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Career Start MBA Students Advance to Regional Finals of Hult Prize Competition

Career Start MBA students groupA team from Boise State University has advanced to the regional finals of the fourth annual Hult Prize and will compete in San Francisco March 1-2 for a chance to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition aimed at solving the planet’s most pressing challenges. Student teams compete in five cities around the world. The 2013 Hult Prize addresses global food security and will focus on how to get safe, sufficient, affordable and easily accessible food to the 200 million people who live in urban slums – a challenge personally selected by former President Bill Clinton.

Team Spherical Life includes members Scott Blades, Kelly Suter, Neha Sharma and Concepcion Yeng Chi Morel, full-time students in Boise State’s Career Start MBA program, and Don Sturtevant, an executive at J.R. Simplot Corporation who is enrolled in the part-time MBA program. They have diverse backgrounds — hailing from India, Mexico and the United States and working in biotech, energy markets, food production and social causes.

“This is a rare and very real opportunity to make a tangible difference on the global scale,” said Blades. “As human beings sharing this planet, how can we not try everything within our power to solve this problem?”

Boise State’s team was chosen from more than 10,000 applications, comprising more than 350 colleges and universities from more than 150 countries. The five regional competitions will take place March 1-2 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai. Boise State will compete against 42 other teams in San Francisco.

Following the regional event, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator and will receive mentorship, advice and strategic planning as they create prototypes for their new business. The final round of competition will be hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in September. CGI delegates will select a winning team to be awarded the $1 million prize by President Clinton.

“The Hult Prize is thrilled that Boise State University has joined the initiative,” said Stephen Hodges, president of the Hult International Business School. “This year’s competition has received a record number of entries, bringing together some of the most talented students to help solve global food security, which can benefit nearly a billion people.”

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