Hult Prize brings aspiring student entrepreneurs at Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the hunger crisis across the world, and one of the best ways to address this challenge is to ignite the mind of students to come up with solutions.
Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET), Patiala hosted the preliminary round of the Hult Prize competition in December 2020 to showcase student-led innovations which can solve pressing social issues.
Considered as the “Nobel Prize for students,” the Hult Prize is an impact-focused programme which serves as a platform for events and training for students across the world to create a pathway for them to take action to build a better world. It provides a $1 million grant for award-winning solutions.
The competition is run in collaboration with the United Nations to nurture and build social enterprises at a very early stage.
Dhruv Taneja, Campus Director, Hult Prize, TIET said, “It's not every day that you have an opportunity to change the world. A team of you will be representing all of us at the upcoming Hult Prize Regional Finals that will take place in the months of March and April, 2021. This is our chance to show the world that our institution is dedicated to creating impact.”
The topic for the competition was ‘Food for Good,' which required the students to build their solutions that can ensure the basic necessity of food and nutrition for human prosperity.
For the 2021 challenge, Hult Prize is asking youth from around the world to build viable food enterprises that will create jobs, stimulate economies, reimagine supply chains, and improve outcomes for 10 million people by 2030.
The idea of ‘Food for Good’ evinced very strong interest from students, with the platform seeing participation from 50 colleges that were eager to know about Hult Prize and its associates.
To enable a more structured process, the participating students were given regular mentoring and guidance through numerous workshops. The first session was titled 'The Startup Canvas' and was mentored by Saurabh Jain, VP, Paytm.
This workshop highlighted the fundamentals of startups in terms of starting up, steps needed to put ideas into action, and how to scale.
The other two workshops were on the topics: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Build Businesses of the Future, addressed by Surendra Tipparaju, Senior Director, Microsoft; and Zero to Crypto: Blockchain by Raj Kapoor, Founder, Indian Blockchain Alliance.
The competition at the TIET campus was intense, resulting in three teams being selected for the regional finals. They will showcase their solutions at the grand finale that will be hosted in a couple of months.
The competition finale ended with a knowledgeable and animated panel discussion on the topic: “Against All Odds - Chasing Irrefutable Success by Reinventing Yourself.”
The executives who participated in this discussion were: Ritesh Jain, Co-founder, Infynit and former Chief Operating Officer, HSBC; Surendra Tipparaju, Senior Director, Microsoft; Radha Abrol, Managing Director, Accenture; Ashok Ramachandran, President and CEO, Schindler; Parvez Siraj, Director, Cipla Ltd; Sandeep Das, Bestselling Author and Director, PwC; Amardeep Sibia, Founder and CEO, Drishya.ai and former Vice President, Goldman Sachs; Rohit Kataria, Senior Commercial Director, Corning Incorporated; Radhika Batra, Founder, Every Infant Matters; and Fedi Regaieg, Asia Manager, Hult Prize Foundation.
Dhruv said, “The summit was a trailblazing success where all the panellists discussed their relationship with social impact and its effect on their professional workspace.”
The panel discussion provided key insights into the world of startups and how unconventional ideas gives way to new and path-breaking solutions. The overarching theme of the event aimed to encourage students to turn obstacles into opportunities, or problems into possibilities. These served as very inspiring thoughts for aspiring student entrepreneurs.
For TIET, conducting the entire preliminary round of Hult Prize competition put another feather in their cap as the institute brought together the students and leading names from the corporate world onto one platform.
Edited by Kanishk Singh