KEPLER REPRESENTED IN THE 2018 HULT PRIZE NATIONAL FINALS

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On Friday, May 18th, 2018 students from six higher education institutions will be competing at the Rwanda national round for their chance to move onto the regional round. This year Kepler has two teams competing along with from African Leadership University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Kepler’s two teams are Spark Group and HuzaFarm. The Spark Group members include Gilbert Ishimwe, Aime Valentin Nishimwe, Audrine Iradukunda, and Aretha Ntwari. While the HuzaFarm, members include Thibaut Murengerantwari, Rosette Muhoza, Paulin Nitunga and David Kinzuzi.

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Spark Group: (left to right): Gilbert Ishimwe, Aime Valentin Nishimwe, Audrine Iradukunda, and Aretha Ntwari

Spark Group’s project is the Thermal Electric Gas Stove (T-Gas Stove) which is a clean, safe, and affordable. The T-Gas Stove was designed to assist individuals that still use open fires to cook and have limited access to electricity across many developing countries.

The stove will have the ability to cook food and provide electricity to household items while using technology to transform dissipated heat energy from the stove into electrical power. If they win, Spark Group hopes to build and distribute the T-Gas Stove to people in rural areas in Rwanda.

HuzaFarm’s project focuses on the income enhancement of farmers by utilizing solar energy to provide unique solutions to farmers. Their mission is to improve the lifestyle of farmers by increasing their revenue. This will be accomplished by cutting down the cost that the products incur to get to the final consumer by becoming the direct connection between the farmer and the consumer.

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HuzaFarm: (left to right): Thibaut Murengerantwari, Rosette Muhoza, David Kinzuzi, and Paulin Nitunga.

The group plans on doing this by providing solar-powered warehouses in rural places for farmers to bring their products to preserve after the harvest. In addition, HuzaFarm wants to provide farmers with training to increase their technical skills for agriculture. If they win, they plan to run a pilot with the sector of Nyange located in Musanze district with 50-100 farmers over the first three months.

Hult Prize was the idea of Ahmad Ashkar, MBA student at Hult International Business School in 2009. He endeavored to solve the world’s crucial social challenges through startup ideas from the youth worldwide. With the help of Hult International Business School, Ahmad was able bring this idea to fruition. Hult Prize has now mobilized more than 1 million students from colleges and universities from over 100 countries. Each year students compete to address different challenges that correlate with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s theme “Harnessing the Power of Energy” embodies 3 SDGs ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’, ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ and ‘Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure’.

With competitions all over the world, students participate in on-campus rounds then advance to national rounds before heading to regional rounds locations in 16 different cities. After the regional rounds, the winners move on to the Hult Prize Accelerator to further develop their ideas before the global finals in September where they have the chance to pitch their ideas and win the top prize of $1 million.

We at Kepler are excited that these Kepler Scholars are a part of this event. The national finals are scheduled to take place on Friday, May 18th, 2018 at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm CAT. The six teams will be contending for the grand prize of $ 30,000. For more information on the Hult Prize go to http://www.hultprize.org/.