Hult Prize Syracuse winners announced

Hult Prize finalists and judges

Student startups CLLCTVE Agency, LLC, Forum Foods and US won first, second and third place respectively in the Syracuse campus qualifier for the prestigious Hult Prize, hosted by the Blackstone LaunchPad at Bird Library this past week.  Other campus finalists included Favor and LTWFC.

CLLCVTVE Agency, Inc. will now advance to one of 25 regional finals, and first alternate Forum Foods will move on to an open national competition, with another opportunity for a spot at the regionals.

A winning team from each of the 25 regional finals will be selected to participate in an eight-week summer residency at the Hult Castle accelerator in the United Kingdom and a chance to pitch at the United Nations in September 2019, with the winning team receiving the $1,000,000 grand prize.

Following their winning presentation, CLLCTVE Agency, Inc. was also invited by the Syracuse’s Mayor’s Office to jointly develop a pilot program to work on a youth leadership initiative with the City.

Members of winning teams included:

  • First place, CLLCTVE Agency, Inc:  Kelsey Davis and Ryan Williams
  • Second place, Forum Foods:  Jack Ramza, Lanie Duckworth, Morgan Eaton and Jamie Ciesinski
  • Third place, US:  SehYeon Park

Six Syracuse University finalist teams were invited to pitch in the competition, known as “The Nobel Prize for student startups.” In partnership with the United Nations, the Hult Prize hosts campus events around the world in search of the next game-changing start-up. Each year, the Hult Prize focuses on one grand challenge, inviting applicants to respond to that theme. This year’s challenge was youth unemployment.

“Solving the world’s most pressing challenges is not just the right thing to do, it is also good business,” said Ahmad Ashkar, CEO of Hult Prize, who conceived of the competition in 2009 as an enterprising MBA student at the Hult International Business School.  Ashkar’s idea — to leverage the crowd to generate startup ideas from young people to solve the world’s most critical social challenges, has grown the Hult Prize into the world’s biggest engine for the launch of for-good, for-profit student startups.

Funded by Bertil Hult, a Swedish billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, the annual, year-long competition challenges college students around the world to solve a pressing social issue related to topics such as food security, water access, energy, and education. The Hult family donates $1,000,000 in seed capital to help the winning team launch its social enterprise. The Hult Prize Foundation has been featured in a TIME Magazine Cover Story highlighting the “Top 5 Ideas Changing the World.”

Hult Prize Syracuse campus judges included:  Adria Fitch, City of Syracuse Innovation Office; Liam Kirst, City of Syracuse Office of Neighborhood and Business Development; Mark Jackson, Syracuse University Office of Community Engagement; Derek Watson, founder of Kalamata’s Kitchen; and Amy and Adam Fazackerley, CEO and COO of Lay-n-Go, LLC

Past Syracuse University Hult campus winners included Thrive Projects, which went on to the regionals in Boston, Farm to Flame, which went on to the regionals in Boston, and Drop Top, which went on to the regionals in Toronto.

Photo above:  Syracuse University Hult finalists and judges