WinterHack 2020: A Global Race to #MakeInsuranceBetter [Part 2]

WinterHack 2020 Winner Team

Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with WinterHack 2020 Winner, Team EMIL-Hannover Re. I asked Dr. Lorenz Kemper (Hannover Re) and Henrik Dittmar (EMIL Group Gmbh) to share behind-the-scenes stories and advice from their WinterHack 2020 experience — check out the full interview below!

Team EMIL-Hannover Re, congratulations on your huge success at WinterHack 2020! Before we dive into the event, let’s do a quick round of introductions first.

Lorenz: I have been working as a Data Scientist at Hannover Re for 2 years now. Just recently, I became the first member of the Hannover Re Digital Accelerator, where I am responsible for the technical aspects in a team that works with insurers, digital insurers, and InsurTechs to get them going globally.

Henrik: I am the Head of Product at EMIL Group. We’re a technology company that helps insurance companies quickly launch innovative products.


Thank you for the introductions! We’d love to know, what inspired you to join WinterHack 2020?

Lorenz: When I heard about WinterHack, I thought it was a great place to meet like-minded people and network to meet possible corporate partners from other parts of the InsurTech industry, such as a primary insurer or technology provider.

Henrik: Since we provide software for insurers and reinsurers, it’s essential for us to collaborate with them and see how they are thinking, especially when it comes to innovation. Networking, of course, is a motivator, but we really want to know how insurers and reinsurers approach innovation.

Speaking of collaboration, this was your first time meeting one another. How did you connect and how was the experience of working together?

Lorenz: We hit it off on a personal note very quickly. We actually met before the event for a quick call to get to know one another and to get on the same page. We talked about our backgrounds and our goals for the event, and in that initial call, we decided we wanted to have fun but also win the competition!

Henrik: It was a fun 2 days, which has a lot to do with the team. In our case, that meant Lorenz as our teammate! We started out on the same page and worked well from the beginning, which was really nice.

It’s always great hearing about successful collaborations! Diving into your solution now, which of the 4 challenges did you choose to tackle and what was your idea?

Lorenz: This is a funny story — the jury panel thought we were tackling the challenge of loneliness for the elderly, but what we were really focusing on was digital subscription models!

Henrik: Our solution was an app that integrates many tools and services from around the digital world and makes them accessible to senior citizens, so I understand how the confusion happened! It was all about combining these easy-to-use services in an app as an entryway into the digital world for senior citizens.

How was your experience using Design Thinking to develop this solution?

Lorenz: Design Thinking was a good way to encourage customer-centric thinking, especially because none of us are a customer group. We used Design Thinking to empathize with the customer, but we actually didn’t use all of the tools. We cherry-picked within the toolbox of Design Thinking to select the best tools that would help us reach our goal, such as the Persona, Empathy Map, and Journey Map, and decided very quickly what product we wanted to pitch.

Henrik: The target group focus in the Design Thinking approach is very essential in today’s world, especially when it comes to innovation and developing something the target group actually wants. It was very helpful for us to get into the mindset of the user group and start from there. Our general approach was to get to the prototyping stage very early, and so we chose the tools that went along with that. We wanted to create the solution quickly and test it by having the prototype ready, creating a landing page, and seeing how people would react when they saw the page, which is how we chose to validate it.

On that note, what else do you believe contributed to your overall success at WinterHack 2020?

Lorenz: Because we were a small team, we were really quick and well-coordinated. Everyone took charge of certain tasks quickly and owned them. We were very clear on who was responsible for each task and relied on them to do a great job.

Henrik: Our focus on prototyping the solution early helped us create something that in the end, when the judges saw it, conveyed the usefulness of the idea in real-life. As much of a bubble as these 2 days were, that’s what they were trying to evaluate — how much would this idea make sense outside of this context?

Looking back at the event, how would you describe your overall experience?

Lorenz: For me, it was fun and broadened my perspective in many ways. I was surprised at how much we were able to get done in 2 days. I was also quite surprised that we were able to hit a personal note even though we had never met before! This was new to me, because I felt this year that it would be difficult to really connect with other people via Zoom, but I think we were able to do that quite effectively. It was a big learning for me!

Henrik: There was a lot to do in 2 days and we worked through it quite well as a team, which made it really enjoyable. Our skillsets matched up very well with all of the tasks we had to do!

As you know, at Cookhouse Labs our mission is to #MakeInsuranceBetter for everyone! How do you think your solution and events like WinterHack 2020 help achieve this?

Lorenz: In a way, our product has the same characteristics as what makes insurance better. Our product aims to bring technology to the elderly, who typically are not the primary users of technology but could benefit from it. Technology can improve their lives and make things much easier for them. In the same way, the industry is not typically the first to take up digital ideas and technology. However, it is an industry that is predestined to make use of technology, and in this way, we can make insurance better.

Henrik: Historically, insurance has been a slow industry, especially when it comes to product innovation. It takes a very long time to launch an insurance product. Changing this mindset is one thing that events like WinterHack encourage, and this is our goal at EMIL, too. We want to make it technologically possible to launch new products, but this only works if we can bring the insurers we work with into the mindset to launch new products quickly. These types of industry events create the sensibility for innovation in a short time and make the process of quickly launching new products possible.

Team EMIL-Hannover Re, thank you for an insightful interview and congratulations once again on your big win at WinterHack 2020. We wish you the best and hope to see this collaboration continue in the future!

Curious about our next big global Ideathon in 2021? Stay updated on the details by signing up for our newsletter and following us on LinkedIn!

WinterHack 2020: A Global Race to #MakeInsuranceBetter [Part 1]

Winterhack 2020 Runner-Up

Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with WinterHack 2020 Runner-Up, Team Munich Re. I chatted with Abhishek Gupta, Calvin Choi, Joanna A., Salman Ghaffar, and Tommy Kim about the process of developing their innovative solution and invited them to reflect on their experience and success at the global ideathon.

https://vimeo.com/480032906

Team Munich Re, congratulations on your big win! Before we begin, let’s start with a quick intro. What can you tell us about yourselves in 30 seconds?

Abhishek: I’m a Business Development Manager for IoT in the Applied Technology Division at HSB Canada. I focus on commercializing sensor and IoT technology here in Canada, which includes water, temp, and pipe sensors.

Calvin: I’m a Data Analyst within the Client Company Management Team at HSB Canada. My role involves assisting Client Company Managers with data to build compelling stories about why clients should work with us.

Joanna: I’m a Marketing Communications Specialist at HSB Canada with a focus on branding and digital marketing. It’s been a rewarding journey for me as a marketer, being part of a team that encourages intrapreneurship, and a company that’s innovative, technologically driven, forward thinking, and people focused.

Salman: I also work in the Applied Technology Division at HSB Canada as an IoT Operations Specialist. We bring solutions from the U.S. to implement in the Canadian market, and my responsibility is to ensure everything goes smoothly, from bringing in the solution hardware to installing it at client locations.

Tommy: I’m from Munich Re Company of Canada, which is a life, property, and casualty business. My current role is a Senior Actuarial Analyst from the Pricing team, and my day-to-day responsibilities include supporting the Reinsurance business with actuarial services.

Great, thank you for the introductions! We’d love to know, how did you come together and what inspired you to join WinterHack 2020?

