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Earlham's Hult Prize Award Winners

A team of Earlham College students was awarded $1 million in start-up capital after winning the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition for social good. President Bill Clinton personally awarded Earlham’s team with the prize in New York City on September 20.

"On behalf of everyone at Earlham, I congratulate the Magic Bus team on its success. It was a thrill to see them compete so well and to imagine the transformative change this plan can create. I am also gratified that the success of the Magic Bus team exemplifies exactly what we hope for our students — that they find opportunities to hone their individual gifts, explore global issues, and bring their passions to the challenge of creating positive change in the world."

— Earlham President David Dawson (2011-2017)

A team from Earlham College won the $1M Hult Prize for social entrepreneurship. The international competition drew 25,000 entries from students at colleges and universities around the world this year. The annual competition invites students to suggest practical solutions to entrenched societal problems. This year's competition focused on problems facing overcrowded cities. The Earlham team, known as Magic Bus, proposes a tech platform to help commuters in 11 countries make better use of public buses, making it easier for them to travel to and from work. It is the only transportation-based solution to reach the finals of this year's competition.

The Team

Team Magic Bus includes three recent graduates and one current Earlham student: Iman Cooper ’16, Leslie Ossete ’16, Sonia Kabra ’16 and Wyclife Omondi ’17. They reached the finals after winning a regional competition held in Boston. The team has already been honored as one of the three best transportation start-ups in Kenya and received $10,000 in seed money and mentoring from Transdev, a French transportation company. The group completed beta testing of its platform over the summer and has received additional mentoring through the Clinton Global Initiative, which is one of the sponsors of the Hult Prize.

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The Hult Prize

Hultprize _logo

The Hult Prize is the largest competition in the world for student social entrepreneurs. The prize money will serve as seed capital to allow the winning team to launch its business. The other finalist teams this year come from BRAC, an international development organization based in Bangladesh, University of Cambridge (UK), University of Ghana, Hult International Business School (US) and Tec de Monterey (Mexico).

Bridging the Gap

Participation in the Hult Prize competition is an example of Earlham's emphasis on helping students bridge the gap between academic learning and practical experience as well as the College's focus on exploring global challenge from multiple angles and through many lenses. See below for links to other stories about Earlham's participation in the Hult Prize competition.


Get Social with Magic Bus


Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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