Media Releases

Rotman Business Design Challenge won by IIT

March 19, 2013

TORONTO, ON – For the second consecutive year a team of students from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design have won the Rotman Design Challenge. Hosted by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management on March 2 and 3, the Challenge has emerged as the premier international competition for business and design students looking to tackle challenging problems in business innovation.

The Challenge, organized by Rotman MBA students in the Rotman Business Design Club, attracted students from business and design schools across Canada and the United States as well as Finland.

Using creative problem-solving techniques and frameworks from both the business and design disciplines, the teams had to develop a solution to a question posed to them by Challenge sponsor, TARGET. The company asked the teams, “How can TARGET leverage its Expect More. Pay Less® brand promise and it’s mantra of “Design for All” to become and be recognized as a leading company in sustainability?”

Representing the winning team from IIT were Wojtek Tusz, Thomas Gaskin, Katie Kowaloff and Stephanie Smith.

Coming in second was a team from MIT’s Sloan School of Management with members Patricia Dodson, Naiomi Eliason, Steve Frechette, Craig Hosang and Greg Fiore. Placing third was a team of MBA students from the Rotman School with members Amy Chong, Terri Block, Dhrupad Kaplish, Gurinder Khurana and Tom Lowden. A second Rotman team also made the finals along with a team from OCAD University.

“As a company known for innovation and design, Target is proud to have sponsored the Rotman Design Challenge,” said John Morioka, senior vice-president, Merchandising, Target Canada. “It is inspiring to see business and design students from around the world apply their knowledge and creative problem solving techniques in such a practical manner.”

In addition to the competition, the Challenge provided an opportunity for participants to hear a presentation on design and innovation by Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School.           

“We are thrilled to have been part of such a meaningful event for Rotman School. The Challenge continues to gain recognition and importance for the participating schools and is now attracting great interest from the business community. This year the quality of teams and presentations far exceeded our expectations. We would like to thank all of our participants, judges, volunteers and sponsors who made this event possible. We’re delighted to pass the torch to next year’s planning committee and can’t wait to see what happens,” say Christine Wheatley (MBA’13) and Talia Vinograd (MBA’13), managing directors of the Rotman Design Challenge.

For more information on the Challenge visit:

For more information on the Rotman Business Design Club visit:

The Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto is redesigning business education for the 21st century with a curriculum based on Integrative Thinking. Located in the world’s most diverse city, the Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables the design of creative business solutions.  The School is currently raising $200 million to ensure Canada has the world-class business school it deserves. For more information, visit


For more information, contact:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Tel: 416-946-3818
Follow Rotman on Twitter @rotmanschool
Watch Rotman on You Tube