The Hult Prize is an annual, year-long competition for university students around the world that challenges on campus teams to solve social issues such as food security, water access, energy, and education. It is home to the world’s largest college and university network for social impact and offers a US$1 million prize to help the winning team launch a social enterprise.
Every year, the Hult Prize organizes a series of events across the world starting from the OnCampus leading to Regionals, Accelerator and the Finals of the competition at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
According to the Hult Prize website, the OnCampus Program operates on over two-thousand college campuses on five continents and is made up of students, university administrators, professors and alumni who participate in the program as mentors, speakers and sponsors for events, workshops and startup competitions.
The Hult Prize OnCampus Program at AIT began in 2019 through the efforts of a student-led organizing team and support from the AIT Entrepreneurship Center. The OnCampus Program for 2020 initiated a series of activities beginning in October that culminated with the “OnCampus Finals” which took place at the AIT Robert. B. Banks Auditorium on the 12 December 2020.
Twenty teams of students pitched their ideas under the theme of “Food for Good,” specifically on how to how food can be used as a vehicle to drive change. A blue ribbon panel of judges included Paul Ark, Advisor at Gobi Partners; Gautam Ganguly, Founder & CEO of Foodie; Thepparith Senamngern, Leader at Obama Foundation – Asia Pacific; Kunn Kangvansaichol, CEO/Founder of Algaeba; and Dr. Simab Kanwal, Scientist at the Institute of Molecular Biology, Mahidol University. The Chief Guest of the event was Mr. Raj Shankar Ghosh, Senior Advisor for Vaccine Delivery, Bill Melinda Gates Foundation.
After a two-step elimination process of pitching, the panel of judges selected three teams that stood out from the rest. The winning team called “Metro Kheti” earned a cash prize of 20,000 Thai Baht sponsored by the co-host of the event, AIT Entrepreneurship Center. They were chosen for their innovative idea for urban rooftop farming to impact the world. The First Runner up was “Team Verve” and the Second Runner Up was “Be Vegetable”.
OnCampus Program for 2020 organizers were Lareesha Sai, Campus Director 2020; Aujaswi Kumar Maurya, Deputy Campus Director; Sai Aditya, Event Director; Htet Yamin Ko Ko, Logistics Coordinator; Iha Pradhan, Teams Coordinator; Menail, Judges and Mentors Coordinators; Manoj Rao, Videographer; Sadiksha, Outreach Coordinator; Rungrot Tatiyawongwiwat, Sponsorship Coordinator; and Nisaar Abdul, Photographer.