RBC in search of the Next Great Innovator
Competition challenges students to get creative
about their future work environment
TORONTO, September 28, 2009 — With the new school year underway,
most post-secondary students are busy thinking about life
on campus rather than life in the working world. But, with
the launch of its latest Next Great Innovator competition,
RBC is asking students to think beyond the classroom and reflect
on the workplace experience they'll face after graduation.
"Successful organizations understand that the workplace
is part of their competitive advantage," said Zabeen
Hirji, chief human resources officer, RBC. "As such,
it must evolve to reflect the shifting composition of the
Canadian workforce and the changing nature of work itself."
This year's competition has a total of $45,000 in prize money
and asks Canadian college and university students to suggest
innovative methods or tactics to transform the workplace to
match the needs of an evolving and diverse workforce.
"We value the opinions and innovative ideas generated
by students through the Next Great Innovator Challenge,"
said Avi Pollock, head, Applied Innovation, RBC. "We're
looking for fresh ideas that can be brought to life. Several
previous submissions have been launched in the market, and
we expect to see some promising concepts that will positively
shape the workplace of the future."
RBC is currently testing ideas submitted in previous years,
including the winning submission from 2007, the VIBE interactive
personal banking workstation. The winning team from last year's
Challenge designed a personal virtual online financial advisor
to answer any financial questions a customer might have.
The RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge has established itself
as the principal innovation contest open to all Canadian students.
The first three years of the contest alone have attracted
over 550 entries from schools across the country and $125,000
of prize money has been awarded.
Entries will be evaluated by the RBC Applied Innovation team
and narrowed down to the top 15 submissions. These entries
will then be reviewed by a panel of RBC executives and the
top four will be chosen as finalists. The panel will also
select five additional entries for the peer voting selection
process. A short synopsis of each peer voting entry will be
posted on www.nextgreatinnovator.com
with the leading vote-getting entry chosen as the fifth finalist
in January 2010.
Teams must register their intention to submit a proposal
online before November 1, 2009. All completed proposals must
be submitted by December 6, 2009.
The top five teams compete for monetary prizes, with $20,000
going to the winning team, $10,000 awarded to second place,
and $5,000 to 3 runner-up teams. Winners also receive an all-expense
paid trip to Toronto for the opportunity to meet with and
present their ideas to a judging panel that includes senior
RBC executives. The final evaluations and awards ceremony
will take place in March 2010 in Toronto.
For more information on the Next Great Innovator Challenge,
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Matt Gierasimczuk, Media Relations, 416-974-2124, firstname.lastname@example.org