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Announcing the winners of the first-ever Prodigy Finance Pitch Challenge

Prodigy Finance - April 19, 2018

Want to learn more about the Prodigy Finance Pitch Challenge? Take a look  through the eyes of the participants and judges now. 


Prodigy Finance Pitch Challenge video


From the outset, Prodigy Finance has focused on social impact. Since 2007 we’ve worked to solve the challenges faced by international postgraduate students in financing their business school degrees.

10 years on, we have helped over 10,300 students from 127 countries, borrow over $500 million to obtain their dream postgraduate degree.  

Now it’s time to increase the reach of our mission.

We’ve embarked on a journey to launch our first-ever Prodigy Finance Pitch Challenge Competition. Here’s a look at the challenge we’ve set out:

MBA students at top universities in the US were invited to pitch us their idea under the theme ‘Enabling Access to Economic Opportunity’, for their chance to win up to US $20,000* - including seed money to pursue their business idea.

The theme was chosen with our own journey in mind, as an opportunity to strengthen a mission we care deeply about.

We received over 50 entries in our first round of the competition and 8 of these teams successfully made it through to the final round. Finals will take place in New York City on the 13th April. Presenting their business ideas to a panel of esteemed judges will be teams from:

  • Fuqua School of Business
  • Harvard Business School
  • Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • McDonough School of Business
  • Ross School of Business
  • Sloan School of Management
  • Tuck School of Management
  • The Wharton School

Congratulations to all teams who took part so far and good luck to the finalists! We can’t wait to see how you’ll change the world.

See contest rules here.

Update: announcing the winners of the Prodigy Finance Pitch Challenge

We're excited to announce the winners of the first-ever Prodigy Finance Pitch Challenge. Congratulations to Conor Smith, Sophie Meralli and Jordi Gonzalez from MIT Sloan School of Management! They'll each take away $4,000 in prize money as well as an additional $4,000 for the team to pursue their winning business idea.

Their idea is a mobile platform, called NEH THIT (meaning New Day) - connecting workers in rural areas of Myanmar with employment opportunities in the country’s cities.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have been selected as the winners of this year’s Pitch Challenge and look forward to receiving this funding to continue to grow NEH THIT,” said Conor Smith, co-founder of the mobile app and 2018 MBA Candidate at MIT Sloan. 

“Just like Prodigy Finance, we want to ingrain a sense of innovation within everything we do, while staying true to our mission to make the digital economy open to all, not just the wealthy.” 

About the Prodigy Finance Pitch Challenge

The Prodigy Finance Pitch Challenge was launched in the spirit of our social mission to make education available to everyone, regardless of their economic or geographical status.

MBA students from top US business schools were invited to submit their business idea in response to the challenge 'Enabling Access to Economic Opportunity’

After receiving over 50 entries in the first round, 8 teams were selected to compete in the Final Round which took place in New York City on 13th April 2018. Pitching their business ideas to a panel of esteemed judges were teams representing:

Ideas were judged on five unique criteria: analysis of the problem, integrated viewpoint, recommended implementation, solution integration, and presentation. 

We want to thank our panel of judges for taking the time to support these future leaders in the competition:

Final Round Judges:

  • Pierre Decote, Chief Risk Officer and Executive Committee Member, Prodigy Finance
  • Professor Sharon Oster, Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Yale School of Management
  • Zoe Chambers, Venture Capitalist and Investment Team member, Octopus Ventures

Semi-final Judges:

  • Joel Frisch, Head of Americas, Prodigy Finance
  • Simon Ward, Chief Technology Officer, Prodigy Finance
  • Jaime Preusche, McKinsey & Company
  • Julien Lederman, World Economic Forum
  • Sheila Sarem, Project Basta
  • Sura Tilakawardane, Director of Business Development at CNN

Want an MBA to take your entrepreneurial dreams to new heights?

Prodigy Finance provides loans to international students pursuing their MBAs and other masters level programmes at top universities across the globe. 

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

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