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. 








2017 Schedule




Dan Reagan
Bruce MacKenzie

Kurt Kimball
Dave Emanuel

Mike Merenda
Seth McNally

1st Place - Droppit 1st Place - Sol Solution 1st Place - NextStep
2nd Place - Noomie 2nd Place - Nebu-DRY 2nd Place - APPlause

Boiler Makers

Sol Solution
Pure Pierce
Phone Glove

Laundry Lads
Card Threads

2017 TEAMS

Boiler Makers
Brett Carneiro, Grad School
Benjamin Goldberg, Grad School

Applause(formerly Broker Buddy)
Andrew Gibson, PAUL

Card Threads
David Ricard, PAUL

Max Miller, CEPS
Sam Warach, PAUL

​Juliana Aye, PAUL

Rebecca Bailey
Chris Bohlig
Zhangxi “Jesse” Feng
Elizabeth Lahti
Chip Linton
Axel Ragnarsson

Laundry Lads
Charlie Nevejans, PAUL

Brandon Allen, PAUL

Ryder Fairbank, PAUL
Drew Kaski, PAUL
Ariel Rodriguez, PAUL

TJ Evarts, CEPS
Max Miller, CEPS
Sam Warach, PAUL

Michael Dwyer, PAUL
Stephanie Field, MBA

Phone Glove
Mike Cormier
Jason Foote
Andrew Harris

Pure  Pierce
Tyler Chapman
Nikki Swartz

Derek Bruner

Sol Solution (formerly More Efficient Solar Power)
Peter Abdu, CEPS
Cyle Ziegler, CEPS



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



  • Dave Emanuel, Vice President, Emanuel Engineering and Assistant Chief, Durham Fire Department
  • Kurt Kimball, Principal, Centroid Consulting LLC
  • Bruce Mackenzie, President, JMack Entertainment Marketing, Partnerships & Promotions LLC
  • Seth McNally, Vice President, Kennebunk Investment Services
  • Mike Merenda, Professor of Management, UNH
  • Dan Reagan, Corporate Counsel, Oracle Inc.



First place poster in each group - $300

Second place poster in each group - $200

Return to Holloway Competition