Hult Prize Waterloo Teams Update

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Waterloo Hult Teams have travelled to Quito, Melbourne and Toronto to compete in Hult Prize 2018 Regional competitions. Here’s a quick update, from the teams themselves (in their own words), on how they did, and what’s next.

Team CataLight

Team Members: Kevin Dang, Ashley Keefner, and Vishal Vinod — all MBET students.

CataLight Logo

Competition results

After winning first place at the Hult Prize @ University of Waterloo, e competed at the Hult Prize Regionals in Melbourne, Australia, where we were proud to have been finalists. Prior to our trip to Melbourne, we competed and won first place at the World's Challenge Challenge, UWaterloo.

“Our experience with the Hult Prize so far has been incredible. Six months ago, the three of us didn’t even really know what the Hult Prize was; fast forward to now and so much has happened, simply because we decided to take the first step and submit our application.”

“Our participation has opened the door to some amazing growth opportunities for us both as entrepreneurs and as individuals. We’ve travelled to Haiti to learn more about the challenges that people face in accessing safe drinking water, we had the thrill of competing in Melbourne, Australia on an international stage against some amazing teams of student social entrepreneurs, and along the way, we’ve made connections with people from around the world who inspire us with their passion and motivate us to keep pursuing our goals.

Kevin Dang, Ashley Keefner, and Vishal Vinod at the Hult Prize 2018 Regional in Melbourne, Australia.

The Hult Prize presented us with a challenge: to harness the power of energy to transform the lives of 10 million people. CataLight is our response to this challenge, and our journey has just begun.” – Ashley Keefner

What’s next for CataLight?

We are currently applying to Hult Prize Wild Card Round so we can continue to compete for a spot at the accelerator at the Hult Castle. Our team will also be competing at the World’s Challenge Challenge Global Finals this June.

Team Agora Water

Team Members: Shane Kilpatrick, Gagan Dhuga, Kevin Simon, and Joshua Braggiato — all MBET students.

Agora Water Logo

Competition results

While no official results were shared other than the final winner, we were given some indication we were in the top ten teams out of 51.

“It is very invigorating to see how many people are out there coming up with super interesting ideas on how to improve our planet. While all we get from media is bad news, it is important to remember that there are many more people silently working for good. As entrepreneurs, the experience helped us develop more confidence in ourselves as individuals and improve our pitching skills.”

Joshua Braggiato, Gagan Dhuga, Shane Kilpatrick, and Kevin Simon at the Hult Regional competition in Quito, Ecuador.

"For the business, it has allowed us to take a step back and refocus on what it is really important: the communities we met there who are counting on us to improve their potable water situation.” – Joshua Braggiato

What’s next for Agora Water?

We are focusing on our pilot project for the community in Guamote, Ecuador. We are currently seeking funding to provide the solution the 1500 people that live there desperately need in order to combat the dire effects of fluorosis. Just like this community, there are over 175 other communities in the area who have the same problem and we hope our pilot project can be the start of an area-wide solution

Team Circadian Energy

Team Members: Tony Qu, Malcolm Williams (BET420), Benjamin Hudson, and John Curticapean.

Circadian Energy Logo

Competition results

We were extremely proud to represent the University of Waterloo at Toronto’s Regional Hult Prize competition. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but we are very happy with our performance and the positive feedback from all the judges. It was amazing seeing all the hard work from all the participating teams. Congratulations to the team from the University of Guadalajara on their big win!

“It was an inspiring experience to be amongst peers from all around the world, each working to solve the problems that affect us all. It really validated our belief that the future will be driven by entrepreneurs willing to tackle big problems.” – John Curticapean

John Curticapean, Malcolm Williams, Benjamin Hudson, and Tony Qu at the Hult Prize Regional in Toronto, Canada.

What’s next for Circadian Energy?

The past 6 months have been incredibly packed for us and so we will take a short breather while we wrap up our final course projects and exams. By the end of April, we expect ourselves to be fully incorporated and looking to grow our team throughout the summer as well as establish ourselves within an accelerator.

We have a lot of work ahead of us with respect to refining both our technology and identifying the needs of our customers with higher granularity. We also recently won prizes through both Norman Esch and Velocity Fund Finales and this money will go a long way towards helping us accomplish our immediate business goals. We have travel plans in the coming months to talk to potential customers as well as join an accelerator such as Velocity here in Waterloo.

Team Prava​

Team Members: Lily Cui, Shruti Appiah, and Spurrya Jaggi – all BET 420 students.

Competition results

We placed top six among the 51 teams at the international Hult Prize Regional competition in Quito, Ecuador.

“The journey has just begun. One of the cornerstones to entrepreneurship is knowing your ‘why(s)’. We were interacting and being evaluated by field experts, and our assumptions were constantly being challenged. Our 8 months of engineering, design, and market research helped us give strong and defensible justifications to these questions. I think that’s what set us apart."

Shruti Appiah, Jingwen Cui, and Spurrya Jaggi at the Hult Prize Regional in Quito, Ecuador.

"The Hult events brought together social entrepreneurs and experts unified with a single mission. Despite the chaos and excitement of it all, we established key relationships with mentors and potential partners.” - Spurrya Jaggi

What’s next for Prava?

We’re launching our product for a pilot study in Bangalore, India later this year. We’re also looking to join the 2-month Hult startup accelerator in London, UK.