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MSc students explore the future of auto insurance for Digital Innovation Conference

Apr 19, 2024

Participants at the Ivey Digital Innovation Conference

Participants at the Ivey Digital Innovation Conference

Ivey’s MSc Digital Management students were challenged to envision how new technologies like autonomous driving and electric vehicles might shape the future of auto insurance for the inaugural Ivey Digital Innovation Conference (Digital Management stream).

The student-led event, held April 2-12, included workshops, relationship-building opportunities, and a mini-pitch competition. It culminated with a case competition focused on how the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Ontario can get ahead of the changes occurring within the automotive industry. In total, 62 students participated in the case challenge, working in teams to prepare their ideas. Five teams advanced to the finals on April 12 where they presented to judges for a chance at cash prizes.

A case competition exclusively for Digital Management students

The Ivey Digital Innovation Conference is modelled after a similar student-run conference and case competition in the fall for MSc, HBA, and MBA students, but is exclusively for MSc Digital Management (DM) students. It was organized by a team of MSc DM students including Laura Madill, Alexa Holmes, Reena Sakran, Jacey Vi, Hannah Ounkham, Deeksha Kooner, Rasha Silin, and Aylene van den Eijnden. The goal was to create a specific-stream case competition on a real-world problem as a lead in to the students’ upcoming Ivey Digital Innovation Studio (IDIS) course where they will work with several clients on business challenges.

“I truly believe that the Digital Management degree is unique and valuable. It stands at the crossroads of business and the swiftly advancing technological landscape,” said Laura Madill, Vice President of DM for the Ivey MSc Association and president of the IDIC organizing team. “I felt strongly about offering my peers the opportunity to not just absorb lessons not yet covered in the classroom, but also to engage with industry leaders and apply classroom theories to real-world corporate challenges as we gear up to participate in IDIS.”

Connecting students with industry professionals

The students spent two weeks tackling the problem of regulating auto insurance in the digitally transforming world while also participating in workshops with Ivey faculty and industry professionals to help them deliver high-quality solutions to FSRA. Topics included project management, systems thinking, executive storytelling, and professional pitch deck-building. Among other activities, the students worked with professionals from Disruptive Edge and TEALeaves and participated in a mini-pitch competition judged by professionals at the Morrissette Institute of Entrepreneurship Powered by Ivey.

The teams also worked with mentors from a variety of organizations to receive direct feedback on their progress.

Hannah Ounkham, Co-Vice President of Marketing/Communications for the event, said the chance to work with industry professionals gave the students insights that will help them in future careers.

“Students learn the industry partners' needs, refine their approach through IDIC's tailored workshops, and independently frame problems and craft solutions. This experience is invaluable for future careers where practical, hands-on problem-solving is core to professional jobs,” she said. “During IDIC, students become pivotal contributors in shaping business strategies, which equips them extensively for what lies ahead post-graduation.”

Congratulations to the winners

First place: Zeshan Ahmed, Jasmine Awatramani, Aarohan Bhaskar, and John Wojcik – $375 each
Second place: Ryan Cole, Noah Gans, Tracy Gerges, and Chiyu Song – $150 each
Third place: Jennie Chen, Qian Cong, Rachel Feigenbaum, and Sophie George – $75 each
FSRA Impact Award winners: Ryan Cole, Noah Gans, Tracy Gerges, and Chiyu Song – $20 each
Pitch competition award winners: Jennie Chen, Qian Cong, Rachel Feigenbaum, and Sophie George – $25 each

Thanks to the judges and mentors

Judges: FSRA – Michelle Dodokin, EMBA  ’16; Ryan McCrea, HBA '15; Parastoo Naghavi; Paul Shires. Ivey – Warren Ritchie, MSc Program Faculty Director.

Mentors: D Alwan (CIBC); Mike De Henestrosa (CIBC Wood Grundy: Seabrook Financial Group), MSc ’23; Salma El Adl (IBM), MSc ’22; Keerit Koonar (Deloitte Digital), MBA ’23; Leonardo Mathiazzi Lagnado (Rogers Communications); Karina Madill (RBC Wealth Management); Sean McIver (McKinsey & Company); Lameck Osinde (Ivey); Faye Ounkham (Loblaw Technology & Analytics); Mazi Raz, MBA ’05, PhD ’14 (Ivey); and Daniel Tran (Deloitte).