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Hult Prize 2021 On-campus Round

December 27, 2020
- Nishitha T, Deepal Tiwari

Hult is an annual year-long competition that crowdsources ideas from college students after challenging them to solve pressing social issues around topics such as food security, water access, energy, and technology. It is the world’s biggest social entrepreneurship competition, offered in partnership with the Bill Clinton Foundation and the United Nations. The global winner gets a $1 million prize for launching a startup.

The 2021 Hult prize challenge, “Food for Good”, is asking youth around the world to build viable food enterprises that will create jobs, stimulating economies, reimagining supply chains, and improving outcomes for 10,000,000 people by 2030. It is a challenge to transform food from a bare necessity for survival into a vehicle for human wellbeing and prosperity and to understand how our existing food systems work, and why they are failing humanity on a global scale

The Hult Prize has 3 stages: On-Campus, Regionals & World Finals.

The On-campus round was conducted in IIT Roorkee on 28th November 2020, with Rotaract Club, Roorkee Central as a knowledge partner. A total of 11 teams comprising students across the campus and various disciplines, pitched their ideas.

The jury had a star panel of jurors for encouraging these aspiring entrepreneurs:

  • Mr. Amrendra Shukla - Director sales OLX, a business leader with expertise in sales, monetization, strategic operation in the customer internet industry.
  • Mr. Bhushan Lawande - founder and MD E4 Development and Coaching Ltd and chief architect of E4 MBA Intercollegiate Summer Trainee awards (India)
  • Dr. Amrit Pal Toor - Chairperson Chemical Engineering Dept, Punjab University, areas of interest include energy and environment
  • Mr. Karan Bharadwaj - CEO of Elatior Tech with wide experience in the design and development of products in Fintech, blockchain, and supply chain. Former CEO at PLMP Blockchain PTE Ltd. and CTO at XinFin Foundation
  • Prof Rajat Agarwal - Professor IIT Roorkee, an esteemed faculty member at DoMS, and Associate Dean of Innovation & Incubation

The event began with webinars on

  • “Digitalizing Micro Finance and Payments in Rural Economy” by Nishanth Pandita, Senior Manager Indifi Technologies
  • “Solving Food Security Problem Leveraging AI Technology” by Priyanjit Ghosh, Co-founder Codevector Labs-AI Solutions
  • “Impact through Innovation” by Prashant Mandke, Advisor Social Impact Initiatives and Rural Marketing

Team GD comprising of Devesh Gupta, Dhaval Mendapara, Piyush Dagadiya, and Himashi Arya emerged as the winners of the on-campus competition. They would advance straight to the Bombay Regional Summit, one of the 30+ Regional Summits happening worldwide, a step closer to winning the $1 million prize.

Watch Out! spoke to Piyush Dagdiya - “Our idea was based on effectively collecting and then utilizing the huge amount of waste generated in the food supply chain (from agricultural mandis to households, restaurants, etc.) with the help of stray animals (mainly cows and pigs) and some commercial birds like ducks and chickens to obtain useful products in the form of biogas, vermicompost, etc.”

Teams that did not place first are still able to submit their ideas to be considered for regionals by submitting a general application. Each Regional Summit winning team advances to the Hult Prize Global Accelerator where they can develop their idea and meet partners for a chance to qualify to Global Finals.

Apart from this, Team Annapurna came up with a subscription-based model from farmers to consumers to reduce the involvement of middlemen in food procurement thus reducing the price of different commodities. The model also involves collecting data from the consumers for demand forecast to prevent excessive agricultural production.

Another team, Strategy Catalysts, reimagined the way food catalysts are bought to optimize the ration for a person so as to include all macro and micronutrients with a technological service and also reworked the supply chain to simplify transportation, remove intermediaries to ensure the welfare of farmers.

On challenges faced on a virtual platform, Kevin Patel, Vice President of ENACTUS, IITR, and member of the organizing team of Hult Prize IITR, says,” The online competition saw comparatively lesser participation. The participants missed the chance to interact with the judges one on one, which is a part of Hult’s tradition. Hoping for wider participation next year”

With the winning team to compete in the regional round this January, we wish them the best.

For more on the Hult Prize, refer -

WatchOut: Hult Prize