Each year, the Babson Collaborative for Entrepreneurial Education invites college students to participate in its Global Student Challenge. The competition challenges participants to think of sustainability goals in the context of business opportunities.
Teams from around the world submit presentations for a new business concept that addresses one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The challenge is completed in two phases—a local university-based competition that produces a winner, followed by a global competition that brings all the winning teams together.
Presentations must be kept to less than seven minutes. The concepts must be presented in a way that could ultimately result in the creation of a new for-profit or nonprofit venture. And, the Global Phase is judged by Babson faculty.
“With a record number of schools participating, this was our most competitive year yet.”
Jamie Kendrioski, director of the Babson Collaborative
“With a record number of schools participating, this was our most competitive year yet. And, given the extraordinary circumstances in which the challenge concluded, we are impressed by, and proud of, all teams for their excellent presentations,” said Jamie Kendrioski, director of the Babson Collaborative.
In its first year, the challenge attracted just over 300 students. This year, the challenge engaged 637 students from 16 Collaborative member institutions in 12 countries, surpassing previous participation on all levels.
“Selecting the winning teams this year was extremely challenging. All of the submissions were quite strong, and each team brought a unique level of dedication, passion, and energy to address a problem that they care deeply about. Given the additional challenge of working on a concept while in quarantine, we were thrilled to review such top quality business and social impact concepts,” said Babson Adjunct Lecturer Beth Goldstein.
And the Winner Is …
The first place team this year was Mondin from TBS Business School in France. The team proposed a new ecological material made from grape marc and biopolymers, meant to replace leather in a variety of uses.
Due to this year’s extraordinary circumstances, the top three teams were each awarded the grand prize. This year’s winners receive free admission into Babson’s new online student course, Entrepreneurial Mindshift, taught by Babson Professor Heidi Neck.
“We are very happy to have the opportunity to participate in the Entrepreneurial Mindshift summer course to allow us to consolidate our project,” said team member Rodolphe Mondin.
The second place team—SUN/E-Receipts—hailed from SolBridge International School of Business in South Korea. SUN/E-Receipts replaces traditional point-of-sale (POS) terminals with ones that allow digital receipts to be delivered directly through the banking app, eliminating unnecessary paper from the transaction process.
And third place went to team CONSTERRA from Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. Team CONSTERRA produced a thermal, resistant, light, and ecological construction block with the goal to transform the traditional construction system with sustainable products.
“We are extremely proud to have been part of this great challenge. The opportunities will always be there. You just have to know how to see them to take advantage of them and transform them into high-impact solutions,” said team member Claudia Cristina Montoya Muñoz.
Winning teams also receive a follow-up consultation with Babson faculty judges to gain additional feedback and guidance on their projects.
“We were impressed with how well each team collaborated while physically separated. They clearly demonstrated the power of entrepreneurial thinking and acting,” said Goldstein.
The Babson Collaborative for Entrepreneurship Education is a global membership organization connecting universities around the world that are building and expanding their entrepreneurship ecosystems through best practices, expertise, thought leadership, and a network of like-minded global peers from other member institutions. View this year’s Awards for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education.