Hult Prize On-Campus

While the pandemic has postponed or cancelled many events from happening on campus, Enderun still finds ways to inspire students to make a change even from their own homes. One example of this is the inaugural launch of The Hult Prize competition at Enderun Colleges. Already a well-established program, Campus Director Mikaela Lopez explains that when she learned about the program, she knew she wanted to turn this opportunity into something that more people could participate in. What came to the campus because of one person turned into an entire team of people working together to make the Hult Prize at Enderun Colleges possible.

The Hult Prize is a worldwide competition which aims to inspire young visionaries to innovate solutions to help answer some of the problems most prominent in our world today. Winners of this competition are awarded with a $1,000,000 global startup prize to be able to take their idea and put it into action. Many of the themes of the competition are also done in alignment with 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Currently on its 10th competition, Hult Prize continues to ask the youth to think about how to solve problems and show the solutions to these longstanding problems can and have come from the leaders of tomorrow. This year’s competitors were asked to create their pitches of a social enterprise that aims to answer to the 2021 theme “Food for Good: Creating a Vehicle for Change” According to the Hult Prize organization, this theme has aims of “Creating jobs, stimulating economies, reimagining supply chains, and improving outcomes for 10,000,000 people by 2030.

With this in mind, the school produced six teams of students with courses ranging from Culinary Arts to Economics and even varying batches ranging from freshmen to seniors. The teams are Hale Bites, Flourish, J-Mec Cooperative, Chrysanthemum, E.G.G, SusTeam, and CuRuSa. When asked about why they joined the competition, reasons varied from the topic being something very close to home to the idea of wanting to put one’s self out there, and the most common reasoning being that many students wanted to build enterprises that would help those most in need of it. The recent pandemic and typhoons have devastated many people, especially in terms of food security because of many people being unable to work for food. The students saw this competition as an opportunity to help create a solution to a problem that will exist long after the pandemic ends. With these motivations, all teams have been working to make the best pitch for the On-Campus Program that took place on Saturday, December 5.

The On-Campus Program held via Zoom was the culmination of all of the hard work the teams put into creating their pitches. The event was hosted by Enderun alumni, Harvey Luntok and Chelsea Abcede. The competition was also judged by an esteemed panel of judges namely Ms. Che Abrigo (Founder of Sierreza, Masters in Environmental Science), Dr. Alvin Chua (Chairman and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at De La Salle University, Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering), Dr. Raul Rodriguez (former General Manager of SVI-ISI Computer Services, Inc. lecturer at the John Gokongwei School of Management in Ateneo de Manila University, Ph.D. in Leadership Studies), Ms. Nelly Clarete (Program Associate for Ecosystem Development of QBO Innovation Hub and Program Officer and Fellowship Program Associate of the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange, and Ms. Sam Javier (Managing partner of PRAXIS Associates PH. Co and CEO of Learning Synergies Inc). The mechanics of the competition went as follows: each team was given six minutes to pitch their idea and four minutes to answer at least two questions from the judges. After this, their presentation and ability to answer questions was judged on the following criteria: Team, Idea, Impact, Traction, and the WOW Factor.

Moving into the competition proper, the first team to present was Chrysanthemum, led by Akio Macaraeg with their idea of creating a more environmentally safe pesticide-alternative with the usage of dried chrysanthemum flowers. Following them was CuRuSa, led by Redd Santos and their business called “Kaya: Plastic Mo, Pagkain Ko” which utilizes a reverse vending machine which takes recyclable bottles which in turn awards the donator points that can be used to buy food at local markets. Sadly, due to unforeseen circumstances, J-Mec Cooperative led by Nellie Ablan was unable to present their pitch. After that, Hale Bites led by Renzie Enaje proposed their product called “Hale Bites”, dried chips using “ugly produce” or also known as unused produce, which not only cuts down on food waste but also benefits the farmers who grew them. The fifth to present was E.G.G. led by Girard Soriano brought the idea of using Black Soldier Flies as a sustainable alternative to typical livestock feed. Second to the last was SusTeam led by Micah Abasolo presented “Panatili”, a meal-kit provider which not only will celebrate Filipino cuisine with its recipes but this box will be using the produce not sold by farmers in the local area. Lastly, Flourish led by Alex Rabaya proposed the utilization of seaweed to make a nutritious flour as a sustainable food source that will aid in the rising issue of malnutrition amongst the poor.

After the judges deliberated, the winners were announced. CuRuSa being placed as the second-runner up, Flourish as the first-runner up, and finally Hale Bites reigning as the champion for Enderun’s first-ever On-Campus Program.

This competition truly encapsulates the importance of teamwork and striving to better one’s self every day. It also exemplifies the importance of recognizing that winning is not all that is important. As stated by the Campus Director during her closing remarks, “For the competition, there’s only two outcomes. It’s either they win or they learn. No matter what happens, take the good with you and use it as a stepping stone to be better.”

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