Media Releases

Six Rotman MBA teams advance to the regional finals of the Hult Prize

February 4, 2014

Top-tier schools go head-to-head in world’s largest student competition, competing for $1 million in start-up funding to solve President Clinton’s Healthcare Challenge

TORONTO, ON – A record six teams with members from the MBA and Master of Finance programs at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management have advanced to the regional finals of the Fifth annual Hult Prize. Team members also include students and alumni from U of T’s Faculties of Law, Engineering, Medicine, Kinesiology & Physical Education, and the University’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition and start-up platform for social good. In partnership with President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the innovative crowdsourcing platform identifies and launches disruptive and catalytic social ventures that aim to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges. Student teams compete in six cities around the world for a chance to secure US$ 1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

The Rotman teams were selected from 10,000 applications received from over 350 colleges and universities in over 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional competitions will take place on March 7 and 8 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo.

“This year with the Rotman Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Association (REVCA), we started an initiative to incorporate social entrepreneurship into the areas of focus within the club, with a goal of having a strong Rotman presence in this competition,” says Jason Sukhram, MBA’14, an executive of REVCA, who reached the regional finals in Boston last year with classmates Ed On, Jimmy Desai, Nidhi Tanti and Jakub Wiktor.

“We started in October with an information session, where we shared our experiences from last year’s competition and provided insights on how to go about the application process,” explains Sukhram. “We are ecstatic that the strong response to that session has translated into six Rotman teams that have made the regional finals. Over the next month, REVCA plans to provide resources and guidance to the teams competing and we aim to support them in any way we can in preparation for their presentations in March.”

The 2014 Hult Prize will focus on the 250 million slum dwellers around the world suffering from chronic diseases who need help – a challenge personally selected by President Bill Clinton. Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize, attributes the success of the competition to the shift in the global economy and the millennial generation’s refusal to live in a world with inequality, “We are giving entrepreneurs from around the world a platform to innovate and revolutionize the way we think about servicing the poor.”

The team of Patrick Finegan, MBA’15; Shelly-Anne Rampersad, MBA’15; Andrew Barkman, MBA’15; Mark Kostove, MBA’15; and Madison Dennis, a fourth year student at UofT’s Temerty Temerty Faculty of Medicine, are headed to the Boston regional final.

A second team has also advanced to the Boston regional final with members Priya Kumar, MBA’15; Emame Akpan, MBA’15; Ran Liu, MBA’15; Abhishek Sharma, MBA’15; and Tatenda Chirusa, MFin’15.

The team of Edmond Chan, MBA’15, Piraveina Gnana, MBA’15; Faisal Uddin, MBA’15; and Gregory Ray, MBA’15 has advanced to the San Francisco regional final.

Headed to Sao Paulo for the regional final are Fareena Contractor, MBA’15; Ali Yousaf, Evening MBA’15’; Parthiban Manoharan, MBA’15; Basel Jarrad, Evening MBA’15; and Raul Valenzuela, MBA’15.

The multidisciplinary team, consisting of Josephine Chan, Evening MBA’16; Paige Dickie, MASc’13  from the Faculty of Engineering; Bhuvana Sankaranarayanan, JD’14 from the Faculty of Law; and from the Temerty Temerty Faculty of Medicine, Patrick Lam, PhD’09 (Dept. of Physiology) and Kelvin Law, PhD’13 (Dept. of Molecular Genetics), will compete in Shanghai.

The  team of Neil Peet, MGA/MBA’15; Michael Ciniello, MGA/MBA’15; Matt Cahill JD/MBA’15; Kerry Patterson MGA’15 and Debra Kiger, a PhD student from the University’s Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, are headed to the regional final in Dubai.

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business. A final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates will select a winning team.

The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship, which brings together the brightest college and university students from around the globe to solve the world’s most pressing issues. The annual initiative is the world’s largest student competition and crowd-sourcing platform for social good. The Hult Prize has been funded by the Hult family since its inception in 2009. To learn more, visit

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, CGI members have made more than 2,500 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $87.9 billion.

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world’s most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions.  For more information, visit


For more information:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
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