SummerHack 2021: New Times, New Experience [Part 7]

In the final part of our series, I sat down with Zain Ibrahim, a SummerHack 2021 judge and Executive Director and COO at EFU Life in Pakistan. We discussed Zain’s experience as a first-time judge and participant, highlights from the event, and his advice for teams looking to win at next year’s SummerHack 2022!

Check out a snippet of our interview with SummerHack 2021 Judge, Zain Ibrahim!

Zain, thank you for joining us both as a judge and participant this year! We’re curious to know, what inspired you to get super involved with the event?

I was recommended by a previous colleague who knew from firsthand experience about the appetite of our company to digitalize and innovate within our industry. I was then approached by Cookhouse Labs, of course, and later found out that I had connected with Jason (Cookhouse Labs’ partner in China) beforehand, so I felt at home.

As a judge and as a participant, you have two different perspectives to share with us. Let’s start with the participant side; What is something about the participant experience that you wish more judges and audience members knew?

Above everything, it taught me to empathize more. As a participant, I gained an understanding of how the whole process works, and I was able to relate more to the teams and what they were trying to achieve. In a global event, teams are from various backgrounds, and it would better serve the judges if they understood the markets the teams are coming from and what challenges they are trying to solve within their regions.

On the other hand, what is something that you wish participants understood better from a judge’s point of view?

It’s all about simplicity. All beautiful things start simple, and judges are not looking for complicated solutions. For every solution we looked at, we asked, “What’s the simple idea here?” to help us understand what the team was trying to solve. So, the key is simplicity.

Staying on the topic of looking at solutions, which pitch did you find memorable and more importantly, why was it memorable for you?

Both the winner and runner-up were amazing! The pitch deck that caught my eye most belonged to the winner, and I’ll tell you why. They took on a difficult challenge and presented it in a uniquely creative way. I was really impressed by the practical solution and the way they executed the pitch.

After seeing all of these pitches and other pitches you’ve seen in your profession, what are three key ingredients that make a successful pitch?

The first one would have to be passion, specifically for the problem that you’re trying to solve. Without that, you will not be able to put your heart into finding the solution, and without that, you won’t be able to come up with a truly innovative pitch.

Another ingredient would be practicality, because while you may come up with an out-of-the-box solution, you need to be mindful of the fact that your innovative solutions should be practical, executable, and should make business sense.

The final ingredient would be the presentation video. You can tell when a team allocates a significant amount of time to the content and to the idea when you see the actual presentation video, and this differentiates the good ones versus the really good ones.

So, what advice would you offer teams for next year?

Practice more. As a team, it’s always better to practice your presentation several times beforehand and even preempt some of the questions that the judges will ask, because then you’ll be able to better handle the questions and everything will look flawless.

Drawing on your experience as both a participant and as a judge one more time, how would you describe your overall experience at SummerHack?

One word: Amazing. The best thing about participating in such an event is that we got to step away from our everyday tasks and unlearn everything we knew about innovation. It was our first time learning about the Design Thinking methodology, and when we were chatting about our experiences afterwards, you could tell that it inspired an innovative mindset in all of us. Now we ask, “Is there a better way to manage this?” in our day-to-day tasks.

I’m really impressed by the flawless management of the event. The team had to manage 12 hours of time differences and they did a tremendous job. All the prep work was given to us and we had meetings before the event, where we were told what to do and what to expect. Even the technical support, I remember, was incredible. We had trouble at the very last minute in uploading our pitch video late at night, and we asked for help. We were helped immediately, and so to Cookhouse Labs, thank you for the amazing management.

Thank you for the kind words! A final question for you: How can an event like SummerHack help #MakeInsuranceBetter for the global community?

Such an event fosters innovative thinking, right? And innovative thinking means thinking differently for different markets. An event like this helps in the local context, because you see global companies talking about challenges and solutions that are relevant to specific markets, but the way they are handling those challenges could in some way, shape, or form be applicable to another market. That’s the beauty of having a global event: You can learn a lot about how others are tackling challenges around the world and apply it to a local challenge. There’s always something you can take away from these events.

Zain, thank you so much for sharing your insights and valuable advice with our community. We wish you all the best and hope to see you and Team EFU Life again at SummerHack 2022!

Want to stay informed about how you can join our upcoming SummerHack 2022? Join our mailing list here and receive updates straight to your inbox!

Recap: Our First Hybrid Event ft. University of Amsterdam!

Earlier this month, we ran our first-ever hybrid event in our Toronto Lab space! 

We were delighted to host an in-house day on November 3rd for a large group of students from the University of Amsterdam as part of the VSAE International Study Project 2021, where Actuarial and Econometrics students visited Toronto for a week to immerse themselves in the Canadian business world. 

Our team was very excited to welcome them — check out how we prepared the Lab space for our special guests below! 

The Setup

We had fun setting up the Lab for our special guests from The Netherlands!

As we continue to grow internationally, our team has been exploring opportunities to run hybrid events that allow participants to join both in-person and virtually. In 2020, we even invited students from the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg-Schweinfurt, Germany (FHWS) to develop their own solution for a hybrid event model. Check out the cool robotic solution they came up with here

To test out our hybrid concept, our Lead Innovation Coach, Ibeth Ramos, led the day’s events remotely, while our Co-Founder Sven Roehl and our intern Niklas Bortzler were present in the Lab to greet the students and facilitate the on-ground activities. 

The Welcome

The student group arrived promptly at 9 AM and received a warm welcome from our in-house team. After they found their nametags and poured themselves a hot cup of coffee, the group settled in the main Lab space to begin their exciting day with us. 

Our Co-Founder Sven gave a brief introduction of Cookhouse Labs and msg global solutions, our parent company. Director of Cookhouse Labs Utrecht (The Netherlands), Rian de Heer, joined the introduction virtually from France to provide more insight into msg global solutions, beginning with the company’s origins in 1980 and how it grew to over 8500 employees in 28 countries today.  

Sven continued his presentation with a deeper dive into the history of the insurance industry, sharing challenges along the way and how Cookhouse Labs is playing a part to #MakeInsuranceBetter by facilitating innovation, collaboration, and co-creation. 

The Introduction

After a quick coffee break, Coach Ibeth gave the students a virtual introduction to Design Thinking, walking them through the fundamentals of the human-centered innovation methodology. The students were also introduced to her lovely puppies, who joined the session briefly as well! Then, they set off for a quick lunch break before they began to apply their learnings in a short sprint. 

The Sprint

The students were split into 4 teams and invited to tackle the challenge of how the insurance industry can help combat climate change. They began the first step of Design Thinking: Empathy, which required them to learn about current perspectives on insurance and climate change.  

During step two, Define, they mapped out their findings on a whiteboard empathy map. Using these key insights, the student teams defined a persona and created a journey map. For example, one team chose the persona of a 28-year-old salesperson who was inspired by a climate change documentary and mapped out the persona’s experience of getting in touch with their insurer to see how the organization could make a difference. 

Coach Ibeth continued to guide the teams, visiting each room virtually and interacting with the students as they moved to the next step, Design. The students ideated solutions they could develop within various timeframes, such as 1 week and 1 month.  

After voting on the top idea to develop, the teams dove into the next step, Create. Coach Ibeth had prepared special prototyping boxes for the students the day before their visit, with various fun materials to use during this stage, such as feathers, stickers, pipe cleaners, and popsicle sticks. She invited their inner child to come out and play, providing the space for them to express creativity and have fun. 

During the final step, Test, the teams presented their prototypes to each other, such as an information app and smartwatch to help customers monitor their carbon footprint. The presentations were creative, fun, and all unique — we were absolutely blown away!  

The Wrap-Up

As the clock struck 4:30 PM, we began to wrap up our in-house day with positive feedback and final comments. Co-Founder Sven and Coach Ibeth encouraged the students to always trust the Design Thinking process and to stay connected to our global community by joining future opportunities to co-create with insurance thought leaders. Our team then presented the students with special gifts ahead of the holiday season, and the whole group posed for a few photos before a little networking and final goodbyes. 

Before we concluded the day, we asked Michelle Mutsaers, who is a board member of the VSAE, to describe the in-house day experience: 

“During the in-house at Cookhouse Labs, our students learned to solve problems by using more creative and out-of-the-box thinking. The day was well-balanced with a short theoretical part and after that, immediately using this in practice. In short, it was a highly educational and fun day!” 

— Michelle Mutsaers, Board Member on the International Study Project Committee 2021 

A big thank-you to VSAE for spending a day in our innovation space, and to msg global solutions Canada for being the sponsor for the day! We enjoyed meeting and hosting the students and look forward to seeing all of you continue to achieve big things in the near future! 

Want to be the first to hear about our next young talent event? Join our community and receive updates directly to your inbox! 

VSAE International Study Project 2021 [Nov 3]

VSAE International Study Project 2021 [Nov 3]

We’re excited to host an in-house day for students from the University of Amsterdam in our Toronto Lab space! As part of the VSAE International Study Project 2021, Actuarial and Econometrics students will visit Toronto in November to explore the Canadian business world. We look forward to spending a full day with our visiting young talent, running through activities to inspire creativity and an innovative mindset! 

SummerHack 2021: New Times, New Experience [Part 6]

In the next part of our series, I sat down with Si XIe, Head of Financial Planning and Insights at HSBC Pinnacle Venture and a 2-time ideathon Judge (SummerHack 2020 and 2021). We discussed the highlights of this year’s global competition, the ingredients to a great pitch, and what teams at SummerHack 2022 can do to win our big prize!

Check out a snippet of our interview with SummerHack 2021 Judge, Si Xie!

Si, thank you for your continuous support of our global Design Thinking ideathons! We’re curious to know, what inspired you to return to the jury panel this year?

First and foremost, the energy and creativity from the participants as they worked together to solve a real industry challenge. I often see many unconventional ideas at these events that even I, as a long-term participant, would not have dreamt about. With my experience over the last two years of helping HSBC set up a digitally enabled financial planning business from the ground up, I have a lot of appreciation for thinking differently.

Speaking of perspectives and thinking differently, you have the unique experience of being both a participant at one of our ideathons and a judge at two more. What is the one thing about the participant experience that you wish that judges and audience members knew more about?

Innovation is like a muscle that you need to constantly exercise to become better and stronger at it. Design Thinking is a great methodology that has proven to be successful. However, this process does require many iterations, and can feel quite unnatural and difficult at first — at least, it was for me initially. No challenge is easy, and sometimes things don’t go well during the journey, but I was also amazed at the result. As a judge, I would want fellow judges and audience members to appreciate how much work the participant has to do during the event.

Now, using your judge lens, what do you wish that participants knew about the judge’s perspective in these events?

It’s equally challenging for the judges, and we often deliberate for long periods of time to decide on the winner. So, if your idea did not win, it does not mean that is not a great idea. There can only be one winning solution, but we see so many great ideas from the teams.

That’s a very valuable insight for our participants! Staying with your judge lens, what do you enjoy most about being on the panel of our ideathons?

It really helps me think outside the box and see what opportunities are out there. From an international perspective, I draw from the inspiration and bring it back to my day-to-day work as well. Since I work for one of the biggest organizations in the world, exposing myself to different global problems and solutions helps with my job and career development and for me, that’s very valuable.

Focusing on the inspiration and ideas, which pitch stood out most to you and more importantly, why did it stand out to you?

The most memorable solution for me was by Team SaveMoney. Their solution helped restaurants find a reliable local supply chain, which in turn, also opens credit related insurance opportunities. It was a very creative idea that not only fit with the theme of reducing ecological footprint, but also it created product opportunities for the insurer. The possibilities are limitless; it can apply to different cities and different countries, and I appreciate that kind of out-of-the-box thinking.

Reflecting on your entire experience at our ideathons, what are three pieces of advice that you can offer teams looking to win next year?

From a participant’s lens, as long as you improve your innovation skills by going through the process, it is already a win. To get the most out of the event, be open-minded and be prepared to work hard, because it isn’t easy. And lastly, set up a team with diverse backgrounds and skillsets, because this will maximize the chances of coming up with a more creative idea.

Final question: How can an event like SummerHack help #MakeInsuranceBetter for everybody in the global community?

It gives us an opportunity to challenge our own ways of thinking and to open our minds to new ideas, such as new forms of risk, new solutions, or new operating models that perhaps we had never thought of before. I often think about this; Instead of letting tech giants disrupt our industry, why don’t we reinvent ourselves? Why not disrupt ourselves? So, this event is great because sparks ideas to solve our own problems in the industry.

