Welcome to the Student Project Opportunities page. The following are corporate and nonprofit organization projects available to student groups this quarter. *These projects are to be used for a current class project or they may be completed outside of class, but only with approval / supervision from a faculty member. The goal of the project opportunities program is to add value and hands on experience to your current coursework. This page will be updated regularly with new project opportunities as we become aware of them.
- If you are a faculty member and you see a project that you feel is appropriate for students in your class, please pass it along to them.
- If you are a student interested in taking on any of these for a group project (or an independent project), please contact Karen Larson via e-mail, phone (847) 467-5419 for more details and information on how to proceed. You'll need to tell her the class for which you plan to use the project or the name of the faculty member who has approved your participation in the project.
- Projects listed in red are pending final assignment
- Projects listed in blue are also available for Management Lab classes
|Business Plan Development|
||Canary Telehealth is a start-up company that provides remote patient monitoring for people with chronic conditions. Nurse call centers monitor patient measurements via monitoring devices patients use at home. |
We need help to evaluate opportunities for a roll-up in the medical call center industry.
|St. John Berchmans
||We are a Catholic School, located in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. We serve kids from preschool to eighth grade. We are over 100 years old and are committed to providing quality education to the children in our neighborhood and the city of Chicago. Our motto is "All are Welcome" and we believe if someone wants to attend our school, financial difficulties should not be a barrier. |
As a smaller Catholic school in the city of Chicago we have many challenges we need to address in order to remain viable. We are seeking assistance in creating a long term plan to ensure we are financially secure, able to attract and retain students, and provide top quality education. We would like to benchmark our school against similar programs, get a better understanding of marketing strategy, financial planning, facility assessment, etc.
Ten-Digit Inc., a Tennessee-based corporation, was formed 12/21/12 to purchase five year-old NumberGarage, LLC from founder Jeff Heeren. Jeff will be appointed CEO in Feb. 2013. The company will develop, own and operate hosted services telecommunications products as its core focus. These NEW entities are already in development with execution capital provided by Mr. Heeren. These NEW entities are Yippin.com, Landline2Cell.com, TeleCopy.us, an IVR (virtual receptionist) product. The company is soon to create a limited liability company for each entity providing the telecommunications function offered. All entities are on schedule to be formed, launched and operational by March 1, 2013.
Jeff Heeren launched the MVP (minimum viable product) numbergarage.com in 2008 as a virtual telephone number, remote call forwarding service "...to solve my own needs." Ten-Digit Inc. is now developing the products the many NumberGarage™ customers have specifically requested since 2008. "We all have a phone number that people in our circles know us by, and there are many ways to do so much more with that number that you never thought possible."
Ten-Digit Inc. is looking for a student group to review the Business Plan to confirm that it is SOLID.
|Three Color Films LLC
||Three Color Films LLC is a film production company that has produced five short narrative films and is in the process of producing its first feature film. |
We are in the development process of identifying investors for the project. To do this, we want to write a short business plan/pitch document that would incorporate basic research including budget, marketing for the film, viability to sell the film, film options/markets to sell the film, etc.
At this time we are looking for an individual or a small group to assist and guide us as we research, plan and write our proposal. We anticipate, for the initial pitching, that this work would require only 15-20 hours, beginning around Dec 15. There would certainly be the option and possibility to work beyond this initial timeframe, depending on our ability to acquire financing.
|Beth Tikvah Congregation
||Beth Tikvah is a 55 year old reform Jewish congregation located in the northwest suburbs. The congregation currently has about 280 families, reaching communities within a 20 mile radius. |
We are looking to utilize outside resources to help us formulate a long range plan that will ensure our relevance and sustainability in the Northwest Suburbs. This project would include evaluating current market conditions, probable long range demographics and assisting an established internal committee with the forumlation of a long range plan that ensures growth while meeting established member needs.
|The Chicago Baseball Museum
||The Chicago Baseball Museum (CBM) is currently a 501c3 organization which promotes the sport of baseball. With a current focus on the Cubs and White Sox, it also promotes the history/legacies of the Negro League and Women's Professional baseball. We have secured the Jerome Holtzman archives and have a talented Board of Directors.|
The CBM needs help confirming its mission and direction. This includes exploring a viable for-profit business model while maintaining a 501c3 arm which promotes learning and maintaining the legacy of baseball.
|Early to Bed
Early to Bed is Chicago’s first woman-owned and woman-oriented sex toy shop. We opened our doors in September of 2001. Our annual gross income in 2012 was approximately $400,000.
Unlike traditional “adult” stores, ETB is committed to creating a safe space for people of all genders and orientations to explore and learn about sexuality. Through workshops and community outreach, ETB educates people about their bodies, their sexual response, and the many joys of sex toys. Early to Bed is very selective about the products it carries, stocking only items that work as expected, are made from safe ingredients, and bring consumers a good value. The shop specializes in seeking out and carrying toys and accessories made by woman-owned and boutique manufacturers.
