The prestigious Hult Prize Foundation has selected Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars (LaunchPad) to host the Hult Prize Regional Summit. Hult Prize Impact Summits are hosted in 100 locations around the world, and this year Syracuse is one of only three regional hosts in North America. Winners of the regional campus competitions go on to compete in the global competition at the United Nations. The competition, being held virtually this year due to COVID-19, will take place on April 9, 2021.

“This is an incredible honor and testament to Syracuse University’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship in a global community,” said David Seaman, Dean of Syracuse University Libraries and University Librarian. “We’re thrilled to provide a world-wide stage that demonstrates the caliber of our campus ecosystem and all that Syracuse University has to offer.”

The Syracuse University campus director of the Summit is Claire Howard ’23 (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Policy), a member of the Blackstone LaunchPad. The day-long event will include an inspirational speaker, Professor Emeritus from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Catherine Bertini.  Bertini is an accomplished leader in international organization reform, a powerful advocate for women and girls, the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate, and recent co-chair working under the United Nations. A distinguished panel of judges and speakers will be featured throughout the day.

The LaunchPad is seeking student volunteers to assist with project management, communications, and social media coordination for this event. Interested volunteers can email Claire Howard at clhoward@syr.edu. Those interested in viewing the speakers or the competition virtually can email launchpad@syr.edu for registration information. 

The Hult Prize Foundation transforms how young people envision their own possibilities as impact leaders of change in the world.  This year’s Hult Prize 2021 Challenge is centered around the theme “Food for Good.” The goal is to create jobs, stimulate economies, reimagine supply chains, and improve outcomes for 10 million people by 2030. Syracuse University’s LaunchPad will host 40 global teams, made up of 120 students. Winners of the regional competitions will move on to the global competition hosted by the United Nations, with that winner receiving a $1 million seed capital grant.

This year’s winner of the Hult Prize campus competition who will be going on to the global regionals is WaxPax Solutions, Erica Morrison ’21 (Whitman School of Management and Newhouse School of Public Communications), Lidia Menbaeva ’21 (College of Arts and Sciences), and Daniel Hamrahi ’21 (Whitman School of Management), for a multi-purpose biodegradable packaging solution made from a proprietary blend of beeswax and cellulose that will help eliminate landfill waste in the food supply chain.

Former Syracuse LaunchPad alumni who have competed in the Hult Prize Regionals include: