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Hult Prize 2018 Challenge

Prize to USA, Canada, and International University
Student Teams for Groundbreaking Energy Innovations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Hult Prize

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Prize to USA, Canada, and International teams of college and university students for innovative ideas to harness energy in new ways. Eligible ideas are those that strive to transform the lives of large numbers of people and change the world. Teams must listen to existing needs, design scalable business models, and execute plans that have the potential to transform energy use. Top applications are made up of multi-cultured and multi-disciplined teams.

This year’s Hult Prize Challenge walks you through six core areas affected by energy use that may form the basis of 2018 entries. The six dimensions ripe for transformation through energy-powered innovation include:
- Connectivity
- Mobility
- Farming, food, and agriculture
- Water collection, storage, and transport
- Health and the human experience
- Education

This year’s Hult Prize Challenge pushes you even further than previous Challenges, as it asks teams to do two things in parallel:

- Extend your reach: Search across campus, throughout town, and around the world to find the energy-driven technologies that are not realizing their potential to propel progress.

- Get out of the building: Find users and learn about their needs. Don’t just imagine how you can use energy to enable new capabilities—prove it.

Your application is not based on an existing idea or one that you may have come up with for the challenge. Unlike any competition in the world, the Hult Prize moves teams into the regional finals that have the potential to create a dynamic and disruptive start-up based on their team experience and makeup.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163667

Estimated Size of Grant:

One-million dollars (US$1,000,000) will be seeded into the winning company of the global flagship program which culminates in a global final based on a pre-determined milestone. A twenty percent (20%) equity position will be held by the Hult Prize Foundation for the winning company’s participation in any of the Hult Prize program.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Students past or present from any college or university in the world are invited to form teams of 3-4. All participants should belong to the same college or university. However, this may consist of a mix of programs and undergraduate, graduate and PhD level.

You are considered a student if at the time of application submission, you have not yet graduated. Alumni and faculty are not allowed to be official team members.

While only teams may compete, individuals who cannot form a team but are interested in competing should join the Facebook community to find others individuals who are looking to form teams.

Pre-proposal Conference:

A series of online webinars and trainings are available to everyone who follows @hultprize and #hultprize. Campus and National Program Director’s will also be facilitating trainings across the world. Use social media to find one near you.

Pre-Application Information:

Official 2018 Global Hult Prize Applications will open on October 2nd. There will be two early bird application deadlines, with a final application deadline of December 23, 2017. On-campus events and programs are on-going. National Programs have floating deadlines.

Student teams interested in participating in the event should fill out the online application. Applying is easy and consists of four easy steps:
- Select your city of competition
- Create a team of 3-4 students from your college or university that share your passion
- Upload your resumes and one team statement of purpose into the online application
- Check back regularly to see if your team has been selected or join the Facebook page

Teams selected to compete in the Regional Finals will be responsible for securing their own travel arrangement to and from the event. Training, pre-event mixer, food and drink throughout the day and post-event reception will all be covered.

You can also check if your university is hosting an “on-campus” event. Winners of on-campus Hult Prize@ editions get to bypass the application.

Submitting your application early is highly encouraged. It gives the selection committee more time to assess the quality of your application. Also, a limited number of teams are pre-selected before the final application deadline, giving you more time to spend on creating your social enterprise to solve the “Presidents Challenge.”

Next, some cities fill up faster than others, and if you submit your application early, your team may be able to be accommodated in a different region than the one you have applied for. Finally, it helps with sorting through the sheer number of applications that come in.

There are three ways to become part of the top 50, 1) win a regional final round 2) win an in-country round or 3) win a wildcard round. There are two ways into a regional final. Either you win an on-campus Hult Prize, which may or may not be happening at your university, or you submit into the general application window. If none of these paths work for you, you have one more shot via the Hult Prize National Program, which may or may not be happening in your country. National program winners receive investment capital and a one-way ticket into the summer incubator.

Regional Semi-Final Rounds of competition will be held in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, Toronto, Mexico City, Quito, Bogota, Melbourne, Lagos, Nairobi, Cairo, Tunisia, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore on the weekends of March 9-11 and March 16-18, 2018. Regional winners will be invited to a 8-week summer accelerator in a castle in the UK.

Regional Finalists are announced the first week of January, giving you and your team a solid two months to complete your pitch.

There are multiple programs and multiple rounds of competition. Your goal is to make it to the summer 8-week incubator where you will live, work, learn and play as you develop your game-changing enterprise. The top 50 companies from around the world advance. From there, six are selected to pitch at the United Nations for $1,000,000. There is funding and mentorship throughout.

Winning teams per region and of qualifying national programs will move onto a summer incubation program outside of London, UK. 6 finalists will be selected following the conclusion of the summer program and will advance to the Hult Prize Global Finals in September 2018. A housing subsidy may be provided for time spent at the Hult Prize Accelerator. Teams will live on-site in the castle residents.


- SEP 16: 2018 Hult Prize challenge on energy is announced
- OCT 2: Applications open and 2018 President’s challenge on energy released
- DEC 23: Final application deadline 11:59pm EST
- JAN 9: 15 Regional Finalist Announced
- MAR 4: Regional semi-final rounds begin
- APR 1: Wildcard round opens for chance to accepted in accelerator
- MAY 7: Wild card winner accounced


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.