Eight Boise State Career Track MBA students received notification early last week that they have been selected to participate in the 8th Annual Hult Prize Regional Final in London and Shanghai. These teams were selected from a record breaking pool of 50,000+ applications received from over 100 countries. The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition to solve the world’s toughest challenges. The Hult Prize platform allows entrepreneurs to present business ideas that create social change. The 2017 theme is “Refugees – Reawakening Human Potential,” and the challenge is to create a business that will restore basic human rights to the more than 10 million refugees worldwide.
Ashleigh Anderson, Jessica Bottelberghe, Steven Gabrielsen and Ethan Lopez make up Dream Team. Their business idea is an online platform called “A Story to Be Told.”
Anderson shared her team’s vision.
“Our mission is to allow refugees to share their stories in order to connect them with the rest of the world. Through our research, we learned that a large majority of refugees have a mobile phone and access to the internet, no matter what stage of the refugee life cycle they are in. This inspired us to give them an opportunity to escape isolation and let their voice be heard.”
The second phase of “A Story to Be Told” will be to publish a book and produce other merchandise and events. They plan to partner with non-profits that are currently working to better refugee camps and give them a proportion of profits so they can continue their work.
Team Project Recover comprises Alexandria Allen, Becky Davis, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg. Their business idea aims to restore basic human rights of food, water, shelter and security by providing income to refugees.
Project Recover builds on the skills and talents refugees have to create products that represent their culture. Project Recover provides the work-space, supplies and materials and buys the product from the maker and sells it via an online store. Every product sold will come with a picture and description of the person who hand-crafted the product.
“The business model is repeatable and sustainable and can transfer anywhere in the world to help at any refugee crisis. It is important to help refugees express themselves through their native culture and use skills they already possess,” said Legg. “Our model gives people all over the world the opportunity to help.”
In all, three Boise State teams will compete in Hult Prize Regional Finals. Dream Team and Team Project Recover join Team Cultivate that won the @boisestate local Hult Prize competition Nov. 10. Team Cultivate business idea is the P.O.T.T (portable one-time toilet). The P.O.T.T. promotes safety and privacy for individuals using the restroom, removes build-up of sewage that pollutes water, and can even help generate food.
The teams head to Hult Prize regional finals in March 2017. Dream Team is going to London, Team Project Recover to Shanghai and Team Cultivate will compete in Dubai.