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Nina Henderson Challenge Concept Phase Winners

March 06, 2012

The Henderson Challenge is a terrific opportunity, open only to Westphal students, in which student teams from all of the College's programs are invited to develop and submit original three-page business concepts and, if they choose, complete business plans for competitive consideration. The Henderson Challenge follows the same format and adheres to the same submission dates as the University-wide Baiada Competition.

We are pleased to announce the top 4 winning entries of the Nina Henderson Challenge Concept Phase for 2012. Electronic Music Booking in China, by Eric Masi of the Music Industry program, provides resources for the producers of dance music and enables them to enter into and take advantage of the burgeoning live music industry in China. FurnishIt, by Mary Dalton, Rachel Koll, Brittany Reith, and Melanie Gershman, of the Design & Merchandising program, strives to help students affordably furnish their apartments one refurbished couch, table, and chair at a time. It is a consignment business that offers students an easy and affordable way to furnish their on and off campus housing. Handbag Design, by Jane Zweibel of the Graduate Fashion Design program, is a small, in-house handbag company with a focus on quality materials, construction, and creativity. Indiefy, by Music Industry student Dave Eisner, brings independent music to consumers in a "Pay What You Want" and streaming model. It also supplies custom reports for record labels on the hottest bands in a specific market or across the United States.

The four winning concepts were awarded a prize of $500 and are expected to enter their completed plans into the final phase of the competition. In addition, about two-dozen Westphal students will enter the Nina Henderson Challenge later this month. The Nina Henderson Challenge continues with the March 26th deadline for student submission of full business plans. Details regarding submission may be found here. Help is available in the Baiada Center to prepare for these competitions. If students would like help specifically with the financials – projections and pricing- they are to contact Terri McIlhenney at An alumni of the LeBow College of Business’ Executive MBA Program with deep experience in this area has volunteered his time to work with competitors as they prepare their financial documents. If students would like to meet with the Baiada Center’s team of mentors for overall assistance with their plan or to have it reviewed for acceptance into the competition, they should reach out to Debra Colbert-Maduforo at

Many thanks to hours of mentoring, time and support provided by Program Advisors professors Larry Epstein (Music Industry), Alphonso McClendon (Fashion Design) and Beth Phillips (Design & Merchandising) and of course to illustrious Westphalalumna, Nina Henderson, whose generosity makes this valuable learning experience and competition possible.