Abhishek: I was looking for an amazing and super talented team with lots of brainpower! I came across one of our champions from MRoC, Tommy Kim, who is great to work with. I found more talented people from our organization: Calvin, who is a new member of HSB Canada and was very excited about the ideathon; Salman, who is our IoT Specialist and is incredibly talented; and Joanna, who brought everything together from a marketing perspective.

Calvin: What motivated me was the space for people to come together to innovate in the insurance industry. If you think about it, the industry has always been resistant to innovation and change, so if there’s an opportunity to work with like-minded people on innovative ideas and solutions that can help develop the industry, I’m all for it.

Joanna: Abhishek was putting together a team to represent Munich Re at WinterHack 2020 and he reached out. The theme “Digital Ecosystems” was a huge driver for me to join the team. As a marketer, I’m always thinking of innovative and better ways to do business, so it was a good fit.

Salman: I’ve been a part of QHacks, which is hosted by Queens University, so I understood how hackathons work. Considering WinterHack 2020 was going to be held remotely, I was a little inquisitive as well about how it would go, and that motivated me to participate.

Tommy: What inspired me to join was the passion from my colleagues. It’s always difficult for an individual to get something done, but the synergy that Abhi brought into one team was definitely a great inspiration.

That’s awesome! Let’s dive further into the event: Which of the 4 challenges did you choose to tackle and how did you decide?

Abhishek: We chose the first challenge, which was to reduce isolation and loneliness for elderly people. It was quite a deliberation process — we spent about 60% of our workday just on choosing the challenge! We created a matrix with parameters and every single team member scored the challenges from 1 to 5 based on these parameters. We used a weighted average to select the challenge we were going to work on. We realized later on that everyone on our team is very empathetic, when we all understood pain points for the elderly and how our solution can really help them.

Tommy: I really love the fact that we were able to share our thoughts and visions for each challenge. It’s fantastic that Abhi proposed the matrix we used, because at the end, we were very objective in how we selected a challenge.

Could you describe your experience using Design Thinking to develop your solution?

Abhishek: Design Thinking is a different way of thinking when creating a product, and as a team, we understood how important it was. I’d say Calvin and Salman did an incredible job creating a customer journey map that detailed each point in the journey. Salman shared with us that his mother’s age is similar to our Persona, and his understanding of her experience really helped us.

Calvin: We really focused on being empathetic to what the customer journey would look like. On the other hand, we also focused on practicality and how the company could benefit from a product like ours. We made sure to empathize with both sides when designing this product.

Joanna: Design Thinking is the way to go. You simply can’t develop a solution without empathizing with your customer, and building on that is key. Design Thinking flows in that direction. It’s logical and efficient.

Salman: My mother is a single parent who is a similar age and I’ve seen her struggles and how she feels about technology at this age, and it was really helpful in drafting our journey map. We wanted to address those needs and bring the human touch to our solution, because at the end of the day, technology cannot replace the human touch.   

What do you believe contributed to your success at WinterHack 2020?

Abhishek: The biggest factor behind our success was bringing together amazing people. Joanna brought her marketing perspective to create a credible product offering. Calvin and Salman had a streamlined approach to empathizing with the customer and creating the journey map. Tommy brought his actuarial skills, and he was very focused on the commercialization aspect and feasibility of our idea. It was all about bringing together the synergies of different talented people.

Calvin: We all tried to see things from each other’s point of view. We took the time to listen to and understand everyone’s ideas. I think that also contributed hugely to our success.

Salman: I agree completely — all the credit goes to the team. This is one of the best team experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone brought in their skillsets while remaining open-minded and respectful towards others’ ideas. If there was a difference in opinion, we used thoughtful discussions to sort through the pros and cons of each idea and to decide on the best way forward.

Tommy: What worked well was the synergy based on trust and open-mindedness. I also have to upsell the support we got from Cookhouse Labs: the templates guided us in the right direction on how to develop and present our solution in the end, so thank you!

How would you describe your overall WinterHack 2020 experience?

Abhishek: It’s been fabulous! Previously, we had an opportunity to participate in the SummerHack, which was again a wonderful experience. WinterHack, I would say, was a notch higher for us because when everyone came together, we fit like a glove. Even though we all came from different experiences and backgrounds, everyone was respectful and open-minded. I also have to say that the event was amazingly organized by Cookhouse Labs. You gave us all the design templates and guidance we needed, and I really want to thank the whole team for helping us along the way.

Calvin: It was a lot of fun for me, because we were on the same page and everyone was very encouraging. I would say, though, that at the end it got a little stressful, because we raced to get everything done on time. Cookhouse Labs did a great job making this a very seamless and smooth process, and even when we got to the Final Pitch Event, I had a great time listening to everyone’s pitches. I noticed some pitches applied cultural aspects from the region the team was in, and this international aspect was cool to see.

Salman: Spending two days together almost felt like a family! It was a wonderful experience, and we had a lot of fun. When signing up for WinterHack, I was curious about the entirely virtual experience and how it would be managed. Cookhouse Labs did an amazing job with sharing resources and guiding teams through all the steps, so thank you!

Tommy: Having judges with a lot of professional expertise and knowledge was great. Also, the event format was virtual, which was a nice experience to be part of. Before COVID-19, I would have never thought of being part of a virtual competition because I would have wanted to feel the synergy and energy within the same room and in-person. However, virtual collaboration was not a barrier for our team, which was a wonderful experience.

How do you think your solution and events like this help #MakeInsuranceBetter?

Abhishek: Using methodologies like Design Thinking promotes lateral thinking, and the time crunch fosters and accelerates the kind of thinking needed to create a viable product. At the end of the day, something we create here has the potential to become a real insurance product. We observed the judges’ interest and our organization’s enthusiasm for this idea, which means this idea could very soon become a real product offering.

Calvin: Insurance products, with respect to P&C or personal lines, are generally similar across the industry. How can companies set themselves apart from the rest? Usually, this is through value-adds that they can provide to policyholders. When companies want to compete for customers, they need to think of these creative value-adds to provide to policyholders. The product we came up with is a nice example of a value-add that a home or life insurer can provide, and this can set them apart from other insurers. This is what makes the difference between one company and another.

Joanna: Events like this open the floor for thinking outside the box and innovating, and when you combine innovation with Design Thinking and its focus on empathy, you make insurance better.

Salman: I’m a strong advocate for using technology to push the envelope further. What we see is that the insurance industry is late to adopt technological trends. An event like this helps to change this perception and helps companies in the ecosystem realize the importance of technology in improving their products for the end-user. Even further, it helps adopt these technological solutions and advance the industry as a whole.

Tommy: The perspective towards the insurance industry is that it is very reactive, not proactive. These events encourage the industry to become proactive and offering meaningful services to customers, which is progress.

Team Munich Re, thank you so much for sharing your insights with our readers and congratulations once again on your big win at WinterHack 2020. We wish you the best going forward and hope to see your solution come to life as a real product offering in the near future!

Curious about our next big global Ideathon in 2021? Stay updated on the details by signing up for our newsletter and following us on LinkedIn!

SummerHack 2020: A Race Against the Clock (Part 2)

In the next part of our series, I had the pleasure to chat with Team ABC, our 1st Place winners at SummerHack 2020. I spoke with Rachel FermoPrinsa Gandhi, and JiaQi Zhao about their experiences as first-time Hackers and how they worked together to come up with their winning idea. 

