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    Two Syracuse University Teams Advance to Hult Prize Regional Finals

    By Emily Dang '17

    Photo: The winning team of the local Hult Prize Competition at Syracuse University, Thrive Projects, includes Newhouse School sophomore Amanda Chau and College of Arts and Sciences seniors Ryan Brinkerhoff, Joshua Moon and Khalid Khan. Photo by Emily DangOn March 4, two teams of student entrepreneurs from Syracuse University will compete in the regional finals for the $1 million Hult Prize. The teams—Thrive Projects and on PARR—will be competing in Boston and San Francisco.

    The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition that focuses on social impact. This annual competition challenges undergraduate and graduate students to find a business solution to a critical issue faced by millions of people.

    This year, the Hult Prize is focused on finding solutions that will decrease the human cost of involuntary migration and restore the rights and dignity of individuals forced into motion due to economic, environmental and political pressures.

    The Syracuse University teams competed in the inaugural Hult Prize at Syracuse University on Dec. 10. Over 40 students competed.

    Team Thrive Projects provides alternative energy education and vocational training to communities in need, empowering them with the skills necessary to find innovative solutions to everyday problems and to build those solutions into sustainable enterprises. Thrive Projects will be competing in Boston.

    “For the entire Thrive team and all of our fans and followers in the U.S. and Nepal, the Hult Prize has been kind of a surreal experience. In a lot of ways it has validated a project that we’ve worked on for more than a year and reminded the communities that we work with that they are not forgotten,” says Ryan Brinkerhoff, team captain of Thrive Projects.

    The students from Thrive Projects, their hometowns and colleges are:

    Photo: The second runner-up team in the local Hult Prize Competition at Syracuse University, on PARR, includes Newhouse School seniors Anjali Alwis and Rachel Gilbert and College of Arts and Sciences seniors Rose Cote and Patty Terhune. Photo by Emily Dang

    Team on PARR is building an app that centralizes the different resources that are available to refugees. It allows both non-profits/businesses with an interest in helping refugees as well as refugees to register. Non-profits/businesses can match with refugees by services needed and provided. On PARR will be competing in San Francisco.

    The students from on PARR, their hometowns and colleges are:

    “We are unbelievably honored to have been selected out of so many applicants and look forward to hearing all of the ideas. It is important for SU to be represented at the Hult Prize as it encourages students to be active within their own communities as well as the larger, interconnected global community,” says Anjali Alwis, team captain of on PARR.

    Regional finals are taking place in six places around the world: Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, Shanghai and London. Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will advance to an intensive eight-week summer business incubator, where they will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business. The final round of competition will take place at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference in September, where a jury panel will select the annual Hult Prize winner.