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Hult Diary – Part 2

Leading up to the competition – brainstorming our strategy

 Knowing that we’ve made it through as a finalist was very exciting, but reality set in, we needed to take a 33-hour flight to be able to reach Sao Paulo, so our schedules just became that much tighter. Regardless, the team was very eager, as our strategic approach of picking a least favorable city and a straightforward one-pager worked.

At this point the case competition became clearer. Hult wanted teams to create social enterprises that provide solutions that help detect NCD diseases at an early stage, while remaining sustainable or profitable. This means that Hult was not looking for preventative measures, which are already in place such as infrastructure, education, access to healthy foods and exercise.

After hours of brainstorming ideas as a team we come up with solutionsthat include Internet doctors, mobile apps, shared economies with jobs and more.However, we thought that our ideas would be very much similar to what other teams would think of. So we decided to do something unconventional. We wanted to focus on something that is very easy-to-do, applicable everywhere and low costing.

Our idea at the end was creating an event-based platform (inspired by China Sourcing Fairs and Standard Chartered Marathon) that unites an event and NGOs where these entities can provide health checkups at an event such as a football (soccer) game, concerts, movies or even job fairs. During our research we found many NGOs providing health checkups that are inefficient and often overlap in services provided, which in result have very little reach.

We wanted to create a cooperative between NGOs to help them streamline their services and work as one at an event.On the other end, we would bring in the slum dwellers to the event and NGOs can provide their services at an efficient rate and resulting in an exponentially larger reach. Revenue would derive from booth sales as well as sponsorship. We thought, wouldn’t it be great to connect the two parties at an event that also dives at a social standpoint that brings a fun factor that slum dwellers can look forward to.

Initially, everyone was very much sold on this event. They did think that the idea was original and simple. However, after a couple days, we met again and teammates did express their discontent with the orginality of our approach. A popular view was that the idea is too simple and not innovative. However, noone had a solution.

A brainstorming sessions again sparked and some ideas raised included creating a shared economy where civil jobs were given to slum dwellers and each individual would be covered with an insurance plan. Another idea was to create garbage-collecting service where slum dwellers would be paid to collect trash locally, and in result provide enough funding where individuals can afford to get health check-ups. In the end however, we decided as a team that these ideas were not focused on an early-detection objective. It was almost finding an excuse to provide money to individuals and have them take care of their own checkups. The responsibiliy of the social enterprise seemed disconnected. At this point, we were running short on time and professors did express that our idea on an event-based platform is interesting and practical, so we stuck to our guns and carry forward with our original idea.

To be continued…

Read more:
Hult Diary – Part 1 – Applying for the Hult Prize competition
Hult Diary – Part 2 – Leading up to the competition
Hult Diary – Part 3 – Getting ready for the competition
Hult Diary – Part 4 – The competition

About the Author – Ben Wong

Ben Wong

Ben Wong is a Hinrich Global Trade Leader Scholar on the MBA program at Chinese University of Hong Kong with concentrations on China Business and Marketing. He is a goal-driven and eager B2B marketing and e-commerce professional with five years’ experience in Greater China.