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School's Out But RBC's Student Prototyping Challenge Is In Session

Post-secondary students and recent grads are put to the test and awarded $5,000 for best prototype

TORONTO, June 24, 2013 /CNW/ - Five post-secondary students and recent graduates have been named the winners of the first ever 24 hour RBC Next Great Innovator (NGI) Challenge Prototyping Event. The team was awarded $5,000 by a panel of RBC executives for creating a working prototype, including social media components, that would make everyday banking easier.

"It's been a really eye-opening experience for us to work with the students - we've been able to explore many creative and fresh ideas and concepts," said Avi Pollock, vice-president, Innovation and Strategic Planning, RBC and a judge of this year's competition. "We pride ourselves on being leaders in innovation at RBC, always finding new and better ways to do things. Becoming the first bank in North America to hold a 24 hour prototyping event seemed like a natural evolution of the NGI program."

The official challenge question asked participants to use the shared development platform, Heroku.com, to "build an innovative prototype for a mobile, tablet, web or desktop app that utilizes the power of social to seamlessly integrate banking into the daily lives of our clients."

The winning team was selected from 54 teams and 153 post-secondary students and recent graduates, representing 22 schools across Canada. Their prototype and idea focused on transferring money and sharing product and educational information between mobile devices by tapping them together.

"The experience of taking part in the first ever NGI Prototyping Event has been amazing. We walked away with a great prize, successfully solved a real-life business challenge under intense pressure and also got to present to senior executives," said Matthew Clark on behalf of the team. "The challenge put us to the test and we learned so much along the way. We're so proud of what we achieved in the last 24 hours and that we were named the winners of the challenge."

Participants had a week to prepare and 24 hours, from June 21 to 22, to bring the prototype to life, including presentations to a judging panel. The top five finalist teams underwent a second round of judging by a panel of RBC executives. An RBC recruitment booth was open to all challenge participants during the event.

For the past seven years, the RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge has taken the form of a nation-wide competition that asked college and university students to answer a real-world business challenge by providing an innovative idea. This year, the initiative took on a new approach to include four separate challenges taking place at various times throughout the year, including the new 24 hour prototyping event. Since its start in 2006, over 2,300 students have participated in the RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge.

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