Former DECA Student Places in NRF’s Scholarship Competition

Former Washington DECA member Imani Steiner, pursuing her B.S. degree in Business Management at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, was among a group of FIDM students awarded second place in a national scholarship competition.

The National Retail Federation (NRF), a DECA advisory board member, launched the competition, “for entrepreneurial-driven students to showcase their business acumen to retail executives,” to its NRF Student Association.

Over the course of four months, teams of two to four students from 11 colleges worked to create a product idea and prepare a 10-page business plan, along with a 90-second video presentation or "elevator pitch" to convince the CEO of a U.S. retailer of their choice as to why their product should be brought to market.

“Recognizing that entrepreneurship is on the rise in retail, we presented this real-life scenario to our student community to help them understand the full scope of what it takes to bring a new product idea to market and provide a chance to get advice from retail executives along the way,” stated the NRF.

After two rounds of judging, only three teams were left standing to advance to the final round including those from the FIDM, Texas A&M University and University of North Texas. The finalists presented their product idea to a panel of judges including HSNi Chief Marketing Officer Bill Brand, NRF Senior Vice President and Executive Director Vicki Cantrell and STORY Founder and CEO Rachel Shechtman.

Steiner, who graduated from Redmond High School in Washington, received a trip to Retail’s BIG Show in New York City, along with FIDM team members Danny Lucero, Sarah Bitticks and Amanda Gebran. Each member of the team received a $1,000 scholarship as second place winners.

Hear from Imani Steiner and the other NRF Student Challenge finalists in the video below:

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Categories: Alumni, Profiles