For Us By Us: Global Diaries is an initiative brought in partnership with the Hult Prize Foundation that is bringing to light the incredible behind-the-scenes stories that are occurring across the globe with young entrepreneurs trying to change the world through impact.
Dubai saw students from across the world enter its borders on March 8, for the once in a lifetime opportunity to pitch at the Hult Prize Regionals.
“الانسان الذي لا أثر له، لا حياة له,
“A human being with no impact has no life,” Hass Dennaoui, founder and host of Buckle Up and a judge at the Regional Summit told the audience when he was announcing one of the finalists. The Arabic-Saudi saying perfectly sums up the mentality and mission of Hult Prize. Impact is the driving force behind Hult Prize and it trickles down to every student, judge, mentor, and volunteer working within its vast ecosystem. And it shined brightly during the Summit.
The Hult International Business School hosted the two-day Regionals Summit for the second time and saw 39 teams pitch their ideas in a 6-minute format. Although many had ground-breaking and disruptive ideas, the judges had to choose one winner, Team Chance from the University of Sydney. The team created a platform that would engage the youth by using game-based learning. The platform launches challenges and projects, endorsed by renowned companies, and the users need to complete them, developing their soft skills along the way.
Team UMUTI, from the African Leadership University and one of the finalists, wanted to utilize a process that turns bananas and plantain trunks into eco-friendly paper pulp. This would provide an alternative to wood products.
Another team, OuiCan from Hult International Business School in Dubai, created an online platform that connects people with disabilities with companies and helps them find jobs.
The Regionals 2019 Summits, held in +25 countries, is the last stage before the Global Accelerator, where every winner spends six weeks in London with mentors and trainers honing their skills and improving their startups. Afterward, the six winners of the Global Accelerator compete at the Hult Prize Finals for the chance to win $1 million in seed money. The prestigious event is held at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
“Hult Prize is everything you want it to be and at the same time, it’s not. It depends on your perspective, your journey and how much work you put into it,” Omar Ghanem the CEO and co-founder of U-Light told the audience. His team arrived at the Hult Prize Finals in New York the previous year but didn’t win.
“I implore every single one that doesn’t proceed with the competition to try again. Hult Prize is just the beginning for all of you. It’s the light that turns on. This is your journey, yours to write, you have the control and power over that. Hult Prize gives you the change, the mindset that you can do so much more. (The belief that) you can run a sustainable business while still providing service, value, and good.”