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RBC announces top five team finalists for Next Great Innovator Challenge

TORONTO, February 12, 2008 — RBC today announced the five team finalists for the 2008 RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge™. This year's finalists are from York University's Schulich School of Business, Ryerson's Ted Rogers School of Management and three teams from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Business.

"Selecting five finalists from more than 100 incredible submissions was a challenge," said Dr. Anita Sands, senior vice-president, Innovation and Process Design. "This year's entries were some of the best we've seen and these five finalists made a strong impression on the judges as well as the student voters. Any one of them could be Canada's Next Great Innovator."

This year's Challenge asked university and college students from across Canada to "describe an innovation, idea or concept that Canadian financial institutions should consider to make it easier for clients to do business with us." Working in teams of three or four, students were asked to submit a unique and innovative idea related to the Challenge.

Here are the five team finalists and their innovative ideas:

Ebiz Innovators (Rotman) - Create a parent-friendly banking services initiative for children and pre-teens; appealing to children and trusted by parents.

Breakthrough Concepts (Rotman) - Offer an integrated suite of back office services for small business owners; services they value, provided in one place from their trusted financial services provider.

Hype Cyclists (Rotman) - Establish a "mass" managed venture fund collecting funds and expertise from many independent investors for the purpose of investing in small businesses ventures.

RUMBA (Ryerson MBA) - Evolve the retail banking experience using a personal banking workstation to combine the best of personal banking, ATM services and online banking in an "anytime, anywhere" fashion.

Three Bean Salad (Schulich Undergrad) - Offer a simple-to-use, customizable, online budgeting tool for students and young adults that automatically sorts clients' debit and
credit card purchases into various expense categories and produces a summary of their monthly expenses.

Proposals were evaluated by the RBC Applied Innovation team and narrowed down to the top 15 submissions. The RBC Innovation Council reviewed these 15 submissions and selected the top four teams as finalists. The fifth finalist was chosen after more than 3,400 votes were submitted through a peer-voting selection process, in which the Council invited the public to choose the last finalist from five additional Challenge submissions.

The national winner will be awarded $20,000, second place will receive $10,000 and the three other finalists will receive $5,000 respectively.

"At RBC, we strive to be innovative in everything we do and connect what is possible to what is valuable to our clients," said Sands. "The RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge gives students the opportunity to significantly impact the future of the Canadian financial services industry, and in fact, we are currently in the process of implementing two winning ideas from last year's Challenge."

The top five teams will be evaluated by the RBC Next Great Innovator judging panel consisting of some of RBC's top executives. The final evaluations and awards ceremony will take place on February 21, 2008, when RBC's Next Great Innovator will be announced. All finalists will be featured on The Next Great Innovator Challenge website at: www.nextgreatinnovator.com.

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For more information and to book interviews, please contact:
Jackie Braden, RBC, Media Relations, (416) 974-2124


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02/20/2008 09:04:39