Media Releases

Team of Rotman Evening MBA Students Advances to Regional Finals for the Hult Prize

December 6, 2017

Toron­to, ON – A team of stu­dents from the Evening MBA pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment have won the UofT quar­ter­fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing round to advance to the region­al finals of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest stu­dent com­pe­ti­tion for social entre­pre­neurs.

Puri­fire, con­sist­ing of Daniel Weng, Andrea Lo, Niru­san Rajaku­len­dran, and Michael Bosom­pra, all from the Rot­man MBA Class of 2020, will advance to the region­al finals to be held in March 2018. The goal of the Hult Prize is to launch a start-up enter­prise that can rad­i­cal­ly change the world and breed the next gen­er­a­tion of social entre­pre­neurs. This year’s chal­lenge focus­es on har­ness­ing the pow­er of ener­gy through one of six dimen­sions: food, water, mobil­i­ty, con­nec­tiv­i­ty, edu­ca­tion, and health. The world has enough latent capac­i­ty for ener­gy-pow­ered inno­va­tion to shift the tra­jec­to­ry of glob­al devel­op­ment and needs more dis­rup­tion that taps into those ener­gy-pow­ered inno­va­tions and trans­forms lives not only among the ultra-poor, but across every eco­nom­ic stra­tum in soci­ety.

“The cal­iber of ideas pre­sent­ed at this year’s com­pe­ti­tion was excep­tion­al. The pan­el of judges con­tributed invalu­able insights in both rounds of pitch­es. Our speak­ers, Paul Klein, Founder and CEO of Impakt and Prof. Nouman Ashraf, pro­vid­ed inspi­ra­tion and much food for thought for those inter­est­ed in careers in social inno­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­i­ty,” says Shonakshi Chaubal, MBA’18, who is the Hult Prize Cam­pus Direc­tor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.

Judges for the qual­i­fy­ing round includ­ed: Aisha Bukhari, Rot­man MBA’15, from the Advanced Ener­gy Cen­tre at MaRS, who reached the final round of the Hult Prize in 2015 with Team Attol­lo; Jacky Magee, Direc­tor, Com­mer­cial Soft­ware Engi­neer­ing at Microsoft Cana­da; Roy Houkayem, MBA’17, who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Hult Prize Region­als in Shang­hai in 2016; Richard Lu, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Abun­dant Solar Ener­gy Inc.; Jen Robin­son, Client Direc­tor at Pub­lic Inc.; Gon­za­lo Duarte, Annex Man­ag­er with the Cen­tre for Social Inno­va­tion; Ryan Collins-Swartz, Social Impact Man­ag­er at TREC; Farid Shar­i­fi, Rot­man MBA’11,  Lead Spe­cial­ist, Renew­able Ener­gy at WWF-Cana­da; and Kath­leen Gno­ca­to, Man­ag­er, Util­i­ty Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gram, Advanced Ener­gy Cen­tre, MaRS.

Teams from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to have suc­ceed­ed in pre­vi­ous years of the com­pe­ti­tion. In 2015, Team Attol­lo, com­posed of MBA stu­dents and alum­ni from the Rot­man School, reached the glob­al final. The 2016 chal­lenge saw four UofT teams reach the region­al finals held in Dubai, San Fran­cis­co, Lon­don UK and Shang­hai. In the 2017 com­pe­ti­tion held ear­li­er this year, three UofT teams advanced to the region­al finals, with two of those teams com­posed of Rot­man stu­dents.

For more infor­ma­tion on the Hult Prize, please vis­it

The Rot­man School of Man­age­ment is locat­ed in the heart of Canada’s com­mer­cial and cul­tur­al cap­i­tal and is part of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, one of the world’s top 20 research uni­ver­si­ties. The Rot­man School fos­ters a new way to think that enables our grad­u­ates to tack­le today’s glob­al busi­ness and soci­etal chal­lenges.  For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it


Ken McGuf­fin
Man­ag­er, Media Rela­tions
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Tel: 416–946-3818