Si, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and valuable advice with our community. We wish you all the best with your venture and we hope to see you again at SummerHack 2022!

Food for Thought ft. Stabl: World-Class Clinical Care in the Living Room

Stay up-to-date with the latest InsurTech trends, hear valuable insights from industry trailblazers, and discover up-and-coming startups in our brand-new 45-minute webinar series!

On average, 65% of patients do not follow physical therapy exercises, extending recovery timelines by weeks and costing insurers $1.03 billion in additional healthcare expenses. 

What if you could optimize your customers’ post-operative timeline to ensure they recover as planned? 

In our upcoming Food for Thought live session, we’re excited to welcome the winner of our Startup Pitch Specials: Reimagining HealthTech in Insurance — Hamza Shaikh, Founder & CEO at Stabl, a digital health platform that manages a patient post-operative recovery and uses real-time motion feedback via your laptop or smartphone camera to optimize the recovery timeline. Stabl’s platform enables providers to monitor recovery and make adjustments efficiently while remaining within budget.  

You don’t want to miss this — click the button below to secure your spot! 

Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Time: 8:30 – 9:15 am EDT | 2:30 – 3:15 pm CEST
Location: Online

* By registering for this event, you are automatically welcomed into our community! You will receive exclusive event invitations and innovation opportunities from Cookhouse Labs via our mailing list — don’t worry, you can always unsubscribe later!

Want to check out some of our past live sessions? Click here to view clips of other great solutions from around the world! 

Startup Bites: Meet the Young Chefs [Part 7]

We’re excited to continue our series, “Startup Bites: Meet the Young Chefs”, where Co-Founder Sven Roehl sits down with founders of startups to chat about their exciting solutions and how they’re on track to make big waves in the insurance world.

In today’s blog, Sven sat down with Parloa, the winner of our Startup Pitch Specials: Germany and Beyond event. Founded in 2017, the startup aims to replace old touch-tone IVRs in the call center with a more natural and efficient customer experience across different channels, such as over the phone, on-site chats, and even WhatsApp. The low-code front-end design means insurers do not need data scientists, machine learning engineers, or developer resources to leverage the Conversational AI solution.

Check out what we learned about Parloa below!

Check out a clip from the interview!

How It All Began

Almost 5 years ago, the founders were fascinated by voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant and their ability to interact with humans. Immediately, they knew that something big was happening and wanted to be a part of the change. They founded one of Europe’s first Conversational AI agencies, called Future of Voice, to work with clients to build voice interactions using those voice assistants. Within the first 2 years, they recognized 2 major challenges:

1. No low-code tool existed in the market to help companies build these voice automation experiences

2. Existing voice assistants supported daily tasks (such as to-do lists and playing music), not customer experience functions

The founders subsequently launched Parloa, which uses Conversational AI to enable companies to automate their phone infrastructure to elevate customer experience.

Their Biggest Challenge?

Moving away from voice assistants and towards phone infrastructure — it was also their best decision!

When the team finally found product-market fit, they focused their attention on the next challenge: growing as fast as possible.

So, How Does Parloa Help Insurers?

Up to 40% of a customer service agent’s time is spent authenticating the customer’s identity using details such as birthdates. Within the insurance industry alone, this adds up to 26 million minutes (50 years!) wasted per day.

Parloa gives insurers back their lost time by automating these repetitive tasks and optimizing certain KPIs. Using automated speech recognition and natural language understanding, Parloa empowers insurers to train their models using real-life interactions with customers to create a customer experience that gets better every day. This means happier customers and of course, happier agents!

3 Use Cases for Parloa’s Conversational AI Solution

1. Routing: Replacing old touch-tone IVRs with a more customer-friendly experience and the most intuitive way to express a concern: Speaking

2. Authentication: Give your agents back their time by replacing manual authentication processes with Parloa’s easy-to-use connections to your CRM

3. End-to-End Cases: Whether it’s an address or contact data change, let Parloa handle repetitive tasks so your agents can focus on solving real problems for customers

Bonus: Agents Receive Transcripts of Interactions with the AI

When Parloa routes a customer to an available agent, the agent receives a transcript of the AI’s customer interaction in order to help the agent better support the customer and continue the conversation. This transcript also provides valuable data to continue to train the system for future interactions, so you can rest assured that your customer experience is getting better day after day!

