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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

University of North Texas team at the NRF Foundation Gala

Student Challenge Class of 2016

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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 Final Round

Finalists presented their product pitches to a panel of retail executives on Friday, January 15. This year's executive judges were:

  • Bob Eddy, CFO at BJ's Wholesale Club
  • Danielle DiFerdinando, Founder and Creative Director at Danielle Nicole
  • Mark Larson, Partner, Global Head of Retail at KPMG
  • Heidi O'Neill, VP, Retail Stores at Nike
  • Bob Bernard, EVP, Merchandising at Ross Stores

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.

2016 Top Team

University of North Texas - product photo

 

University of North Texas selected eBags as the ideal retailer to bring the Medici RFID Trattoria Tote to market. This tote is 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.

2016 Second place

Columbia College Chicago - product photo

 

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.

2016 Third Place

Florida State University product photo

 

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.

Semi-finalists

University of Wisconsin - Madison photo

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising

Texas A&M University photo

Texas A&M University

University of Georgia photo

University of Georgia

NRF Student Association

Take advantage of NRF Student Association membership benefits and student programs.