Team ABC’S winning solution: Smart Tooth, a device glued on to any tooth that transmits different waves in the radio frequency spectrum to detect and measure the calories consumed. An embedded small Bluetooth radio wirelessly transmits data to the app, Byte. Users can redeem rewards for healthy living in the form of reduced insurance premiums.

Rachel, Prinsa, and JiaQi, thank you so much for joining us today, and congratulations on conquering your first hackathonBefore we dive into your winning solution and your experiencelet’s do a quick intro about yourselves. 

Rachel: I’m going into my third year at the University of Toronto, and I am studying Actuarial Science and Statistics, possibly with a minor in Math. Eventually, I want to become an actuary in Canada. I’m not exactly sure which area to go into, possibly Life and Health, but they say it depends on your first internship!  

Prinsa: I’m also going into my third year at U of T. I’m a double major in Actuarial Science and Statistics, working towards a minor in Math. I also want to become an actuary. I am interested in Property and Casualty, but I’m not sure yet either. 

JiaQiI’m going into Actuarial Science, and I also study Computer Science. I’m hoping to get a minor in Statistics or Economics.  
 

In line with that, what inspired you to join SummerHack 2020? 

Rachel: We get emails from our Statistics department about opportunities related to Statistics, and we got an email invite to SummerHack. We said, “Why not, it sounds really fun and it’s something we can put on our resume for experience”! It was a learning opportunity, and that’s why we wanted to join.  

Prinsa: Initially, we were pretty nervous about it! When we went to the Slack webpage, there seemed to be a lot of older participants from the insurance industry, so we joined for the experience.  

JiaQi: We thought, “Let’s just try it. No matter how it goes, at least we tried our best”.  
 

As first-time Hackers, how did you prepare for the 24-hour event? 

Rachel: The first thing we did after hearing about it is that we tried to search up definitions, because we didn’t really know what IoT was. The Cookhouse Labs team also released prep videos, which Prinsa watched and shared notes about, and that’s how we prepared for it. 

Prinsa: We received videos and articles from our Mentor on Slack, so we read those. We also saw the guide you posted about Design Thinking in 24 hours with time stamps, so we read that and watched the videos you shared.  

JiaQi: We worked with our Mentor, David Schraub, who shared definitions, videos, and articles, and we asked him a bunch of questions. That was really helpful! 
 

So, which of the three challenges did you pick, and why did you choose that challenge?  

Rachel: We ended up picking the challenge about overcoming obesity. We each decided to research a challenge, and then come together with our notes and ideas to see which ones would work. Overcoming obesity was the soundest one, so we choose that challenge.  

PrinsaWhen you released the challenges, we had a discussion with our Mentor and he explained each topic in the real industry and how it works. Then, we split up and found ideas for each topic. We chose obesity because we had the most ideas for it.  

JiaQi: We had to choose between small business bankruptcy mitigation, overcoming obesity, and mobility. We had the idea of an app and we tried linking each challenge to it. We wanted a solution that was possible to implement but was also original.  
 

Once you choose a challenge, how did you go about developing your solution? 

I asked Team ABC to walk me through the process of developing their solution using Design Thinking.

Rachel: First, we came up with our idea through research around overcoming obesity and insurance. We talked about our idea with our Mentor, and he gave us ideas about how to further develop the idea. Our idea was a Smart tooth, so we asked, “How do we link that to insurance?” We decided to add an app to our solution and reduce insurance premiums, and so on.  

Prinsa: We followed the guide on Design Thinking, and when we decided on overcoming obesity, we did the survey research part on Google. We had a meeting with our mentor, and he told us to think of a specific target group, since this solution wouldn’t work for everyone. So, we created a persona, and we went ahead with it.  

JiaQi: When we met with our Mentor, he told us that it was best to choose a target group first, and then create our solution around it.  
 

You mentioned your Mentor, David, helped you quite a bit. Could you tell us more about how he supported you throughout your journey? 

Rachel: He was really helpful, because he would notice things that we wouldn’t, like what we should focus on and what we should include in our presentation. He would give us research articles and things to think about when we were researching our idea. We definitely attribute our success to how he helped us throughout.  

Prinsa: He also thought about the business side, which we didn’t really think about. He gave us a lot of advice on how insurance really works in the real world, such as pricing. He would join our Zoom call every two hours and would give us suggestions on what would work and what wouldn’t. 

JiaQi: He gave us a lot of insights and examples of how internet of things is currently used in insurance. It helped us develop our idea of Smart tooth and link it better to insurance. As we were developing our concept, on our zoom call, he can always bring something new on the table and help us make our solution better. We couldn’t have done this without his support.  
 

You mentioned that your idea was an IoTpowered Smart tooth. Could you tell us more about the concept behind it? 

Rachel: It’s a tiny piece of metal glued to your tooth, and depending on what nutrient it absorbs, the metal shifts its electrochemical properties. You can transmit the information from the tooth to your phone, and you can view the data on the app. It’s easily accessible compared to calorie counters that exist right now, where you have to manually input the numbers, which can be inaccurate. Our way was to make it easier for people to access the information and make it helpful for insurance companies, because you can give that information to insurance companies and it will be an incentive to reduce your insurance premiums for healthy living.  

Prinsa: When we researched our personas, we found that a common problem with health apps was that the customer didn’t have time to input information. The Smart tooth would automatically tell you the calories that you consumed, so it makes the process a lot easier.  

JiaQi: In Design Thinking, we were told to put ourselves in place of the person who would be using the app, and we learned that it wasn’t that people didn’t care about what they were eating; it was that they didn’t have time. This method was very helpful! 
 

What do you think contributed to your success in winning 1st Place at SummerHack 2020?

Rachel: I think our idea was really creative! Personally, I was really impressed with all the work that we accomplished in 24 hours. A big part of our success was that we worked together; this was our first time working together and we all knew what we had to do! We communicated with each other the whole day and we didn’t leave the Zoom call until we finished it and recorded our presentation. Only then did we fall asleep!  

Prinsa: We were always on the Zoom call working together, always discussing our ideas. 

JiaQi: Listening to each other’s ideas really helped. Rachel came up with the idea for the Smart tooth, we added to it, and that’s how it became the final solution.  

How would you describe the overall experience at the event? 

Rachel: We had never done anything like this before! When we heard that we had 3 minutes to pitch our ideas, we always had that in the back of our minds. We recorded the video a couple of times so that it was under 3 minutes. We were pretty good go-getters and we didn’t back down from the challenge. We continued the whole way through.  

Prinsa: It was a fun experience because it had to do with real life industry issues. While working on the solution, we were completely interested in it because we felt as if we were working on something that was meaningful. It was super fun! 

JiaQi: I really liked it, especially because it was 24 hours. Prior to us doing that, I would have never thought that we could create something in such little time. The fact that we actually did it has made me more confident in doing hackathons now! 

As you know, WinterHack 2020 is coming up in November! As our 1st Place team, what advice would you give incoming students for the next event? 

Rachel: If you’re a student, you might be taken aback by the 24-hours and not know what to do. If you take advice from your mentor, that will be really helpful for you. It’s not always about winning; it’s also about learning, so have fun while you’re doing the hackathon! 

