The Hult Prize 2016 Accelerator is in progress right now. The finalists for the 2015 Hult Prize share their experience and what it taught them.
The Hult Prize had to be the most incredible experience of my life. Everything about the journey was inspiring, challenging, and fun. However, my favorite part about all of this is our team and the moments we shared together. Myself, Ciara, and Jamie met in a social entrepreneurship class. We started off as partners for a group project and we turned into great friends. We each learned so much from each other because we are all so different. Despite the differences, we all grew together as we put into all the hard work that goes into competing in the Hult Prize. We each brought our unique skills and perspectives in order to create something great.
My teammates helped me grow as a person. They challenged me to do things that I never thought I can do. We all pushed each other to try our best, be confident, and have fun. At the Hult Prize we realized that we were all winners. We are all trying to create positive change in the world. By doing this, we created positive changes in ourselves and in the people we met. I wouldn’t have wanted to be with anyone else at the Hult Prize. We stressed out together, prayed together, and even started a game of hangman together on the day of the competition. I think it’s safe to say we were the fun team. We ran in the rain together and managed to get competition ready (thanks to Ciara’s hair and makeup skills). We did face some challenges, but managed to overcome them by working together and turning any tough situations into something positive. The time we spend together truly helped as group as a team and individuals. I am thankful for the Hult Prize and the entire journey it took us to get there. I hope other teams had as great as an experience as we had, but I’m sure they did…the Hult Prize is incredible!
– Stephanie Murphy
The Hult Prize Organizer said, “Your six minutes starts once you walk into the presenting room.”
My heart fluttered as we stood outside waiting for our turn, we all took deep breaths and said some powerful words to each other. It was finally our turn. We line up, took a breath, and walked into the room. Once we got to the podium, I began our presentation by saying “we are team Green Spot from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.” That’s when it hit me. This was the last time we will give this pitch, and it has to be perfect! I began to feel nervous. Not the normal jitters you get when you have to speak in front of the class, my knees began to shake, and my heart was beating out of my chest. I knew I needed to keep it together for not just myself, but for my teammates. I looked at the judges and the peer panel, and I could see the amazement and interest they had in our solution. In my mind, I was focusing on my body language, how my volume projected, and how I connected with everyone in the room to make them see how passionate I was about Green Spot. My biggest worry was that I was going to mess up my lines because I know how important this was for my teammates and me. All I kept thinking was to breathe and relax, and no one will notice how nervous I was. As the presentation went on, I could feel the synergy between Jamie, Steph and I. We balanced each other out perfectly expressing why Green Spot will change the world. It was finally the end of the presentation, and I closed it with “And Remember… It all starts with a seed!” and that is when the wave of relief came over me, and I finally was able to relax. I looked at the judges and noticed they all had smiles on their faces and were keen to ask us questions. We even had a judge take a picture of our last slide with our contact information on it. When questioning began, I knew we felt very confident answering any question thrown at us, and it showed. After questioning was over, we exited the room and gave each other the biggest group hug and congratulated each other and for all the hard work. We all noticed that time flew while giving our presentation and do not remember the entire event because we were so focused. We knew even if we did not get called back for more questions, or placed in the top six we are still winners and will continue changing the world in the future. I am so proud of team Green Spot and will never forget the time we presented at Hult Prize. I cannot wait to see where the winning teams go as well as compete again in the future.
– Ciara Nowak
I’ve had hard weeks where the work, the exams, the papers, and the readings just never seem to end. And with Hult Prize I have never worked so hard and felt as if I got more out than what I put in. The experience was incredible, and truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Every second spent developing our idea was well worth the effort and process. From October until mid-March the three of us would gather in the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub for at least 4 hours every week. What started as our class assignment became more than that, it became a full-fledged business idea with the potential to inspire, empower, and double the income of ten million people. I learned the true meaning behind being a global leader and a responsible citizen, two important qualities that Rollins taught me to value. Hult Prize showed me that the world needs me to be a leader. Surrounded by leaders from all over the world, I realized that my generation is amazing and is truly going to change the way the world thinks and acts. Rollins, in combination with my time spent with Hult Prize, has showed me the value of stepping outside your comfort zone. By hosting the Hult Prize, Rollins welcomed me to the world of entrepreneurship and social good. Before the Social Entrepreneurship and Business minor, I had never really thought about a career beyond the medical sciences. Now, I am trying to find a way to connect my love of biology and my desire to create a social impact. Hult Prize allowed me to see the true power of my love of science and social good. Green Spot is just one of the many vast opportunities that can come from my unique background. Rollins gives you the tools to find your path in the world. Hult Prize represents one of those first steps down my path. I can’t wait to see where my path, and my teammates’ path, leads.
– Jamie Wadovick