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University of Lima Students Prepare for Hult Prize Finals in New York

University of Lima Students Prepare for Hult Prize Finals in New York main image

Sponsored by University of Lima

Every year for the last 10 years, the Hult Prize has challenged young entrepreneurs to think innovatively and come up with a solution that responds to a pressing social global challenge. Previous challenges have included finding solutions for access to clean water, the refugee crisis and the global food crisis.

This year, the brief was to solve the problem of youth unemployment, and the winning proposal has to generate 10,000 jobs for young university students.

Daniela Chiang, Ana Paula Dianderas, Anthonella Mondragón and Cesar Barriga from the University of Lima took on this challenge. In April this year, they travelled to Ecuador to take part in the regional stage of the competition, and won over 50 proposals from around the world as well as being placed among the 25 best proposals that passed the Accelerator stage.

With Daniela and Anthonella both studying industrial engineering, Cesar studying system engineering, and Ana studying finance, the group have a broad base of knowledge. They worked together to create their innovative program ‘Superminds After School’, which provides private classes to school students to improve their learning.

We spoke with the group of four students to find out more about their experience so far and how they think it’s benefitted them personally, professionally and academically.

Can you give us some background information about the competition? What is it? What is the aim of the competition? What is the prize?

The Hult Prize is akin to the Nobel prize. Together with the United Nations, the organizers train young leaders from all over the world to create a business model which sustainably solves the world’s most complicated global and social problems. This year more than 200,000 students from 120 countries competed for 35 places in the Acceleration program in London.

At the end of the program, six teams will be chosen to present their ideas at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and one team will win one million dollars in start-up capital.

Can you tell us a bit about 'Superminds After School' and how you came up with the idea?

The idea was born with Daniela and Ana Paula who used to teach after-school classes. They started with two students, but the demand kept growing until they couldn’t maintain it by themselves.

Superminds is a movement of young people who believe that quality education can change lives. They connect young adults with students through a platform so they can capitalize on their knowledge by becoming tutors.

Taking a class with Superminds allows children in vulnerable situations to receive academic reinforcement.

What made you decide to take part in the competition?

The challenge of being able to generate 10,000 jobs for young people was very attractive. Above all, it was aligned to our objectives as an enterprise since we want to be a scalable and replicable platform.

What expectations did you have when it came to the competition?

It was the first time we participated in a contest outside of Peru. We had a lot of expectation to see projects and young people like us who are looking for new ways of do business where social impact is the central axis of entrepreneurship.

When we arrived at the competition, we felt an empowering environment that inspired and motivated everyone to be part of a generation that is looking forward to making a positive impact on society.

What elements of your degrees do you think have helped you prepare and create a winning regional project?

We are an interdisciplinary team, which allows us to have different perspectives and contributions that enrich our proposal. We have found in our differences a synergy that complements us, the passion of working while doing good and the power of education.

We think it’s very important to work individually and as a team. In doing so, we will be the best version of ourselves to communicate and inspire.

In what ways do you think you’ve benefited from taking part in the competition?

Being part of Hult Prize has been an incredible adventure. During each part of the process we have learned so many different things. When we started, we had the challenge of explaining our business model in five minutes, then we had to build the business plan for our enterprise.

There’s also the challenge of creating a network of people who believe in the idea and can guide us throughout the journey.

All the benefits and opportunities that have been given to us by participating in this, we hope to give back by generating opportunities for other young people to live this experience.

What has the experience been like so far, both academically and socially?

Academically we have been able to practice what we learned in our classes, and socially we’re creating a network with global mentors and leaders who support us by sharing their knowledge and experience.

How do you feel about the final in New York in September?

The experience of being in the Accelerator program in London and learning from great leaders is a dream come true. Nevertheless, we are working very hard to be one of the final teams that go to New York in September. We believe it’s a great challenge to represent our country and entrepreneurship in Latin America.

We truly believe in this new business model, so we plan to continue with this project with all the tools which we will learn during the competition.

Lead image: University of Lima

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Written by Stephanie Lukins
As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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