Later this month, two MBA students from Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics are going to tell a bunch of corporate types in the business of making toothpaste that they should stop making toothpaste.
But the executives asked for it. Honest.
It’s all part of a futuristic idea for a new oral hygiene product imagined by MBA candidate Jackie Becerra and MBA/MFA candidate Isaac Rosales for their entry into the Henkel Innovation Challenge 7. Their idea earned them a spot in the contest’s semifinals, to be held Feb. 25 in Irvine. Henkel, which sells a vast number of home-care and personal products throughout Europe and several in the United States – think Dial and Purex – invites students each year to pitch them an idea that might be just what consumers in the year 2050 will need and want.
Becerra’s and Rosales’ concept? As they see it, water will be at a premium in the future, so they devised the concept of a waterless oral health care tablet that would draw on nanotechnology and do all the foamy and brushy business without turning a tap – or wherever water will come from in 2050. The packaging they envision would be edible and the instructions would be stamped right onto the tasty tablet.
“We were kind of thinking of movies like Minority Report. How would the world look in 2050?” says Rosales.
The project is not just a creative exercise, though. With guidance from their mentor, Carolyn Stephens, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Argyros School, the students must also prepare a presentation which requires a financial forecast, marketing plan and an analysis of existing products and expected technology that could shape this invention in a real world.
If their concept wins at the semifinals in Irvine, they will travel to Dusseldorf, Germany, for the international competition and a shot at winning an around-the-world trip valued at 10,000 euros. Last year a Chapman MBA team advanced to Shanghai for the national competition. With luck, Becerra and Rosales will be packing soon, toothbrushes and all.