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Race to present business plan to President Bill Clinton

A team of Bond MBA students has advanced to the regional finals of the international Hult Prize and will compete for a chance to present their plans for a social business venture to former US President Bill Clinton.

The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition and crowdsourcing platform, challenging teams to develop a sustainable business model that addresses a specific global issue, personally selected each year by President Clinton.

This year’s challenge, which focusses on how to get safe, sufficient, affordable and easily accessible food to the 200 million people who live in urban slums worldwide, attracted 10,000 applications from some 350 colleges and universities in 150 countries.

The Bond team, comprising Richard Nicholls from Zimbabwe, Jono Carroll from Sydney, Kristofer Duncan from Canada and Manuel Siegrist from Tanzania, will fly to China to compete against 40 other teams in one of the five regional finals being held simultaneously on March 1 and 2, at the Hult International Business School campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai.

The winning team from each of these regional finals will then present their business plan to President Clinton and members of the Clinton Global Initiative at CGI’s annual meeting in September, with the ultimate winner receiving $US1 million to turn their proposed venture into a reality.

“From the original 10,000 applications, only 180 teams were chosen to compete in the five regional finals so we are thrilled to have got this far,” said team spokesperson, Richard Nicholls.

“The four of us met when we arrived at Bond University last year to study our MBA. We’ve worked together on group projects and when I heard about the Hult Prize, I knew we would make a good team.

“Given that Manuel and I both come from third world countries where urban slums are a reality, I believe we can bring some first-hand insight to the challenge.

“And even if we don’t ultimately win the top prize, the chance to meet the other teams in Shanghai and possibly the high profile CGI members at the international final round is a fantastic networking opportunity that will really enhance our career prospects.”

The team’s Bond Business School classmates and professors are hoping Richard, Jono, Kristofer and Manuel will follow in the footsteps of previous Bond MBA teams who have earned an international reputation for their success in prestigious global competitions such as the Venture Labs Investment Competition (formerly the Global Moot Corp Competition) which Bond has now won on three occasions.

“The Hult Prize is an exceptional opportunity for our Bondies, giving them the high level global experience that is a key component of a Bond MBA degree,” said Dean of the Bond Business School, Professor Mark Hirst.

“We are immensely proud of Richard, Jono, Kristofer and Manuel for progressing to the Regional Finals.”

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