University of British Columbia students named grand prize winners of RBC’s Next Great Innovator Challenge
RBC today announced University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business students Dave Rusli, Sherry Chen, John Young, Yulichia Ong as the $20,000 grand prize winners of the first RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge.
“Innovation is fundamental to everything we do and this initiative provided valuable insight into the future needs of the next generation of RBC customers,” said Marty Lippert, vice-chairman and group head, Global Technology & Operations at RBC. “Today’s teens will have a significant impact on the future of the Canadian financial services industry and we want to know how they think financial institutions should adapt in order to remain competitive.”
The RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge asked university and college students across Canada to look into the future and answer the question: How will today’s teens influence the financial services industry of tomorrow? RBC also asked them to describe an innovation, idea or concept that financial services should consider in light of this influence.
Some of the ideas presented to RBC by these forward-thinking, technology-savvy young Canadians included suggestions about personalizing the banking experience, rewards programs, education, branding and the use of technology to create a different client experience.
“Using non-traditional communication channels such as a blog and the avatar definitely helped us generate a tremendous amount of awareness about the contest,” said Anita Sands, vice-president, Innovation and Process Design. “Students passed along information about our contest to friends, classmates and colleagues and they’re already talking about next year’s challenge.”
As part of their experience, the top five teams spent time with Gord Nixon, president & chief executive officer and other senior executives of RBC. “This is a great initiative and contributes to RBC’s ability to maintain its leadership position in financial services, one of Canada’s most dynamic and innovative industries” said Nixon.
Over 100 proposals submitted from 45 schools across Canada were evaluated by the RBC Applied Innovation & Process Design team and narrowed down to the top 15 submissions. The RBC Innovation Council then reviewed these 15 submissions and selected the top five teams. The top five teams were then brought to Toronto for the final evaluation by the RBC Next Great Innovator judging panel.
The four runners up to the University of British Columbia team were York University’s Schulich School of Business team in second place; University of Ottawa’s School of Management team in third place; McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management team in fourth place; and University of Waterloo’s Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology team in fifth place.
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