Wake Forest to Host Retail Innovation Challenge

11.15.2012 News Release

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Ideas that could revolutionize retail will be the focus of the Wake Forest University Schools of Business Elevator Competition this Saturday. Sixteen teams of students from top universities around the country will face off in the first ever Retail Innovation Challenge.

Historically, the Wake Forest Elevator Competition allowed students to test their skills at making the perfect elevator pitch to industry executives and venture capitalists. This hasn’t changed. However, instead of pitching personal business ventures, this year student teams will pitch a Retail Innovation idea for a chance to win a $30,000 grand prize. Second place will win $5,000 and third place receives $2,000.

Each team will deliver two separate two-minute pitches while literally riding in an elevator at the BB&T Financial Center in downtown Winston-Salem. The competition is Saturday, Nov. 17 beginning at 8:00 a.m. The best five innovation ideas get invited to the Board Room for a 20 minute formal presentation. Top three ideas win cash prizes.

The team with the most votes on elevatorcompetitionlive.com will receive a Fan Favorite prize of $1,000.

Winners will be announced during an awards ceremony that starts Saturday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. in the Piedmont Room at Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, PLLC located in downtown Winston-Salem.

Sponsors include: The Angell Center for Entrepreneurship, The Center for Retail Innovation, PepsiCo, Inmar, Truiliant, The Fresh Market, Chick-fil-A and Erich Kahner (MBA '08).

The event is organized and produced by student volunteers led by co-chairs Cooper Warren (MBA '13), Guy Groff (MBA '13) and Jordan Wesley (MBA '13). The faculty advisor is Elevator Competition co-founder Stan Mandel, Professor of Practice at Wake Forest University Schools of Business and Director of the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship.

The Elevator Competition Retail Innovation Challenge is part of the Retail Futures Conference presented by Inmar and the Wake Forest University Schools of Business Center for Retail Innovation. The Retail Futures Conference begins on Friday, Nov. 16 with a "CloudCamp" and "The Future of Retail" fireside chat at the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center.

Registration is required through go.inmar.com/RetailFuturesConference-RSVP.