TAMPA – Six teams of entrepreneurial, socially-conscious students will vie for $1 million of funding in the Clinton Global Initiative Hult Prize finals on Sept. 26.
Only one of those teams is from the United States. And that team is from The University of Tampa.
The Hult Prize, which began with 21,000 students in teams worldwide tasked to improve early childhood education in the urban slums of the world, has come down to one presentation. The other teams in the finals represent Oxford University, The University of Toronto, ESADE Business & Law School (Spain), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) and National Chengchi University (China).
The University of Tampa’s finalist team is a group of five students who have named their enterprise Tembo (formerly Athollo). Tembo focuses on providing early childhood education to kids aged 0 to 6 in the urban slums of the world by providing an education-based loyalty program tomobile phone networks.
The Tembo team spent the summer with the other finalists in an accelerator in Boston. They have pilot-tested their program in Nigeria, which has turned into a revenue generating, fully functioning business they are managing from their base in the community incubator in the John P. Lowth Entrepreneurship Center at The University of Tampa. According to the Tembo team, whether or not they win the $1 million prize, they plan to move forward with a goal to educate 10 million children in urban slums by 2020.
The Sept. 26 competition will be judged by Muhammad Yunus (founder of Grameen Bank), Julia Gillard (former Prime Minister of Australia) and Fadi Ghandour (founder of Aramex).
The Tembo team is made up of Phil Michaels MBA ’15, M.S. ‘15; Sercan Topcu M.S. ’14; Ulixes Hawili ‘17; Brent Caramanica ‘16; and Samantha Taranto ‘15.
To learn more, including videos and photos, go to www.ut.edu/From-Tampa-to-Nigeria-to-Clintons-Hult-Prize-Finals.aspx.