The One Million Dollar Start Up Challenge – HULT Prize At IIM Indore

On November 21st, IIM Indore proudly hosted the HULT prize @ campus, the world’s largest student competition for social entrepreneurship. Called the “Nobel Prize for students” by media outlets world-wide, the Hult Prize is offered in partnership with former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. President Bill Clinton selects the challenge topic every year and announces the winner each September. The issue addressed this year is: Reawakening Human Potential: The Refugee Opportunity.

 The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s top universities. Named as “one of the top five ideas changing the world” by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine, the annual competition for the Hult Prize aims to identify and launch the most compelling social business ideas: start-up enterprises that tackle grave issues faced by billions of people.

Eight years post its inception, the Hult Prize has established itself as the most impactful student initiative in the world. It is a year-long competition which crowd-sources ideas from university students. College students from around the world compete to solve a pressing social issue faced by millions via start-up enterprise. The problems addressed include food security, water access, energy, and education. Winners receive USD 1 million in seed capital, as well as mentor ship and advice from the international business community. Each of the finalists receives pilot funding along with membership to the Clinton Global Initiative.


It is hosted and supported by Hult International Business School, and generously funded by Swedish entrepreneur Bertil Hult and his family. The first step to the entire process is the selection of campus director, which involved the applicants to go through an interview process. Campus director plays a critical role in the overall Hult Prize experience. Each campus director is an official presenter of the Hult Prize organization. Gaurav Mandan from the PGP 2017 batch outshone others in the process and was selected as the campus director. Rigorous campaigns were used to create awareness about the event in and around the campus. The competition comprised of 2 rounds.

 The campus round witnessed a lot of applications which were judged by experts who have worked in the areas of Organizational Behaviour, International HRM, qualitative inquiries from a post structural frame with informal economy workers, refugees, temporary workers and workers with formal employment contracts. The judges gave the participants valuable feedback on the feasibility and sustainability of their ideas and the role it would play in the longer run in order to solve the said problem. Keeping the evaluation in line with the spirit of HULT Prize, the judges focused more on start-ups that were feasible and novel. The idea was to identify the best potential social entrepreneur and not the best presenter.

The participants expressed a great deal of enthusiasm. This was evident from the background research done by them, which led to many interesting facts coming to light.

The winners were team Avant Garde consisting of Mahendra Mohan Das, Ritika Maheshwari, Krishnendu Babu and Kriyanshi Aggarwal of PGP 2017 batch.

The first runners-up were Team Perfect Plot (consisting of Payal Jain, Abhishek Jha, Rahul Sundeep and Jay Megotia of PGP 2017 batch).

The second runners-up were team Refuge (consisting of Aayush Khurana, Atirek Rajpal, Pallavi Gupta and Utsav Mahato of PGP 2018 batch).

Team Avant Garde has bagged the opportunity to represent IIM Indore in National Finals which is scheduled to happen in Delhi in January 2017. We wish them good luck and hope they qualify for the next International Regional Finals round which will happen in Dubai, Boston, London, Shanghai and San Francisco.

 This article has been written by IIM Indore’s placement committee members : Gaurav Mandan (PGP 2017 batch) and K N Nagadarshini (PGP 2018 batch).

IIM Indore

This article is published by Media and PR Committee, IIM Indore