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Queen Mary students reach finals of coveted entrepreneurship competition

Queen Mary University of London has two teams of students that have made it through to the regional finals of the Hult Prize, a globally recognized student entrepreneurship competition. The students from the School of Business and Management, will compete on the 9 and 10March 2018 in London and San Francisco.

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Judges, students from Natura4 and Dr Evangelos Markopoulos
Judges, students from Natura4 and Dr Evangelos Markopoulos

Social good

The Hult Prize is the world's largest student competition for social good. Established in 2010 by Bertil Hult, the annual, year-long competition crowd-sources ideas from MBA and college students after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics such as food security, water access, energy, and education.

Listen and believe

The Queen Mary entrepreneurs are supported by Dr Evangelos Markopoulos, Associate Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the School of Business and Management (SBM). Dr Markopoulos said it was an honour to have Queen Mary represented by not one but two teams as this is an accomplishment less than one per cent of the universities that compete achieve.

Dr. Markopoulos said: “As a Queen Mary academic I feel obliged not only to teach our students but offer them any possible support and opportunity to unfold their talent, innovation and entrepreneurial skills and dreams to change their lives and why not the world.

“All we have to do is to listen and believe them. Queen Mary generously provides all the resources and infrastructure. I am deeply touched and proud for our students.”

Teams: NATURA4 and Rainbow

The winning team, ‘Natura4’, aims to transform the healthcare industry by setting up a sustainable social enterprise that creates low-cost high-quality medical supplies made with bamboo such as bamboo balls, gauzes, bandages and buds all of which are usually made with cotton.

Natura4 team member Evangelia Mitsa said: “Hult Prize has been an amazing learning opportunity; and we are looking forward to the next steps. With Natura4 we aim to bring sustainability into the healthcare industry, by transforming the way everyday equipment is created. This way we can assure a positive impact in the environment, the farmers and the patients.”  

Team ‘Rainbow’ identified there are more than 70 Million left-behind children in the world across different countries. Their aim is to harness the power of connectivity to better their lives. They believe their combination of HUBs (physical meeting spaces) and Apps will help to bring colour and hope to their otherwise hopeless situations.

Rainbow team member Meilin Wu said: “A big thank you to Dr Evangelos Markopoulos for giving us this chance and to all at Queen Mary, particularly the SBM, who have supported us from the start.”

Next steps

Both teams will compete in the Regional Finals (Global Semi-finals) on the 9 and 10 March 2018. ‘Natura4’ will be competing in the regional finals in London (Europe) and ‘Rainbow’ will be competing the regional finals in San Francisco (North America).

The event comprised of several rounds of competitions, and culminates with teams presenting their idea at the United Nations (UN) for the $1 Million prize in front of Former US President’s Bill Clinton and Barak Obama, Nobel Prize winners and highly significant personalities, leaders and intellectuals.

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