Representing Middle East in UN, Birzeit University team finalists in 2019 Hult Prize
“Tollabco”, a Birzeit University startup supported by the university’s B-Hub, competed and represented the Middle East in the final stage of the Hult Prize challenge, at the United Nations with a brand new project to help students find internship opportunities. TollabCo adopted the moto “Opening Doors through the Creation of Palestine’s and Middle East First Internship Company.”
Ameen Taha, Ahmad Edkedeik, Tareq Ziyad, and Rula Odeh, who all are Birzeit’s civil engineering students, were up against 5 other teams, whittled down from over 200, 000, in the final stage of the 2019 Hult Prize Challenge, the world’s largest student social entrepreneurship competition.
With their simple, yet potent idea, Birzeit University’s civil engineers were able to draw the judges’ attention. TollabCo’s project aims to engage current students at Birzeit with internships opportunities, empowering youth to gain the confidence, experience, and networks to find their ambition and passion. Up until today, TollabCo have found 450 internships for 450 students, and were able to gain $60,000, between 2018-2019.
Birzeit University’s B-hub; an innovation space within Birzeit University designed to nurture ideas and creativity, have supported TollabCo since 2017. The B-Hub, funded and supported by the EU, have helped the group turn their ideas into real businesses through offering them a unique and highly flexible combination of business development processes, capacities and infrastructure.
According to Baher Dkeidek, their mentor at the B-Hub, “the hundreds of hours that we spent with the Tollabco team from fine-tuning. Today the B-Hub is working with Tollabco on expanding their business into the regional Arab markets.”
The Hult Prize, is an annual, year-long competition that crowd-sources ideas university students after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics such as food security, water access, energy and education.