University News | December 19, 2018
On Saturday, December 15th, Hokkaido University student teams pitched their business ideas to four qualified judges to win the Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University Campus Final.
The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student entrepreneurship competition, bringing together more than 1 million young people from over 100 countries to tackle challenges adversely affecting contemporary society. The winner of the Hult Prize receives 1 million dollars in start-up funds for their business.
The theme of the 2019 Hult Prize is “Youth Unemployment; Can you create a venture that provides 10,000 meaningful jobs for youth within the next decade?” The teams participating in the Hult Prize need to formulate detailed, sustainable and actionable plans to help solve this issue whilst also considering the role of their business in addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Hokkaido University has one of Japan’s longest running On Campus programs. This year marks the university’s 4th Campus Final, which comprised a total of 14 teams from both Sapporo and Hakodate campuses, and students from over 15 countries. Team Dziko Langa, Team AQUAMOU, and Team Floatmeal were selected as the Top 3 teams. Team Dziko Langa, the 1st place team, will automatically advance to the Regional Competition. Although the locations of the Regional Competitions have yet to be decided, this year will be the first that one will be held in Japan.
Team Dziko Langa, whose project surrounds creating an efficient and sustainable recycling system in Zambia, described their upcoming plans with enthusiasm shortly after the competition:
We are very passionate about this project. Issues of health, waste, poverty, creating a more sustainable environment…these are issues that need to be tackled, and they are issues we had faced in our daily lives in Zambia. And it is the young people really driving change. We believe that if we put power back in their hands, they will support our cause as well as our business to create a more sustainable environment for all.
The winners of the Regional Competitions in March/April 2019 will then participate in an Accelerator Program in the United Kingdom before moving on to the Hult Prize Finals in New York late next summer. There, the team which wins the competition will receive the prize money to kick-start their business.
“This competition is very tough for all of the students,” said Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University Campus Director Rina Tsuboi, “However, this is the first time every Hokkaido University team presented at the Campus Final. I was very moved that everyone gave it their all. My goal now as Campus Director is to support the winning teams so they can win in the Regional Finals.”
Hult Prize @ Hokkaido University is sponsored and supported by both internal and external companies, including Amino Up Co., Ltd., No Maps, and the Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Written by Katrina-Kay Alaimo, Ph.D.