A team of five students from McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management has been recognized as the "Most Innovative MBA Team in the World" at the 2006 Innovation Challenge competition at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business, beating out 439 teams of graduate business students from around the globe.
The world's largest competition for business innovation, the event attracted teams from 88 universities who competed to present solutions to real-world problems facing major corporations.
Desautels MBA candidates Heather Powers, Kanhaiya Sinha, Stavros Tsokonas and Luc Tran and architecture doctoral student Jonathan Powers developed the two winning programs in the final round on November 17 and 18. Their entries, which garnered a $20,000 prize, focused on helping DaimlerChrysler to connect with baby boomers, and Hilton Hotels to grow through partnerships. Details of the winning programs cannot be disclosed as they are now the intellectual property of DaimlerChrysler and Hilton Hotels.
Unlike a traditional business plan competition, Innovation Challenge rewards innovation and features crowdcasting, whereby corporations bypass high-priced consultants and in-house marketers by harnessing insights from the world's top business students. Five corporations – DaimlerChrysler, General Electric, American Express OPEN, Whirlpool and Hilton Hotels – submitted problems to teams of three to five students.
A panel of judges from sponsors, industry and academia selected the McGill team for its consistently innovative proposals. Teams from the Kenan-Flagler School at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and Sloan School of Management at MIT finished second and third, respectively.
In last year's competition, the McGill team finished 15th among 321 teams from 83 universities in 18 countries.
To view a video announcement of the award, go to YouTube.