RBC in search of the Next Great Innovator

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.

This year’s competition has a total of $45K 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.

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 Canada and $125K in prize money has been awarded. RBC is currently testing ideas submitted in previous years, including the winning submission from 2007, the VIBE interactive personal banking workstation.

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.

The top five teams compete for monetary prizes, with $20K going to the winning team, $10K awarded to second place, and $5K0 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.

Teams must register their intention to submit a proposal online before November 1, 2009. All completed proposals must be submitted by December 6, 2009.