Hult Prize Award Winner! (2/2)

by Mari Anixter

…and the winner is:

Aspire Foods – McGill University

President Bill Clinton announces the 2013 Hult Prize Winner. He is joined onstage by McGill University business students, now known as Aspire Foods, or the winners of a million dollars! (L to R: Jesse Pearlstein, Shobhita Soor, Zev Thompson, Gabriel Mott and Mohammed Ashour)

September 23, 2013

The final team presentations and the $1M award to the 2013 Hult Prize winner was highly energetic and slightly tense. Held Monday in New York city at the kick-off dinner of the annual Clinton Global Initiative, it had the buzz of a televised awards event.

Innovation Excellence congratulates the winner of the 2013 Hult Prize: Aspire Foods from McGill University and the five other finalist teams for their inspiring work and unrelenting energy to innovate on behalf of global social good.

I’ve said all along that the six finalist teams (selected from 250 semi-final teams of 10,000 student entrants total) were each –  if not the million dollar prize winner – destined for success. It is hard, I’m sure, not to feel like you’ve lost a million dollars and such a formidable opportunity, but the truth is that there is more where that came from — serious business and organizational support — for driving innovation that can conquer our most pressing global challenges.

The Hult Prize, now an active global community, has been brought into sharper focus, and continues to gain worldwide attention, from the work of many: CEO & Hult Prize Founder, Ahmad Ashkar, a Hult International Business School graduate; all of the universities and colleges that participate each year; the innovator “know how” and business expertise of the IXL Center in providing the Hult Prize Accelerator Program; and certainly the Hult Family for their many contributions including a $1M check, and President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative for their support, deep understanding and partnership.

Here is what the judges had to say about Aspire’s winning strategy:

“Out of the box and revolutionary…Micro livestock creates an option that never existed ‎before and now with a farming business model, they can get sustained revenue throughout the year to produce a high quality, low cost and low carbon footprint solution.”  – 2013 Hult Prize Judges

We are living in a world that increasingly values entrepreneurship that can drive and sustain social good, adopting good business models. Stay tuned as Innovation Excellence follows the energetic trail of the many students, entrepreneurs and innovators touched by the Hult Prize vision.

The time that I spent this summer inside the Accelerator program, covering the six Hult Prize teams and being immersed and challenged alongside them, was a gift I believe for them and us. Innovation Excellence will continue to report on the Hult Prize global community, and what I refer to as “the power and promise of social entrepreneurship”.

Here are some other CGI Hult Prize moments:

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Ahmad Ashkar, Hult Prize Founder & CEO, introduces the judges and final team presentations

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Hult Prize Judges (L to R): Steve Andrews/Solar Aid & Sunny Money; Premal Shah/Kiva; Peter Sands/Standard Chartered Bank; Mo Ibrahim/Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Guruaj Deshpande/Deshpande Foundation; Etharin Cousin/World Food Programme United Nations; Muhammad Yunus/2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner (not visible in photo); Kathy Calvin/United Nations Foundation; Akanksha Hazari/2011 Hult Prize Winner (event speaker, not attending as a judge)

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Aspire team, McGill University

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Reel Gardening team, University of Cape Town

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Pulse team, Hult International Business School, San Francisco

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Poshnam team, Asian Institute of Management

Hult Prize Award Winner!

SokoText team, London School of Economics

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Origin team, ESADE Business School

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Dr. Hitendra Patel, Managing Director of the Center for Innovation, Excellence and Leadership (IXL Center) "Hult Prize Update"

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Speaker Charles Kane, Chairman, One Laptop per Child "From Idea to Impact"

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Speaker Akanksha Hazari, 2011 Hult Prize recipient and m.Paani Founder and CEO

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Musical Performance by the NYCHA Youth Chorus

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Musical Performance by the NYCHA Youth Chorus

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Speaker Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme "Capturing and Delivering Innovative Food Assistance"

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Speaker Yves Béhar, Designer of the Hult Prize award

Hult Prize Award Winner

President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States and Founding Chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative, addresses 1000 attendees and announces the 2013 Hult Prize winner

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Aspire team steps to the stage, Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner in background

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Mo Ibrahim and Ertharin Cousin congratulate and admire the "trophy"

Hult Prize Award Winner!

HItendra Patel and Ron Jonash congratulate Zev Thompson

Hult Prize Award Winner!

Elated Hult Prize winners

Hult Prize Award Winner!

CGI attendees surround the stage

Hult Prize Award Winner!

President Clinton calls to a friend in the crowd

Hult Prize Award Winner!

With team mentor/coach Larry Slotnick; trophy and "check in hand"

For more on the winning ideas, I’ve posted stories about:  CGI Award Night (1/2), the Anatomy of an Accelerator at IXL Center, and these teams: Poshnam, Reel Gardening, SokoText, Pulse, and Aspire. Guy Viner, at www.grasp.dk has also written about the 2013 Hult Prize teams.

image credits: mari anixter

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Hult Prize Profile: SokoTextMari Anixter is Managing Editor for Innovation Excellence. She is a communications professional living in the Boston area.