Prinsa: I would say, don’t be scared or nervous about what you can contribute! Just enjoy the experience, because you’ll end up learning a lot. That’s why we went into this — we wanted to have a cool experience.  

JiaQi: Don’t overthink it! I’m sure all of the participants were nervous but it went really well. It always goes better than you expect! 
 

Final question: How do you think that an event like this can make insurance better? 

Rachel: In an event like this, you have to be really creative and think outside the box. The ideas that you come up with are ideas that people don’t normally think about. By doing this, we have ideas that didn’t previously exist and can really help insurance.  

Prinsa: The challenges that we were given made us think from the consumer’s point of view. We did what we thought the consumer would want and it really helped in the end. 

JiaQi: I think that gathering people from different countries, industries, and experience brings much more diversity and different perspectives on tackling a problem. I believe that an event like this can bring new insights and ideas in insurance.  

Team ABC, thank you so much for your time and congratulations once again on your big win at SummerHack 2020! 

We’re gearing up for our next global hackathon, WinterHack 2020. To stay informed about the event, follow us on LinkedIn!

SummerHack 2020: A Race Against the Clock (Part 1)

Summerhack Mentor interview

Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down virtually with David Schraub, a Staff Fellow at the Society of Actuaries and the Mentor of our 1st Place team at our 24-Hour Global SummerHack 2020. During the interview, David discussed how his team developed their winning solution and shared advice on how teams at our upcoming WinterHack 2020 can replicate this success.

Thank you, David, for joining us — not only for the interview, but as a SummerHack 2020 Mentor to a student team. Congratulations on your team’s big win! We would love to hear about your experience as a Mentor, but before we do, let’s start with a quick introduction about you.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate! It was my first hackathon and my first interaction with Cookhouse Labs, and I had a lot of fun. Now, about me — I’m a French actuary that moved to the U.S. about 17 years ago and became an American actuary. I’m currently working for the Society of Actuaries (SOA), helping advance professional design and continuing education programs. My background is in Life Insurance; I focused on the ERM and investments side. Now, I’m working on predictive analytics and InsurTech initiatives that bring the SOA and actuaries to the forefront of innovation.

Thank you for that introduction, David! Our students loved having such an experienced Mentor guide them throughout the event. Tell me, what inspired you to mentor a student team?

A member of the Cookhouse Labs team reached out to me with the opportunity to mentor a group of actuarial students, and I became curious about the innovation process and the event itself. So, it was the curiosity, the potential for disruption, and the question, “What can we create in 24 hours?” I wanted to find out!

How did you go about engaging and preparing your team for the hackathon?

We started with an introductory call to get to know each other. The Events Team also suggested using this call to align on how Mentors and students would stay in touch during the event. I was interested in learning about the students’ backgrounds and what they wanted to get out of the experience. They were interested in Data Science and Internet of Things. In advance of the 24-hour period, I shared related articles and background reads to clarify a few concepts and help them prepare.

What process did your team undergo to develop the solution?

The Events Team spelled out a very good process with milestones that we had no reason to challenge — the Design Thinking methodology. Our team started by sharing ideas on each of the 3 challenges given and decided on the first one, Overcoming Obesity. We created a detailed Persona to help us understand the target market. We discussed the size of the target market and the expected profitability of a product. Your product doesn’t have to be relevant to everybody, so long as your target market is large enough to generate a profit. You may have a small group of people that are extremely interested in one topic, and you may be able to build a completely viable product for them. After we had a Persona, we defined their interests and disposable income. We then went about developing a solution, and the next step (if we had time) would have been to develop a business plan around it.

We’re very excited to hear Design Thinking helped your team create their solution around Overcoming Obesity! Could you briefly describe the concept behind the solution?

We came up with an IoT-backed tooth with sensors to monitor what you eat. For example, it can count the calories you consume or your snack times. Let’s say you’re craving a snack — the app will use the information to suggest you go for a walk instead of opening the fridge. The app could also be connected to your doctor, who could use the data to help you manage aspects of your health and wellness that are impacted by your nutrition.  

What do you think your team did well that led them to conquering SummerHack 2020?

One thing that they did well was to actually deliver; they had a good presentation that was submitted on time. Another thing is that their solution met the need and was possible to implement. We found a few articles suggesting the concept is already being developed. They also demonstrated a clear link to insurance: there is potential to reduce life insurance premiums.

On that note, what would be your advice to teams going into our upcoming WinterHack 2020 in November?

Fully understand the requirements and deliver based on them! Submit your materials way in advance of the deadline and rehearse your pitch well. In fact, submit a video pitch to avoid technological issues that come with a live presentation. While all this may sound very basic, it is the key to success. Also, know what your solution can achieve and back this knowledge with numbers and statistics.

That’s very valuable advice! In a nutshell, how would you describe your experience at SummerHack 2020?

I’d say it was fun, interactive, and a great opportunity to learn!

How do you think such an event can help #MakeInsuranceBetter?

The basic answer would be to share these ideas with potential startups so that those products can be developed. They may make insurance better because they address the needs of the insured and of the insurance industry.

Thank you, David, for sharing your time with us and for mentoring our students at SummerHack 2020! Congratulations once again on your big win and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming WinterHack 2020 in November!

Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure!

We’re about to announce the winners of our Best Solution – Greater China Area prize (valued at $1,000 CAD)! The announcement will be made via Facebook live stream on Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 at 8 pm EDT. You don’t want to miss it, so click here to stay connected!

A Mid-Year Toast to Global Collaboration

Since our relaunch in December 2019, Cookhouse Labs has grown into a global center for insurance innovation. Through our co-creation sprints and diverse menu of events and trainings, we have brought together innovators from around the world to collaborate and #MakeInsuranceBetter.

At the Lab, we end every project with a collective celebration. Whether we’re in our physical space or connected virtually, our innovators and internal team members raise their favorite drinks for a toast to yet another successful collaboration.

We recently crossed the mid-year mark — this milestone inspired us to reflect on the past 6 months and celebrate the achievements on our journey since December. Every project is successful because of our valuable community of innovators, and we would like to invite you grab your favorite drink and join us in this virtual celebration!

Here’s a look at our year so far:

1. Our virtual event calendar was launched in just 2 days

In March, we swiftly moved our Lean Startup Training online just 2 days before the event. The initial virtual setup consisted of large parts, such as green screens and light stands, that spread across the Lab space. As we continued to host our online events, we began to include exciting tools — such as our well-known digital whiteboard — where our innovators posted thousands of virtual sticky notes full of insights and ideas, much like our in-person experience.

2. 150+ innovators joined our community this year

Global innovators of all ages joined our virtual events! They collaborated on week-long sprints, participated in our innovation trainings, and shared their lunch hour with us via our webinars. Our innovators brought new ideas and diverse perspectives to our projects, stemming from rich backgrounds in HR, IT, innovation, senior management, and student life!

3 . We ran 6 major co-creation projects

Our sprints covered themes around attracting young talent, collaborating with InsurTech startups, and challenges of insurance. Our community support sprint, which we first ran in April, is currently in Phase II, where the solution is being further developed and executed (reach out to us if you want to get involved in making a difference in the community). We also hosted a 24-hour student project around small business bankruptcy prevention. We completed nearly every one of these projects virtually, and doing so allowed us to collaborate with innovators worldwide!

