPass and the 2016 USD 1,000,000 Hult Prize Winner, Mr. Wilkings Fadhili of StartUpNow Kenya, Ms. Elizabeth Wangeci Chege from Web Limited, and the Vice Chair World Green Building Council Africa Regional Network, Mr. Denise Brian of Halisi Group. Others are: Mr. Sam Mwirotsi, Ubuniworks, Ms. Seline Olango from KenGen and Nathaniel Kyenze of Equity Bank.
The theme of this year’s competition is: Harnessing the Power of Energy to Transform the Lives of 10 Million People. The winning team from the on-campus competition will advance to the regionals in one of the 16 cities worldwide in March, 2018 to represent JKUAT. The regional competitions will be held in the cities of Nairobi, Lagos, Cairo, Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, London, Tunis, Shanghai, Toronto, Mexico City, Quito, Bogota, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.
Winning teams from each regional competition will attend an eight (8)-week accelerator programme in London, UK, before qualifying for the global finals at the United Nations headquarters in New York, in September, 2018. The overall champion is poised to bag prize money worth USD 1,000,000 (approximately over Ksh. 100 million).
According to Suleiman Yunus, the Campus Director for the Hult Prize at JKUAT, and an undergraduate student pursuing Mathematics and Computer Science, the participants will battle for the on campus top honours at the SCC 100 (venue) starting at 9 am. Yunus is optimistic the teams will leverage on the quality mentorship from the Patron of the Hult Prize at JKUAT, Prof. Henry Bwisa, to make a good account of themselves during the contest and have the cream that will finally settle at the top to represent JKUAT at the regionals.