Grad Student Wins $10K in Inventors Contest

What’s it like stepping into the Shark Tank?

Ask Jamie Wisniewski, a public and organizational relations graduate student, who won top prize in the BulbHead.com Bright Ideas Inventors Day for Aspiring Entrepreneurs on May 3, 2017.

Wisniewski and her partner Selena Alvarez, a senior marketing major, led their team to beat a pool of 21 teams competing for $10,000. Their creative business idea? A customized bra business.

The team’s business, Fit B, sells sizing bras that allow women to fit themselves and order a custom-fit bra that is made with their unique measurements. Their innovative business model is entirely online, eliminating the need for in-store shopping and fittings.

The business idea developed when Wisniewski recognized a common problem that she realized could be turned into an opportunity.

“Ask any woman and it’s likely she’s uncomfortable in the bra she’s wearing,” Wisniewski says.

“The patent for today’s modern bra was issued in 1914, and for the last 100 years, women have been struggling to find the perfect fit.”

Wisniewski says the current sizing model is to blame for fitting issues, which is what led her to focus on customization.

“Every woman wears a bra and on average owns about eight. The bra industry is a $6.5 billion market, and continues to grow. That’s when we knew this idea really had potential.”

Other than her product-market fit, Wisniewski and Alvarez wowed the judges with their team presentation.

“We had models. We had music. We really woke the judges up,” says Wisniewski.

Jamie also credits her presentation skills to her role as a speech consultant in the university’s Public Speaking Resource Center.

“A lot of students have great business ideas, but struggle to keep, or even capture, the judges’ attention,” says Wisniewski. “I always tell students who come to the public speaking center, the first 30 seconds is the most important part of your speech.”

AJ Khubani, Montclair State alumni, founder, and CEO of "As Seen On TV" products giant TeleBrands and CEO of BulbHead.com, funded the contest.

“We are grateful for the generous gift from BulbHead and are excited to invest it into our business,” says Wisniewski. “Pitching before the judges who have mastered the art of inventing was an incredibly inspiring experience. We really valued their feedback and seeing their enthusiasm about our product was so rewarding.”

Wisniewski also credits her Master’s program for letting her explore her interests in entrepreneurship.

“I am grateful to have been able to pursue a certificate in entrepreneurship in the Feliciano School of Business while pursuing my degree in the School of Communication,” says Wisniewski. My advisor, Dr. Yi Luo, has always been supportive of my interests, and my entrepreneurship courses really complimented my communication research.”

Wisniewski will be graduating in May 2017, and plans to pursue her business and continue to teach public speaking, hopefully inspiring student-entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams.