Is the competition just about tech?
The competition is about developing business and financial models to leverage technology in order to create value through addressing social and environmental sustainability concerns. Technology is the theme, but the competition gets at the root of a larger opportunity: how does sustainability become integrated into core business models?
Your solutions must be measurable, well supported, creative, and actionable.
Can the A4SICC team vet our idea before we apply?
In the interest of fairness to all teams, the A4SICC team will not provide specific, individual recommendations as to whether or not an idea is appropriate for the competition.
We encourage teams to ask as many questions as possible of us at the November 7th information session, so that we can provided clarity to everyone in a fair manner.
How will the winner/runner-up be selected?
The winner and runner-up will be selected by a panel of judges on March 30th, 2019. The same rubric will be used for both the first and second (final) round of presentations; however, the judging panels will be different.
Who are the judges?
Industry experts representing A4SICC sponsors, partners, and advisers
Is there a format for the presentation?
You will have 15 minutes (timed and strictly adhered to) with the judges to spend as you see fit. This will be followed by up to 10 minutes of questions.
If you submit your slide decks before Wednesday March 27th, 2019 we (the A4SICC team) will check your presentation on the actual computers you will be presenting on at Rotman. This is an option, not a requirement; however, we cannot guarantee function/format of presentations which have not been tested on the actual equipment at Rotman.
Will we get to watch other teams?
Everyone will be able to watch the finalists on Saturday afternoon. Presentations on Saturday morning (first round) are closed to everyone but the timers, judges, and team presenting.
Will we be able to ask questions after the application deadline?
Yes. Once the teams have been selected, we will ask that all teams submit a list of questions within 1 week of the teams being announced. We will compile all of the questions and answers together and release them to all teams at the same time.
After that period, we will only answer questions about competition logistics.
Do we need a title page?
Your executive summary must have a title page with the following information:
Proposed venture name (if different from the team name)
List of team members along with their school, program, and expected graduation date (MM/YY)
ONE email address through which the team can be contacted
What should the executive summary cover?
The executive summary should outline your sustainable, technology enabled business and financial model, and the key features which make it feasible, sustainable, scalable, and measurable.
What should the executive summary NOT cover?
With only a single page to summarize the business model, we would recommend that teams do not spend any time talking about what makes them a great team (that is what the team outline is for!)
We do not expect to see extensive details of the model(s) during the application period, but key points on what makes it work in the context of the case challenge should be clear.
What should the single page team outline cover?
The single page outline should be an expression of what makes your team ideally suited to the competition, and why you are interested in competing.
It can be formal or creative in format, all we ask is that it is focused on your strengths as a team, not your business model.
How to send the single page team outline?
Please include it as the third page in your PDF containing the title page (1st page) and executive summary (2nd page), with the optional fourth page for the travel fund application (details below).
How to send the executive summary?
Executive summaries must be emailed in PDF FORMAT ONLY to A4SICC@rotman.utoronto.ca by 11:59pm EST on January 19th, 2019.
If there are any technical difficulties with the application, please reach out to us and we will be happy to help.
Do we have to be from a business school?
No, but the financial rigor of models presented will be carefully evaluated, so a healthy dose of business acumen is strongly recommended.
Do we need to have any previous detailed knowledge about the tech industry?
Do we have to be from a graduate level institute?
No, both graduate and undergraduate university/college students are welcome
Do we have to be students?
Yes, both at the time of the application and during the competition (January - March, 2019)
How are teams selected to attend?
Once the application deadline has been reached, the A4SICC team will organize the applications and pass them onto our judges. The judges will select the teams who will be attending.
When will we be notified?
January 26th, 2019.
Is there a limit to how many teams from a single school may apply?
No, we welcome applications from all teams.
Is there any cost to apply?
Do all team members have to be from the same school and/or program?
How many people are allowed per team?
Where to stay?
Holiday Inn (280 Bloor Street West, Toronto)
Intercontinental (220 Bloor Street West, Toronto)
Many other hotel options in the area!
What transportation is available in Toronto?
Transit (TTC streetcars, buses, and subway), Uber, Lyft, taxis, walking (bring a coat, it can still be quite cold in March).
How do we get to Toronto?
