As I have said in a previous post, Aston provides tons of opportunities to attend events, join different societies, and compete in business competitions. I recently competed in the Hult Prize at Aston, which is a global student competition sponsored by Bill Clinton. You can check out more details of the competition at www.hultprize.org.
Each year, the Hult Prize gives a challenge to solve a specific problem for the poor through business solutions. The winning team then is given one million USD to start their business. This year’s challenge was to solve the problem of early childhood development in urban slums around the world. As an aspiring social entrepreneur, I jumped at the opportunity to compete in the Hult Prize at Aston. At Aston, the winning team then advances to the regional finals in London, which is one of five different regional finals throughout the world. The winner at each regional finals then competes in Boston for the chance to win the million.
Yesterday, I was able to compete with a great team of three others. It took long hours to come up with an idea, calculate financial projections, develop a marketing strategy, and refine our business model, but we felt prepared for our pitch. After we finished our pitch, I felt good about our chances. However, there were good ideas from other teams as well and I didn’t know what to expect. Gratefully, our team name was called as they announced the winner! We were all very excited to have won and look forward to pitching in London in March.
Now that it has been a day since the competition, it is starting to sink in that we have a lot of work to do if we want to be successful in the regional finals. We must refine our business model and our presentation if we expect to have a chance. I am looking forward to continue learning as my team and I work on our business and seek out partnerships with other organizations. It will be a lot of hard work, but I know it will be worth it. By March, I’ll know everything about my other team members!