Student Challenge Class of 2015

The Challenge

Teams from NRF member schools submitted business plans and pitch videos for the second annual Student Challenge, and after two rounds of judging, three teams proceeded to the final round at Retail’s BIG Show.

Finalists presented their product pitches live in front of a panel of executive judges. Texas Woman’s University took home the top scholarship and bragging rights with their product idea — the Grad Cap Kit — “a do it yourself mortar board decorating kit.” University of North Texas came in second place with Trunk-Ease, a “trunk storage solution for the back of your car," and Texas A&M University came in third with their Warm Wrap product idea, "an oxygen activated thermal sleeve to keep your coffee hot for up to two hours longer.” 


Each student on the top team received a $2,500 scholarship. Students on the runner-up team each received a $1,000 scholarship, and the third place team earned a $500 scholarship per team member. The top team was announced during the NRF Foundation's inaugural Gala on Sunday, January 11, 2015 in New York.

SC 2015 top team
Top Team

Texas Woman's University
Emily Mince and Deema Aridi

Runner Up Team

University of North Texas
Jessica Lovell, Anakarin Petersen, Kaitlin Farless, and Marcy Plefka

SC 2015 UNT
SC 2015 TAMU
Third Place Team

Texas A&M University
Carlin Rhea, Jacy Witt, Lora Blackstone, and Diandra Esparza


SC 2015 FIDM
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Karla Maldonado, Elizabeth Poteracki, Amanda Villa
SC 2015 UW Madison
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Morgan Loomis, Kelly McCamley, Dakota Smith, Monica Wilson