Responding to a challenge made by President Clinton in 2012 and building on the successes of past Hult competitions, the Hult Prize commits to help launch a new wave of student social entrepreneurs. This will be achieved by the creation of a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship designed to fund, mentor, advise, and launch new social businesses.
During each year of the commitment, President Clinton will identify and personally choose one of the world's most pressing social problems as the central focus of the Hult Prize. For the first year of the commitment, President Clinton selected global food poverty as the focal topic.
Through the continuation of its established global competition, Hult will bring together more than one thousand college and university students from over 130 countries, totaling more than 300 different colleges and universities. Working in five-person teams this spring, these students will compete at one of five global locations and online for the opportunity to spend the summer at the Hult Accelerator -- a world-class center for innovation in Boston - and secure US$1 million in seed funding to start their businesses. Out of the hundreds of teams who will attend the regional stage of the competition, the best six teams will be selected to work at the Accelerator.
Over the next 2 months, the Hult Accelerator will give these teams exposure to a number of successful business leaders and established social entrepreneurs. It will also provide teams with mentors to help them refine their business concepts and to identify the best means to scale-up their operations if successful.
Following the conclusion of their time working in the Hult Accelerator in July and August, each of the six winning teams will then pitch their idea at CGI's Annual Meeting in September 2013, where President Clinton, along with CGI Meeting attendees will select and award the winning team with a $1 million prize.
Hult Prize will implement its commitment through running an international, collegiate contest, setting up a world-class Hult Accelerator focused on: a) sustainable, impact methodology b) business coaching and mentoring and c) a specialized framework which aims to de- risk business ideas and make them scalable through the application of the best business thinking, combined with more action and less risk pedagogy. Finally, we will align people in organizations with these frameworks using President Clinton's voice and network.
ACTION PLAN (implementation steps)
Sept 25, 2012 - President Clinton to announces challenge and call to action
Sept 25, 2012 - Call for applicants released to colleges and universities world-wide
October 30, 2012 - First Application Deadline
November 30, 2012 - Second Application Deadline
December 16, 2012 - Final Application Deadline
January 2, 2013 - Presidents Challenge White Paper Issued
March 2, 2013 - Regional Rounds of Competition Held in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai
March 3, 2013 - Online Competition Launches and Call for participants launched
April 19, 2013 - Online Competition closes registration
April 20, 2013 - Online Competition public voting opens
May 12, 2013 - Online Competition public voting closes
May 20, 2013 - Online Competition winner announced
May 21, 2013 - Regional and Online Winners move into virtual accelerator
June 28, 2013 - Regional and Online Winners fly to the Hult Accelerator in Boston, MA to begin in-person, 8 week incubation of start-ups which includes coaching, mentors and methodology
August 30, 2013 - Pitch-day. Accelerator teams present their refined start-ups and begin preparation for CGI Finals
September 22, 2013 - Hult Prize finals takes place at a CGI topic dinner and President Clinton awards winning start-up $1,000,000 check
September 23, 2013 - President Clinton announces winning team and issues new challenge
and call to action.
NGOs are in a bind. While NGOs require lots of money and resources to help the poor around the world who are struggling against poverty and injustice, they often can't - or won't - generate any money or resources on their own. The origins of this problem are easy to see: NGOs' goals to alleviate suffering and improve the quality of life for many of the world's poor and disenfranchised are benevolent and decidedly not for profit. This rejection of the profit motive also helps NGOs to distance themselves from the bribery and corruption that has often influenced the governments of the world's poorest nations. Not distracted by concerns of power and money-making, NGOs free themselves - in theory - to step in boldly into parts of the public sphere where governments have failed or refused to act.
But this single-minded focus on mission has distracted many NGOs from a question of utmost importance: is our organization sustainable? NGOs have side-stepped the issue of making money to sustain their organizations by generating cash flow from the kindness of strangers - of benefactors (private individuals, groups, charitable donations from the public, or sympathetic governments) who are not part of the organization but who want to support its goals. While that kindness is certainly a force for good, its impact is often short-term or unreliable: the death of a philanthropist, the shifting priorities of a charitable organization, or a change in public sentiment can alter the amount of money an NGO has at its disposal. Sometimes, this can create a financial crisis that puts the NGO and the cause it serves in jeopardy. In the end, it seems that NGOs have put a lot of effort into an organizational model that is not built to last.