Joe Cut wins 2014 Edens retail challenge

New York — Edens has announced the winner of the 2014 Edens Retail Challenge, a nation-wide student competition seeking compelling new retail concepts.

This year’s winner is Joe Cut, a mobile hair salon that brings the haircut directly to the business college student through a mobile store and reservation app. Babson College undergraduates Michael Kliska, Paulina Bosque, Adriana Contreras and Nina Shapiro founded the business, which will primarily service male customers on campuses in the U.S.

Joe Cut will be an exclusive U.S. retailer for Joe Grooming, a multi-national line of men’s grooming products.

“The Joe Cut team truly embodies this country’s next generation of retail,” says Jodie McLean, Edens president and chief investment officer. “They have an intuitive understanding of the consumer’s need for design, style and convenience with bold ideas about how tomorrow’s shopping environment will evolve.”

Joe Cut receives a total of $13,000 seed money as well as additional support from Edens’ in-house team of financial, marketing and design professionals.

Winners of last year’s Challenge, Follain and Artís, are successfully open for business – a testament to the value of the support and resources the program provides.

Making it to the finals is no small feat – the process takes almost six months. Drawn from some of the country’s top universities and graduate schools, the students are challenged to develop a comprehensive business plan – from initial vision to financials to launch strategy – for a compelling, persuasive retail concept. This year’s challenge attracted 72 participants from 25 of the nation’s top schools.

The winner of the Edens Retail Challenge receives a total of $13,000; second place receives $8,000; and third and fourth place winners receive $5,500. The other finalists were:
 
Second Place:
Created by students from Yale University, Kitschoppe helps expert do-it-yourselfers and novice crafters design projects before a communal backdrop. Kitschoppe seeks to provide the artistic and social outlet young people crave in budding urban metropolises.
 
Third Place:
Cote-Armour is a clothing line and artist collective inspired by the pulse and vibe of New York City's art, music and youth scene. The company's slogan, Gnarly Never Dies, reflects the Cote-Armour lifestyle – young and free, living for music festivals, creating art, and dreaming big. Students from Columbia University came up with the concept.
 
Fourth Place:
Pragma is a fashion retailer catering to on-the-go women with practical, high-quality clothing that can be worn to the office, to dinner and on a business trip. The line features innovative, travel-friendly (wrinkle-resistant) apparel that’s easy to stow and go. Students from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania developed the concept.