For the 2016 Student Challenge, 17 teams from NRF member schools submitted business plans and pitch videos describing new products for companies such as Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, eBags, Charming Charlie, David's Bridal and Patagonia to bring to market. After two intense rounds of judging, three teams advanced to the final round at Retail's BIG Show.
Each student on the top team received a $5,000 scholarship; students on the runner-up team each received a $2,500 scholarship and the third place team earned a $1,500 scholarship for each member. The top team was announced during the NRF Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 17 in New York.
University of North Texas
Ashley Nudge, Katelyn Patrick, Nichole Fallis and McKenzie Hibler
KPMG Mentor: Renee Howard
The top team selected eBags as the ideal retailer to bring the Medici RFID Trattoria Tote to market, the modern woman’s briefcase. It features specially designed compartments that store, protect and organize digital devices and other essentials. Watch this vlog to see the experience through the eyes of Ashley Nudge and her UNT teammates.
Columbia College Chicago
Jeff Konkel, Taylor Franklin, Madeline Moore
KPMG Mentor: Ali Wampler
Columbia College Chicago created BASE for Target. BASE helps remember commonly forgotten items. The small portable hub nests in assorted bags. RFID tags then attach to key items. BASE vibrates and gives a friendly beep the moment an item is out of range. Forget less, find more with BASE by Target.
Florida State University
Terence reading, Jill Hsieh
KPMG Mentor: Ray Kansal
Florida State University focused on Dick's Sporting Goods for their new innovation. This garment allows the user to switch on manual or automatic air chambers to ensure safety in the water. It is also made of sweat-activated waterproof polyester that lets the user wear the garment comfortably and stress free.