4. 155+ ideas were generated in our projects

We challenged innovators to ideate potential solutions to the current issues faced in the insurance industry, and we were blown away by the incredible ideas shared! Our teams came up with solutions that could be implemented as early as the next week, as well as more complex

solutions that would be rolled out over several months. One of these ideas was a virtual summit to provide community support in these challenging times, and our innovators are currently working on executing this idea in Phase II of the sprint (learn more about how you can get involved)!

5. We hosted 9 innovation trainings

Our Head Innovation Coach walked participants through several exciting innovation methodologies, including Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Google Sprint. To help our community facilitate their own innovation projects, we hosted a Train the Trainer session, where participants learned valuable coaching tools and skills. Our Senior UX/UI Designer led our Design Tools Training, and by the end of the day, attendees walked away with their own Lo-Fi prototypes of mobile applications.

While this year has certainly been busy, it is far from over! Our Events Team is currently hard at work building our upcoming virtual summit to support small business owners as they recover from current business interruptions.

Preparation for our 24-hour Global SummerHack 2020 is also in full swing! This year’s theme is “IoT Disruption in Insurance”, and we’re very excited to see what our teams will build in this race against the clock!

As we raise a toast in celebration of our milestone, we want to thank YOU, the community, for your continued interest, engagement, and commitment to bring the industry together. Your enthusiasm inspires and motivates us every day, and we are grateful for your support in our journey to #MakeInsuranceBetter!

Co-Creating the Future with InsurTech Startups

Co-creation with startups

Chances are, you’ve heard about InsurTech startups.

It’s hard to miss them especially during these times, where words like Innovation, Creativity, Inspiration have become so popular. These startups are the trendy contrast to sluggish corporate giants, fast-paced and full of “positive vibes”. They’re exciting, unpredictable, and sometimes even hard to keep up with. The lucrative amounts of raised capital and young founders behind the ideas often make headlines, and these startups have now become a picture of the modern-day collaborative workplace and inspiration for young generations.

But these startups are more than open concept desks, bottomless beverages, and dog-friendly offices that they’re known for. InsurTech startups possess the agility and vision to adapt in the face of difficulties, and as recent events have shown, they have incredible survival skills.

Here are 3 insights we can gain from InsurTech startups:

1. These startups are champions of transformational technology

It’s no secret that larger companies deal with cultures that resist change. Traditional mindsets dedicate less of their tight budgets to innovation and more to maintaining legacy systems, pulling corporate giants even further into the past. A single change must be approved by countless decision-makers before it can be implemented, and it is likely that the idea will be snuffed out long before it makes it to the end of the list.

Compare this to the startup model. These smaller companies are entirely focused on innovation and creating their own futures, making them willing adapters of new technologies. They concentrate on the main purpose – creating a solution for their customer, a solution they know takes away pain. A common goal means less resistance to change. And so, these companies develop a unique decision-making and decision-implementing agility that is unmatched by corporate giants.

2. These startups know the secret to retaining employees despite lean budgets

Startups are continuously adapting, learning, and growing. They focus on sustainable scalability and possess a growth mindset that larger organizations often lose sight of. Startups focus on creating an environment to promote the growth of their employees, allowing for meaningful, high impact work that centers around shared core values. Their team is their family.

In comparison, corporate giants have many obstacles to overcome in order to transition out of a performance-based culture. Employees in these companies are offered raises and promotions in order to retain them, but the lack of connection or fulfillment causes these companies to lose employees anyway.

Startups recognize that there is more to motivation than money and have successfully harnessed this to win their employees’ loyalty and commitment.

3. Startups have knocked over organizational silos for good

Traditional silos are one of the biggest pain points for large companies. Employees prefer to stay within their departments and keep valuable knowledge to themselves, often due to competition.

Startup culture is all about collaboration and knowledge-sharing. A single employee wears many hats within the company and can offer a multi-dimensional skillset. All members of the team are united by the common goal they work towards.

When the startup wins, everyone wins. It’s a family celebration.

Organizations must adapt the startup mindset so that they may thrive. As many companies recognize the need to become agile and accelerate innovation, they have turned to startups to help them with this transformation.

In our co-creation Sprint next week, we will explore ways organizations can use to collaborate with InsurTech startups. What is the delicate balance between accelerating competition while encouraging learning and collaboration? How can you find the right collaboration partner? How can you eliminate conflicts of interest during the partnership? And most important – ask InsurTech startups what collaboration means to them.

We invite you to join our team of innovators as we find a collaborative solution during this innovation project, beginning on Tuesday, May 26th. Join the project here!

3-Day Innovation Sprint: The Challenges of Insurance and the Impact on the Industry

The insurance industry is facing one of the toughest time in history. The customers’ perception of insurance couldn’t be more negative, interest rates are at a low, InsurTechs are disrupting traditional distribution channels, the regulators are maximizing the pressure on internal processes, the majority of organizations run on outdated IT-systems hindering them to adapt new technologies, brokers are transforming from being a provider to becoming an educator and it seems that hardly any of the young talents want to start a professional career in insurance – just to name a few examples!

Cookhouse Labs was created to provide a space to tackle the challenges the industry is facing.

In this three day sprint at Cookhouse Labs, we will collaborate and run through a series of design thinking exercises to better understand what challenges we are facing and what impact they have. We will develop a way to identify, qualify and classify the various challenges and its impact on the industry from different perspectives.

The core question of this project is: “How might we identify, qualify and classify the challenges of the insurance industry and quantify their specific impact?” The answers for this question will help every insurance organization to prioritize their focus, time and effort and create their very own risk/challenge trends matrix.

Some of the questions we are looking into are

  • What current and future challenges is the insurance industry facing?
  • How can we qualify and classify the challenges
  • How can we quantify the impact of the challenges


Apply and Become an Innovator!
Apply for this project by submitting this form. Non-members will be contacted with additional options to join on an annual or monthly basis. Learn more about our Membership Options.

Location
Online

Project Details

  • Each innovation project will begin by establishing a Lean Startup mindset, followed by the phases of Design Thinking as supported by a variety tools
  • The ultimate goal of this 3-day sprint is to analyze the problem, generate ideas and create solutions
  • The project team will consist of members from different (insurance) organizations

Duration

  • Sprint: 3 days
  • Start: Mar 11, 2020
  • End: Mar 13, 2020
  • Apply by: Mar 9, 2020

Target Group

  • Business
  • Marketing & Sales
  • IT

Interested in joining our 3-Day Innovation Sprint? Reserve your spot by emailing us at cookhouselabs@msg-global.com!

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN SOLD OUT

4x Afternoon Innovation Sprint: Collaborating with InsurTech Startups

Our gift to you in these challenging times: Open and Free for Insurers, Reinsurers, Brokers, Insurance-Related Startups, and Academia.

Most insurance organizations are like ocean liners, difficult to steer and slow to change directions when it comes to innovation – especially at the pace that the market requires nowadays. Internal processes, over-regulation, outdated IT systems, risk aversion and lack of openness for change are only a few of the reasons why insurance organizations lack struggle to become an innovation anticipator.

