July 23, 2024

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Stillman Students Shine at Hult Prize Global Summit

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Assistant Professor Surface and Stillman students.

Assistant Professor Debra Lee Surface and Stillman students Morgan Frye, Nalani Rios,
and Bryce Miller (L-to-R) traveled to Boston to present their concept Naturefill Replenish,
which was recognized with a top prize.

Students from the Stillman School of Business participated in the Hult Prize Global Summit in Boston on June 14-15. The competition,
known as the world’s largest student social entrepreneurship event, is designed to
tackle global issues by fostering innovative social enterprises that align with the
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Seton Hall team, led by Maria
Saitta, Bryce Miller, Jackson Vaughn, Morgan Frye and Nalani Rios, ventured into the
competition with an idea focused on sustainable packaging solutions. Presented at
the Social Impact Entrepreneurship Hackathon hosted in February by Seton Hall’s Entrepreneurship Club and the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Naturefill Replenish aims to reduce plastic waste through a consumer product dispenser,
demonstrating a blend of innovation and environmental consciousness. As the winner
of this local event, the team was invited to participate in the local summit in Boston.

At the Boston summit, one of seven such international events hosted by world-class
educational institutions, the team competed against some of the brightest minds from
across the globe. From over 94,000 teams that participated in initial stages worldwide,
less than 400 teams advanced to these summits, emphasizing the highly competitive
nature of the events.

This year’s Hult Prize challenge theme, “UNLIMITED,” invited participants to propose
solutions for any global issue of their choosing, provided it aligned with at least
one SDG, offering a unique opportunity for creativity and impact.

Seton Hall’s Assistant Professor of Marketing Debra Lee Surface, Ph.D., noted the exceptional performance from Morgan Frye, Nalani Rios, and Bryce Miller
— who represented the team — and the invaluable experience gained through networking
with fellow innovators and receiving constructive feedback.

“It was an incredible couple of days here spent competing, collaborating and, most
importantly, making new friends with fellow innovators from Boston College, Tufts,
George Washington, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, Southern Methodist University and
other universities across the country,” said Surface about the event. “We’ve also
had the opportunity to connect and generate ideas with global entrepreneurs from Taiwan,
Mexico, Kyrgyzstan and so many more places across the globe!”

Although Naturefill Replenish did not advance to the finals in London, they were among
the top teams at the Boston event and were awarded $5,000 scholarships each for their
effort, potentially to be used at Hult International Business School should they choose
to pursue their M.B.A. there in the future.

“I am beyond proud of Nalani Rios, Bryce Miller and Morgan Frye for their energy,
enthusiasm and hard work in pitching their venture,” said Surface. “I’m looking forward
to where they and their teammates bring Naturefill as they move to the next phase
of development!”

Learn more about the Hult Prize.

Business, Nation and World


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