On Friday we rambled up to York University's Schulich School of Business to watch case competitions of Developers' Den, which is like Dragon's Den. Just replace Kevin, Arlene, Jim, Robert and Bruce with some of the GTA's top developers.
One of those developers was Sam Crignano, president of Cityzen, joined by judges Michael Cooper of Dundee REIT, Phil Gillin of Sun Life, Geoffrey Grayhurst of Dorsay, and Frederic Waks of RioCan. They evaluated a group of select students, awarding the winner with $2500 and the runner up with $750.
The students came from Rotman School of Management, Ted Rogers School of Management and Schulich School of Business, eager to submit a development proposal to be considered by York University Development Corporation for 10 acres of land fronting Keele Street. The catch? They only had four hours to organize before presenting how they would do it.
Why York University? Ontario public universities face a difficult financial future. As a public institution, universities must strive to make the most effective use of their assets. York University is over 440 acres in size and now mix-used development is permitted on the edges of campus. Not to mention, the York subway line is expected to launch in 2015, opening up mountains of opportunity.
Students were evaluated on the financial return to York University, proposal feasability, goal of creating a vibrant/livable/sustainable campus, how much financial risk is involved, and non-monetary benefits. So, who were the winners?
Runner up: Rotman School of Management ($750)
Winner: Schulich School of Business ($2500)
Congratulations to the winners! Were you at Developers' Den? What did you think? See our live tweets from the day at Cityzen. Thanks to RealNet Canada for the group pictures, and for organizing the event.