"One of the top five ideas
changing the world."

President Bill Clinton

"Empowering business minds
to pursue purpose."

Ahmad Ashkar

The 2015 Challenge


Solving the lack of quality early
childhood education in the urban slum.

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Hult Prize Final

at Clinton Global Initiative

New York, September 26, 2015

Meet the Six

  • Educuento

    Educuento aims to bridge childrens Word Gap through an interactive media solution.



    Start-up Concept:

    The word gap experienced by millions of children in poverty has life-long deep impacts. Educuento aims to bridge the word gap through an interactive media solution. The major elements are a community-sourced interactive radio show, daily parenting advice through SMS, and a savings account incentive system. The radio show provides engaging stories from the community encouraging interaction. The SMS service to parents is proven to have a major impact on closing the word gap. Lastly, the savings account is an incentive to stay with the program and build a foundation for the future.

    All components have independently been tested to be successful, and we believe in the viability of combining them to help more than 10 million children develop in their early years.

    We have already talked to potential partners who are eager to start off. We are Educuento and we are bridging the word gap.

  • Athollo

    Athollo provides an education–based loyalty program to mobile phone networks.


    University of Tampa

    Start-up Concept:

    Caregivers who use our curriculum and mobile phone partner are awarded free minutes and texts. Adapting and digitizing the Clinton Global Initiative – endorsed education model of HIPPY international, we train local community health workers to Home Visitors and empower them to become micro-entrepreneurs. These home visitors market our text message-based curriculum and mobile phone partner to Caregivers. The curriculum is an evidenced – based program where home visitors teach caregivers our curriculum. Empowered, the caregivers then teach to their children.

    Home visitors deliver 30 weeks of high quality school readiness curriculum activities directly to caregivers who then work 15 minutes a day with their children. Home visitors share the language, culture and life experiences of the families they serve. Working for Athollo is the first professional level job for many women employed as home visitors, highlighting the strong workforce development element of the model. Athollo maximizes human potential through education.

  • Libromat

    Libromats are community hubs where parents can bring their children to share books while their washing is done.


    Oxford University

    Start-up Concept:

    Each hub is much more than a combined library and laundromat; it is an aspirational, affordable, and accessible place where mothers will bond and learn to share books with their children. Research conducted in a South African urban slum just a few months ago showed that book sharing improved long-term development for children, even if the mothers involved were illiterate. Laundry is a tedious time-intensive chore for parents, and for many low-income families, time-saving laundry services are inaccessible. Libromats are cheaper than laundromats or other options through a unique wet wash and spin dry model that is energy and time efficient. Outreach educators funded by each libromat will provide further free sessions to the poorest of the poor in their homes. This will let us bring quality early childhood education to millions of children in urban slums around the world.

  • Attollo

    Talking Stickers mobilizes millions of parents to close childrens Word Gap.


    University of Toronto

    Start-up Concept:

    Underprivileged children are exposed to 30 million fewer words than privileged children by age 3. This is known as the Word Gap, which limits children’s preparedness for primary school. Our innovation, Talking Stickers, mobilizes millions of parents to close this Word Gap. Talking Stickers come with a QR code that links it to our Attollo Reader to capture the power of a parent or caregiver’s voice. Talking Stickers can be customized to talk, sing and read in any language to children without the need for internet or distracting screens. Since stickers can be placed on anything, Talking Stickers transform common household items into educational toys. Age appropriate content will be developed through our partnerships with ECE experts and trained facilitators across the world. The trained facilitators monitor progress with parents and children, and foster parent peer support groups in the communities. Talking Stickers are a sustainable and scalable solution that brings words to life for children all over the world.

  • TeleStory

    Regular digitally recorded lessons delivered to mobile phones.


    Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance

    Start-up Concept:

    TeleStory proposes to connect something all Indians have, a mobile phone, with the new technology of cloud telephony to deliver regular digitally recorded lessons, entirely through their dumb phones. To reach our customers, we will partner with businesses already operating in slums, such as mobile phone charging stations. These stations will act as storage and distribution centers for physical books and story cards. Based on the child’s age, appropriate materials are distributed to the customer. Then, every night, a 10 minute automated phone call is made from the cloud to the parent. The parent answers and enters in the lesson id number found on the book and the corresponding prerecorded digital lesson, stored on the cloud, begins to play. Our goal is develop our students’ language and reading skills, helping them to level the playing field against their wealthier peers and to ultimately change their future.


    A full-stack solution to the problem of accessible and affordable early childhood education in urban slums.


    National Chengchi University

    Start-up Concept:

    IMPCT builds ECE businesses that are community operated, but globally owned. How? With our revolutionary IMPCT purpose-driven microequity platform. This platform enables anybody, anywhere, to make direct impact investments in the sustainable education businesses of talented local edupreneurs. IMPCT turns that capital into quality ECE schools with our unique context-appropriate building, curriculum, and training solutions. Our investors are powerful new stakeholders in urban slum education. Together we create a purely positive investment cycle with our radical profit-sharing model.

Hult Prize by the Numbers

  • 10M Slum Dwellers Targeted 2015 Hult Prize stretch target for individuals impacted by winning idea.
  • 2.5M Million Man Hours Estimated for 2015. Total applications multiplied by average hours spent per team per challenge via poll of past participants.
  • 21K Annual Applications Total number of applications in all rounds of 2015 Hult Prize.
  • 1500 Entrepreneurs Participating in the regional finals in 2015.
  • 1250 Social Business Ideas Generated Sum of all regional finalists teams through 2014 competition.
  • 600 Schools Represented In total since the inaugural year (2009).


The 2014 winners of the Hult Prize

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Aspire Foods

The 2013 winners of the Hult Prize

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