English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

McDaniel Innovation Challenge winner focused on untapped market for women in STEM

The Carroll County Times

April 17, 2019


Rachael Fox found the seed of a $10,000 business pitch buried in mud and pond water.

The McDaniel junior is an environmental studies major. In the fall semester, a female expert in her field visited the classroom, but while they were doing lab work, the expert revealed one of her frustrations to Rachael.

Because it’s so difficult to find muck boots and waders in women’s sizes, she is often slowed down by too-big boots that get stuck in the mud and waders that bunch out and let in water.

Fox was the grand prize winner of the fourth annual Innovation Challenge at McDaniel College, where student groups pitch their business ideas to a panel of four professional judges. As a result of her win, she took home $10,000 of capital, which she will use to begin prototypes for her company Fox Boots.

“Shoes are just a basic necessity. And if you don't have that in the field, you definitely will feel uncomfortable or you might feel at a disadvantage,” Fox said.

The Fox Boots mission statement is to "Build a women’s boot company that creates a reliable and comfortable product that assists any woman in her outdoor needs."

Fox competed against four other finalists narrowed down from a pool of 18. The contestants had just seven minutes to present their ideas to the judges, though many spent weeks or even years refining their ideas.