Toronto – A team from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has won the regional final for the Hult Prize in Dubai and will advance to the Global Final held at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City this September. The prize is the world’s largest student competition which specifically asked teams this year to build sustainable and scalable social enterprises to address the early childhood education gap in children up to six years old.
Team Attollo presented at the regional finals in Dubai after winning a quarter final event held at the Rotman School in December. Team members include Peter Cinat, MBA’14; Aisha Bukhari, Morning MBA’15; Lak Chinta, Morning MBA’15 and James Austin, Morning MBA’15. Tackling this year’s challenge of Solving Early Childhood Education in impoverished urban communities, Team Attollo came up with the “Talking Stickers” concept to help improve children’s vocabulary and language skills. Talking Stickers come with quick response (QR) codes that are activated by a simple, low cost Attollo reader, to capture the power of a parent or caregivers voice. Talking stickers can be customized to talk, sing and read in any language to children. Further, the stickers can be placed on common household items to transform them into educational and fun toys. Team Attollo aims to bring words to life for children across the world.
This summer, before the Global Final, the team will move into a summer business incubator in Boston, where the finalists will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set up to launch their new social business. Only six teams from the more than 20,000 teams who applied will participate in the final.
A second group of Rotman School students, Team Yasli, also performed well in Dubai as one of the last six teams standing in the finals alongside Team Attollo with members Katya Kudashkina, Morning MBA’15; Katie Gardon, Evening MBA’15; Jessica (Currie) Kuhn, MBA’14; and Dana Lepshokova, Morning MBA’15.
A third Rotman team had a strong showing in Shanghai. Team Smile with members Basel Jarrad, Evening MBA’15; Candice Luck, Morning MBA’15; Pauline Wu, Morning MBA’15; Jennifer Flexman, Morning MBA’15; and Ali Yousaf, Evening MBA’15, also advanced as one of the top 6 finalists in this regional competition against 38 other participating teams.
A fourth Rotman team participated in the San Francisco regional final. Team CTRL-N was composed of Astrum Nanji, Full Time MBA’16; Jason Visscher, Full Time MBA’15; Shaira Nanji JD/MBA’12; Mark Kochanski, Evening MBA’15; and, Marianne D'Souza, Full Time MBA’16.
Further information about the Hult Prize is online at www.hultprize.org.
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 www.rotman.utoronto.ca.
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