Nick Barrett Competed for Hult Prize in Shanghai

Our Auckland resident Nick Barrett, founder of Imagistory, has returned from a busy trip to Shanghai. He was invited by AUT to be an alumnus member of the team representing New Zealand at the entrepreneurship competition, Hult Prize.


This year’s challenge was to come up with a scalable solution to the Global Food Crisis. Shanghai was one of five cities to hold the initial regional competitions. Regional winners will be invited to the next stages in the run that will finish off with a final global event in New York this September.

Each team had twelve minutes to present their development on how to overcome food issues in underprivileged areas. For Nick, two months worth of brainstorming with his team culminated this past weekend.

Nick and his team came up with an idea that utilized information sharing as a means to solve the food crisis in the slums. Their basis was that the right information can help make healthy and inexpensive food available in impoverished areas.

The idea was to place computer kiosks and information boards to display information about the price and location of food in the area to help people find the closest and cheapest options. Not only would these hubs make information available to the people in the slums but also influence the economy by forcing competition, and thus lowering overall food market prices.

Unfortunately, Nick’s team didn’t make it further in the competition but he felt that their solution would have been particularly easy to scale.

“Our team actually had many of the same ideas that the other teams, but we ended up going with this one because it was so easily scalable. Our idea could be applied virtually unaltered in slum areas all around the world,” Nick says.

Having taken part in many similar competitions while studying, Nick was an obvious choice for AUT as an alumnus member in the team. He’s dedication on making the world a better place reflects on everything he does from involvement with multiple non-profit organisations through to his startup, Imagistory – an innovative children’s book publishing company. Learn more about Imagistory on our blog.

With such a strong focus on social entrepreneurship and with many future endeavors on the way, we know we will be doing another update on Nick soon!