Two Boise State Teams, one including students with TechHelp ties, advanced to the regional finals of The Hult Prize, an international competition that brings together the best and brightest university students to solve world issues. The 2018 Hult Prize challenge was to build a scalable, sustainable social enterprise that harnesses the power of energy to transform the lives of 10 million people by 2025. Former Export Excellence intern, Eldar Sakebaev (L) and current TechHelp Graduate Assistant, Ali Sharifi Shalmani (R), joined fellow MBA student, Jessica Carolina (C), in developing the “Northstar Energy” project for the competition. Northstar focused on reusing batteries from hybrid vehicles to provide safe, clean, and affordable power to food cart operators in Indonesia.
“Thought I did not get to work with Jessica, I had the pleasure of collaborating with Eldar and Ali on a number of projects over the past couple of years. In addition to being smart and multi-talented, they are hardworking, innovative, responsible, and fun. I envy the fortunate organizations that hire these talented young people.”
Bill Mullane, TechHelp Marketing Manager & Adjunct Professor of International Management at Boise State.
Multiple interviews and deep research led the Northstar Team to focus on meeting the power needs of the 22 million food carts that serve Indonesia’s population of 267 million. Each cart owner purchases and burns about three kilos of natural gas per day creating significant cost, safety and pollution issues. The Northstar Team’s battery pack prototype, named “Little Dipper”, offers a safe and efficient energy alternative designed to help cart owners reduce costs and carbon while improving profitability. Northstar’s model includes an innovative selling plan where users would pay based on the number of battery charge cycles. This model makes the batteries less expensive to users and provides revenue to the charging company through carbon trading.