Charles & Miriam Nelson Poster Competition

Charles & Miriam Nelson Poster Competition
Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics | Rooms G35 & G45Suite)
10 Garrison Avenue | Durham | New Hampshire
Thursday, April 19, 2018
12 - 2 p.m. 

Established with a gift from Charles & Miriam Nelson, this poster competition gives students an opportunity to showcase their research into entrepreneurship. Students present a poster and a three-minute oral presentation to two separate teams of judges comprised of representatives from business and industry. Judges have up to three minutes to ask follow-up questions.

Judges will evaluate the posters based on the following criteria: a.) ability to generate enough interest in the concept through a stand-alone poster without verbal explanation of the concept; and b.) ability to generate enough interest from a hypothetical venture capitalist for them to consider asking for a formal business plan for the concept. See guidelines for additional information below. Teams must register by the deadline.

All USNH students are eligible to compete for cash awards in the Charles & Miriam Nelson Poster Competition and all teams entered in the Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market Competition are encouraged to participate. 

Registration for the Charles & Miriam Nelson Poster Competition through the URC.

Information on the 2018 Competition will be added as confirmed. 








2018 Schedule




Ilona Drew
Seth McNally

Dave Emanuel
Dan Reagan

Mike Merenda
Yusi Turrell


Pivot Ag
pop[U]lace- 2nd Place!
YouScheduler- 1st Place!

02&You- 1st Place!
Sea Scrub
Telluric Surf- 2nd Place!

Eagle Eye Tasks
One Wash Laundry Innovation
Rolling Happy- 1st Place!
SaniTrust- 2nd Place!

2018 TEAMS

Nicholas Blais, PAUL
Jason Foote, PAUL
Nicholas Largy, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: John Ela

Eagle Eye Tasks
Michael Bechtold, PAUL
Matthew Perry, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: John Ela

Michael Decker, PAUL
Daniel Dormody, PAUL
Parker Dukas, PAUL
Anthony Rosa, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: John Ela

Amanda Lee, PAUL
Keelan McCoole, PAUL
Francesca Molinari, PAUL
Caroline Quintal, CEPS
Kristin Snyder, CEPS
Joel Nkounkou, CEPS
​Faculty  Advisor: Jeff Sohl

One Wash Laundry Innovation
Michael Knight, PAUL
Joseph LaMaina, PAUL
Nicholas Logiudice, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: John Ela

Pivot Ag
Noah Arling
​Gretchew Silva, PAUL
Hayden Spitz, PAUL
Justin Valentine, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: Todd Guerdat

Jack Goss, PAUL
Andrew Grondin, PAUL
​Keelan McCoole, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: Kholekile Gwebu

Tyler Chapman, CEPS
Nikki Swartz, CEPS & PAUL
Faculty Advisor: Andrew Earle

Rolling Happy Corporation
Abby Lehner, COLA
Kathleen Stacey, PAUL
Can (Tracy) Xi, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: Valentini Kalargyrou

Andrew Ward, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: Ludwig Bstieler

Sea Scrub
Jared Healy, PAUL
Dillon Owens, PAUL
Ethan Petersohn, PAUL
Timothy Scolaro, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: John Ela

Jacob Branchaud, CEPS
Connor Courtwright, PAUL
James Holden, CEPS
Shelby Strickland, CEPS
Faculty Advisor: Mey-Win Thein

Telluric Surf
Neil Mistretta, CEPS
Faculty Advisor: Ivaylo Nedyalkov

Matthew Milward, PAUL
Peter Wheatley, PAUL
Faculty Advisor: John Ela

Nicole Biondi, PAUL
Sarah Johnston, PAUL
Thae Nu San, PAUL
Amy Schlagel
Faculty Advisor: Jeffrey Sohl

Kristian Comer, CEPS
Francesco Mikulis-Borsoi, CEPS
Faculty Advisor: Radim Bartos




After nearly fifteen years of various domestic and international sales and marketing experience at Dennison Manufacturing Co., a Fortune 500 corporation headquarted in Framingham, MA, Charles W. Nelson '66 resigned to pursue a goal of establishing his own organization that could fulfill a recognized void in the marketplace.

