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Ryerson University students awarded $20,000 grand prize in RBC’s Next Great Innovator challenge

Finalists from Rotman, York University and Ryerson University

TORONTO, March 6, 2008 — RBC today announced Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University graduate students Kent Chin, Stephen Kershaw, Maggie Yang and Gavin Yeung as the national winners of the 2008 RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge. The Ryerson team was awarded the $20,000 grand prize for their winning idea called VIBE, a personal banking workstation that combines the best of personal banking, ATM services and online banking in an "anytime, anywhere" fashion.

"The most compelling thing about this year's winning idea is that it aligns with our vision of how to provide banking services to our diverse client base across Canada, and around the world," said Marty Lippert, vice-chairman and group head, Global Technology and Operations. "This year's finalists represent some of Canada's best and brightest students, and their innovative idea will increase accessibility to RBC's services, making it easier for our clients to do business with us."

"Congratulations to the winning team of graduate students from Ryerson's Ted Rogers School of Management," said Sheldon Levy, president, Ryerson University. "Their success demonstrates that the Ted Rogers School of Management develops students who are immediately able to contribute to Canadian business."

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."

Some of the ideas presented to RBC this year included innovations that personalize the banking experience, deliver financial education to students and families, as well as products and services for new Canadian immigrants, small businesses and entrepreneurs.

"The world is moving into a new era of consumer-designed products and services, and our success in the marketplace will be based on our ability to understand and meet the needs of an increasingly diverse customer base," said Anita Sands, senior vice-president, Innovation and Process Design. "The Next Great Innovator Challenge is about open innovation and collaboration with our clients, and it creates the perfect forum for our next generation clients to share opinions and to be heard."

RBC recently launched a peer-to-peer (p2p) information exchange site— www.rbcp2p.com based on an idea from last year's challenge.

Over 100 proposals submitted from schools across Canada were evaluated by the RBC Applied Innovation team and narrowed down to the top 15 submissions. The RBC Innovation Council then reviewed these 15 submissions and selected the top four team finalists. A fifth finalist team 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.

A team from Rotman came in second place, winning $10,000, followed by the three runners up: York University's Schulich and two other teams from Rotman, each receiving $5,000.

Additional details on the RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge can be found at: www.nextgreatinnovator.com.

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Media contact:
Jackie Braden, RBC media relations, 416-974-2124, jackie.braden@rbc.com

Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University graduate students Gavin Yeung, Kent Chin, Maggie Yang and Stephen Kershaw named grand prize winner of the 2008 RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge and were awarded $20,000


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03/06/2008 09:08:24