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Information Technology University to Host a Local Edition of Hult Prize

Student teams from across the globe contend for $1 million cash award in start-up funding in the competition organised by the United Nations
by TR Pakistan

The Information Technology University (ITU), Punjab, in collaboration with the Kinnaird College for Women University (KCWU) will host one of the local editions of the prestigious Hult Prize competition.

The preliminary round of the competition sponsored across the globe by the United Nations will be held on Thursday (November 30), featuring 40 teams from the two universities. The top 12 teams (six from ITU and six from KCWU) will proceed to the final round to be held at ITU campus on December 2nd.

The annual Hult Prize awards one million dollars in start-up funding to the team of students that presents the most radical and breakthrough business idea for solving a major global challenge. Other local editions of the competition will be held at universities including IBA in Karachi, NUST in Rawalpindi, and UET and LSE in Lahore.

Jahanzaib Sohail from the Tech Entrepreneurship Society at ITU and Tooba Malik from KCWU will be leading the Hult Prize competition at the ITU campus.

The winners of the intra-campus events in Pakistan will advance to compete in one of the 15 regional finals happening around the world next year in March.

Read more: Pakistan’s First-Ever ICTD Conference Explores Solutions to Pressing Development Needs

The top 50 startups will spend eight weeks at the Hult Castle Accelerator, where participants will receive mentorship including strategic planning advice as they create prototypes to launch their new social enterprises.

The final round of the competition will be hosted at the UN headquarters in New York in September 2018. The winner of the final round will get the $1 million cash prize.

This year’s Hult Prize was won by four Pakistani-American students. They are using the cash award to fund a social enterprise, Roshni Rides, that envisions establishment of a transport network enabling refugee populations to access critical locations like work places, hospitals, schools and markets. The solar-powered rickshaw transport system launched by Rutgers University students Gia Farooqi, Moneeb Mian and Hasan Usmani and alumna Hanaa Lakhani has been operational in Karachi’s Orangi Town.

The panel of judges for the ITU-Kinnaird competition features Maria Umar, the founder of the Women’s Digital League Pakistan; Dr. Shahid A. Zia, the director of the Akhuwat Institute Of Social Enterprise and Management; Maryam Mohiuddin, the founder and director of the Social Innovation Lab; Noman Azhar, the country head for branchless banking at JS Bank; Huzaifa Ahmed, the CEO of Rizq; Zoya Ishaq, the CEO of SHE; Zaeem Yaqoob, the director of marketing and external relations at BNU; Zaeem Shahid, the founder of Maro Tandoor; Dr. Bashir Ahmad Khan, the dean of School of Business and Management Sciences, ITU; Dr. Tauseef Tauqeer, the head of the Department for Electrical Engineering, ITU; Dr Umar Safdar, an assistant professor at School of Business and Management Sciences, ITU; Dr. Adnan Noor, the chairperson of the Department of Computer Science, ITU; Hamza Bhatti, the business strategy manager at ActiveMedia; and Maria Rana, the founder of One Percent Collective.

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