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Posted 6.7.11

Congratulations to the winners of the second annual Turning Designs into Businesses competition, convened by the Weatherhead School of Management and the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA)! The competition, which coincides with the CIA Spring Show, invites students from the two schools to put their heads together to create a business plan for a new product. Judges Dar Caldwell of LaunchHouse, Daniel Cuffaro of CIA, and Simon Peck, PhD, Associate Professor of Marketing and Policy Studies, chose the winners.

The winning team consisted of Drew Keeble, who will receive his BFA from CIA in 2012, and Tim Anderson (MBA ’11) and Cara Gilmore (MBA ’11). They won a $3,000 prize for Pillar, a new design for a classic product: the aluminum beverage can. By squaring off the can, the team discovered a way to fit 20% more Pillars than traditional beverage cans in the same amount of space, saving energy for transportation. And with a novel paperboard carrier instead of the plastic six-pack rings known to wreak environmental havoc, the Pillar boasts green credentials that last beyond its product life. The judges felt the Pillar would appeal to a new upstart in the beverage market or to an established player wishing to expand its sustainability initiatives.

Placing second in the competition was CafeCollections, a team that included David Pickett, who will graduate from CIA in 2012 with a BA in Industrial Design, and Kurt Ingersoll (MBA ’12) and Sam O. Morgan (MBA ’12). This team won $1000 for EsPresso, a new take on the French press. Less messy than the French press and dishwasher-safe, EsPresso harnesses a simple vacuum-pressure plunger mechanism to brew single cups of coffee. Where “pod”-style coffee makers require electricity and branded packaging-intensive coffee grounds, the CafeCollections product doesn’t demand brand loyalty or need to be plugged in. The judges praised both the stylishness of the product as well as CafeCollections’ information display.

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