IMBA Advances On To The 2015 Hult Prize Finals
This year marks the 5th annual global Hult Prize competition, after expanding out from San Francisco in 2010. Every year elite business schools all over the world are invited to participate in this competition and bring innovative ideas with a social purpose to life. IMPCT, the IMBA Team soon competing in the global finals, continues to show passion, determination, and commitment to their innovative solution for early childhood education in urban slums. The team includes Juan Diego Prudot (Honduras), Andres Escobar (El Salvador), An-nung Chen (Taiwan) and Taylor Scobbie (Canada), all of whom continue to work extremely hard and make countless sacrifices, so that they can bring about social change to these slum communities.
Combining educational innovation and a sustainable business model, IMPCT strives to offer the resources, human capital, and financial capital needed to operate an educational facility in urban slums. For $1 a day, parents can send their children off to these local schools and allow them to receive the education that is of utmost importance to their growth and development. In December 2014, upon winning the competition held at National Chengchi University, IMPCT secured a spot in the regional finals held at Dubai. Before heading off, they were in dire need of funds so they reached out to fellow classmates, alumni, professors, and also the public. Moreover, IMPCT conducted rounds of business pitches to CEOs and top executives in Taiwan to secure the necessary funds. Although it was very difficult to convince people of the idea initially, many sponsors soon saw the strong commitment of the team and more importantly, the social contribution their support would be making. It was a tough few months of funding but they succeeded in the end.
During the regionals, the team heard many presentations with good ideas, but they still firmly believed that their social enterprise would bring the biggest impact and create the most sustainable, as well as suitable, business model for slum communities. After being asked more details about the business idea, IMPCT felt closer to being titled regional champions and advancing on to the finals in Boston. To the surprise of some competing teams and themselves, they fell short and came in second place. However, they did not simply give up upon returning to Taiwan, they continued to push forward and set out to participate in the online round, an act that showed their willingness to persevere.
In the online round IMPCT had to allow many sponsors to agree with their idea and effectively communicate and execute their business plan. They registered their idea on Indiegogo, an international crowdfunding website, and convinced the world, to support their idea. Not only was the total sponsored amount taken into consideration, but also the number of sponsors, average amount sponsored per person, and the media outlets utilized. IMPCT also designed t-shirts and sold them on campus, as well as at charitable events in Taiwan. In the end, IMPCT had 697 funders on the platform, as well as over 300 funders locally, securing over 1000 funders. In mid-May, Juan Diego Prudot received a phone call from the Hult Prize CEO, Mr. Ashkar, congratulating the team on being selected as the winner of the online round.
Beginning June 28th, IMPCT will be in Boston to partake in a process to help them refine and bring their ideas to reality. Various notable speakers will be invited to share the experience, offer advice and feedback, and help make the final teams’ ideas better. Ending in mid-August, the team will then travel to El Salvador to build their first school. Finally, on September 26th, the Hult Prize Finals will be held and IMPCT will be sure to inspire many with their unique idea and how it will change the lives of children, families, and communities throughout the world. As they represent National Chengchi University and Taiwan at this distinguished business competition, IMPCT will continue to receive the support of many and is set up to change the world of education as we know it.