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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

World’s Largest Accelerator Selects Top Six To Pitch at United Nations for US$1,000,000

Press Release – September 11, 2018, New York, New York. The Hult Prize Foundation today announced the top six startups who will present their ideas at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 15 for USD 1,000,000.

In partnership with the United Nations Office of Partnerships, more than 100,000 college and university students from 121 countries competed in the 9th Annual Hult Prize which is the world’s largest program for the creation and advancement of student entrepreneurs who are focused on impact. Since its inception the Hult Prize has engaged a global community of more 2.1 million college and university students.

The six finalists advanced to the final round at UNHQ after winning the semi-final stage of the year long program where they lived, worked, learned and played in the former residence of Henry the VIII — a castle sprawling over 190 acres just north of London. For 6-weeks over the summer, 200 student entrepreneurs representing 60 nationalities called the castle home, while they were incubated at the Hult Prize Accelerator — a world-class immersion based entrepreneur training program consisting of classes, workshops, mentoring, rapid-prototyping and pitching.

The top six, better known as the “UN6”, will now have the chance to pitch in-front of a star-studded panel of judges for the chance to take home the coveted Hult Prize and the one million dollars which comes with it. President Bill Clinton will again present the award, as he has done for nearly a decade, going on to say how “the ideas generated here will inspire a generation of change.”

The 2018 judges panel will include: Ibrahim AlHusseini, Founder, FullEnergy Cycle; Venus Brown, Founder and CEO, Buddah Brown Entertainment; Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global; Jeetu Patel, Chief Product Officer, Box; Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever; Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network; Taylor Scobbie, Founder and CEO, IMPCT Coffee; Bill Townsend, Co-Founder, Bluesource Companies; Elizabeth Thompson, Former Minister of Energy and Environment of Barbados and previous Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations; Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon and Kandeh Yumkella, Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All.

The UN6 represents 14 countries and will present ideas around how to harness the power of energy to sustainably improve the lives of 10 million people around the world, comprised of;

  • U-Light, an immediate, affordable and reliable energy solution for off-grid areas that empowers people to generate their own electricity on-demand.
  • Impact Rays, a smart irrigation solution leveraging solar energy to provide precision-based agriculture that increases farmers’ incomes by a 10x yield and saves water.
  • Noor Medical, a med tech startup with a safe surgery product line, including a hybrid solar-thermal autoclave, that makes safe surgery possible at rural off-grid healthcare facilities.
  • Phyta is company that has created an incentive and marketplace for coastal fishing communities to grow, sell, and invest in seaweed for a sustainable future.
  • SunRice, a sustainable supply chain solution dedicated to democratize the rice industry by increasing the amount and speed at which quality rice hits the market.
  • Empower Energy, a last-mile distribution start-up operating a micro-franchise model to deliver life-changing energy-enabled products and services to underserved communities in India.

To watch the finals live or for more information about the UN6 or to learn more about the The Hult Prize Foundation please visit

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