In order to keep pace with the accelerating rate of innovation, an increasing number of organizations are investing in or collaborating with startups. Although the corporate investment in startups has tripled, the success of these initiatives is fairly low. According to HRB who conducted research with chief innovation officers, three quarters of corporate innovation initiatives fail to deliver the desired results.

But what are the advantages and what are the pitfalls to be avoided, as a corporation? Are there proven ways to decrease the problems and issues that may arise from these collaboration attempts?

Creating a long-term win-win situation is not easy for groups with such diverse DNAs. The rewards for those who manage it are: entering new markets, increasing the innovative character of a brand, optimizing assets, outsourcing development of innovative solutions and increasing competitiveness.

This 5 Afternoon Sprint sprint will focus on the core question : “How might we accelerate and increase competitiveness through collaboration with startups while learning from their agility and expertise?” The answers to this question will help every insurance organization how to successfully collaborate with InsurTech startups and accelerate innovation.

Some of the questions we are looking into are:

  • How can we identify and prioritize strategic objectives to be solved?
  • How can we identify the ‘right’ insurtech to partner with?
  • How can we define a partnership with startups?
  • How can we eliminate conflict of interests in a partnership wi startups?

Location:
Toronto, ON, Canada

Project Details

  • Each innovation project will begin by establishing a Lean Startup mindset, followed by the phases of Design Thinking as supported by a variety tools
  • The ultimate goal of this 1-week sprint is to analyze the problem, generate ideas and create solutions
  • The project team will consist of members from different (insurance) organizations

Duration

  • Sprint: 5 days
  • Dates:
    • (Part 1) Tue – May 26 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    • (Part 2) Wed – May 27 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    • (Part 3) Thu – May 28 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    • (Part 4) Fri – May 29 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

      Apply by: May 23, 2020

Target Group

  • Business
  • Marketing & Sales
  • IT

Contact US!

Here at Cookhouse Labs we are always happy to hear from you. Send us your Feedback or ask any question!

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CASL Acceptable Use

ANTI-SPAM COMMITMENT

msg global solutions Canada Inc., and each of its affiliates or programs (“Cookhouse Labs”), is committed to providing transparency to outside parties with respect to the compliance of the organization’s electronic communication with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, in effect as of July 1st, 2014, and its relevant rules and regulations (hereinafter “CASL”). To that end, the Msg global solutions Anti-Spam Commitment is a formal statement of rights and obligations which is made available to outside parties. It is intended to inform outside parties of the type of responsible and transparent practices adopted by Msg global solutions when electronically communicating with outside parties, to inform outside parties about who they may contact at Msg global solutions for any concern pertaining to electronic communications, and to inform such outside parties of where and how they may unsubscribe to any electronic communications from msg global solutions. This document also includes a series of answers to questions about spam and msg global solutions’ practices that are frequently asked by outside parties that msg global solutions may communicate with.

1. APPLICATION AND SCOPE.

This Anti-Spam Commitment generally applies to any electronic communications sent by msg global solutions to outside parties and is protected by a range of business procedures, processes and policies to ensure that such communications are done in compliance with CASL. msg global solutions, in its electronic communications with outside parties, has to comply with the rules established by CASL and enforced by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Competition Bureau and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. CASL regulates all commercial electronic messages (“CEM”), which are messages that include among their purposes, the encouragement of participation in a commercial activity.

2. WHAT IS msg global solutions DOING TO COMPLY WITH CASL?

msg global solutions has undertaken various initiatives in order to make sure that it is compliant with CASL. It has adopted this Anti-Spam Commitment to provide transparency to outside parties with respect to the compliance of the organization’s electronic communication practices with CASL, as well as undertaken the following initiatives:

msg global solutions has implemented CASL compliant consent forms

The consent of outside parties is necessary in order for msg global solutions to send a CEM. This consent typically must be “express”, but in certain circumstances consent can be “implied” and in others, messages are specifically exempt from consent requirements. msg global solutions has modified certain consent forms in order to ensure that the express consent obtained from recipients is in compliance with CASL.

Your communication preferences can be updated at any time by visiting the Preference Centre, which can be accessed at any time via our website, and you will be notified via email when changes have been made. You can have your email address removed from our mailing lists at any time, although even if you unsubscribe to receiving CEM from Msg global solutions, you may still receive electronic messages from msg global solutions which relate to an ongoing business relationship or which are exempt under CASL.

msg global solutions has modified its email footers

msg global solutions has modified its email footers to manage CASL’s consent requirements. Under CASL, all CEM sent must include certain prescribed content. For example, msg global solutions must clearly identify itself as the party sending the CEM, provide a method whereby the recipient can readily contact msg global solutions, such as a mailing address and one of (i) a telephone number with active response voicemail; (ii) an email address; or (iii) a web address; and provide a working unsubscribe mechanism. CASL compliant email footers have been updated on all CEM sent from msg global solutions, in order to ensure compliance with CASL.

msg global solutions has incorporated Unsubscribe Mechanisms

msg global solutions has incorporated unsubscribe mechanisms into all CEM, in order to manage CASL’s consent requirements. Under CASL, each CEM must provide a working unsubscribe mechanism (functional for 60 days), which must be processed without delay, within a maximum of 10 business days. msg global solutions has set up a uniform process in order to ensure that all unsubscribe requests will be complied with. You may at any time unsubscribe from receiving CEM from Msg global solutions by following the process laid out in the electronic message you receive, or contact: hello@cookhouselabs.com. However, even if you unsubscribe to receiving CEM from msg global solutions, you may still receive electronic messages from msg global solutions which relate to an ongoing business relationship or which are exempt under CASL.

3. WHY ARE YOU RECEIVING AN ELECTRONIC MESSAGE FROM msg global solutions?

The types of CEM msg global solutions may send from time to time could include the following:

  • CEM sent to msg global solutions’s current or potential clients (whether individuals or businesses), by msg global solutions’s marketing department or msg global solutions’s sales and business development team. For example, this may be for prospecting purposes or in order to answer a request for information or an inquiry;
  • CEM sent to msg global solutions’s current or potential service providers by various msg global solutions business units. For example, msg global solutions may outsource part of its activities to a third party (such as a maintenance company, a translation service provider, etc.) or, msg global solutions HR department may contact potential employees electronically for recruitment purposes.
  • CEM sent to msg global solutions’s current or potential business partners. For example, this may be for building or finding new ventures and partnerships with industry companies, groups and associations.

If you have received a CEM from msg global solutions and you believe that you should not have, please assess as to whether you have provided implied or express consent to receive CEMs from msg global solutions, or if an exemption applies.

  • Express Consent: You can verify that you have provided express consent to msg global solutions (or verify the status of your consent) by reviewing your preferences in the Preference Centre.
  • Implied Consent: msg global solutions may infer your implied consent if:
  • msg global solutions has an existing business relationship with you or has a former business relationship with you which terminated less than two years ago (for instance, you are a former client);
  • msg global solutions received an inquiry from you within the last 6 months;
  • You disclosed your electronic address to a msg global solutions employee (for example you provided your business card to a msg global solutions employee) or you conspicuously published your electronic address (for example, via a corporate website or in a brochure) and the CEM sent is in connection with your business role and function.

When is an electronic message exempt under CASL?