Approximately 40% of our sales are from our Internet stores (www.early2bed.com, www.early2rise.net, www.ftmessentials.com). We are about to launch an enhanced website which we hope will improve our SEO. We do “Pleasureware Parties” for private groups both in the store and in homes.
E2B runs workshops and gives talks all over the city and the Midwest. ETB is committed to the local feminist, LGBTQ and sex-positive community and works hard to support organizations doing good work in those areas by hosting fundraisers and making donations whenever possible.
Early to Bed has been struggling since the recession in 2008. After years of running “in the black,” we were forced to take on debt. Our sales have been increasing steadily in the past two years and we have raised prices. But we can’t seem to get out of debt. We would like a review of our financial and operating procedures, and marketing advice as well.
||CitySwarm offer all-inclusive event experiences to make exploring the city easier, more social, and more cost-effective for our membership of local, young professionals. For businesses, we provide an invaluable experiential marketing platform along with incremental revenue opportunities. |
We would like financial analysis for various aspects of business - including event pricing.
|Innovation Factory LLC
||Innovation Factory applies new manufacturing technologies to assist designers, entrepreneurs and start-ups move from new idea to realization.|
The project objective is to analyze past projects on Kickstarter and other crowd-funding site and come up with a predictive model that will forecast the likelihood of success of future crowd-funding projects, based on specified feature vector.
||An early stage start-up, HappyHour.com will be a location-based mobile-marketing platform for limited-time offers. The UI is being designed in Chicago, with back-end development in India. |
Starting with the food/beverage market, HappyHour.com plans to expand its platform to allow merchants in most retail/service markets to offer Happy Hour pricing on goods and services. There are many examples of this already occurring: For example, in Thailand there are Happy Hours on cellphone contracts (Happy Hours on apartment rentals in Italy; Happy Hours on oil changes in LA; Happy Hour prices on electronics in the UK). Last week, I received an email from my stock broker offering Happy Hour pricing on trades. The marketing challenge is to launch the site in the traditional food/beverage market without limiting the platform's future usage exclusively to that market.
|Garrett Technologies, Inc.
||Founded 2001, Garrett Technologies is a product development company for the biomedical industry. We specialize in advanced electrical engineering and embedded software development. Our expertise includes both extensive design of Class II and III medical devices ( and we also have a broad development of consumer products, too.). Our capabilities include Electrical Engineering, Software Development, Mechanical Engineering, Verification & Validation-Agency Certification, Algorithm, Simulation Development, DHF Consulting and Remediation, Value-Added Consulting, and Managed Services. We participate in the entire design cycle from concept to market, from innovative prototypes through products that are currently on the market Our clients include mature device manufacturers, early stage product development firms and medical device start-ups. We also collaborate with other design firms on joint projects.|
Marketing Questions: 1.) we are interested in the purchasing decisions of our target market: Price sensitivity, quality/certifications, manufacturing capabilities (turn-key), experience/expertness, mature team/contractors. 2.) we are interested in market segments that are most attractive to out-sourcing: Product development, Testing, Remediation, Consulting etc. 3.) We are also interested in developing a Marketing Plan to most effectively reach our target market. Note: NDA could be required in some instances.
|The Hard-Boiled Detective
||The Hard-Boiled Detective takes an approach to online publishing that is unheard of: it sells subscriptions to an original & exclusive short-story series, created in the fashion of "old-school detective fiction." Subscribers receive three tales every month which they download in the e-format of their choice (epub, mobi or PDF).|
The Hard-Boiled Detective is looking for a well-crafted and organized marketing plan/strategy to gain online visibility and, therefore, subscribers. This distinctive publishing venture launched in early February on a shoestring budget, and we're looking to reach as many targeted, potential subscribers as possible. (We do have great latitude when it comes to pricing/discounting in order to support a particular promotional plan.) As a quintessential shoestring start-up, we do have limitations-- every marketing, advertising and promotional effort has to pay for itself. Competition is sizable yet indirect: e-content sellers such as Amazon/Kindle, etc. The other immediate hurdle is selling an unknown author.
So, how do you marry social and Relationship Marketing?
With regards to automotive marketing, what are the innovative methods of extending Relationship Marketing into the social arena with specific emphasis on the Ownership phase (post purchase) and Conquest/Handraiser/Consideration (pre-purchase)?
Audi of America is one of the leading social marketers with an enthusiastic following on all major social sites. Additionally, Audi is redefining Relationship Marketing to provide a truly personal and customized experience for current and potential customers.
