Southeast Asia Vibes in Hult Prize Competition at NCTU, Taiwan

Southeast Asia Vibes in Hult Prize Competition at NCTU, Taiwan

An annual Nobel Prize for the student, a startup competition initiated by Hult Prize Foundation, is coming back this year. The theme for the Hult Prize 2021 Challenge is "Food for Good: Transforming Food into a Vehicle for Change". Students from all around the world are invited to rethink food and its production, distribution, and consumption.

Back to the hype of Taiwan's glory in 2015, there was a team that consists of four MBA students from National Chengchi University, Taipei. In that year, a team named IMPCT was selected by Hult Prize Foundation as the 2015 Hult Prize winners, won USD 1 Million Start-Up funding, and have introduced as one of the "Top companies changing the world" to the Clinton Global Initiative.

Now, as one of the top three campus rank in Taiwan, National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) does not want to miss the vibes. Through support from NCTU Global MBA, NCTU Center of Academia and Industry Collaboration,, and several sponsors, some students from several departments are trying to conduct the first-ever Hult Prize competition at NCTU. Not only various departments, but this team also consists of various countries, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Orientation session of Hult Prize at NCTU
Orientation session of Hult Prize at NCTU, Start-Up Lab room, CPT Building NCTU © Hult Prize at NCTU 2020 Organizing Committee

The committee members, lead by Rohan Paste (Ph.D. student in NCTU MSE-Academia Sinica, Taiwan) as a Director, have already started the promotion and campaign since the end of September. Not only from social media campaigns but they also held some Info Section during some of the department classes, seminars, and flyer distribution in the NCTU area. Recently (10/22), they were bringing the Hult Prize vibes to the Start-Up Lab room, located in CY703, CPT building of NCTU. Hult Prize at NCTU committee has invited NCTU students via their Facebook fan page ( and Instagram (@hultprizenctu) for two weeks before. There are around more than 50 students come from several departments were gathered at that event.

After that info session, the committee members have been providing some workshop sessions in three weeks. Those sessions have successfully gathered the Food Industry Research and Development Institute (FIRDI) representative, one of the NCTU alumni living-legend in startup and venture capitals (Jerry Chang), and NCTU GMBA Professor (Prof. Brian Yang), for the first, second, and third workshop, respectively.

Ten teams have been registering since mid-November, many ideas come from wide-area and points of views. On December 4th, the Hult Prize Final Pitch was held in CPT Building Conference Hall (CPT101), NCTU, Taiwan. Almost all of the team in the Hult Prize at NCTU consist of students from Southeast Asia (SEA). Therefore, their ideas mostly come from SEA people perturbation, in line with the theme of the Hult Prize 2021 Challenge, Food for Good. Interestingly, most teams have focused on managing agriculture technology, food distribution system, trash recycling, dietary innovation, etc., which are primary problems in SEA.

The winning team: PHxTW (Bukid)
The winning team: PHxTW (Bukid) © Hult Prize at NCTU 2020 Organizing Committee (Bui Ha Bao Nhi & Paolo Turno)

In the end, Hult Prize at NCTU final pitch has raised nine teams who present many compelling ideas. Under advice and directions from three professional judges–Dr. Brian Hsu, Executive Investment Director of MediaTek Venture, Prof. Sirirat S. Lim and Prof. Brian Yang, both from NCTU GMBA–the final pitch was so exciting. No less than three hours of struggle and constructive discussions, finally, PHxTW Team (Bukid), a miracle team consists of Philippines and Taiwanese students, has announced as the winner for the first-ever Hult Prize at NCTU and entitled to be one of the representatives of Taiwan’s team in the regional final pitch. On this occasion, PHxTW Team (Bukid) had well-presented an agricultural, education, and management mobile-based application hanged on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which could manage a shortcut between farmers and market, through technology. Hope this kind of positive vibe from SEA, could spread a good impact for a better world in the future.


Rahmandhika Firdauzha Hary Hernandha (@ozhahernandha)
Doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
College of Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.
Judge Coordinator and Campaign Committee of Hult Prize at NCTU

Rahmandhika Firdauzha Hary Hernandha

Materials addict, social media user, a moody writer.
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