Technology waits for no one. If you don’t innovate, someone else definitely will. From the discovery of the light bulb, to an app that books cabs, from the introduction of an assembly line, to a fully automated workshop, the world has marched a long way. Some zealous individuals who have bred these ideas, form the backbone of this dynamic process of global development, creating jobs for millions and even sustaining the economies of nations. Every single business which has impacted this world in such gargantuan proportions, often have the most humble of beginnings, sometimes even in a garage, but at the heart of it, is a start-up plan crafted by a group of individuals, which when executed properly, lead to unfathomable changes globally. Hult Prize is back again at Jadavpur University to provide students with an opportunity to pitch in their start-up ideas in quest of bringing out this change.

 It has been a decade since the foundations of this annual, year-long competition established by Bertil Hult and presented by Hult International Business School in partnership with United Nations Foundation, was formed. Each year former US President Bill Clinton selects the challenge topic and announces the winner in September. It has set some extremely real-time clinching global problems as the challenge each year like “Early childhood Education”, “Global Water Crisis”, “Harnessing the power of energy” , to name a few of them. So far it has generated  over 250,000 start-up business ideas, invested about 5.5 billion USD in the impact sector, with 121 countries being represented by Hult prize entrepreneurs and over 250,000 annual participants making it the world’s largest entrepreneurs training program.

The Hult Prize 2020 competition, like all years will happen in multiple stages beginning with the “OnCampus” round, in between October to December 2019 where the students of Universities selected as hubs pitch in their business ideas in front of a highly experienced panel of judges. The teams shall comprise four to five students of the same university including all undergraduate, postgraduate and Phd. programs and departments exempting all teachers and faculty members.

For the “OnCampus” round there shall be three slots and there shall be two winners from each slot who shall proceed to the final round, all happening on the same day. From the six teams, three will get selected for the Regional round, which shall happen between March to April 2020. This round happens in major cities around the globe like Mumbai, Dubai, San Francisco, London to name a few. 50 shortlisted candidates from here will be eligible for the Global Accelerator program hosted in Boston between July to August 2020. Here they shall be trained by business leaders, mentors, investors and corporate partners which shall also help them find investors for their respective start-up programs. The Global Finals will take place at the UN headquarters in New York in September 2020 where the winning team shall receive 1 million USD to lauch their start-up idea. The Hult Prize 2020 challenge is “Building Startups That Have A Positive Impact On Our Planet With Every Dollar Earned”. With AQI and WQI levels rising to a dangerously high level , the call for an hour is to find a business idea that can reverse the damages caused by pollution using one of it’s biggest causes – capitalism, as the weapon.

 Teams from Jadavpur University have come up with some  impressive business ideas in the past Hult Challenges, with ideas like the gamification of energy conservation by a reward-based incentivise conservation of energy, an app-based model focused on creating a database of all refugees, an application to provide beds, saving the patients and their families and a lot of trouble and various other striking ideas. The winners have narrated their enthralling experience at the regionals where they get to visit some of the most beautiful cities of the world. In a blog created by Aditya Das, a student of the Department of Chemical Engineering, titled MAGIC of Malaysia, he has mentioned it to be a “Once in a lifetime Experience.” Aditya was a part of the team who made it to the regionals in Kuala Lumpur last year and he is the first Jadavpurian making it to the Regional finals of Hult. He has vividly shared his experience away from home.

  The participants of Jadavpur University were honoured to have Guest lecture by Mr. Manish Ranjan, the winner of Hult Prize 2014. Mr. Ranjan is the CEO of the social enterprise NanoHealth which is also the only startup from India to have won the Hult Prize. Mr. Ranjan’s lecture provided the participants a major insight to their entrepreneurship dreams. The judges of Hult Prize 2020 this year in Jadavpur University are Mr. Debashis  Ghosh, Operation Manager Neotec Hub, Mr.Sudipta Ghosh, Global Head IP Management, Ms. Rajarshi Ghosh, Head Department of Economic Affairs and Policy Indian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Subir Ghosh, Founder and MD Okira Healthcare, Pvt. Ltd., Ms. Amrita Chatterjee, Director South Asian Forum for Environment,Mr. Hindol Goswami, Co-founder and Director Starfed, Mr. Debashsish Biswas, Chairman Maxcellence Global,Mr. Kaushik Bhaduri, Microsoft Corporation, Ms. Anjana Dewanji, Prof. Agricultural And Ecological Research Unit ISI Kolkata, Ms. Ananya Bhattacharya, Director Banglanatok dot com, Mr. Rabin Roy, MD Suncraft Energy. The Campus Director 2020 of Jadavpur University this year is Abhishek Gupta, from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

   The world is riddled with the issue of pollution and capitalism is inevitably one of the major causes. However one of the biggest causes can be turned into one the best weapons to defeat this, Hult Prize 2020 has indeed tapped into a very crucial issue which the world is collectively concerned about. The OnCampus round at Jadavpur University is scheduled on the 10 th of November, and as far as launching one’s start-up idea is concerned, this is undoubtedly one of the best opportunities

   

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