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

President Bill Clinton

"Empowering business minds
to pursue purpose."

Ahmad Ashkar

The 2015 Challenge

EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT

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 Judges

Muhammad Yunus

Nobel Laureate
Founder, Micro-finance
 
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Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is the father of microcredit, the father of social business, the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh. For his constant innovation and enterprise, Fortune Magazine named Professor Yunus in March 2012 as "one of 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time."

Yunus has received several other national and international honors. He received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and theCongressional Gold Medal in 2010. In 2008, he was rated #2 in Foreign Policy magazine's list of the 'Top 100 Global Thinkers'.

Julia Gillard

Former Prime Minister
Australia
 
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Julia Gillard is the Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education. She comes to the Global Partnership after a distinguished career of public service in Australia. She served as Prime Minister of Australia between 2010 and 2013 and successfully managed Australia’s economy during the global economic crisis.

Education is Ms. Gillard’s passion. She reformed Australia’s education at every level, from early childhood to higher education, with a special focus on disadvantaged children. She delivered new standards to improve the quality of childcare and access to early childhood education for every Australian child.

Fadi Ghandour

Founder & Vice Chairman
Aramex
 
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Fadi Ghandour is the founder and vice chairman of Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation companies. He is the executive chairman of Wamda Capital, a venture capital fund focusing on technology investments in the Arab World.

Ghandour is also the managing partner of MENA Venture Investments, a seed capital investment company investing in early-stage tech companies. He is a member of the board of Abraaj Capital, a member of the board of trustees at the American University of Beirut, and chairman of the advisory council of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) at the Institute of Business Administration Karachi (IBA).

Meet the Six

  • Educuento

    Educuento is empowering parents in urban slums, through the media they enjoy, to build brighter futures for their children.

    From:

    ESADE

    Start-up Concept:

    Millions of children start school and life with the deck stacked against them simply because they didn’t hear as many words as the other kids while they were growing up. The Word Gap has huge – and usually permanent – negative consequences for the children who suffer from it. Educuento aims to bridge the word gap through an interactive media solution that delivers the tools and resources parents need to be their children’s best educators. The major elements are a community-sourced interactive radio show, daily parenting advice through SMS, and a savings account incentive system. All components have been proven effective independently, and we believe the combination provides a comprehensive solution to create catalytic change for children in urban slums across the world.

    We are Educuento and we are helping parents to close the word gap.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.

  • Tembo

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

    From:

    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 Tembo is the first professional level job for many women employed as home visitors, highlighting the strong workforce development element of the model. Tembo maximizes human potential through education.

  • Libromat

    Libromat Hubs are community centres where caregivers share books with their children while their laundry is done.

    From:

    Oxford University

    Start-up Concept:

    Each hub is an aspirational, affordable, and accessible place where caregivers learn to share books with their children. Our unique educational program is based on research completed by our partners in an informal settlement in South Africa just a few months ago. This research showed that Libromat’s dialogic book-sharing program improves long-term development for children, even when caregivers are illiterate.

    Laundry is a tedious, time-intensive chore for parents, and for many low-income families, laundry services are inaccessible. Libromats free up time for parents to share books effectively with their young children in a welcoming environment run by specially trained educators.

  • Attollo

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

    From:

    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.

    From:

    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.

  • IMPCT

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

    From:

    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).

Nanohealth

The 2014 winners of the Hult Prize

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Aspire Foods

The 2013 winners of the Hult Prize

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Can insects end world hunger?

Ending world hunger is a lofty goal with a United Nations' estimate of 870 million people being uncertain of their food supplies. One start-up is poised to tackle this challenge head-on after winning the 2013 Hult Prize and its $1 million capital investment.