Mon | Jan 21, 2019

UWI Mona team steps up - US$1m up for grabs to improve early childhood development

Published:Sunday | February 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM

A seven-member team of students from the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, is among 250 teams selected by the Hult Prize Foundation for the regional finals of the sixth annual Hult Prize.

The winner will get US$1 million to improve early childhood development.

The UWI, Mona team, which is supported by a five-member team of professors/lecturers, was selected from among 20,000 applications received from 500 colleges and universities in more than 150 countries around the world.

The Hult Prize regional final competitions will take place on March 13 and 14, 2015, in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai, and the UWI team will compete in Boston.

Team members

The team members include Latoya Thompson-Hall and Joan White; Travis Atkinson, graduate student from the Department of Economics; Kevouy Reid, undergraduate student, Faculty of Medical Sciences; and Michelle Ann Humphrey, postgraduate student, Faculty of Humanities and Education.

The team is supported by Lashana Whyte, an MBA graduate, and Olivia Johnson-Wilmot, postgraduate student from the Faculty of Humanities and Education.

Following the regional finals, one winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator where participants will receive mentorship, advisory and strategic planning support as they create prototypes and setup to launch and scale their new ventures.

Final round of competition

A final round of competition, hosted by former United States president Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), will be held in September, where, CGI delegates will select a winning team. President Clinton will present the award.

Principal of UWI, Mona, Professor Archibald McDonald has congratulated the UWI Mona team, saying that the university has shown that it ranks among the best in the world.

The 2015 Hult Prize will focus on building start-ups that provide sustainable, high-quality early education solutions to 10 million children under the age of six in urban slums and beyond by the year 2020.

The annual Hult Prize Challenge is said to be the world's largest student competition and start-up platform for social good. Student teams compete for a chance to secure start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.