NCCU IMBA Team Makes Waves in Hult Prize Semifinal, Proposing Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Production Uniform

  • 2023-07-07
  • Admin Admin
The talented team "To-gether(ogether)" from National Chengchi University's International MBA (IMBA) program made a significant impact at the highly anticipated Hult Prize Global Semifinal in Mumbai. Comprising four students with diverse backgroundsLeo Lee, Yaninee Likhitworasak, Holt Tuan, and Mickey Wongchinda—the team showcased their innovative approach to sustainable production uniform, offering a sustainable procurement option to the enterprise while improving worker comfort on the production line. They left a lasting impression at this year's Hult Prize summit.

The Hult Prize competition challenges young people to solve pressing global issues through social entrepreneurship. This year's theme was "Redesigning Fashion," focusing on the fashion industry's environmental impact. The To-gether team reached the semifinal round in Mumbai, competing against 70 registered groups from around the world. With a chance to win the ultimate prize of 1 million USD to launch their business, the Mumbai summit proved to be a rigorous and demanding battleground for young entrepreneurs. The To-gether team was aware of the tough competition they faced from all over the world such as South Korea, Australia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Japan, India, and many others.

The event commenced at Mumbai Gopal Sharma Memorial School, where the team received a warm welcome from a dedicated team of over 30 staff members who provided invaluable support throughout their journey. The opening ceremony featured inspiring speeches by industry experts, with Ms. Kirti Poonia, the founder of Relove, leaving a lasting impact on the team. Her personal journey of building a startup resonated deeply with them, emphasizing the challenges faced and the perseverance required to succeed. Ms. Poonia's words became a driving force for the team as they embarked on their own entrepreneurial path.

Ms. Carla Osnaya, the Hult Prize HR Director, further motivated the team with words of encouragement. She urged the nervous entrepreneurs to utilize every moment for practice, emphasizing that progress, rather than perfection, is the key. Her insightful words inspired the team to put their best foot forward and fueled their ambition to secure the top spot for both NCCU and their respective countries.

The journey of the To-gether team began long before the summit with meticulous preparation and research, laying the foundation for a robust and comprehensive business model. By identifying key partners, refining their proposal, and gaining a deep understanding of the market dynamics within the automobile and manufacturing industry factories, the team created a sustainable plan that considered both environmental and social aspects.

Effective product design and development played a pivotal role in the team's success. After interviewing several real production line workers, the team incorporated essential factors identified during their research. They developed two sets of prototypes, the polo shirt type and shirt type uniform that balanced sustainability, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. The prototypes displayed during the summit left impression to the judges and the peers. Many of the audiences were eager to learn more about the product and expressed deep interest in the team’s business model after the pitch.

Participating in the Hult Prize Global Semifinal provided the team with valuable networking opportunities. Engaging with teams from diverse backgrounds and countries expanded their professional network, facilitated the exchange of innovative ideas, and provided insights from industry experts. This exposure broadened their perspectives and opened doors for potential collaborations and partnerships.

One of the team members, Holt Tuan, shared his personal reflection on the transformative experience. "The Hult Prize Global Semifinal held in Mumbai taught us valuable lessons on managing and developing projects. By observing other teams' innovative use of resources and sustainable practices, we were motivated to generate our own unique solutions. The competition emphasized the significance of strategic thinking, effective communication, mentorship, market research, product development, and proficient pitching skills. Furthermore, it highlighted the need for efficient time management to attain project objectives. In general, the Hult Prize Global Semifinal acted as a stimulus for our personal growth."

"I am sincerely grateful for the guidance provided by the professor and our IMBA peers," expresses Mickey Wongchinda, the team leader of To-gether. "Seeking advice from experienced professors and peers has been invaluable in strengthening our business idea. Their mentorship and consultation have played a pivotal role in refining our concept, addressing potential challenges, and showing us the blind spots we did not see. Their expertise and industry insights have empowered us to develop a more comprehensive and viable approach, significantly increasing our project's chances of success."

Looking ahead, the students expressed their gratitude to NCCU IMBA for making this opportunity possible. They now view themselves as active contributors to a global movement of sustainable entrepreneurship. Their business plan, which focused on the creation of sustainable production uniforms, received positive feedback and recognition, further strengthening their belief in the viability of their venture. This positive response has fueled their determination to continue the business upon returning to Taiwan, with a greater resolve to make a significant impact in the future.

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To-gether(ogether) team member (from left to right) Hult Tuan, Leo Lee, Yaninee Likhitworasak, and Mickey Wongchinda during the orientation day.

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Networking with entrepreneurs from all over the world

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The Hult Prize organizer invited several industry experts to give speech to inspire the young entrepreneurs

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Full house competitors with a same goal: building a better future together through redesigning fashion industry

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The Hult Prize team arranged local Indian cuisine such as biryani and chicken butter curry for international students