The Hult Prize Foundation recently announced that a team of grad students from UC Irvine has advanced to the regional finals of the fifth annual Hult Prize competition. The prize is a startup platform for social entrepreneurship aimed at solving the planet’s most pressing challenges. Student teams compete in six cities around the world for a chance to secure $1 million to launch a sustainable social venture. UC Irvine team members are Debbie Le Yu (public policy), Michael Ngo (public health), Jemianne Bautista (medicine), Nikit Pandey (business) and Arpita Singh (business). The 2014 Hult Prize is focused on the 250 million slum dwellers around the world suffering from chronic diseases – a challenge personally selected by former President Bill Clinton. Ahmad Ashkar, founder and CEO of the Hult Prize, attributes the success of the competition to the shift in the global economy and the millennial generation’s refusal to live in a world with inequality. “We are giving entrepreneurs … a platform to innovate and revolutionize the way we think about servicing the poor,” he said. The teams were chosen from 10,000-plus applications received from about 350 colleges and universities in more than 150 countries. The Hult Prize regional competitions will take place March 7 and 8 in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Sao Paulo. One winning team from each host city will move into a summer business incubator, where participants will be mentored as they create prototypes and prepare to launch their social business. A final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where delegates will select a winning team.