UW-Madison: Team advances to global regional finals of 7th annual Hult Prize to compete for $1 million in seed funding

UW-Madison Team Advances to Global Regional Finals of 7th Annual Hult Prize to Compete for $1 Million in Seed Funding

The Hult Prize has recently announced the winning team from UW-Madison that has advanced to the 7th annual regional finals of the competition.

The Hult Prize is a crowdsourcing platform for social good, named one of the top five ideas changing the world by President Bill Clinton and TIME Magazine. In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the innovative crowdsourcing platform identifies and launches disruptive and catalytic social ventures that aim to solve the planets most pressing challenges. This year, the Hult Prize is centered around doubling the income of 10 million people living in crowded in urban space by better connecting people, services, goods, and capital.

The winning team members from UW-Madison include Alex Valaitis, Josh Cherek, Luke Vanden Langenberg, and Jennifer Sharpe.

The team competed in the Hult Prize at UW-Madison event on November 20th and built
a solution to this year’s challenge presented by President Bill Clinton around economic development. Their solution is Metrecycle. Metrecycle is a new and efficient way to improve electronic waste recycling while helping those in impoverished communities around the world. Their innovative ‘pop up’ factories consist of three repurposed shipping containers and can provide wages four times the poverty level while using less than a half-acre of land. By implementing simple disassembly and sorting strategies, Metrecycle stands to radically improve the way electronic waste is recycled and the means by which workers are compensated for recovered materials.

The team will now move on to compete at the Hult Prize regional finals in March 2016,
which are being hosted at one of Hult International Business School’s five campuses in
Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai.

“The Hult Prize exemplifies the Wisconsin Idea by harnessing our university’s greatest asset, its students, to create a social enterprise that will impact millions of lives. Team Metrecycle is the personification of the Wisconsin Idea. They are a group of driven serial entrepreneurs that are passionate about making a radical, world changing impact. Metrecycle has the potential to provide safe working conditions, quadruple incomes, and reduce the environmental impact of e-waste. Their combined experience, knowledge, and drive positions them well for the Global Regionals.” – Angie Peltzer, [email protected] Campus Director

Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of the Hult Prize attributes the success of the
competition to the global youth revolution and said, “We continue to be moved by the large
number of students from around the world who are capitalizing on the opportunity to
develop business models that target the bottom of the pyramid. We wish every team the
best of luck and thank UW-Madison for supporting this initiative.”

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer
business accelerator program, where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and
strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social
business. The final round of competition will be hosted at the Clinton Global Initiative
Annual Meeting in September, where one team will be selected as the Hult Prize recipient.
None other than President Bill Clinton himself will award the USD 1,000,000 Prize to the
winning team.

“The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world
with shared opportunity, shared responsibility, and shared prosperity, and each year I look
forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces.” – President Bill
Clinton, Founder, William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States.

About the Hult Prize Foundation

The Hult Prize is a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship, which brings together
the brightest college and university students from around the globe to solve the world’s
most pressing issues. The annual initiative is the world’s largest student competition and
crowd-sourcing platform for social good, and has been funded by the Hult family since its
inception in 2009. To learn more, visit www.hultprize.org.

About The Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative
of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and
implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual
Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates,
and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists,
and members of the media. To date, CGI members have made more than 2,500
commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over
180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at
$87.9 billion.

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