Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) for the second time is going to host Hult Prize 2021 on-campus round for young entrepreneurs to stage their business ideas focused on creating a positive impact in the world. Following the assigned challenge this year, the enthusiasts will be creating and presenting business plans on "Food for Good: Transforming food into a vehicle for change."
Young social entrepreneurs are supposed to come up with new business ideas which will build viable food enterprises that would impact the lives of 10 million people in the next decade while strengthening communities, increasing incomes, feeding the hungry, and creating jobs.
The Hult Prize is one of the world's most acclaimed entrepreneurship programmes operating in more than 1,500 universities in 121 countries and has become a benchmark startup challenge for social entrepreneurship. It is also a platform for youths to address important social and global issues. Each year, the Hult Prize fixes one crucial crisis and brings out the solution from the young minds with US$ 0.1 million in start-up funding to build a sustainable social enterprise.
Through learning opportunities like seminars, workshops, discussions, and dedicated mentorship and coaching, university students are transformed into budding entrepreneurs with business concepts, multi-disciplinary teams, and a focused pathway to change the world. As entrepreneurs are funneled through a robust in-person screening and selection process led by hundreds of independent and leading judges, they compete against fellow teams, refining their pitches, improving and iterating on their business models, and effectively creating the world's largest crowd-sourced arena for social and business innovation. The best teams are invited to one of the Hult Prize's leading business accelerators, live-work programmes that leverage leading business, academic, and legal experts who help transform these ideas into investment-ready startups with management teams, business plans, and prototypes.
The Hult Prize aims to focus on solutions to modern world problems challenging students to speak up their ideas and strategies for impactful, profit minded and market oriented businesses which would align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.) ''Just like this pandemic has introduced a new normal to us, students need to brainstorm newer ventures to solve these problems,'' said Md Tariqul Islam, chief advisor, Hult Prize at PSTU.
The Hult Prize at PSTU is determined to host the on-campus round this year with full enthusiasm despite the harsh pandemic situation. Jahid-ul-Islam is the campus director of the newly formed organising committee of 25 members. The advisor panel includes Md Tariqul Islam, assistant professor, Department of Management Studies and Dr SM Hanif, lecturer, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics of PSTU. Notable number of workshops and online sessions have been held since the formation of the new organising committee which have been very helpful and effective for the students. VIVO is sponsoring the event with The Financial Express as the media partner and Learning Bangladesh as the skill development partner.
"The organising committee is hopeful to have a huge number of participants this year. It indicates the enthusiasm and eagerness of the young minds to eradicate world problems and meet the SDGs," said Jahid-ul-Islam, the campus director. As the business case and idea submission is going on, on-campus round of Hult Prize 2021 is expected to be held on December 10, 2020 with the central final round projected to be held in September, 2021 where the winner will be awarded US$ 0.1 million for start-up fund.
The writer is a student at Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU).
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