SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Price Chopper Supermarkets here awarded $30,000 to students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany who finished first in the chain’s Ultimate Innovation Competition 2010, open to undergraduate and graduate level college classes in the Albany, N.Y., area.
The teams from RPI and the University of Albany developed projects for Price Chopper’s Facebook page and mobile applications, respectively; both projects extended the company’s AdvantEdge loyalty card program.
“The students’ vision, creativity and talent have provided us with some exceptional ideas for new programs to offer our customers,” said Mark Chandler, Price Chopper’s vice president of supply chain, who oversaw the competition.
The competition was designed to recognize and reward students engaged in tackling some of the supermarket industry’s retail, merchandising, marketing, supply chain and human resource challenges.
“We were pleased with the results of last year’s Inaugural Ultimate Innovation Competition and this year’s competition proved to be even fiercer,” said Chandler. “We asked teams to focus their ideas on how Price Chopper can better connect with our customers and associates and be more helpful to them. Because these are real-life business scenarios, we strongly believe that this program will enrich the learning experience of local college students and have a lasting impact on them as they look to their future careers.”
Fifty-two teams representing nine institutions — Albany College of Pharmacy, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (UAlbany), RPI, Sage Colleges, Siena College, Southern Vermont College, Union College/Union Graduate College and the University at Albany — submitted abstracts to participate in the first round of this year’s competition. The field was narrowed to 23 semifinalist teams, and ultimately seven teams were given the opportunity to present to an executive panel at the Price Chopper headquarters last month.
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