This year, 19 teams from 16 NRF Foundation University Member schools competed in the NRF Foundation Student Challenge business case competition for a chance to earn tuition scholarships and industry recognition.
For the NRF Foundation Student Challenge, teams of two to four students were tasked with acting as members of the Kohl’s product development team and had the opportunity to develop a new private label brand that embodies the meaning of diversity and promotes equity and inclusion through product assortment, marketing strategy and pricing. They have developed pitch presentations to hypothetically convince the Kohl’s leadership team of how their new brand embodies diversity and inclusion and why it will cater to new and existing customers.
Teams' pitches were evaluated by a group of retail executive judges on their research and understanding, creativity and feasibility, visual effectiveness and structure and quality. Ten teams advanced to the semifinals, which included Q&A calls with a panel of new retail executive judges.
Three teams advanced to the final round, where they will pitch live to a third panel of judges in January 2022 as part of the NRF Foundation Student Program in NYC.
Each student on the top team will receive a $5,000 scholarship; students on the runner-up team will each receive a $2,500 scholarship, and third place team members will each receive a $1,500 scholarship. The top team will be named during the NRF Foundation Honors on Jan. 16, 2022.
Riley Thorpe, Rachel Baranowski, Rosa Terenzio and Ella Bondy
Ethan Partington, Ansley Young, Vanesa Paramo and Karolina Blachowska
K-Lynn Ward, Tooba Athar and Haley Shannon