In July of 1984 Charles and Miriam Nelson '68 founded Nelco Products, Inc. Coupling Charlie's previous experience with Miriam's administrative leadership and her soon-to-be learned financial skills a unique regional distribution company of plastic wiring accessories was launched.

Initially, aggressive telemarketing programs complimented by highly trained sales representatives, when necessary, low cost sourcing from both domestic and international vendors enabled Nelco to penetrate the Northeast market rapidly.

Nelco pioneered innovative Internet marketing strategies leading to many creative websites to drive global prospect interest to the company's sales organization.

Nelco grew rapidly and opened locations in MA, NJ, FL, AL, and CA. The company established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 2005 to empower the employees to take leading roles in assisting their company's success.




Judging Criteria

  • Either through your poster or in answering the judges’ questions you should be able to communicate the following information (this is only a guide for judges, they may or may not ask you these questions):*
  1. Who are you? (company or team)
  2. Need – Explain the problem your customers face.
  3. Solution – How do you solve this problem?  Don’t describe any technical details.
  4. Market – Tell the judges how many people need your product or service.  If you know the market dollar value, tell the judges that, too.
  5. Business Model – Explain how you make money.  Do you sell the product to wholesalers for a flat fee?  Do you charge a subscription?  Do you split revenues with a partner?
  6. Financials – How much money do you need?  What makes this an attractive investment?  Some teams will still be working out the specifics.
  • Judges will score your poster and oral presentation on the following factors using a seven point scale:
  1. Poster Quality – Clarity of message, attractiveness, professionally prepared.  Does the poster generate interest in the concept without verbal explanation?
  2. Presentation Quality – Is the team/poster informing or persuading?  Were they convincing, knowledgeable, in command of the situation and on top of the information? Have they presented enough information and explanation to justify their ideas?
  3. Professional Presence - Was the team dressed in business attire?  Did they conduct themselves in a professional manner?
  4. Judges Impressions – Why should a judge (potential business investor) care about this proposal?  Did the poster and presentation convey enough important insights into the business proposition that a potential investor would want to see more and/or ask the team to come back to present a complete business plan?
  5. Intangible or WOW factor – Did the team and poster leave a lasting impression?
  6. Overall

*Adapted from Duke Start-Up Challenge 2008 Elevator Pitch

Creating your Poster

  • Posters must measure between 32” X 40” and 40” X 60”. Click here to view posters created by students.
  • Posters MUST BE professionally mounted on foam core.
  • Easels will be provided.
  • Visit URC Poster Presentation Help for tips on creating a poster.
  • Consider making an appointment with a consultant at the UNH Connors Writing Center for additional help with poster and oral presentations.
  • UNH Printing Services offers tips and printing discounts to students who reference “Student Project Discount”.  The discount does not apply to mounting posters. You may use off-campus companies to print and mount your poster.
  • Paul College will reimburse student teams up to $50 (maximum) for the cost of printing and mounting their poster if they participate in the Nelson competition and follow all Nelson competition published guidelines. Students must complete a reimbursement form and include their receipt.
  • At least one team member must be present during the entire competition to answer the judges’ questions. All team members are encouraged to attend.
  • Send a PowerPoint copy of your poster to prior to the competition to be displayed on the college video screen after the competition.
  • Judging teams comprised of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, alumni, and representatives from business and industry will evaluate your poster based on the following criteria.
  • UNH Printing Services tips for creating successful posters can be accessed at Part 1 and Part 2

View URC Poster Presentation Help



  • Ilona Drew, Program Assistant, Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise and Research Assistant, Carsey School of Public Policy
  • Dave Emanuel, Vice President, Emanuel Engineering and Assistant Chief, Durham Fire Department
  • Seth McNally, Investment Consultant, Quadripoint Investment Management
  • Mike Merenda, Professor of Management, UNH
  • Dan Reagan, Corporate Counsel, Oracle Inc.
  • Yusi Turell, Ph.D. Candidate, Co-Founder, Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise, UNH



First place poster in each group - $300

Second place poster in each group - $200

Return to Holloway Competition