If you are receiving an electronic communications from msg global solutions, it may be a message that is exempt under CASL. This would be the case if the message is one the following:

  • you have a personal relationship with the msg global solutions employee who contacted you, meaning that you have previously had a direct, voluntary, two-way communication;
  • you have a family relationship with the msg global solutions employee who contacted you;
  • the CEM is sent within msg global solutions (between employees of msg global solutions);
  • the CEM is sent between msg global solutions and another business, where there is an ongoing relationship between msg global solutions and this other business;
  • the CEM was sent by msg global solutions to you, in order to respond to your request or inquiry; or
  • the CEM was sent by msg global solutions to you, in order to enforce a legal right or obligation (for instance, if you have an outstanding debt, or breached a contract that you have with msg global solutions, etc.).

In certain situations, your consent is not required for certain types of messages sent by msg global solutions, although you may still unsubscribe from future transmission of similar messages. The type of messages where msg global solutions does not need your consent is an electronic message that:

  • is sent once, following a referral by a current msg global solutions client, service provider, business partner or employee who also has a personal or business relationship with you;
  • only provides you with a request for a quote or an estimate;
  • only facilitates or confirms a transaction;
  • only provides msg global solutions warranty, product recall, safety or security information; or
  • only provides information about your ongoing use of msg global solutions services or products or ongoing purchases (including updates and upgrades).

If you have received a CEM, and you believe that you should not have, please contact us immediately at hello@cookhouselabs.com and we will promptly remove your address from our list (within maximum 10 business days).

4. SOCIAL MEDIA.

You may be contacted by a msg global solutions employee via social media, such as LinkedIn, if you are connected on the social network with the msg global solutions employee, or if you have indicated through your preference settings the fact that you are open to receiving messages about new business opportunities or ventures. You may also be contacted if you have conspicuously published your electronic address (for instance, on a social media website), have not indicated that you did not wish to receive CEM, and the CEM sent is in connection with your business role and function.

5. WHAT TO DO IF YOU NO LONGER WISH TO RECEIVE CEM FROM msg global solutions.

At msg global solutions, we take the law very seriously. You may unsubscribe at any time from receiving CEM, by visiting the Preference Centre or clicking on the link in any CEM that you may receive from Msg global solutions, and we will remove you from our list within ten (10) business days.

6. AMENDMENT OF THIS ANTI-SPAM POLICY AND GUIDELINES.

  • From time to time, Msg global solutions will review and update this Anti-Spam Commitment as required to keep current with rules and regulations, new technologies, standards, our business practices and outside parties’ concerns. We will post any Anti-Spam Commitment changes on this page and, if the changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent notice (including, as the case may be, email notification of Anti-Spam Commitment changes).

7. QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT THIS ANTI-SPAM COMMITMENT?

If you need further assistance, please contact us at: hello@cookhouselabs.com

Revised November 11, 2019.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities

Documents Available Notification (AODA)

Dear Valued Clients and Visitors,

msg global solutions Canada Inc. has created policies and procedures to meet their obligations regarding customer service outlined in the Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. 2005.

Our accessibility policies are available for your review in a number of formats. Should you wish access to these documents in another way, please notify: hello@cookhouselabs.com

Statement of Organizational Commitment

msg global solutions is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws.

Statement of Commitment to Accessibility

msg global solutions is committed to providing a barrier-free environment for all stakeholders including our clients/customers, employees, job applicants, suppliers, and any visitors who may enter our premises, access our information, or use our services. As an organization, we respect and uphold the requirements set forth under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act(2005), and its associated standards and regulations.

msg global solutions understands that we have a responsibility for ensuring a safe, dignified, and welcoming environment for everyone. We are committed to ensuring our organization’s compliance by incorporating accessibility legislation into our
policies, procedures, equipment requirements, training, and best practices. We will review these policies and practices annually, as organizational changes occur, or in anticipation of compliance deadlines. In addition, we will strive to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely and effective manner.

Providing an accessible and barrier-free environment is a shared effort, and as an organization, msg global solutions is committed to working with the necessary parties to make accessibility for all a reality. For more detailed information on our accessibility policies, plans, and training programs, please contact hello@cookhouselabs.com

Alternate Format Request Form

msg global solutions is committed to providing accessible, quality services. Communications in alternate formats will be made available upon request within a reasonable time period in a mutually agreed upon format. Please complete and submit the below form to hello@cookhouselabs.com

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Record of Customer

Thank you for visiting msg global solutions and Cookhouse Labs. We value all our clients and strive to meet everyone’s needs. We look forward to your feedback. Please send us an email at hello@cookhouselabs.com

Privacy Policy

msg global and its innovation lab program Cookhouse Labs Privacy Policy

We at msg global solutions and our affiliates or programs (e.g. Cookhouse Labs) are committed to protecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy applies to our website and all of its associates websites (the “Websites”). This Privacy Policy governs our data collection, processing and usage practices. It also describes your choices regarding use, access and correction of your Personal Information. By using the Websites, you consent to the data practices described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with the data practices described in this Privacy Policy, you should not use the Websites.

The terms of our privacy policy, which can be found below, is based on the ten principles set out the Canadian Standards Association’s Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information.

Ten Privacy Principles

Accountability: We are responsible for personal information under our control and we have designated individuals who are accountable for our compliance with these privacy principles.

Identifying Purposes: We shall disclose the purposes for which we collect your personal information either before or at the time the information is collected.

Consent: Your knowledge and consent is required for our collection, use or disclosure of your personal information, subject to certain exceptions set out in the law. Your consent may be expressed in writing, verbally, electronically, and in certain circumstances, may also be implied.

Limiting Collection: Your personal information shall only be collected by fair and lawful means, and will be limited to that which is necessary for the identified purposes.

Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention: Your personal information may only be used or disclosed for the purposes for which it was collected, other purposes to which you have consented or if required by law. Your personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of identified purposes, or as required or permitted by law.

Accuracy: We shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete and as up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.

Safeguards: We shall protect your personal information using security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of your information to prevent unwanted release, misuse or intrusion.

Openness: Information about our privacy policies and procedures for handling your personal information shall be made available to you.

Individual Access: Upon written request, you will be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of your personal information. In addition, you will be given access to your personal information, as permitted by law. You may also verify the accuracy and completeness of your personal information and, where appropriate, request that it be amended.

Inquiries and Concerns: You may contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our privacy policies and procedures.

We periodically update this Privacy Policy. We encourage you to review this Privacy Policy periodically.

Important Information

1.1. Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may update or replace this Privacy Policy from time to time by posting a new version online. You should check this page occasionally to review any changes. If we make any material changes we will notify you by posting the revised Privacy Policy on our Websites. This helps you to always be aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, it is disclosed. Your continued use of the Websites and/or continued provision of Personal Information to us will be subject to the terms of the then-current Privacy Policy.

1.2. Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or our treatment of the information you provide us, please write to us by email at: hello@cookhouselabs.com, or by postal mail to: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attn: Privacy.

Information We Collect

2.1. When You Visit our Websites

You are free to explore the Websites without providing any information about yourself. However, when you visit the Websites, we may request that you provide Personal Information about yourself and we will collect Navigational Information.

2.2. “Personal Information”

This refers to any information that you voluntarily submit to us through the use of our Websites, and that identifies you personally, including contact information, such as your name, e-mail address, company name, address, phone number, and other information about yourself or your business. Personal Information can also include information about any transactions, both free and paid, that you enter into on the Websites, and information about you that is available on the internet, such as from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google, or publicly available information that we acquire from service providers.

