Hult Prize

Winner picked for JKUAT on-campus Hult Prize Challenge 2018

The Hult Prize is considered the most prestigious startup competition in the World. It brings together college and university students to solve problems faced by communities.

Hult Prize Challenge 2018 will reward the winning startups with an 8-week business incubation program and opportunity to grace the United Nations General Assembly. The winning startups will also have a chance to pitch for sh.100 million is seed capital.

The theme is: “Harnessing the Power of Energy to Transform the Lives of 10 Million People.” Check out the invitation for application to find out the 6 focus areas.

This past weekend, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) organized its on-campus finals.

According to Suleiman Yunus, JKUAT’s campus director for Hult Prize Challenge 2018, this was just one of the 1,000 universities that organized on-campus events this year.

14 Kenyan student teams made their appearance for a chance to win the sole ticket to the regional finals. Each team, limited to between 3 and 4 members, had 10 minutes on stage.


6 minutes was for making their pitch and 4 minutes for taking questions from the panel of judges.

Iman Cooper of BuuPass, and a former winner of the Hult Prize Challenge, headlined the team of 6 judges:

  • Iman Cooper – BuuPass
  • Seline Olang’o – KenGen
  • Elizabeth Wangeci – Web Limited and Vice Chair of World Green Building Council, Africa Regional Network
  • Benjamin Gachie – Target Office
  • Sam Mwirotsi – Ubuniworks
  • Denise Brian – Incept Africa

After the pitches, the judges had a sit down to deliberate and, ultimately, cast votes to pick the winning team.



Cooper, who lost at the on-campus finals in her year, advised startups to keep things simple, prioritize self-growth and be driven by passion and guts. She was able to qualify for the regional finals through the general application – which has a 23rd December deadline!

AgriConnect finished as 2nd runners-up. The all-civil engineering team consisted of Faith Ego, Meshack Cherutich, Vinolia Chepkemoi and Neil Kibet.

Kite, by Mechatronics Engineering students; Cynthia Nyakundi, Humphrey Ochieng and George Njoroge, finished as the 1st runners-up.

The winning team was Biobox. Its members are final year students:

  1. Atsali Eugene – Biotechnology
  2. Mitchel Ochieng – Information Technology
  3. Sheila Atieno – Computer Science’
  4. Stephen Oyaro – Information Technology

This team advances to the regional finals, there are 16 regional finals worldwide, where they could get the opportunity to be part of the September 2018 global finals.