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LaunchPad Announces Winners of Campus Hult Prize Competition
Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries has announced the winners of the Syracuse University campus Hult Prize social impact competition, held virtually on Dec. 4. This year’s winners will be nominated for the global regional $1 million competition sponsored by the Hult Foundation with the United Nations.
This year’s Hult challenge was “Food for Good,” focusing on ventures that tackle a global food-related problem and use food as a vehicle for change. Three teams captured top honors and have been nominated to move on to the next level of the global competition. The global regionals will be held in spring 2021. From there, 15 teams from around the world will be selected to participate in a Hult Foundation summer accelerator program and to pitch at the finals in fall 2021 at the United Nations.
Winners of the Syracuse University competition that will move to the next level are:
- First place–WaxPax Solutions, Erica Morrison ’21 (Whitman School of Management and Newhouse School of Public Communications), Lidia Menbaeva ’21 (College of Arts and Sciences) and Daniel Hamrahi ’21 (Whitman School of Management), for a multi-purpose biodegradable packaging solution made from a proprietary blend of beeswax and cellulose that will help eliminate landfill waste in the food supply chain.
- Second place–Cuapa Monde Conservation, Claire Chevalier ’24 (Whitman School of Management) and Sasha Temerte ’23 (College of Arts and Sciences), for a consulting firm that seeks to develop universal standards for sustainable packaging, similar to the organic certification standard for producers of organic food and other organic agricultural products, for producers and consumers of all consumer-packaged goods in the U.S. and European Union.
- Third place–Gather, Nolan Kagan ’23 (Whitman School of Management) for a community-building web and mobile application to bring people of various ages and cultures around the world together to cook and share favorite recipes and conversation, first in the digital space and then in real life post-pandemic, to address social isolation while building cultural and social literacy among people who not might otherwise meet.
Distinguished judges for the campus competition included experienced food policy and public health experts, food entrepreneurs and innovative business professionals. The campus competition was coordinated by Blackstone LaunchPad Global Fellow Claire Howard ’23, who serves as the Syracuse University campus Hult Prize ambassador.