Cookhouse Labs (www.cookhouselabs.com), InsurTech’s global innovation hub, launched Cookhouse Labs 2.0 this week with a new space in Toronto’s downtown core and a revised menu of programs and innovation opportunities, created based on member feedback.
Cookhouse Labs, which first opened its doors in 2017, offers like-minded insurance pioneers and innovators opportunities to collaborate and co-create to rethink and reinvent insurance. Its new space at 30-34 Duncan St. will play host to myriad innovation/creation sprints, training sessions, lunch & learns and other events that will bring together insurance industry innovators, including insurance companies, brokers, vendors, start-ups and academics.
“With our relaunch, we are actually saying, ‘Welcome Home,’ to all of our members and potential collaborators,” said Sven Roehl, Head of Innovation for msg global solutions and a Co-founder of Cookhouse Labs. “Our ultimate goal is to #MakeInsuranceBetter. During the past nine months, we have taken your input and revamped our Cookhouse Labs menu to meet the needs of the insurance industry and create a home for innovation and collaboration.
“This is your space and we hope you will use it to help the industry meet ever-present challenges.”
Roehl offered opening remarks at the relaunch, followed by a panel discussion featuring three industry professionals: Till Heydel, Vice-President, Strategy & Corporate Development for BI&I/Munich Re; Emily Hill, Manager of Insurance Innovation for CAASCO; and Sam Jazayeri, Producer Team Lead for PrimeService Insurance. They discussed How Collaboration and Co-creation Can Help the Industry to Make Insurance Better.
“We don’t want to innovate for the sake of innovating,” Hill emphasized. Heydel noted, “Technology is not a cost center. Technology is our business model going forward! If we don’t get this, we will not survive.” Jazayeri, speaking as a member of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, noted, “A lot of the young brokers are in the survivor phase, busy fighting fires. … The value is forcing them to take time away, saying, ‘Okay, you’re in a three-day program at Cookhouse Labs. Let’s think about what 2025 looks like … and how can we actually shape it?” Heydel added, “… Cookhouse Labs has been very beneficial for the Munich Re group. … We are extremely fortunate to have this independent lab focusing on insurance in a city like Toronto, five minutes away from our office.”
Ibeth Ramos, Program Manager and Innovation Coach for Cookhouse Labs, reflected that the panel posed questions that need answers, issues that can be tackled collaboratively at Cookhouse Labs. “Cookhouse Labs is a space that encourages self-disruption, one that arose from our vision of a collaborative process of solving industry challenges,” Ramos said.
Entering 2020, Cookhouse Labs will offer programs themed by season, beginning in January with a focus on Insurance Innovation, followed quarterly by the Internet of Things, Customer Experience and International Collaboration. Annual memberships are offered at a discount through Dec. 31.