ITMO: ITMO Is First Russian University to Organize Hult Prize Competition Semifinal

The Hult Prize is an international supported by the UN that aims to encourage enterprising students from around the world to apply their knowledge and innovative ideas in creating and growing businesses that can help achieve the (SDGs).

Each year, young people join hands at the Hult Prize to work out solutions to burning social issues. Participants present their projects to experts, starting from the university stage to the international final at the UN headquarters in New York. Winners receive a one-million-dollar grant for the development of their startup.

The importance and prestige of the competition are globally recognized. The Hult Prize is supported by Bill Clinton, the former US president, and Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel laureate, moreover, it was named “Nobel Prize for Students” by international media. More than 2,000 universities and colleges take part in the contest and thus engage youth in social entrepreneurship.

The Hult Prize case study at ITMO University
In 2020-2021, the Hult Prize centered on problems of the food industry. Earlier, ITMO University hosted the of the competition – along with the University of Oxford, Harvard University, MIT, and others. Then, ITMO welcomed over 200 people, including students from the Higher School of Economics and St. Petersburg State University. Therefore, the organizers decided to go further and run for the Impact Summit, the next round of the competition. The success of the previous event allowed ITMO to win the contest.

“St. Petersburg will be the first Russian city to host participants from all over the world, and ITMO – the first organizer of the Impact Summit in Russia. Although the contest’s history dates back to 2009, it’s only the third time the university stage was held in Russia. This movement is quite new for our country just like social entrepreneurship. We strive to not simply organize the semifinal but create the conditions to hold it annually. Our goal is to promote the Hult Prize in Russia, encourage more students to participate in the event, and change the world for the better,” says Yulia Trishkina, a third-year student at ITMO’s and lead organizer of the Impact Summit in St. Petersburg.

Yulia Trishkina
The St. Petersburg Impact Summit will be held online on April 29-30. The event’s guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a YouTube live stream of presentations by influential venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, sustainability experts, and graduates of the Hult Prize Accelerator Program who will share their experiences and success stories. While the organizers of the Impact Summit will talk about ITMO University and take the participants on an online sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg.

The second day of the contest will be entirely allocated for the defense of projects that have been selected at the university stages around the world. Thirty teams will present their ideas to the board and only six of them will advance to the final pitch session. Winners of the St. Petersburg Impact Summit will have the chance to join a 16-week in the UK this summer.

The Hult Prize at ITMO University
”Organizing Impact Summit provides ITMO with new opportunities to collaborate with the world’s leading educational institutions and helps us promote its image globally. Being a growth driver of social entrepreneurship in Russia is crucial for our status not only as one of the leading IT universities but also as a development center of the Hult Prize movement in our country,” concludes Yulia Trishkina.