Library Study Group

Concept Design and

Value-Added Entrepreneurship for Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences



APEC 3551 is a Concept Design course. The focus of this course is two fold: first in creating ideas that solve real consumer problems.  And second, determining if these ideas can be developed into consumer concepts that have viable commercial opportunities. The course is not a class on how to start a new venture. Rather the students are working on entrepreneurial thinking competencies that take them from: concept design as a solution to a real consumer problem; developing critical assumptions of required hypotheses needed for a realistic product roadmap; identifying acceptable target consumers; and demonstrating a path to transactional viability.  The final output of the class is what you see here - a feasibility plan and a product pitch. 


The pitch is 5 min with another 5 min reserved for Q&A.  The questions are submitted before they present by a professional panel that has reviewed their Executive Summaries.  The student’s task is to pitch a recommendation to their panel for approval to take the development project to the next stage. So this is a Go/No Go plan rather than a business plan.  The key experience for students is to practice skills in creativity, problem identification, opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial thinking, and decision-making in an economic context. These 10 plans represent some of the best demonstrations of these skills this past semester. I hope you enjoy the outstanding thinking of these CFANS students.

Course Process

APEC 3551 Course Flow Infographic.png

Portfolio Gallery

Top 10 Plans

Fall 2020


Bergstrom, Grace 

Animal Science

Cows eat hay. Large round hay bales are often bound with a petroleum-based plastic wrap that can pose numerous challenges to removal and pose health threat to cows that try and eat them. EdibleNet is an alternative woven net bale wrap that is made from hemp that does not require removal and can be safely consumed by ruminants.

FoodPal App

Clark, Megan 

Food Science


Food waste is an issue in the home for both food safety and cost. The FoodPal app solves this problem by tracking and managing your food inventory. Use the app to scan your grocery purchases and keep track of the remaining safe shelf-life for your food. App also creates grocery lists and suggests recipes you can use to create meals from your left-overs.


Huisman, Makayla 

Animal Science, Food Business Management

Underweight piglets have higher survival risk and can be uneconomical to farmers. The PICU is the piglet intensive care unit that can quickly turn around a underweight piglet and get them back to health. The PICU is a stand-alone piglet feeding system that provides a surrogate replacement for sows that is designed to help underweight piglets get the essential nutrition they need to catch-up.

C&S Seed Detector

Johnson, Sydney 

Applied Economics, Journalism

A novel hand-held laser detector that can accurately measure the underground seed depth without digging into the soil. Requires a proprietary coating on the seed that can also double as a pesticide pre-treatment, the C&S Seed Detector is a patentable approach to making sure planters are working properly and crops have the optimal seed depth for germination success.

Backyard Buzz Adopt-a-Hive

Krueger, Alexander 

Applied Economics

Gardeners and plant enthusiasts rely on bees to help ensure beautiful blooms and harvests. Backyard Buzz is a service that puts a working beehive in your backyard. Backyard Buzz will come out to your yard or garden, assess for hive location and success, and then set-up and maintain a working hive for the season. In the fall, Backyard Buzz comes back to harvest the honey and then safely packs up the bees for winter. You get three jars of your own honey and the bees get sent to California for the winter. Renew your hive every year with Backyard Buzz.


Lobak, Vladyslav 

Food Business Management, Entrepreneurship

A novel hand-held electric skate truck wrench for skaters and skate boarders. This tool is designed to fit conveniently in the palm of your hand that helps you quickly change all the wheels on your skate board or shoe skates. Don't waste time or risk damaging your skates using a clumsy wrench when you can use the re-chargeable electric T-Tool.

Restrooms for All

Qu, Junhong

Applied Economics

This app is the AirBnB meets Uber for public restrooms. The COVID pandemic has made the availability of public rest rooms scarce and a worrisome concern for travelers or anyone out about town. The app is a location and transaction provider to identify pay-to-use services for rest room facilities. Now restaurants and other places of businesses can safely charge for restroom use and allows customers to know they can find facilities when they are out and about.

The Lunch Lab

Richmond, Elizabeth 

Food Business Management


The Lunch Lab is a subscription meal kit service created especially for kids! These delicious meal kits are designed to help kids learn how to cook safely and to learn where their food comes from.

Sherpa Cart

Schwartz, Louis 

Applied Economics

The Sherpa Cart is a novel electric cart system that can carry all your camping gear while you are on your favorite trail. The Sherpa Cart also has solar panels to help recharge your devices and can carry up to 300 lbs of firewood and other camping essentials.

Eco-Green Biodigester

Xiao, Shengkai 

Applied Economics


The Eco-Green Biodigester is a DIY backyard-sized biodigester that can convert your food and kitchen organic waste into methane biogas that can be now be captured and re-used to burn in your outdoor grill or gas stove.


Yoon, Soyoung 

Applied Economics


Meal.K is a retail smoothie shop concept for the South Korean urban market. Active Korean consumers on the go can stop by a Meal.K smoothie shop and purchase a nutritious and delicious meal replacement smoothie shake on their way to school or work.

Zucchi Bread

Zielke, Sophia 

Applied Economics, University Honors Program

Consumers on a gluten-free diet want more choices for bread products that both nutritious as well as good tasting. Zucchi bread is a frozen loaf of gluten-free bread made with zucchini puree to provide bread-like body and a source of fiber. Zucchi bread comes in original, chocolate chip, and lemon poppyseed flavors for $7.99 a loaf and can be found in the freezer section of Whole Foods and Fresh Thyme stores near you.