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News . Feature Stories . CIA Industrial Design Grads Win $25,000 For Innovation

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June 07, 2012

CIA Industrial Design Grads Win $25,000 For Innovation

Nesl, the whimsical desktop organizer created by three CIA students, is the winner of the William McShane Fund contest.

CIA Industrial Design Grads Win $25,000 For Innovation

Designers Josh Dryden, Peter Whitworth, and Sam Li got a big boost in putting nesl on store shelves. Their recent William McShane Fund award gives the team $25,000 on top of the more than $30,000 they raised through the online funding platform Kickstarter.

It also creates an opportunity to strike a deal with Brookstone, the lifestyle retailer, to sell the nesl. The William McShane Fund contest, which was created to encourage new product innovation, was decided through a combination of jury selection and online votes.

Dryden, Whitworth, and Li created nesl during their senior year in CIA's Industrial Design program. The nesl consists of nine rubber fingers that can hold pens and pencils, grasp a smart phone, or keep a desktop cord from sliding around. The project beat out runners-up Hickie rubber shoe laces and the Remee dream-enhancing sleep mask.

"We'd definitely like Brookstone to sell it," said Dryden. The prize money will help the team patent the design and start another project, he added. The team has found a Cleveland firm to manufacturer the nesl, and will produce and sell the product one way or another.

The William McShane Fund was founded this year by Brookstone and Buckyballs, the desktop toy, to encourage innovation. Click here to learn more about the design process behind nesl.

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