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Competing against five international teams Sept. 15 for the Hult Prize — one of the most prestigious startup events in the world — the three Carolina students will pitch their seaweed cultivation initiative called Phyta to world leaders at the United Nations headquarters.

Founded by current students Eliza Harrison, Lucy Best and Emily Kian, Phyta aims to cultivate macroalgae, or seaweed, to be used as a sustainable alternative to consumer products like plastic, hygiene products and livestock feed. The team believes that by cultivating seaweed for use in these products, they can address the increasing effects of climate change.

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