Translating Product Innovation into a Potential Retail Business and Service Start-up through the Student GradCap Event

Date
2017-01-01
Authors
Dragoo, Sheri
Young, Deborah
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Students from a fashion merchandising and design program created the GradCap Kit as a business development challenge through the National Retail Federation's student challenge in 2014. After costing, marketing and distribution channel research, the students presented their work successfully to NRF and were awarded first place. After competition, faculty felt the product concept was worthy of market trials. Program students worked to raise funds for and produce a Senior Fashion show. The winning GradCap product was translated into a Grad Cap Decorating fundraising event. Event and product logistics were addressed including promotional strategies, location, costing, registration, product preparation, training and event staffing. Initial product sourcing for papers, glue, lettering and trims was completed. Faculty worked with IT and university financial personnel and created an on-line registration system. Fifty-five customers attended the event. Color selection was broadly assorted. Customers enjoyed themselves and were generally excited with completed graduation caps.

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