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Manulife New Product Challenge: Market for Self-Control 2018

The Challenge is hosted by BEAR (Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman) and offered in collaboration with Rotman DesignWorks and CDL (Creative Destruction Lab) with thanks to our Presenting Sponsor Manulife.

The Challenge in a Nutshell

OPEN TO ALL UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO STUDENTS currently enrolled in a degree program are encouraged to participate. This includes both full-time and part-time students, across all campuses.


REGISTER YOUR TEAMS AS PARTICIPANTS!

Register Now

YOUR JOB:

  • In a team of 4 to 6, develop a product (or service) concept in the domain of self-control (e.g., to encourage savings or healthy behaviours, discourage procrastination, curbing consumption or sugary beverages, etc.)
  • Then develop a business plan for a new-venture around that product and pitch your idea. You will need to present evidence of feasibility and a tested or testable prototype (low-fidelity OK).
  • Attend an information session on the challenge on 1 December 2017 at the Rotman School (Room L1010, 4PM-6PM), and then prepare first round submissions by 22 January 2018. 
  • Five finalists will be chosen to make final pitches to a group of advisors and executives on 15 February 2018
  • Refine your pitching skills and get a shot at a cash prize. The winning team takes away $10,000, finalists receive $1000.

STAY TUNED!
We will be using Slack to help everyone stay up to date: https://msc-2018.slack.com We’ll be posting announcements and additional resources (to help you develop your idea) on the #general channel. To join our Slack page, click here (you must use this link to join as this is a unique invite link). When creating your display name, please include your full name, degree program, and year of graduation. E.g. JaneSmith_MBA_2018.

NEED TEAMMATES?
No problem! Please join our Slack page (click here) and join #findingteammates channel to join a team or find additional teammates!

 

For questions, contact Kim Ly (kim.ly@alumni.utoronto.ca) or Liz Kang (liz.kang@rotman.utoronto.ca). Join our MSC2018 mailing list for reminders and updates.

The Market for Self-Control

Research in behavioural economics finds that many consumers lack the willpower and motivation to act on many of their desires and goals. For instance, many consumers who wish they saved more for retirement or exercised regularly are unable to do so. There is a growing gap between consumers' intentions and actual behaviour; a gap that many consumers are often acutely aware of.

Fortunately, this growing intention-action gap creates a market for self-control products. Examples of self-control products include Clocky: The Runaway Alarm Clock (a clock that runs away when the snooze button is activated), KSafe (a time-locking jar that restricts access to goodies, smartphones or game consoles), Stickk (a website that uses incentives and peer-effects to encourage people to stick to goals), and several apps that block access to the Internet to allow people to get work done!

The Challenge

Each team will identify a specific behaviour in which they believe people lack self-control, and then develop a product concept to address this lack of self-control. The new product idea you come up with should meet a few criteria:

  1. Be based on some research and analyses that indicates a need for the product.
  2. Be a physical product, a service or a technological product (e.g., an app or a website) or a combination of the three.
  3. Be feasible: It should be within the realms of existing technology.

Then develop a business plan for a start-up venture that could launch your new product and be prepared to pitch your ideas. In your submissions, the judging panel will need to be convinced of the feasibility of the product. One way of doing this is to present a wireframe or prototype. Another way is to get the opinion of an expert, a manufacturer or a developer supporting the feasibility.

  • Round 1: Prepare a 4-minute video (maximum) and a 500 word summary, link will be available here on this page soon.
  • Round 2: In-person pitches

Timeline

November 24,2017

Registration Opens

December 1, 2017

Information Session

The info session will be held in Room1010 at the Rotman School of Management, 4pm-6pm (we aim to end at 5pm, leaving the rest of the time for questions).

January 18, 2018

Registration Closes

January 22, 2018

First round video submission due

January 26, 2018

Finalists are notified

January 29, 2018– February 14, 2018

Teams work with coaches
February 15, 2018 Final Pitches and Networking Reception

STAY TUNED!
We will be using Slack to help everyone stay up to date: https://msc-2018.slack.com We’ll be posting announcements and additional resources (to help you develop your idea) on the #general channel. To join our Slack page, click here (you must use this link to join as this is a unique invite link). When creating your display name, please include your full name, degree program, and year of graduation. E.g. JaneSmith_MBA_2018.

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