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Student Challenge Class of 2016

The challenge

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.

The scholarships

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.

Top Team

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.

SC 2016 finalists
sc 2016 runner up team
Runner Up Team

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.

Third Place Team

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.

SC 2016 third place team


SC 2016 semifinalist UW Madison
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Victoria Fok, Lexandra VanCamp, David Han Kim, Nicole Servais
SC 2016 semifinalists FIDM
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Erica Dwerlkotte, Kimberly Poquiz, Allison Scheler
SC 2016 semifinalists TAMU
Texas A&M University
McCalley Cunningham, Maggie Washington, Tate Watson, Jacy Witt
SC 2016 semifinalists UGA
University of Georgia
Lara Limbaugh, Molly Dodd, Madison Lindley, Forrest Schweitzer