Boeing New Business Challenge awards $13,000 in scholarships to UAH students


UAH student Michael Boerman won first place and a $5,000 scholarship with his pitch for “F.L.A.P.S.” (Football Location & Positioning System) at the 2016 Boeing New Business Challenge.

Last month, student participants in the 2016 Boeing New Business Challenge at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) pitched their ideas to a panel of judges in the hopes of winning up to $13,000 in scholarship awards generously provided by The Boeing Company, which sponsored the competition.

"Boeing is delighted to sponsor the New Business Challenge event at UAH. We have observed the competition grow over the years and congratulate the students on their hard work for the event. It is encouraging to see the creative ideas, teamwork, and presentation skills of the teams," says Jack Kachelman, a senior finance analyst at Boeing's Huntsville site who served as a judge for the competition. "This is our fourth year for the competition. The teams continue to improve each year with their concepts and business plans. It was a tough competition because all eleven teams developed good concepts and made excellent presentations."

That made it hard to narrow down the finalists, but it wasn't long before the students learned who emerged victorious. Coming in first, and the winner of a $5,000 scholarship, was Michael Boerman with his pitch for "F.L.A.P.S." (Football Location & Positioning System). Using receivers and broadcasting devices in conjunction with a referee's whistle, this system is designed to help officials accurately place the football on the field after each down during football games. It also eliminates referee judgment calls and issues with obstruction of sight.

In second place, and the winners of a shared $4,000 scholarship, were Megan McAllister, Melissa Monaghan, Armando Mejivar, and Teresa Berry. Their pitch was for "College Made Easy," an app that directly connects students for tasks such as buying and selling books, participating in tutoring sessions, and sharing campus activity information.

Third place concluded with a four-way tie in which the winners each received a $1,000 scholarship:

  • James Loudin and last year's first-place finisher Cole Rickles for "Find & Dine," a food-truck finding app
  • Niall Rogers for "AeBuma," an underwater breathing apparatus/technology
  • Brandon Dean for "Pike Fireman's Challenge," a firefighter-themed obstacle course that raises money for local fire departments
  • LaLonne Humphrey, Chad Battle, Maria Lopez, and Sharshin Thapa for "Check In," a website/app that connects consumers to local events and attractions

"This year's participants were amazing! We had some of the strongest competitors in the history of the program," says Dr. Ivey Mackenzie, associate professor of management and the faculty lead for this year's competition. "Several of the groups included students in their first and second year of the program. I am really excited by the prospect of these students returning next year and have no doubt they will do great things going forward."


Megan McAllister, Melissa Monaghan, Armando Mejivar, and Teresa Berry came in second place in the competition with their pitch for “College Made Easy.”


Third place was split in a four-way tie between James Loudin and Cole Rickles; Niall Rogers; Brandon Dean; and LaLonne Humphrey, Chad Battle, Maria Lopez, and Sharshin Thapa.


UAH College of Business Administration