Students with exciting solutions for the future of the retail business

How do you change consumer behavior and how does the future look for ITAB? These were the challenges 55 students faced when they participated in JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge this week.

For the fifth year in a row Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, organized the contest to promote creativity, entrepreneurship and cooperation. The prize money comes from a fund consisting of shares donated by "Aktiestinsen" Lennart Israelsson.

This year, the challenge came from ITAB, and included two different parts where the students had to think both long and short term. The first part was to get consumers to start using self-checkout when they shop, and the other to think innovatively and see future visions for ITAB.

Over 30 teams registered for the competition, and out of these 15 were selected to participate. All teams had to consist of at least one student from Jönköping International Business School and one from School of Engineering. Monday 11 April, the teams visited ITAB, where they were given background information about the company. After the visit the teams had 24 hours to come up with an idea and prepare a presentation. A jury selected five of these teams to make their presentations. During Wednesday 13 April the final was held and the teams presented their proposals in front of the jury and a large audience.

In connection with the final the audience had the opportunity to listen, and ask questions to, JIBS alumnus Tim Nilsson, who lives and works in Berlin, and is in charge of several successful companies worldwide.

The jury, which consisted of representatives from ITAB, Science Park, JIBS, School of Engineering, JSA and Hi-Tech, appointed the winning team. The winning team consisted of two bachelor students from School of Engineering and two master students from JIBS: Ellen Philipson, Arvin Maryami, Moritz Witter and Thomas Sabatahier. The jury commended them for identifying new market opportunities for ITAB's products, and for their presentation that was in true entrepreneurial spirit. The team was awarded 60 000 SEK and a trip to Berlin.

“We thought from a consumer perspective and emanated from ourselves. We come from different backgrounds and have different thoughts, something that was positive in this competition as we both challenged and complemented each other. We had our minds set on winning this” said the winning team.

Their suggestion included discovering new areas of use and developing ITAB's existing products, and they had the human factor and usability in focus. They saw the potential of ITAB being a part of the growing e-commerce, instead of seeing it as a threat.

The other teams that participated in the contest also had interesting and innovative ideas. Several of the suggestions was about new ways to self-register your articles when shopping, and many of the proposals involved ITAB in the growing e-commerce. A lot of focus lay on how to improve the experience of shopping for consumers, with the help of ITAB's products.

“It is fantastic to see how students from JIBS and School of Engineering work together to create creative solutions that the company will benefit from in a very direct way” said Anna Blombäck, JIBS’ Dean.

The winning team together with Anna Blombäck, JIBS och Niklas Thoresson, ITAB.