ZapomniGo Wins the Local Hult Prize Competition

February 24, 2024
ZapomniGo Wins the Local Hult Prize Competition

AUBG hosted a Local Hult Prize competition, a global platform challenging students to solve pressing social and environmental issues. As part of the on-campus program for the competition, organised by the on-campus director of Hult – prof. Eva Van Mensel (EMBA ’16) and the AUBG Elevate Accelerator team, fostered innovation and entrepreneurship among AUBG students.

The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student social entrepreneurship competition. Run in partnership with the United Nations, student teams from universities from across the world compete to solve a pressing social issue by developing a scalable, sustainable social enterprise. Finalists pitch to a panel of esteemed judges, global business leaders, thought leaders, and changemakers to win 1M USD and launch their enterprise.

Past judges include former US President Bill Clinton, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus. Past challenges include food security, access to clean water, and affordable education.

Five student teams, all participants in the Elevate accelerator program, presented their impactful ventures aimed at addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to a distinguished jury. The competition offered a chance for one team to secure a coveted spot in the Hult Prize semi-finals, vying for a life-changing $1 million prize.

The Teams

  • SportPRO: This platform connects talented young athletes with potential sponsors, facilitating their development and growth.
  • Verdere: This company operates a unique indoor vertical farm, cultivating 100% organic microgreens. They currently serve businesses (B2B) and are expanding to reach individual consumers (B2C).
  • ZapomniGO: This app empowers Bulgarian students through interactive and engaging flashcard learning, making education fun and effective.
  • Education+: This platform simplifies opportunity discovery for young people, providing easy access to exchange programs, internships, events, and educational workshops.
  • Foodilizer: This business creates an innovative organic fertilizer that provides nitrogen on demand, helping farmers reduce reliance on mineral fertilizers while improving yields and soil health.

A Jury’s Choice

Following a round of compelling presentations and thoughtful deliberation, the jury selected the top three teams: ZapomniGO, Education+, and Foodilizer.

The jury was formed by:

  • Vilislav Slavev (’19), the visionary Co-Founder & CMO of Unboxd, bringing innovation and creativity to the table.
  • Boriana Shalyavska (EMBA ’16), with masters thesis in social entrepreneurship, a dynamic Deputy Mayor for Education & Business Development, driving positive change and growth in the Blagoevgrad community
  • Anna Spasova (EMBA ’23), with masters thesis in social entrepreneurship, a dedicated Senior Admissions Counselor & Recruitment Coordinator, guiding and shaping future talents.

ZapomniGO secured the coveted spot in the Hult Prize semi-finals, while the remaining teams remain eligible for potential selection by Hult.

A Stepping Stone for Future Success

This inaugural AUBG participation in the Hult Prize marks a significant milestone, fostering a culture of innovation and social responsibility among students. The organizers expressed their commitment to building upon this success, aiming to send AUBG representatives to compete in the Hult Prize every year.

This event not only highlighted the ingenuity and dedication of AUBG students but also showcased the university’s dedication to empowering future generations to tackle global challenges and create positive change.