Team Epoch pitched for $1M global Hult Prize

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
by Patty Mah

This past weekend, six finalist teams in the 2017 global Hult Prize pitched social enterprise solutions to the refugee crisis as part of the 8th Annual Hult Prize and Awards Gala event at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York. This year's Hult Prize Global Finals served as the official opening event for the 2017 United Nations Global Goals Week for the UNGA.

EPOCH delivered an impressive pitch, positioning Waterloo on a global stage as a university where innovations have positive social impact. While the team from Rutgers University won the $1M prize, the SAF and the University is very proud of the accomplishments and achievements EPOCH has made in this last year.

Local newspaper, The Record covered their pitch and spoke with the students from their hotel in New York City.

Congratulations to Lisa, Jade, Keith, and Kai! The SAF and Waterloo look forward to your continued success as your social enterprise grows.

Team EPOCH at the 8th Annual Hult Prize and Award Gala

L to R: Lisa Tran, Jade Choy, Keith Choy, Kai Ghandi, Marc-André Blanchard, Canada's Ambassador to the UN. [Photo source: Canada Mission to the UN Twitter account]

Team EPOCH triumphs in London, England

Late last week, Team Epoch emerged as the triumphant winner of the Hult Prize Regional Finals in London, England. Over 300 teams competed in this stage of the competition, which took place across the globe in London, Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, and Shanghai.

Team Epoch

 Left to right:  Lisa Tran, Keith Choy, Jade Choy, and Ryan Schmied

As a regional final winner, Team Epoch will now take part in the two-month long Hult Prize Accelerator program before pitching their venture for a chance to win the grand prize of $1 million.

Backed by the Clinton Foundation, the Hult Prize is a social entrepreneurship competition that brings together teams to solve the planet’s biggest challenges. This year, the theme of the competition was “Refugees – Reawakening Human Potential” and focused on “restoring the rights and dignity of people and societies who may be, or are forced into motion due to social injustices, politics, economic pressures, climate change and war”.

Over the next few weeks, the team will be travelling in Germany to gain more perspective about the refugee situation and further develop their plans to empower new-Canadians through a platform that allows for the bartering of skills and services.

Epoch also won first-place and $25,000 of start up money at the Velocity Fund Finals (VFF).

Read more about Team Epoch's win by The University of Waterloo and the Toronto Star.

Read an earlier story about Team Epoch's success during the Hult Prize@ UWaterloo event