Three students win Turning Designs into Business competition

Weatherhead School of Management and Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) hosted the second annual Turning Designs into Businesses competition this spring, in which students from the two schools create a business plan for a new product. The winning team, composed of Tim Anderson (MGT ’11), Cara Gilmore (MGT ’11) and Drew Keeble, who plans to graduate from CFA in 2012, won $3,000.

Their product, Pillar, is a new design for the aluminum beverage can. They squared off the can and were able to fit 20 percent more Pillar cans than traditional beverage cans in the same amount of space, saving energy for transportation. Additionally, the product would use a paperboard carrier instead of six-pack rings, therefore boosting its environmentally friendly rating.

The judges—Dar Caldwell of LaunchHouse, Daniel Cuffaro of CIA and Simon Peck, associate professor of marketing and policy studies—felt Pillar would appeal to a new upstart in the market or an established player hoping to become more sustainable.

Second place went to CafeCollections, a team that comprised Kurt Ingersoll and Sam Morgan, both of whom plan to earn their masters degrees in 2012, and David Pickett, who will graduate from CIA in 2012. The team won $1,000 for EsPresso, a cleaner, dishwasher-safe version of the French press. EsPresso uses a simple vacuum-pressure plunger mechanism to brew single cups of coffee. EsPresso stands out from “pod”-style coffee makers because it does not require electricity or branded coffee grounds. The judges praised both the stylishness of the product and CafeCollections’ information display.