Media Releases

University of Toronto teams advance to Hult Prize regional finals

March 2, 2016

Four teams competing in world’s largest student competition

Toron­to, ON – Four teams from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to have advanced to the region­al finals of the Hult Prize emerg­ing from over 20,000 teams who entered the world’s largest stu­dent com­pe­ti­tion.

The annu­al com­pe­ti­tion for the Hult Prize aims to iden­ti­fy and launch the most com­pelling social busi­ness ideas—start-up enter­pris­es that tack­le grave issues faced by bil­lions of peo­ple. Win­ners receive USD 1 mil­lion in seed cap­i­tal, as well as men­tor­ship and advice from the inter­na­tion­al busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty.  The region­al finals, which will deter­mine who will com­pete in glob­al final this Sep­tem­ber, will be held on March 11 and 12.

“It’s real­ly inspi­ra­tional to see the qual­i­fy­ing teams hard at work try­ing to solve a prob­lem of this mag­ni­tude. See­ing their pas­sion and poten­tial impact illus­trates the pow­er of social entre­pre­neur­ship to the entire uni­ver­si­ty com­mu­ni­ty,” says Jamal Khayy­at, Rot­man MBA’16, who is the UofT Hult Cam­pus Direc­tor.

The win­ners of the Hult Prize@UofT, a region­al qual­i­fy­ing round held at the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment in Novem­ber, Team Vicis, will par­tic­i­pate in the Dubai region­al final. Team mem­bers includ­ed Adam Day, MBA’17; David St. Bernard, JD/MBA’17; Tri­cia Jose, a MASc can­di­date in bio­med­ical engi­neer­ing at UofT; and, Christo­pher Vil­le­gas-Cho, a Mas­ter of Glob­al Affairs stu­dent. The team is devel­op­ing a social enter­prise which, in rec­og­niz­ing strength in num­bers, aims to acti­vate the dis­trib­uted cap­i­tal sit­ting at the bot­tom of the pyra­mid, by bring­ing togeth­er small-scale savers and con­nect­ing them with large-scale invest­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties.

Team Cre­dio is devel­op­ing a mobile resume and ref­er­ee sys­tem for urban migrants pur­su­ing infor­mal or for­mal work to build cred­i­bil­i­ty and improve their upward mobil­i­ty. Team mem­bers include Hao Yi, Car­son Fong, and Michelle Cho, who are all stu­dents in UofT’s Mas­ter of Engi­neer­ing pro­gram in Indus­tri­al Engi­neer­ing and Adi­ti Bhar­ga­va, a Mas­ter of Infor­ma­tion stu­dent in Knowl­edge Man­age­ment and Design. The team will par­tic­i­pate in the San Fran­cis­co final.

Team Kaizen’s mis­sion is to enable the bot­tom bil­lion through the pow­er of 3D print­ing (also known as “3D4D” – 3D Print­ing for Devel­op­ing Coun­tries). They placed 2nd dur­ing the Hult Prize @UofT cam­pus com­pe­ti­tion and are now head­ing to Shang­hai. Team mem­bers include Rot­man Full Time MBA stu­dents, Roy Houkayem, MBA’17, Bassem Bad­dour, MBA’17 and Abdul­ra­heem Sbayi, MBA’17 as well as Anna Liza Vil­lanue­va, an M.A can­di­date in Child Study and Edu­ca­tion at OISE.

Team Empact is com­posed of four stu­dents in the Rot­man School’s Full Time MBA pro­gram. Aboud Qudi­mat, MBA,’17, Xinyi Zhao, MBA’17, Richard Gill, MBA’16, and Gonen Hol­lan­der, MBA’17, will com­pete in the Lon­don, UK final. Their solu­tion is an inno­v­a­tive spin on social impact bonds that part­ners investors with voca­tion­al insti­tu­tions to deliv­er high skilled train­ing to under­served job mar­kets.

The chal­lenge for the 2016 edi­tion of the world’s largest stu­dent com­pe­ti­tion is “End­ing Pover­ty in Crowd­ed Urban Spaces: Gen­er­at­ing Income by Con­nect­ing Peo­ple, Goods, Ser­vices, and Cap­i­tal.” Specif­i­cal­ly the call to action is: “Can we build social enter­pris­es that dou­ble the income of 10 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing in crowd­ed spaces in the next 5 years by bet­ter con­nect­ing peo­ple, goods, ser­vices and cap­i­tal?”

In the 2015 com­pe­ti­tion, Team Attol­lo, com­posed of MBA stu­dents and alum­ni from the Rot­man School, reached the final. Three oth­er Rot­man teams reached the region­al finals.

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the Hult Prize is online at

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 chal­lenges.  For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it


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Ken McGuf­fin
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Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
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