After witnessing Parloa’s much-needed solution in action, we can see why the judges voted for this innovative startup as the winner of our Startup Pitch Specials: Germany and Beyond! We wish Parloa the best as they continue to grow internationally and look forward to welcoming the team back for future events!

SummerHack 2021: “New Times, New Experience” Winning Solution

Innovation Project Summary Cookhouse LabS

SummerHack 2021: “New Times, New Experience” Winning Solution

Facing the challenges of the global pandemic, insurers must reimagine their products and services to cater to the new challenges faced by consumers.

2

DAYS

ONLINE

2021

12

TEAMS

12

MVPs

Challenges

Under the theme “New Times, New Experience”, we asked our teams to choose from these challenges and ideate a real business solution using our Design Thinking methodology:

Ecological Footprint

How might we develop a solution/service to support ecological footprint?

Access to Insurance

How might we develop a solution/service to cater to the growing underserved population?

Embedded Insurance

How might we develop an embedded insurance solution/service to attract and serve the younger generation?

Gig Community

How might we develop a solution/service to support dynamic and engaged independent workers?

WHY?

Understanding Jason and Sarah, part of our Gig Community

With limited time on hand, Team Foresters decided to take on the challenge of supporting and engaging the Gig community, seeing that the current crisis is pushing many people to search specifically for non-traditional forms of employment that provide flexibility and additional income.

PAINS (COMMON)

GAINS (COMMON)

DISCOVERY

Insurance companies cannot measure crucial data when it comes to self-employed gig/seasonal workers, therefore current insurance coverage options do not align with their needs and ability to pay.

How can we make it easier for gig workers to access insurance to fulfill their financial and health needs?

How can we offer seasonal workers a sense of stability despite their fluctuating income?

SOLUTION

The team ideated several solutions to offer gig workers ease and stability when it came to their insurance coverage, and together, they selected the final solution to prototype.

How might we provide a flexible insurance solution that improves the well-being of gig workers?

GIGLIFE

In essence, gigLife offers benefits and community within the gig economy, including access an exclusive community forum, learning platform, and discounts while managing credits in a healthcare spending account during and between gigs.

GigLife supports independent workers by providing benefits they may lack, a buffer when they are between gigs, and access to professionals who can offer financial and legal advice. The platform provides health benefits funded through a combination of participation fees. The platform could also provide benefits to participants by purchasing a life insurance policy and advancing a portion of the death benefit to cover the costs of the current benefits, all legalities taken into consideration.

Further, it aims to create an opportunity for organic group advocacy for the gig working community through social networking features.

RESULTS

At the end of the 2-day ideathon, 11 global teams pitched their ideas to our panel of experts.

16

Countries

18

Hours

100+

Participants

12

Participating Teams

11

Judges

3

Winners

12

MVPs

1

Final Pitch Event

PARTICIPANTS

We also offer intro sessions that provide insurance professionals with the opportunity to experience our Cookhouse Labs methodology and a sneak peek at what it’s like to co-create and collaborate with our global community. If you are not a Cookhouse Labs member and are interested in finding out more, check out our membership benefits!

Staying Connected No Matter Where You Are – Cookhouse Labs Hybrid Experience

Innovation Project Summary Cookhouse LabS

Staying Connected No Matter Where You Are - Cookhouse Labs Hybrid Experience

How can we maintain our engaging innovation experience combining virtual and in-person participants?

1

Semester

ONLINE

2021

4

University students

2

MVPs

Challenge

Define solutions to keep innovators connected, despite being in different rooms or geographical locations, either at home or in the office.

WHY?

Understanding differences between virtual and in-person experiences

SEE

SAY & DO

HEAR

THINK & FEEL

DISCOVERY

Some participants find the virtual experience convenient, but are seeking out better ways to stay engaged during sessions.

How can we help virtual participants feel connected to in-person team members during projects?

How can we redesign our experience to ensure it feels the same virtual and in-person?

What resources can we leverage to create an exceptional hybrid experience?

SOLUTION

The team came up with 50+ ideas and narrowed their solution down to the top 2 — Video Conferencing Robots and the Cookhouse Labs Socializing Box.

