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The Rotman Design Challenge (RDC) is a live event at the Rotman School of Management that brings together top talent from leading MBA and design schools across the globe to propose solutions to a complex business challenge posed by an innovative and forward-thinking sponsor.

This is not just another case competition, the RDC is a unique event that allows students to put design theories into practice in a collaborative environment where they are supported by academics, professionals, and consultants from the fields of business and design.

Using creative problem solving techniques and frameworks from both the business and design disciplines, over 125 students will have the opportunity to share their experiences and to compete for top prizes.


“Innovation is the way to win.”
— Steve Jobs


The Challenge

On February 9 & 10, 2019 join us at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. At Rotman, we know that the mindsets and practices behind great design can be applied to solve business problems. Business design blends design methodologies and business acumen to identify broader opportunities, create new ideas and accelerate market success.

Hosted by the Business Design Club, the student-led club for design thinking at the Rotman School of Management, the Rotman Design Challenge (RDC) is the largest student-run international design case competition. RDC will change the way you approach problem solving. Build empathy, prototype, and solicit feedback to develop an impactful business strategy.

RDC provides you the opportunity to compete against top tier business & design schools. The challenge is open to masters-level students of any field. We hope you’ll join us!

What you are competing for:

  • 1st Place: CAD $10,000

  • 2nd Place: CAD $5,000

  • 3rd Place: CAD $3,000

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Application Guidelines

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1. Create a video (3 minutes max.)answering the following:
a. Tell us about your team.
b. Share a unique or fun fact about your team.
c. What company would greatly benefit with the application of business
design. Why and in what ways?
Note: Extra points for creativity!

2. Upload the video on YouTube. Ensure that it is viewable by anyone.

3. Fill-up the registration form and include the YouTube link: http://bit.ly/RDC2019

4. Please submit your team members’ resume to rotmandesignchallenge@rotman.utoronto.ca to be included in the resume book for potential employers.

5. Please pay the registration fee of C$400 per team here: http://paypal.me/rdc2018/400. Add your name and team name on the “Add a note” section. Please pay in the whole amount of $400 (NOT divided among members). We will offer refund to those who won’t get accepted into the competition.

Each team must be comprised of 4 to 6 masters-level students. We encourage MBA students to work with students from other graduate programs.

Note: Teams from the Rotman School of Management are required to include at least ONE (1) Business Design Club member.

We are looking for creativity, clarity and enthusiasm!

Deadline to register: January 10, 2019 @ 5PM Eastern Time


Past Challenges



Sponsor: Target
Winning school: Rotman School of Management, Toronto, Canada

How can TARGET leverage its Expect More. Pay Less® brand promise and its mantra of “Design for All” to become and be recognized as a leading company in sustainability?




Sponsor: Steelcase
Winning school: IIT Institute of Design, Chicago, USA

Describe how Steelcase, the world’s preeminent supplier of office furniture, and a company grounded in the research and understanding of user behavior, will continue to play to win in this evolving work environment over the next 20 years.



Sponsor: Fidelity Labs
Winning school: Booth School of Business, Chicago, USA

How might Fidelity Investments respond to shifting demographic dynamics and best meet the emerging needs of its customers?



Sponsor: Telus
Winning school: Kellogg School of Management, Evanston, USA

As the future of work is rapidly changing, how might TELUS develop, attract and retain top talent to achieve this aspiration over the next five years?



Sponsor: CIBC
Winning school: Rotman School of Management, Toronto, Canada

How can CIBC become a leader in financial planning for our clients by scaling beyond traditional channels, over the next 10 years?



sponsor: ???
winning school: ???

Who will be the next company that RDC will transform? Get clues by following BDC's Instagram account: @rotmanbdc




January 10, 2019           

January 12, 2019

January 15, 2019            

February 7, 2019         

February 9 & 10, 2019       

 Team applications due (@ 5pm Eastern Time) 

Final Teams Announcement (Rolling Basis)

Case Launch

Presentations due (@ 5pm Eastern Time) 

RDC case competition weekend in Toronto, Canada

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Past Participating Schools

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RDC 2018 Winning Teams

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Team Golden Egg




Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto


105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3E6 Canada


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