RIT student entrepreneur wins first place at New York State Business Plan Competition

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Seven RIT student teams presented their ideas to distinguished panel of judges

May 15, 2017 by Vienna McGrain Follow Vienna McGrain on TwitterFollow RITNEWS on TwitterDana Wolcott
Kailey Bradt, a student in RIT’s Master of Science in product development program in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, won first place and $10,000 at the New York State Business Plan Competition.

Kailey Bradt, a student in RIT’s Master of Science in product development program from Corning, N.Y., won first place and $10,000 in the “Products” category at the eighth annual New York Business Plan Competition, sponsored by SUNY Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany. The competition was held in April at SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex and featured 103 teams that were selected to compete after making it through regional semifinal rounds that were held across the state.

According to Bradt, her entry—OWA Haircare— is a waterless shampoo that saves water, plastic and energy. All ingredients have a safety rating of 1, the safest rating that can be achieved on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. The ingredients are naturally derived, not sourced from animals, making the product completely vegan.

“Winning this competition really meant the world to me,” said Bradt, a graduate of RIT’s chemical engineering program. “I’ve been talking about starting a sustainable cosmetic company since I was 16. When I had the idea for this shampoo, I really felt like the time was now. I decided to leave my job in Los Angeles, return to RIT for graduate school, and create a business. I received a lot of positive feedback so I decided to take it a step further and apply to the New York Business Plan Competition. I can’t even begin to describe the moment they announced OWA Haircare as the products category winner, it seemed like a dream. This is validation that …

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