Hybrid models (combining the virtual and in-person experiences) have been in our mind since the beginning of our journey. Many times our participants have to travel to other office locations or meet clients and still want to be part of the sprints. A hybrid model is a solution we want to test and implement to maintain our engaging, fun and collaborative experience.

How might we build trust and improve communication among participants on-site, remote participants, and the moderator during the whole project in a hybrid digital session?

1

DOUBLE ROBOTICS

By employing the use of video conferencing robots, we allow participants to feel more present in the Lab. These robots can be controlled via one’s keyboard arrow keys from anywhere in the world over a Wi-Fi network, and give participants an opportunity to explore the physical space from the comfort of their home. With video display on the attached iPads, this solution also overcomes the barrier of joining coffee breaks, inviting discussion and ideation despite the physical distance.

2

THE COOKHOUSE SOCIALIZING BOX

This solution promises an unforgettable social experience, complete with ingredients to make a customized cocktail or mocktail and a light pasta meal. The Box includes the tools needed, such as a branded glass, apron, and even a wooden spoon! To complete the experience, participants will be brought into a virtual culinary class hosted by a Cookhouse Labs moderator, where they can create these dishes together while still being in their own kitchens. This works to create a sense of community and acts as an icebreaker before the main event date.

RESULTS

Over the course of 200+ hours, the team worked closely to understand the challenges faced by facilitators and participants during the virtual experience.

2

Personas

4

Journey Maps

7

Participant interviews

13

Interview questions

50+

Ideas

2

MVPs

1

Robotic Solution

1

Project Presentation

PARTICIPANTS

We also offer intro sessions that provide insurance professionals with the opportunity to experience our Cookhouse Labs methodology and a sneak peek at what it’s like to co-create and collaborate with our global community. If you are not a Cookhouse Labs member and are interested in finding out more, check out our membership benefits!

StudentHack: “AI and Big Data” Winning Solution

Innovation Project Summary Cookhouse LabS

StudentHack: “AI and Big Data” Winning Solution

The arrival of AI and Big Data to the insurance industry brings many opportunities and risks, which insurers must anticipate in order to stay relevant during the imminent digital transformation of the industry.

2

DAYS

ONLINE

2021

15

TEAMS

15

MVPs

Challenges

Under the theme “AI and Big Data”, we asked our teams to choose from these challenges and ideate a real business solution using our Design Thinking methodology:

Build trust

How might we leverage big data and artificial intelligence to increase consumer confidence, trust, and tailor the insurance experience?

Risk management

How might we leverage big data and artificial intelligence to help homeowners understand and mitigate risk to help prevent losses from happening?

Insure the uninsurable

How might we leverage big data and artificial intelligence to improve existing or develop new insurance products that benefit Canadian businesses?

Respond to changing consumers

How might we leverage big data and artificial intelligence to improve the insurance-buying experience to make it more engaging and less of a one-off transaction?

WHY?

Understanding Phil, a happily married Vice President in Toronto

The homeowner’s insurance industry is vast, and Team Jedis discovered that claims have gone up in the past years. Improper management of risks, unclear policy terms and uncertainty lead to losses for both the customer and the insurance providers.

PAINS

GAINS

DISCOVERY

While the claims settlement process is a red flag, the root of the problem is the unforeseen damages to the houses due to negligence. Thus, it is beneficial to predict and prevent rather than detect and repair.

There is uncertainty around the claims procedure, with confusion around what is covered and the amount of deductible paid.

Most homeowners have other financial commitments and bills to pay from their fixed income.

The prolonged process of claims settlement and uncertainty is an added burden on the homeowner.

SOLUTION

Team Jedis ultimately decided that the best way to educate the homeowner would be to incentivize them to use an integrated mobile app that variates their premium if the home is not properly maintained and proper precautions are not taken.

Problem statement

How might we leverage big data and artificial intelligence to help homeowners understand and mitigate risk to help prevent losses from happening?

INSURACONNECT

An AI-based mobile application that integrates with smart devices (such as smart fire alarms) and constantly monitors the health and effectiveness of these devices for the homeowner.

The user is allotted a ‘risk band’ based on their profile and the status of their devices. The AI-based system will compare and suggest smart home upgrades to improve the user risk profile, frequently pushing maintenance recommendations as needed. This incentivizes consumers to maintain their homes by managing key risks, as their ‘risk band’ and premiums will be affected by how quickly the user acts on the recommendations.