The nearest airport is the Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ) on Toronto Island, which is practically in the downtown core. However, flights into YTZ only come from within a few hours flight of Toronto (i.e. New York, Montreal, Chicago).
The nearest large international airport is the Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) which connects to the city through the Union Pearson Express (rail) as well as the TTC, ride sharing companies (Uber, Lyft), and taxis (typical cost for a taxi to the downtown core is approximately $65 CAD.)
The city of Toronto is also accessible by train and coach bus.
Are there any Canadian visa requirements?
Please go to http://www.cic.gc.ca/ and check the requirements for your country.
Will meals be provided?
We will be providing the following meals (at no cost to competitors): light breakfast on Saturday, lunch on Saturday, dinner on Saturday.
There will also be a reception on Friday evening at which refreshments will be served (also at no cost to competitors).
What if we have special dietary needs?
If your team is selected for the competition we will ask that you submit any dietary needs along with the confirmation of your attendance so that we may accommodate them to the best of our ability.
Is there a dress code for the competition?
We encourage teams to dress professionally for both the presentations and events - business attire.
What is the schedule for the two days of the competition?
The general outline for the schedule is as follows:
March 29, 2019 - Evening - Competitors check in at Rotman
March 29, 2019 - Evening - Reception at Rotman
March 30, 2019 - Morning - Breakfast and first round at Rotman
March 30, 2019 - Afternoon - Lunch, followed by a final round at Rotman
March 30, 2019 - Evening - Dinner, location to be determined, awards given
Please refer to the website and communications from the A4SICC team for updates on the schedule closer to the competition date.
Are translators available?
No, all presentations and documents should be submitted in English.
What about intellectual property?
The A4SICC team will respect specific individual team requests not to share slide decks, executive summaries, and other potentially sensitive information with external parties such as members of the A4S network and or social media. By participating in the competition teams are not agreeing to turn over ownership of their unique ideas, data, and other intellectual property to the A4SICC team.
However, by applying to and/or participating in the A4S International Case Competition teams acknowledge that they will be presenting their ideas, data, and other information to judges, other teams, and individuals external to the A4SICC team, the actions of which the A4SICC team have no control over. That being the case, by applying to and/or participating in the A4S international competition teams agree not to hold the A4SICC team or those acting on its behalf accountable for the use/publishing of information presented or made available during the competition and/or application process.
The long and short of it: We will do our best to respect team wishes about intellectual property (and make others aware of those wishes), but please understand that this is a public competition and by participating you are agreeing to share your business model and supporting elements/data.
Is there any funding available for teams to make the trip?
YES! New this year we will be offering funding to a select group of international teams, please see the FAQ section below or reach out to us.
We plan on staying longer/coming earlier to Toronto, what should we do?
Blog TO is a great resource for events, restaurants, and all manner of things to do in the city https://www.blogto.com/
Within walking distance of Rotman there is the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the Bata Shoe Museum, shopping on Bloor St, and many restaurants/bars on both College St and Harbord St
Who is eligible for the travel fund?
Any team who would be travelling to the competition at Rotman from a school physically located outside of North America may apply for the travel fund. You do not have to be a citizen/resident of that country, but will need to provide evidence of a need to travel from outside of North America to Toronto.
How do we apply for the travel fund and who gets selected?
The application is simple, submit a 1 page outline on why your team should receive funding to offset your expenses (in total your application should be 4 pages instead of the requisite 3). Five teams will be selected by our sponsors on the basis of: the quality of their executive summary/how well it addresses the case challenge, and on the reasoning behind why they should receive the funding. We are NOT looking for a financial justification, please do not include personal financial information.
There is no edge given to teams who receive travel funding - competition judges in March will not be made aware of which teams did or did not receive funding. The purpose of the fund is simply to encourage the participation of teams from around the world.
What expenses are covered?
Travel and accommodation expenses up to $2000 CAD per team including applicable taxes will be reimbursed by A4SICC for up to 5 teams which have been selected to receive the travel fund. At the time of selection, the A4SICC team will be in touch in order to verify team information. Reimbursement will occur at the competition in March with the teams in attendance.
When would we find out?
Travel funds will be awarded at the same time as invitations are sent out for the competition on January 26th, 2019.