Global Entrepreneurship Week: Tackle the Hult Prize challenge to transform food into a vehicle for change

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the perfect time to think about making a global impact.  Applications are open through November 22 for the December 4 Syracuse University Hult Prize, part of a global social entrepreneurship competition.  The LaunchPad coordinates the Syracuse competition which is the qualifier for the $1 million global competition sponsored the Hult Foundation with the United Nations. This year’s challenge is Food for Good, focusing on ventures that tackle a global food-related problem.  

“Food defines the human experience. Family dinners, religious feasts, quick snacks eaten during breaks at work, and our many other relationships with food combine to shape our bodies, our minds, our communities, and the world we call home. Food is the ultimate equalizer,” writes the Hult Foundation.  “Yet increasingly over recent decades, food systems have become machines of extraction that reduce our well-being, weaken communities, and impoverish the world around us.  Parents wage a daily battle to nourish and nurture their children, while food supply chains funnel massive profits to corporations and billionaires. We are challenging you to transform food from a bare necessity for survival into a vehicle for human wellbeing and prosperity.”

Download the full Challenge brief here for ideas about how to use food as a vehicle for change.  Teams of three can apply here for the Syracuse campus competition on December 4.  Undergraduate and graduate students at Syracuse University from across all academic programs and majors, and SUNY ESF students who study entrepreneurship at SU, are invited to apply.  “Together, the Hult Prize global community will reclaim the potential and power of food as the most basic and fundamental resource required to fuel humanity for the century to come,” writes the Hult Foundation.

Food for Good is an apt theme this year, as the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has just been awarded to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace.  Former WFP director and World Food Prize laureate Catherine Bertini is a judge for this year’s Syracuse competition.  Other distinguished judges are experienced food entrepreneurs, innovative business professionals and food experts. They include:

  • Anne C. Bellows, a Food Studies professor specializing in food justice and community health, and previously the Director of the Research Center for Gender and Nutrition and Universität Hohnheim.
  • Joseph Dunaway, a veteran and Syracuse ’12 alumnus who started the company KnifeHand Nutrition, a meal prep service focused on creating healthy meals to fuel success.
  • Dylan Gans, Syracuse alumnus and current Director of Growth and Marketing at Good Uncle, a quality college meal-delivery service.
  • Samadhi Moreno, Syracuse alum and Boston public health professional focused on health and nutrition for vulnerable populations.
  • Derek Wallace, Syracuse alum and CEO and founder of Kalamata’s Kitchen, a company opening kid’s minds to the diversity of the world through food.

Entrepreneurship Week is the time to think about big global challenges, so, it is the perfect time to consider taking the Hult Prize challenge.  Long considered the Nobel Prize of student entrepreneurship, the Hult Prize each year tackles a huge societal problem in the world’s most prestigious social entrepreneurship competition, with a $1 million grand prize for the team that develops the most radical and breakthrough idea. 

The winner of the Syracuse campus event will automatically advance to compete in one of fifteen global regional finals happening around the world next March. One winning team from each host city will then move onto a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business. A final round of competition will be hosted in September 2018, where the winning team to be awarded the $1 million prize.

If you have any questions, please email LaunchPad Global Fellow Claire Howard who is the Syracuse University Hult Prize campus ambassador: