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Pepperdine MBAs Compete for Social Good at Hult Prize

Two hundred and fifty million slum dwellers around the world suffer from chronic diseases. To innovate and revolutionize the way we think about servicing the poor, the world’s largest student competition, the Hult Prize, a start-up platform for social good in partnership with President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, invited the brightest college and university students from around the globe to come up with creative solutions to address this pressing issue. Pepperdine MBA students Chris RovinJeffrey FeinAlex Valencia and Jennifer Chandler were among the PhD, MD, MBA, master's, and undergraduate program teams who answered the call and flew to San Francisco this March to compete in one of the Hult Prize’s simultaneous regional finals. “It was an honor to represent Graziadio at this prestigious case competition. Hult was an amazing opportunity to put the business skills we're learning at Graziadio to the test to solve a serious global problem,” said team captain Chris Rovin, president of the Malibu Graduate Business Society. “We used SEER principles, financial projections, and creative idea generation to compete with some of the top schools in the country,” Chris added. Pepperdine Graziadio team received strong feedback for their presentation skills and the quality of our argument, Chris shared. Unfortunately, the team was in the same group as eventual regional winner MIT, whose students had funding, a prototype that has been tested in the field, and a post-doc engineer working on the project full time. The Pepperdine students and each team selected was chosen from more than 10,000 applications received from over 350 colleges and universities in over 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional competitions took place on March 7 and 8, 2014 at the Hult International Business School campuses in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. Leading executives from businesses like Unilever, Coke, and McKinsey, as well as His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, ruling member of the UAE Royal Family, were judges. Following their regional final win at one of the host campus locations, teams from University of Pennsylvania, MIT, HEC Paris, ESADE Business School, Indian School of Business, and York University move into a summer business incubator, where participants receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning as they create prototypes and set-up to launch their new social business. A final round of competition is hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where CGI delegates select a winning team, which will be awarded the $ 1,000,000 grand prize by President Bill Clinton himself. Echoing his team captain, student Jeffrey Fein said, “It was really amazing to participate in a global competition and see the passion in people who are going to change the world. What a unique experience.”

Photo copyright: Hult Prize