Paul College poster competition puts bucks behind business ideas

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Autonomous maritime vessels. Teeth whitening strips that include a nicotine cessation aid. A school bus tracking app.

The students behind these and other business ideas came together under a white tent in the Paul College courtyard on Wednesday to discuss their marketplace solutions during the Charles and Miriam Nelson Poster Competition. The event is part of the 17th annual Undergraduate Research Conference, going on this month and next.

In all, 12 teams showcased their research on entrepreneurship while judges circulated, stopping at each group’s station to learn about their proposed businesses through information-rich posters and the three-minute oral presentations each team of students delivered. After each presentation, the judges had three minutes to ask follow-up questions.

Devin McMahon (left) and Kate Aiken (right) receive their first-place prize at the Charles and Miriam Nelson Poster Competition. 

Four teams left the competition with cash prizes.

Kate Aiken ‘18 and Devin McMahon ‘18, who have set out to improve the female sanitary napkin with their business Lily Pad, took first place in Group I. In Group II, graduate student Dante Broadbent took first place for his business EnterPlayment Risk Services, which aims to provide affordable, mass customizable risk services to the summer camp industry.

Robotic maritime vessel maker Autonomous Solutions Company, a collaboration among mechanical engineers from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and a Paul College finance major, took second place in Group I, while philanthropy-minded apparel maker WhiteTop took second place in Group II. 

The annual poster competition was established with a gift from Paul College graduates Charles W. Nelson ’66 and Miriam R. Nelson ’68, who founded the business supply service company Nelco Products. 


See more Paul College students in action at one of these upcoming URC events.

Friday, April 22
University-wide Paul J. Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market Competition, Bud Albin Challenge Round
1 – 4:30 p.m.
Paul College

Saturday, April 30
FIRE Undergraduate Research Conference
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Paul College

Wednesday, May 11
Paul J. Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market Competition Championship
1 – 6 p.m.
Paul College G75 Auditorium


All URC events