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Hult Prize winners
Members of the winning MMM team pose with three of the first-round Hult Prize judges.

The Hult Prize is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs. Through its annual global case competition, the organization encourages the world’s brightest business minds to compete in teams to solve the biggest global challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises.

This year’s challenge is to identify a way, by 2020, to provide quality early childhood education to 10 million children who live in urban slums and are under the age of 6. The competition’s grand prize winner will receive $1 million in seed funding, in addition to continued support and mentoring from seasoned social entrepreneurs.

Northwestern recently hosted a first-round event for the Hult Prize. Ten teams, consisting of three to five students, competed for an automatic bid to the Hult Prize regional finals, which will be held on March 13-14 in one of five locations: London, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Dubai.

The teams were made up of undergraduate and graduate students from the Kellogg School of Management, Medill School of Journalism, McCormick School of Engineering and The Family Institute. This year’s winning team was made up of four first-year MMM students: Kate Geremia, Bobby Powers, Nihar Shah, and Derrick Wolbert. Their unique business idea is to become a “preschool resource as a service” to schools in the slums of Africa. The $1M reward would go a long way in helping them achieve their goal, and after winning the Northwestern event, they move one step closer to the prize. Kellogg’s Net Impact Club sponsored the local event. Judges for the event were:

  • Maria Whelan, CEO of local early childhood education non-profit, Illinois Action for Children
  • Gail Nelson, QRIS Policy Director for the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development
  • Troy Henikoff, Managing Director at TechStars Chicago
  • Joe Dwyer, Partner at Founder Equity and Digital Intent.

Learn more about the Hult Prize

Tommy Jackson is a first-year student in Kellogg’s Two-Year MBA Program. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a Finance degree, Tommy worked for Robert W. Baird as an equity research analyst and later BloomReach, a big data digital marketing startup.