Columbia Students Awarded Two Finalist Spots in NRF Student Challenge Finals

The National Retail Federation Foundation collaborated with STORY and KPMG for the 2018 Student Challenge Competition, The BIG Pitch. Out of 30 teams, two Columbia teams were selected as national finalists, occupying two of the three finalist spots.

Each team was tasked with creating a 25-page pitch presentation and a 90-second pitch video to convince the Chief Marketing Officer of 3M, CVS or Staples to select their story. Eight teams advanced to the semi-finals, which included Q&A calls with a panel of retail executives. Three teams moved on to the finals where they presented to retail executives at the Retail’s BIG Show Student Program. Associate Chair of Communication Peg Murphy and Associate Chair and Associate Professor of Fashion Studies Dana Connell supported the Columbia student teams, showcasing interdisciplinary talent from across academic departments.

Congratulations to the following student teams:

STORY Sponsor: 3M
Allison Coppedge, Fashion Studies
Sara Diaz de Villegas, Fashion Studies
Nathan Procell, Cinema and Television Arts
Lane Hedler, Design
STORY Sponsor: Staples
Ashley Cairns, Fashion Studies
Blake Fortin, Cinema and Television Arts
Kendall McDermott, Communication

Each student on the top team will receive a $5,000 scholarship; each student on the runner-up team will receive a $2,500 scholarship, and third place team members each earn a $1,500 scholarship. 

The top team will be named during the NRF Foundation Gala on Sunday, January 14, in New York.