Le Do Van Anh
Unlocking the potential of everyday waste—Malted grains, fish scales, and coffee grounds take center stage in Ming Chuan University’s revolutionary solutions at the Hult Prize OnCampus competition during the COP28 Global Climate Conference. These students are not just competing; they are reshaping the narrative on global sustainability. Their innovative circular economy approaches could land them a one-million-dollar jackpot, offering a glimmer of hope for a brighter, greener future.
The event, held on December 9th, 2023, at Ming Chuan University, witnessed remarkable success, featuring a dynamic and diverse lineup of participants from the International College, School of Management, and Biotech Graduate School. The lively ambiance reflected the passion and determination of these emerging entrepreneurs, each contributing a distinctive perspective to the discourse.
In a thrilling culmination of entrepreneurial spirit, Ming Chuan University’s Hult Prize on-campus round recently declared its winners. The top honors were secured by the innovative MaltyBites team, claiming the first prize. Following closely, Green Coffee earned the second prize, while Squama secured the third position. Children Citz and Telwonders took home the fourth and fifth prizes, respectively, and the sixth prize was awarded to JKSRT.
These dynamic teams, consisting of enthusiastic and dedicated contestants from different MCU programs, showcased their creativity and commitment to addressing pressing social challenges. The Hult Prize competition not only fosters a spirit of innovation but also emphasizes the importance of social impact in business ventures.
Guided by esteemed and open-minded professors from Ming Chuan University, including David Tsai, Steven Yu, Chen Ho, Bruno Di Giusto, Chien-Wei Cheng, Pamela Tung, Maria Tu, these teams received mentorship from experienced professionals involved in different industries. Mentors, including James Yu, Jerry Liu, Daphne Shih, Wael Hamwoyia, Paolo Lising, Bruce Hsu, Justin Yin, Jonah Chang, Iman Mo, Ivan Halim, Eric Christopher, Philippe Tzou, and Peter Bracher, generously shared their wealth of experience and knowledge with enthusiastic support.
The judging panel, consisting of Lynne Lee (Vice President of MCU), Elias Ek (Founder of Enspyre), Serina Hu (Vice President of Blueseeds), Leo Yang (Founder of Trust Cafe), and Kevin Yen (Founder of MyDesy), played a crucial role in the success of the event. Their impartiality, insightful advice, and encouragement ensured a fair and thorough evaluation of the participants, highlighting those with the most promising and impactful entrepreneurial ideas.
For the Champion, the MaltyBites team, consisting of members from the MBA and Biotech Graduate Programs —Maria Montserrat Galvez, Marcela Palacios, Douglas Alfaro, Josue Lucas, and Hanson Yang—is dedicated to crafting delicious vegan food from beer waste. This initiative aims to reduce food waste and promote a circular economy. Their innovative approach conserves water, minimizes environmental impact, and supports sustainable breweries. Beyond providing culinary delight, their mission extends to addressing hunger and poverty, creating a flavorful journey of sustainability. Steven Yu, Wael Hamwoyia, and Chien-Wei Cheng served as their devoted mentors, providing valuable insights.
The other two teams secured positions in the top 3, under the guidance of mentors Ivan Haliam, Jerry Liu and James Yu, and advisors Daphne Shih and David Yu, respectively, showcased their innovative concepts during the competition. The first runner-up team Green Coffee proposed a sustainable solution by converting coffee grounds into biochar, presenting an eco-friendly alternative to traditional sand usage, while the second runner-up team Squama introduced the idea of producing food ingredients from fish scale, aiming to convert waste to taste.
As these winning teams prepare for the regional competition scheduled to be held in 2024, the anticipation is palpable. The regional champion will have the opportunity to represent Ming Chuan University on a global stage, further highlighting the university’s commitment to fostering innovation and social impact in entrepreneurial endeavors. It’s worth noting that the global champion of the Hult Prize will receive a prestigious prize of USD 1 million!