RBC launches search for next great innovator

    Challenge asks Canadian students to think globally

    TORONTO, Sept. 23 /CNW/ - RBC today launched its third annual Next Great
Innovator Challenge, asking students to: "Suggest an innovative concept,
product or process from another part of the world or different industry that
Canadian Financial Services providers should adopt."
    "With Canada's innovation performance receiving a near failing grade
according to a recent Conference Board of Canada report, it is critical for
Canadian businesses to promote and foster a culture of innovation in order to
compete on the global stage," said Avi Pollock, head, Applied Innovation, RBC.
"The Next Great Innovator Challenge exemplifies the importance of innovation.
It offers RBC the opportunity to tap into new points of view and new ways of
thinking. We feel this year's Challenge question will allow students to apply
their diverse backgrounds, prior experiences, and "on the ground" market
    Working in teams of three or four, students must submit a unique and
innovative idea that addresses the Challenge question. Teams must register
their intention to submit a proposal online before October 26, 2008. All
completed proposals must be submitted by December 5, 2008.
    Submissions will be evaluated by the RBC Applied Innovation team and
narrowed down to the top 15 submissions. These 15 submissions will then be
reviewed by the RBC Innovation Council and the top four submissions will be
chosen. The Council will also select five additional submissions for the peer
voting selection process. A short synopsis of each entry that is eligible for
peer voting will be posted on www.nextgreatinnovator.com and the entry
receiving the most votes in the voting period will be chosen as the fifth
finalist in January 2009.
    The top five teams will compete for over $45,000 in prizes and 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 2009 in Toronto.
    The winning idea from the 2007 Challenge, which focused on personalizing
the banking experience, is currently being tested internally by RBC's Applied
Innovations team. RBC's student peer-to-peer (p2p) information exchange site -
www.rbcp2p.com - is an initiative based on an idea from the Challenge's first
    The Challenge also leverages several web 2.0 and social media tools to
keep students engaged and up to date. With tools including text alerts,
Twitter, a blog, online workspaces as well as team and university profiles,
this year's website for the Challenge provides even more ways for students to
collaborate with one another as well as communicate and gather feedback from
RBC and their peers.
    For more information on the Next Great Innovator Challenge, visit

For further information:

For further information: Jackie Braden, RBC, Media relations, (416)

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