HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (April 24, 2014) – The final round of the Boeing New Business Challenge concluded last Friday, April 18, with two teams prevailing in a field of eight undergraduate competitors from The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).
The first-place winner of a $7,000 tuition scholarship purse was Nestegg Bio, a 3-D printing and biotech startup from Tanner Carden, Devon Bane, Gavon Carden, and Tim Gualdin. The second-place winner of a $3,000 tuition scholarship purse was Ginger's Cupcake Shop, a design-your-own entry in the hot cupcake market with a free mobile app cooked up by Rachel Bray, Austin Mordecai, and Cole Rickles.
Other entries included Crow Conveyance, a delivery-by-drone concept presented by Henrique Casagrande, Henry Hiller, and Kacey Tyra; eLiterate Learning and Technology, a technical training and support service offered by Nicholas Hawke, Rachel Stough, and John (Nigel) Widner; Fitness Tracker, an application using visual imagery as a guide for getting in shape proposed by Warren Denson, Andrew Holcomb, and Nam Nguyen; Kill the dumb English, a program to help Chinese people speak English, presented by LiangLiang Zhao and Anqi Zhang; Ocular Technologies, a biometric security concept based on tracking eye movements proposed by Analyn Bengs and supported by graduate students Ali Darwish and Nicholas Gorgone; and Palm Resources, a web search and advertising service assembled by Cornell Rogers and Jonathan Walker.
The thoughtfulness and careful research behind the plans combined with enthusiastic and convincing presentations are exactly what we at Boeing are trying to encourage through this Challenge.
Senior Finance Analyst
The Boeing Company
The judges, representing The Boeing Company, included Mr. Jeff Campbell, Chief Financial Officer, Strategic Missile & Defense Systems; Mr. Robert DaLee, Senior Manager, Space Exploration Launch Systems, Business Development; Mr. Jack Kachelman, Senior Finance Analyst Huntsville Site; and Mr. Ryan Schueler, Senior Finance Analyst Huntsville Site.
"The strength of the top teams made for strenuous deliberation in the final round," noted Jack Kachelman. "The thoughtfulness and careful research behind the plans combined with enthusiastic and convincing presentations are exactly what we at Boeing are trying to encourage through this Challenge."
Four of the eight competing teams including the winners had strengthened their presentations by attending the free Competitive Coaching Workshops offered by the Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship Lab, held every Saturday since last September at the UAH's College of Business Administration. As one freshman noted, "It was incredibly helpful. Personally, I learned how to speak publicly and [about] all the complications my team has to address...and this only scratches the surface of all the things we learned and the connections we made during the coaching process."
The first stage of the challenge was a poster presentation conducted on November 22, 2013, in which ten teams pitched three-minute proposals to a panel of five judges. The competition, open to all undergraduates across campus, has now completed its second year at UAH.
"We are delighted to host this event sponsored by The Boeing Company, because it brings students together to envision ways to make life better through business enterprise," said Dr. Caron St. John, dean of the College of Business Administration.