•By Khairat Dolapo Adebiyi
The $1,000,000 Hult Prize On-campus competition, in partnership with the United Nations held the 2019/2020 challenge at the Lagos State University, Epe Campus, on November 19 2019, during the 3-day LASU EPE Career Fair Program, as organized by the Lagos State University Career Development Centre, LCDC with five 5 rock stars and high profile judges from different sectors in Nigeria.
The Hult Prize is the world’s biggest engine for the launch of disruptive for-good, for-profit start-up ideas from students across all tertiary institutions, to solve the world’s most pressing humanity challenges.
The 2019/2020 challenge was centered on Climate Action, Environmental Sustainability and Global Warming, which were captured under the challenge topic; “Building Businesses that Have a Positive Impact on our Planet for every Dollar Earned”, as announced by the President Bill Clinton (the 42nd President of the United States of America) at the 2019 Global Finals in New York.
￼Out of four teams that applied for the challenge, only two teams made it to the final pitching, which are Team Espial and Team Nature Prowess Unfortunately, none of the teams was able to prove to the judges, that their ideas would make it to the Global Finals nor the Regional Finals, which would hold in more than 30 cities all around the world, and the Accelerator, at Hult Prize Business School, United Kingdom.
Hence, the two teams were both given an ultimatum of two weeks to refine their ideas, and to be presented through an online mode, for reassessment and scoring.
Due to the 2018/19 second semester examinations, which started on Monday, 9 December, 2019, the teams were unable to work on their ideas as they had to study and prepare for their exams.
But as it stands, the two teams might eventually represent LASU at the Regional Finals, which will hold around March to April, 2020.
Prior to the final event, the Campus Director; Samson Oladapo, alongside the Organizing Committee organized a series of pre-events, to educate, train and inspire 1200 students on campus to participate in the contest.
One of the remarkable pre-event was an online Conference /Workshop Session, where two seasoned social impact leaders were invited to facilitate the online class, with Oluwatosin Oguntude Philip (a UNESCO Global Youth Ambassador); who spoke on Human-centered Design Thinking and Business Model Canvassing, Chizurum Anabaraonye (founder, ISYI and Regional Director, Hult Prize Foundation); Making Social and Global Impact through Social Enterprises, while the Campus Director, spoke on the topic; Building Businesses that Have a Positive Impact on our Planet for Every Dollar Earned.
The pre-event also featured a physical training session on PowerPoint presentation, Business Pitching, Expository on Challenge Topic and Ideation to equip competing teams on the necessary tools and ideas needed for their pitching.
The Campus Director, Samson Oladapo, in the closing remarks appreciated the entire school management, the LASU Career Development Centre team, led by the Director, Dr Igot Ofem, the team of judges and mentors, which includes, Dr Stella Ahunanya; Director, Ministry of Defence, Otunba Saheed Adeyemi Lawal; MD/CEO, Seagles Property Dev. Co. Ltd, Professor Chiso Ndukwe-Okafor; CEO Sources Resources Logistics and Consulting, Mrs Chioma Olumba; Assistant Manager, Zenith Bank PLC, Kobi Ikpo; Director, Teen Africa, Oluwatosin Oguntunde Philip; UNESCO Global Youth Ambassador and Chizurum Anabaraonye; Founder, Integrated Student and Youth Initiative (ISYI), and also the Dean of Students’ Affairs; Dr Obayori, the Director of Entrepreneurship Studies; Professor Anetekhai and the Acting Head of Campus; Professor Oyetunji for their support.