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UC Graduate Students Take Second Place in International Business Design Competition


College of Business graduate students combined business fundamentals and innovative thinking to win second place at the Rotman Design Challenge at the University of Toronto on Saturday, March 26.

Date: 3/29/2011 12:00:00 AM
By: Jessica Rutan
Phone: (513) 556-7162

UC ingot   Graduate students from the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Business and College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning earned second place at the Rotman Design Challenge on Saturday, March 26 at the University of Toronto. Competing against 17 teams from the US and Canada, the UC team successfully fused business and design theory to develop an innovative solution to the real-world case study.
UC Rotman Design Challenge Team
College of Business & DAAP students collaborated to win second place in international business design competition.

Partnering with the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation and Doblin Innovation Consultants, the second annual Rotman Design Challenge presented a case study in the area of health and wellness. Specifically, teams were expected to address the issue of prediction and prevention in health care by designing innovative product or service concepts with comprehensive business/marketing plans.

The UC team, including Master of Science in Marketing students, Bhavik Joshi, Amanda Hagedon and Mahsino Blamoh, and Master of Design student Ryan Rosensweig, proposed a solution designed to relieve stress for patient caregivers. “Our literature reviews and in-depth discussions with experts highlighted the severity and magnitude of health concerns facing patient caregivers and the opportunity that Mayo Clinic has to alleviate their stress,” says Joshi. Team captain Rosensweig adds: “In preparing for the competition, we took full advantage of the unparalleled resources available at UC. We talked with gerontologists from the College of Medicine, nurses from the College of Nursing and designers specialized in aging consumers. We also accessed the vast library resources on the subject and engaged business faculty to help define our marketing strategy.”

Students presented a comprehensive and integrated care solution including the following solution concepts.
  • A prototype of an educational tool-kit to help people recognize their role as caregivers early, and to enable them to have crucial conversations about it with their loved ones.
  • A caregiver resource search engine to help caregivers find the right solutions for their and the patients’ specific needs.
  • An adult day care center which would not only take care of the patients’ needs and comforts but would also share certain caregiver responsibilities thus saving them time and effort.
Lorna Ross, Design Manager at Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation was impressed by the comprehensiveness of the solutions presented by the UC team. Ross applauded the team’s choice of target audience and mentioned that the Mayo Clinic has been working on the same issue of stress relief for patient caregivers for some time now.

“Our team succeeded because we were all T-shaped students – we have diverse backgrounds and developed mastery in our fields, yet we are eager to collaborate and work with others,” said Rosensweig.  “It was this combination of expertise and breadth that allowed us to very quickly dive into the problem and coordinate an outcome that responded to our target users’ needs.”

Connected through their passion for business and design, members of the UC Rotman Design Challenge team met while working at the Live Well Collaborative and have all received training in systematic inventive thinking, a course taught in the College of Business by Drew Boyd, executive director of the MS-Marketing program. “With a design school recognized in the top 30 in the world, and a business school known for it’s top 100 M.B.A., the University of Cincinnati is the perfect incubator for creating innovative global leaders,” says Boyd. 

The student team from Ontario College of Art & Design was awarded first place for their concept Mayo Moms, a concept designed to address the lack of a breast-feeding culture in the US. The winning team received a $1,500 prize for their proposal.