Three teams vie for top award in business competition

By Lottie Watts
Published Jan 6, 2021

The 2021 NRF Foundation Student Challenge has narrowed to three teams – one from Savannah College of Art and Design – Atlanta and two from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in California.  

The teams of undergraduates acted as entrepreneurs, establishing small businesses ventures and creating a set of products to pitch to a major retailer. The top three were chosen from a pool of 10 semifinalist teams that presented their proposals to retail executives, explaining how and why their businesses can collaborate.

Savannah College of Art and Design’s team – Rachel Bennett, Madison Moats and Viren Shah – chose Target to pitch to, as did Ellie Smith, Etheline Ting and Emily Wilken from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. The other team from FIDM – Kaci Balfany, Ysabella Gardner and Tiffany Makdissy – picked Nordstrom.

SCAD Atlanta Team
FIDM Target Team
FIDM Nordstrom Team

Final judging takes place this week with leaders from the selected retailers. The results of the NRF Foundation Student Challenge business competition will be announced during virtual NRF 2021: Retail's Big Show - Chapter One later this month.

Each member of the top team will receive a $6,000 tuition scholarship, while students on the second-place team will get $3,500 each. Members of the third-place team get $2,500 per student.

Since its launch, more than $300,000 in funds have been awarded through the NRF Foundation Student Challenge.

The retail industry is a great place to start and grow. We encourage you to check out the full-time job and internships featured on our job listings page.

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