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Professor Tony Frost in an Ivey Classroom

Media Release

Ivey undergraduate students take four finalist spots in innovation challenge

RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge


LONDON, ON, January 21, 2010 - Teams from Ivey's HBA program have sewn up four of the five finalist spots in this year's RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge. The four teams from the Richard Ivey School of Business will be joined by a fifth team which still has to be chosen for the finals in Toronto and the chance to win $20,000.

"A foundation of the Ivey HBA program is the diversity of our class. Our students are very strong academically and have also been selected for their success in a wide range of pursuits. This helps create an innovative learning environment that is second to none. I'm extremely pleased that these results show the calibre of our students," said Darren Meister, Faculty Director of Ivey's HBA Program.

The innovation challenge posed by RBC this year was to "Suggest innovative methods or tactics to transform the workplace to match the needs of an evolving and increasingly diverse workforce."

The four teams that have made the finals:

  • Jelly Beans - (Britney Fleischmann, Christina Damiani, Patrick Duncan, Laura Cukier, Jason Levy)
  • Midnight Express - (Munir Madhavji, Simon Lam, Jonathan Wan, Jyoti Brar, Lulu Li, Umair Saad)
  • Dragonfly - (Nikki Halliwell, Jillian Rodak, Bridget Heslin-daSilva, Phil Gene, Joel Belisle, Michael Sharp)
  • The Technologists - (Mohamed Punjani, Lorne Creighton, Patrick Heath, David Marantz, Anand Patel)

The fifth team to be added to the finals will be chosen based on audience votes. For more information, please see The top five teams will compete for $45,000 in prizes. The first-place team wins $20,000, the second place wins $10,000 and the remaining teams split $5,000 each.

Even more valuable than the cash, the winning team also has the opportunity to present its idea to RBC executives and the possibility of seeing the idea in practice. RBC is currently testing the winning entry from year two of the contest. This is the fourth year of the challenge.


About the Richard Ivey School of Business

The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario ( offers undergraduate (HBA) and graduate degree programs (MBA, Executive MBA and PhD) in addition to non-degree Executive Development programs. Ivey has campuses in London (Ontario), Toronto, and Hong Kong. Ivey recently redesigned its curriculum to focus on Cross-Enterprise Leadership - a holistic issues-based approach to management education that meets the demands of today's complex global business world.




For more information, please contact:
Dawn Milne, Richard Ivey School of Business, 519-850-2536,