Audi is interested in exploring unique and innovative ways of using social media in concert with more traditional relationship marketing to market it's products and services to new and existing owners. For the sake of this assignment, social media should be defined as a way and means for these targets to communicate and share positive Audi Brand attributes among themselves with ties back to Audi marketing efforts. Social media should not be limited to, but can include more recognized forms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
The definition of Relationship Marketing, in this context, is more than direct mail, but is the ability to encourage an on-going set of one-way (Audi to customer) and two-way (Audi to customer + customer to Audi) communications throughout the life of the relationship. This currently happens through a defined cadence of communication tactics (print materials and digital).
Ideally the deliverable for this assignment will be an overview of current, best-in-class (not limited) social brand engagements (including how the examples qualified as best-in-class, the execution and results), as well as a series of recommendations on how Audi would be best served as a brand by integrating social into relationship marketing programs.
This project can be scaled to fit the timeframe, as needed.
|Personal Hermitage Productions
||Personal Hermitage Productions LLC (PHP) produces independent documentaries as well as short films for clients. PHP also offers screenings and workshops in media literacy, media activism, video production, social media, online journalism and curriculum-based topics. Since its foundation in March 2012, PHP has produced two feature-length documentary films. Additionally, PHP distributes the catalogue of nonprofit Beyondmedia Education, which contains approximately fifteen films. |
We are seeking help to create an effective marketing initiative to promote our sales and services. We are looking for strategies and tools to create visibility, acquire customers, and increase distribution of our films. Some questions we'd like to address in this project include: Who should we target to send promotional products? What’s the most effective channels of reaching them? What is their price sensitivity? What types of films are most interesting to them?
||Pictricks is a low-cost, fast and efficient online photo retouching service. Customers upload photos and a graphic designer will fix the photo within 24 hours. |
We are looking for help to create an effective marketing initiative to launch our online service business. We are looking for strategies to create visibility, acquire customers and obtain high volume sales.
We safeguard rent payments. We help landlord verify tenant's income via electronic bank statement. It is a free service for landlord, and we save hassle, prevent fraud, and make renting worry-free. For tenant, we enhance your chance of application success, as the landlord confirms your income and gains additional comfort through our service. Our goal is to reduce friction in the housing market and build trust between landlord and tenant.
Phase 1: Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for Tenantify:
1. Identify customer segmentations (landlord, property manager, broker, etc).
2. Find the best way to reach different segments
3. Develop brand message and core value proposition for each group
4. Identify an integrated marketing strategy.
Phase 2 [Optional]: Marketing strategy for new product features:
As Tenantify focuses on reducing friction between landlord and tenant, we plan to eventually expand our product to facilitate rent payment with an authenticated bank account. Is this the right direction to go? If yes, how should we revise the marketing strategy from Phase 1 to accommodate the broader product scope. If no, then where should we expand?
||The Rosel School is a vocational school providing education in cosmetology and massage therapy primarily to low income, immigrant women. |
We are planning to move our facilities in Q1 2014 and need to scope out the best market within the City of Chicago or surrounding suburbs to identify the best areas for our new location.
||The owner would like to see if there is a correlation between both the staff members working as well as the music that is played and the sales of the day.|
|Chicago Public Schools
||Chicago Public Schools Military Academy Network seeks support to help redesign it's inventory management processes. Currently, there are 11,000 students who are enrolled in JROTC across 44 high schools, and 6 full wall-to-wall high schools. As part of the program, students are required to wear various specific uniforms to school, and are awarded medals throughout the school year to accompany those uniforms. The Military Academy Network maintains a 12,000 square foot warehouse on Chicago's southwest side with 4 full time personnel to receive uniforms and other equipment from various sources (primarily the Army), and in turn arrange for delivery out to schools. |
The goal of the project is to identify cost reduction opportunities by redesigning the warehouse operation, to include: implementation of basic technologies, shifting warehousing responsibilities to schools, changing operational procedures to perhaps only deliver inventory during our peak 'seasons' (the start and end of the school year). Additionally, the project team would identify operational measures of success that should be tracked to determine operational performance. The project has additional importance given the budget environment that CPS currently operates in and the need to reduce overhead, for which this warehousing operation presents many opportunities.
|Private Equity/Venture Capital|
|Project Management |
||The HistoryMakers is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational institution committed to preserving and making widely accessible the untold personal stories of both well-known and unsung African Americans. Through the media and a series of user-friendly products, services and events, The HistoryMakers enlightens, entertains and educates the public, helping to refashion a more inclusive record of American history. |
The Program Coordinator will be responsible for promoting, coordinating, and executing multiple year-round events and summer educational programs. The program coordinator must be able to operate in a fast-past, deadline-driven environment, have an extensive background in program coordination, including prior experience with effective outreach and developing collaborative relationships with other groups and organizations.