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Press Release: Mak's Hult Prize 2019-2020 Innovations Challenge a Unique Success

  • In Innovation
  • 17 Dec 2019 - 11:12am
  • By Mark Wamai
  • 635
The Winning Team VepoxFilter (Right) pose for a group photo with Mr. Mugisha Patrick (2nd Left), Judges and Silver Walugembe, Director-Hult Prize Makerere University (3rd Right) after the Grand Finale on 9th December 2019, Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF 2), Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

Over 120 great minds from Makerere University, the epitome of innovation answered the Hult Prize United Nations call to action. They contrived planet-friendly business solutions apropos of the theme: Bold businesses that have a positive impact on the environment with every dollar earned. For a summary, the showcased ideas are categorized into four:

i)                   Removing a step from the supply chain.

ii)                 Creating a radically new product or service to replace an existing one.

iii)               Orders-of-Magnitude Reductions in Resource Consumption.

iv)                Using nature’s own principles to redesign existing goods and services.

Hult Prize Judges listen to a presentation in Pitch Room 1, CTF 2, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Due to the high number of innovations, 3 venues were put to use, all at the Makerere University Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF 2). “The Hult Prize is how students become agents of change. We take them out of the classroom to solve problems in our society,” said Silver Walugembe the Director-Hult Prize Makerere University.

A competitor pitches his idea in Pitch Room 2, CTF 2, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Each Idea was pitched in 6 minutes, with 4 minutes for judges to ask questions about the same. High levels of intellect were exhibited throughout the competition.

The winning team VepoxFilter presented a portable water filtration device, which uses natural and environmentally sustainable materials such as bamboo activated carbon, sand, and moringa oleifera seeds (all available in the tropics) to purify water for households to the World Health Organization (WHO) standards for safe drinking water. The VepoX filter is not energy-intensive and water filtered through it doesn't require any extra treatment at all, like disinfection since all the disease-causing organisms are completely eliminated and chemicals reduced to the required WHO standards. It is environmentally friendly with zero carbon emissions during its entire lifetime by the end-user.

The event was organized the Hult Prize-Makerere Directorate in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI), The Guild Ministry of ICT and Research, Marula Creative Consultancy, Legal Innovation Hub and Katende, Ssempebwa and Company Advocates.  

The Honorable Minister, MoSTI, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye was represented at the event by Mr. Mugisha Patrick, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Innovations and Intellectual Property Management, MoSTI. ​ "The ministry will further ensure the growth of all competitors' ideas through a workshop that will be scheduled for January 2020 to highlight new avenues of collaboration between Government and innovators."​

Special thanks to the core organizing committee that made it happen:  Silver Walugembe-Campus Director, Kidega Moses-General Secretary, Angel Nagaba-Head of Publicity, Flavia Kiyayi-Innovator Experience Supervisor, Matte Derrick-Innovator Experience Supervisor, Lucky Ahimbisibwe-Head of Protocol, Micah Muhangi-Teams Registrar, Abdul Twaib Magambo-Mentors’ Coordinator and finally Hon. Kiggundu Rodney-85th guild Minister for ICT and Research who helped foster collaboration between the Hult Prize and the Guild Government.

Hult Prize Judges take notes during the Final Round of Pitches on 9th December 2019 in the Auditorium, CTF 2, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

​The Legal Innovation Hub and Katende, Ssempebwa and Company Advocates initiated a two-year period of pro bono services for VepoxFilter. “We shall save VepoxFilter over US$ 280 in pro bono services,” said Counsel Edwin from Legal Innovation Hub.

​"The Guild Ministry of ICT and Research will continue to support student innovations with all their means" added Hon. Kiggundu Rodney. ​

Youth are the engine of the world. Responsibility and sacrifice is what fuels that engine​.


For further details please contact

Silver Walugembe,
Hult Prize campus Director Makerere University,
Erstwhile Legislator- Students' Guild Council,
Makerere University,
Email: walsil.sw[at]gmail.com


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