Four FGCU students to compete in Hult Prize competition
Four FGCU students, Andrew Morgan, Trent Capaccio, Kenneth Horning and Richard Martin will compete against 75 to 100 teams from around the world in Boston, Massachusetts for the Hult Prize competition on March 9 and 10.
The Hult Prize is an annual competition that crowd sources ideas from college students on social issues like education, hunger and water access. The competitors’ end goal is to “Harness the power of energy to change 10 million lives.”
The group created a solar powered purification system that takes the energy from the sun and distills water without the use of fossil fuels. Morgan says he hopes the product will be implemented in areas around the world with limited water access.
“We are social entrepreneurs,” Morgan said. “We haven’t experienced this problem because of where we were born and raised, but we can still see the problem and he have decided to fix it.”
In addition to the product, Morgan and his team created a movement called the 4 Gallon Challenge. On Thursday, Feb. 15 at 3:00 p.m., students can gather in front of the Lutgert fountain and walk to the emergent technologies institute building carrying four gallons of water on their backs.
The goal of the movement is to create awareness on people’s daily struggles to find water.
“What makes our business different is that we are trying to help those who are in desperate need rather than just creating a product that someone will just break after a year of using and then thrown away,” Morgan said. “We have come up with something that people need every day and won’t break for year.”
On average, African women walk about 4 hours or 3.5 miles every day to collect water, Morgan said.
“The business has definitely killed my social life,” Morgan said.“But it has truly had a positive effect on me because now I know the stress and heartache that goes along with starting something from nothing and I believe that it will help me personally in the future. I have gained great friends in the process, great mentors, and even better teammates.”
Morgan says the team’s business goals is to reach 10 million people around the world.