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University of Toronto Teams Advance to Hult Prize Regional Finals. Four Teams Competing in World’s Largest Student Competition.

March 2, 2016

Toronto – 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
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
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