The Big Pitch
The NRF Foundation collaborated with STORY and KPMG for the 2017 Student Challenge Competition - The BIG Pitch. Nearly 30 teams from NRF member schools selected one of the following themes to focus on: Made in America, Sensory, or Travel. They were tasked with finding two to four of the smartest, most creative people they knew to create a 20-page pitch presentation, mock website and 90-second pitch video to convince Rachel Shechtman, the founder and CEO of STORY, why and how their STORY should be produced.
Each team was assigned a KPMG mentor; after an intense round of judging, 10 teams advanced to the semi-finals, which include Q+A calls with a panel of retail executives. Three teams moved on to the finals where they presented live to retail executives at Retail’s BIG Show Student Program.
Each student on the top team from Georgia Southern University received a $5,000 scholarship; students on the runner-up team from the University of North Texas received a $2,500 scholarship and third place team members from the University of Pennsylvania each earned a $1,500 scholarship. The top team was named during the NRF Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 15, in New York.
Georgia Southern University
Keller Campbell, Jeffrey Licciardello, Alexis Montano and Kelsey Wertz
STORY Theme: Made in America
KPMG Mentor: Ali Wampler
University of North Texas
Sarah Muller, Hailey Turner
STORY Theme: Travel
KPMG Mentor: Will Garman
University of Pennsylvania
Jake Fischer, Anissa Lee, Holly Li and David Pang
STORY Theme: Sensory
KPMG Mentor: Priyesh Upreti
As each member university could sponsor two teams, 30 teams from 21 schools participated this year. The creativity and hard work demonstrated by all of the teams made it extremely difficult to select only 10 semi-finalists. Congratulations to all of the teams on their creative ideas to bring their themes of Sensory, Travel, and Made in America to life:
Columbia College Chicago, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Fashion Institute of Technology, Florida State University, Georgia Southern University, Indiana University, Lasell College, Mississippi State University, Pennsylvania State University, Texas State University - San Marcos, The University of Arizona, University of Delaware, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Houston, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of North Texas, University of Pennsylvania, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.