2.3. “Navigational Information”

This refers to information about your computer and your visits to this website such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and pages viewed. Please see section 4 the “Navigation Information” section, below.

2.4. Information About Individuals Under 18

The Websites are not intended for or targeted at individuals under 18, and we do not knowingly or intentionally collect information about individuals under 18. If you believe that we have collected information about an individual under 18, please contact us at:  hello@cookhouselabs.com, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street , Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy, so that we may delete the information.

How We Use Information We Collect

3.1. We Never Sell Personal Information

We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party.

3.2. Use of Personal Information

In addition to the uses identified elsewhere in this Privacy Policy, we may use your Personal Information to: (a) improve your browsing experience by personalizing the Websites and to improve underlying marketing software; (b) send information to you which we think may be of interest to you by post, email, or other means; and (c) provide other companies with anonymized statistical information about our users — but this information will not be used to identify any individual user. We may, from time to time, contact you on behalf of external business partners about a particular offering that may be of interest to you. In those cases, we do not transfer your unique Personal Information to the third party. In addition, we may share data with trusted partners to contact you based on your request to receive such communications, help us perform statistical analysis, or provide customer support. Such third parties are prohibited from using your Personal Information except for these purposes, and they are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information.

3.3. Use of Navigational Information

We use Navigational Information to operate and improve the Websites and underlying marketing software. We may also use Navigational Information alone or in combination with Personal Information to provide you with personalized information about the Software Provider.

3.4. Customer Testimonials and Comments

We post customer testimonials and comments on our Websites, which may contain Personal Information. We obtain each customer’s consent via email prior to posting the customer’s name and testimonial.

3.4. Use of Credit Card Information

We do not directly collect credit card information from you. We use a third-party service provider to manage credit card processing. This service provider is not permitted to store, retain, or use information you provide except for the sole purpose of credit card processing on our behalf.

3.5. Service Providers

We employ other companies and people to provide services to visitors to our Websites, such as the use of underlying marketing software, and may need to share your information with them to provide information, products or services to you. Examples may include removing repetitive information from prospect lists, analyzing data, providing marketing assistance, processing credit card payments, supplementing the information you provide us in order to provide you with better service, and providing customer service. In all cases where we share your information with such agents, we explicitly require the agent to acknowledge and adhere to our privacy and customer data handling policies.

3.6. Security of your Personal Information

We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. We secure the Personal Information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. When sensitive Personal Information (such as geo-location data) is collected on our Websites and/or transmitted to other websites, it is protected through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

If you have any questions about the security of your Personal Information, you can contact us at: hello@cookhouselabs.com, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy.

3.7. Social Media Features

Our Websites include social media features (“Social Media Features”), such as the Facebook Like button, the Share This button or interactive mini-programs that run on our sites. These features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our sites, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Social Media Features are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Websites. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these features.  Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy policy and other policies of the companies providing them.

3.8. External Websites

Our Websites provide links to other websites. We do not control, and are not responsible for, the content or practices of these other websites. Our provision of such links does not constitute our endorsement of these other websites, their content, their owners, or their practices. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these other websites, which are subject to any privacy and other policies they may have.

3.9. Retention of Personal Information

We retain Personal Information that you provide us as long as we consider it potentially useful in contacting you about our services and products, or as needed to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements, and then we securely delete the information. We will delete this information from the servers at an earlier date if you so request, as described in the “Opting Out and Unsubscribing” section below.

If you have elected to receive marketing communications from us, we retain information about your marketing preferences for a reasonable period of time from the date you last expressed interest in our content, products, or services, such as when you last opened an email.  We retain information derived from cookies and other tracking technologies for a reasonable period of time from the date such information was created.

3.10. International Transfer of Information

To facilitate our global operations, we may transfer and access Personal Information from around the world, including Canada. This Privacy Policy shall apply even if we transfer Personal Information to other countries. We have taken appropriate safeguards to require that your Personal Information will remain protected.

3.11. Corporate Events

If we (or our assets) are acquired by another company, whether by merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or otherwise, that company would receive all information gathered on the Websites. In this event, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our Website, of any change in ownership, uses of your Personal Information, and choices you may have regarding your Personal Information.

3.12. Compelled Disclosure

We reserve the right to use or disclose your Personal Information if required by law or if we reasonably believe that use or disclosure is necessary to protect our rights; protect your safety or the safety of others; investigate fraud; or comply with a law, court order or legal process.

Navigational Information

4.1. Cookies

Cookhouse Labs use cookies or similar technologies to analyze trends, administer the Website, track users’ movements around the Website and to gather demographic information about our user base, as a whole.

We use “cookies” to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web server. Cookies are not used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize pages on our Websites, a cookie helps us to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. When you return to the same Website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the customized features.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the Websites you visit. Cookhouse Labs keeps track of the Websites and pages you visit within Cookhouse Labs, in order to determine what portion of the Website is the most popular or most used. This data is used to deliver customized content and promotions within the Website to customers whose behavior indicates that they are interested in a particular subject area.

4.2. Log Files

We may collect demographic information, such as your postal or zip code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites using log files that are not associated with your name or other Personal Information. There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by us. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, internet service provider (ISP), the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), operating system, clickstream data, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used by Cookhouse Labs for marketing purposes, to maintain the quality of the Websites and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Website. For these purposes, we do link this automatically-collected data to Personal Information, such as name, email address, address and phone number.

4.3. Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)

We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. “web beacons” or “web bugs”), that help us better manage the Website by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of visitors to our Websites.  In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients.  This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers’ Personal Information. If you would like to opt-out of these emails, please see “Opting Out and Unsubscribing”.

4.5. Third Party Tracking Technologies

The use of cookies and web beacons by any tracking utility company is not covered by our Privacy Policy. We do not have access or control over these third party tracking technologies.

How to Access & Control Your Personal Data

5.1. Reviewing, Correcting and Removing Your Personal Information

Upon request Cookhouse Labs will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your Personal Information. You have the following rights with respect to that information:

To request access, correction, updates or deletion of your personal information;

To object to processing of your personal information;

To restrict processing of your personal information;

To request portability of your personal information; and

To opt out of being solicited by Cookhouse Labs,

To exercise any of these rights, please contact us at: hello@cookhouselabs.com, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy. We will respond to your request to change, correct or delete your information within a reasonable timeframe, and notify you of the action we have taken.

If we have collected and process your personal information with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent.

You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information.

5.2. Anti-Spam Policy

Our Acceptable Use Policy, at: www.cookhouselab.com/casl-acceptable-use, applies to us and, among other things, prohibits us from sending unsolicited commercial email in violation of applicable laws, and requires the inclusion of an “opt-out” mechanism in any commercial electronic messages that we send.

5.3. To Unsubscribe From Our Communications

You may unsubscribe from our marketing communications by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link located on the bottom of our commercial electronic messages, contacting us at: hello@cookhouselabs.com, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy.

Our Design Thinking Methodology

CHLs Design Thinking Methodology

Learn to understand your target group.

Construct point of view based on user needs.

Collaborate with peers to design an idea and business case.

Build a Minimum Viable Product.

Test & retest the idea with different users.

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