10th Annual Poole Showcase Highlights Student Innovation at Reynolds Coliseum

Around 400 people representing the Poole College community and corporate partners passed through Reynolds Coliseum on Thursday, April 19, for the Tenth Annual Poole College of Management Leadership and Innovation Showcase.

Students representing 29 undergraduate team projects and 23 graduate team projects presented to industry executives – many of whom were NC State alumni – and showcased the depth and breadth of real world challenges they tackled this academic year. Student teams were competing for scholarship prizes ranging from $2,000-$5,000.

“This showcase is one of the most visible ways that we demonstrate how we think and do at Poole,” said Annette L. Ranft, dean of the college. “We believe that offering up real-world experiences, including meaningful work with industry partners and peers from across the university, better prepares our students for long-term career success.

“We are also dedicated to instilling critical and creative problem solving capabilities, which students develop as they work on teams –– many of them crossing functional and disciplinary boundaries –– identifying challenges, forming questions, analyzing data, drawing conclusions and identifying future recommendations. Students do all of this under the guidance of our talented faculty and within an environment that encourages them to try new things.”

The majority of the projects in the Showcase were sponsored by companies and facilitated by the centers and initiatives based in Poole College. “I thank our corporate partners for making these vital learning experiences possible. Your support and mentorship are sincerely appreciated,” Ranft said.

Four winners were selected by teams of judges comprised of alumni and friends of the college in business and industry paired up with Poole College and other NC State faculty and professional staff. The “People’s Choice” winner was chosen during the awards ceremony (with attendees voting online) after each of the three finalists were given time to present their project to the audience.

Undergraduate Division

First Place: Team Poole 7. Team members Patrick Wiley, Frank Cincotta, and Filippo Stercoli are sharing a $3,500 scholarship award. This project was completed for project sponsor MetLife, as part of the students’ Business Analytics 449 course in spring 2018. The course was taught by Scott Showalter, business management lecturer, and the project was guided by advisor Tracy Freeman.

Project summary: This project was completed as part of the NCSU Data Analytics practicum. The team was tasked by MetLife to develop a model that can estimate the optimal number of body shops per region they need to partner with via their CARE program to ensure customer’s needs are met. They performed data analysis using excel, tableau and access. Explanation of the process and final model and summary of findings were presented on the poster.

Second Place: Team Poole 33. Team members Jaycie Greenberg, Courtney Thompson, Katherine Curtis, and Eric Shwartz are sharing a $2,000 scholarship award. This project was completed for project sponsor Movil Realty, as part of the students’ Business Management 495 course in spring 2018. The course was taught by Patrice Nealon, business management lecturer.

Project summary: The team created a campaign for Movil Realty using paid search. Using the goal of brand awareness and app downloads as metrics, the team used Google Analytics to study paid search practices. Movie Realty is a RDU based real estate agency that utilizes new app based technology to make real estate easier and more accessible.

Graduate Division

First Place: Jenkins Team 13. Team members Jelyse Dawson, Nicolas Gentet, Prerana Rao, and Christine Areson are sharing the $5,000 scholarship award. This project, sponsored by The MINA Foundation, was completed as part of the students’ fall 2017 semester project for their Product Innovation Lab course, MBA 555, taught by Poole College professor Jon Bohlmann.

Project summary: School aged girls in developing nations face many challenges, but missing school because of menstruation should not be one of them. The MINA Foundation provides menstrual cups to keep girls in school, but cleaning the cup is a burden. The Minatizer is an eco-friendly and economical cleansing device providing an intimate and effortless experience even in the most remote areas. By giving girls the independence they need, they can build the future they deserve.

Second Place: Jenkins Team 10. Team members: Team members Aaron Fleming, Dustin Prescott, and Lindsay Sullivan are sharing the $3,000 scholarship award. This project, sponsored by LivEnabled, was completed as part of the students’ fall 2017 semester project for their Product Innovation Lab course, MBA 555, taught by Poole College professor Jon Bohlmann.

Project summary: In the developing world, the amputation of a leg often leads to a loss of mobility and independence. An above-the-knee prosthesis generally costs between $5,000 and $70,000 and requires time-consuming custom socket fabrication by a trained prosthetist. OpenGait aims to increase quality of life for amputees through their above-the-knee prosthetic kit. This low-cost kit contains all components to fit an individual with a complete prosthesis; including a novel socket and mechanical knee.

People’s Choice

Those attending the Showcase were invited to talk with the student teams and vote online for their favorites. Each of the three teams receiving the top votes presented a 90-second pitch during the awards ceremony. About 200 students and guests at the awards program then voted for the People’s Choice overall winner.

People’s Choice Overall Winner Poole Team 33, working with sponsor Movil Realty, was selected by the audience attending the awards reception, based on the three People Choice finalists’ 90-second pitches.

Following are the three People Choice finalists and a summary of their projects.

Poole Team 33, Team members include Jaycie Greenberg, Courtney Thompson, Katherine Curtis, and Eric Shwartz. This project was completed for project sponsor Movil Realty, as part of the students’ Business Management 495 course in spring 2018. The course was taught by Patrice Nealon, business management lecturer.

Project summary: The team created a campaign for Movil Realty using paid search. Using the goal of brand awareness and app downloads as metrics, the team used Google Analytics to study paid search practices. Movie Realty is a RDU based real estate agency that utilizes new app based technology to make real estate easier and more accessible.

Poole Team 25, Team members include Olivia Fuller, Megan Overby, and David Robertson. This project was completed for project sponsor Biogen, as part of the students’ Supply Chain Management 497 course in fall 2017. The course was taught by Donavon Favre, supply chain management lecturer.

Project summary: Biogen’s New Item Request (NIR) process is very lengthy, time consuming, and frequently relies on heroics to get new materials in on time. As members of the NCSU Supply Chain Practicum team, the team recommends that Biogen implement several changes to improve the process and increase efficiency. A dedicated NIR team would not only improve the process flow, but it would also reduce wait times because employees can focus solely on the NIR process. Updating the Scout Bid Questionnaire and using customized templates for item categories would reduce wait times and ultimately increase supplier satisfaction and improve the relationship.

Poole Team 14, Team members include Jaycie Greenberg, Courtney Thompson, Katherine Curtis, and Eric Shwartz. This project was completed for project sponsor Arise Athletics, as part of the students’ Special Topics in Business Management 495 course in spring 2018. The course was taught by Patrice Nealon, business management lecturer.

Project summary: The team conducted a 2 week Facebook marketing campaign for Arise Athletics, a gym located in Knightdale, NC. After the campaign they analyzed the data and made recommendations for their future social media endeavors. Through this project they increased Arise Athletics’ overall social media presence and learned about digital marketing.

About the judges

Poole College welcomed back nearly thirty alumni  – some coming from cities across the U.S. and as far as Colorado – who served on judging teams, along with friends of the college in business and industry and NC State administrative teams.

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This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.

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