In the case of incidents or damages, an automated claim will be filed via the app and a smart bot will be available to answer questions regarding the status of the claim.

RESULTS

At the end of the 2-day ideathon, the 15 student teams submitted their ideas for review to a judge panel of Canadian insurance experts.

100+

Participants

16

Hours

15

Participating Teams

15

Empathy Maps

6

Expert Judges

15

MVPs

1

Winning Team

2

Runner-up Teams

PARTICIPANTS

We also offer intro sessions that provide insurance professionals with the opportunity to experience our Cookhouse Labs methodology and a sneak peek at what it’s like to co-create and collaborate with our global community. If you are not a Cookhouse Labs member and are interested in finding out more, check out our membership benefits!

SummerHack 2021: New Times, New Experience [Part 5]

In the next part of our series, I sat down with Max Bachem, 2-time judge (WinterHack 2020 and SummerHack 2021) and CEO at Coya. We discussed what inspired him to return to our jury panel, why diversity was the highlight of the competition, and his advice for teams looking to win the top prize next year!

Check out a snippet of our interview with SummerHack 2021 Judge, Max Bachem!

Max, thank you for returning as a judge this year! We’d love to know, what inspired you to return, and what do you enjoy most about the role?

I really enjoyed my first time on the panel last year, while I was still at AXA. What was amazing was just networking with all the teams, hearing innovative ideas from across the globe, and being able to discuss new opportunities with people who have a completely different perspective. Often, we might have a local view on a challenge, and it’s great meeting people with different ways of looking at the same problem.

Compared to your experience at WinterHack 2020, what do you think has changed or improved since last time?

The teams were even more diverse this year! Last year, a lot of teams were from Europe and North America, and this year we had people from APAC, EMEA, and the Americas, which I loved. All this diversity meant we had very different ideas on the table this time.

And out of those ideas at the Final Pitch Event, which one stood out to you and more importantly, why did it stand out to you?

I’m very happy for the Winner and the Runner-Up, both of whom had amazing ideas. I have to say though, it was really hard to decide on the winners because there were a lot of amazing ideas. Some were more innovative, and others were more applicable, but I loved all the ideas because they all had an interesting aspect to them. One that stands out to me was a solution from HDI in Germany, which had this tool to scrape social media and stay connected to the customer. Some of the other ideas were very visionary, even ahead of time, but interesting to keep in mind because they might be something to implement in 1-2 years.

After attending the Final Pitch Event and seeing other pitches during your career, what is the best way to create a successful pitch?

The most important thing is to think about the audience. What is the audience interested in? What is the right amount of detail to share? If you create a good story, you can easily hook the audience. During the ideathon, you have very limited time. You may not be able to think through the idea 100%, but it doesn’t need to be fully thought through. Your approach should be “Hey, I have a good base idea, and maybe we need to tweak it a bit afterward, but there is some truth and high potential behind it”, and that will help you convince the judges.

What additional advice can you offer incoming teams for SummerHack 2022?

Just have fun! Sure, you’ll come up with new ideas, but it’s a fun team-building activity and you should enjoy the time you spend exchanging ideas with other people. That would be my biggest recommendation; have fun, because while you’re having fun, you’re probably coming up with great ideas and you’ll make a great pitch at the end.

We’re hoping you had fun as a judge, as well! How would you describe your overall experience at SummerHack?

My own experience was very positive. Both the WinterHack and SummerHack were well-organized! You brought together very diverse teams this year, and it was a pleasure to not only see the ideas, but network with those teams afterwards, as well.

Final question for you: How can an event like SummerHack can help #MakeInsuranceBetter for the global community?

You brought together these diverse teams that likely see different customer problems in their respective markets, whether they’re emerging markets or those that are more developed. These perspectives and solutions can be relevant in other markets or inspire other solutions that you would have never thought were possible for specific markets. These events enable a transfer of knowledge, experience, and ideas that in the end will help to create new, innovative, and better products for customers, which is what we are aiming for.

Max, thank you so much for sharing your insights and valuable advice with our community. We wish you all the best and hope to see you again at SummerHack 2022!