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!

Train the Trainer Masterclass [Dec 7-8]

Elevate your coaching style and way of facilitating innovation sprints

Take advantage of the opportunity to allow your innovation coaches, managers and innovation leaders to expand their knowledge on the topic and learn new skills from our Innovation Coaches. Being a topic of collaboration, allows us to collaborate with your teams and share the tools we use, the way we coach and the style we implement in our innovation sprint experiences.

Join this online workshop to add new styles of facilitating, communicating during innovation sprints, present and tell a stories to engage project participants.

By the end of the Train the Trainer Masterclass, you will be able to:

  • Identify your preferred facilitation and coaching style and learn ways to flex said styles
  • Add new exercises and tools to use during your sprints
  • Review the art of giving feedback and telling a story
  • Learn skills that you can use to motivate and inspire
  • Define your next version of you as an innovation coach and facilitator
  • Be part of a community of innovation coaches and facilitators present to support each other

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!

Location

Online, virtual

Design Tools Masterclass [Nov 8-9]

Take your design thinking knowledge to the next level with our Design Tools Training!

Working in Innovation is more than coming up with creative and unique ideas. It is about how you present the ideas to your potential customers during the important phases of interviews and testing and of course, when you present them to your sponsors. If you have been to a design thinking workshop at our labs or elsewhere you know the emphasis we put on creating a prototype. And let’s be honest, knowing what tool to use and where to start is not an easy task.

Join this workshop to learn about the fundamental Design Tools and which ones suit your business needs, which are the most challenging and the easiest to use. Let our UX/UI designer walk you through the process of choosing the right tool.

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!

Location

Online, virtual

Design Thinking Masterclass [Oct 18-19]

Learn how to apply Design Thinking principles to tackle complex problems within your organization.

Design Thinking is a mindset and a process that helps you solve real industry problems by developing customer-focused solutions in a short amount of time. Design Thinking methodologies are already being in a variety of industries to innovate quickly, channel creativity and when used correctly, save a significant amount of time and money when launching new products or services. Join this 2-day workshop to learn the fundamental concepts of Design Thinking and experience the value of its methodologies through engaging, hands-on activities.

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!

Location

Online, virtual.

By the end of the two-day Design Thinking Training, you will be able to:

  • Define Design Thinking, and apply Design Thinking methodologies to achieve your business needs
  • Identify how Design Thinking is being applied in a variety of industries to solve essential challenges
  • Apply Design Thinking concepts to effectively empathize with and interview customers
  • Facilitate Design Thinking Sprints to solve problems.
  • Apply a ‘toolkit’ of activities to use within your organization and daily work to find efficiencies
  • Ask the right questions to aid in solution development

Google Sprint Masterclass [Sep 27]

Explore what you can accomplish using Google Sprint and learn how to ensure you keep solving problems in just five days

Google Sprint is a methodology that uses the understanding of Design Thinking and helps you solve complex problems in five days. The process is strategically designed so that solutions are defined within an equivalent of a working week, and same as with Design Thinking saving money and time.

Join this workshop to learn another design methodology that you can implement in your daily projects.

  • By the end of the one-day Google Sprint Workshop, you will be able to:
  • Understand what Google Sprint is
  • Recognize the differences between Lean Startup, Cookhouse Labs methodology and Google Sprint
  • Learn when you can use this methodology to make the most of it
  • Identify the benefits of a Google Sprint
  • Practice the methodology and receive feedback on the spot

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!

Location

Online, virtual

Lean Startup Masterclass [Aug 23-24]

Learn about the Lean Startup methodology and how you can implement it on your future projects.

Lean Startup is a methodology that supports the development of products, services and businesses and teaches how to achieve this development within a short period. The process includes fundamentals of design thinking and it define a new way to start and launch a business and/or product.

Join this online workshop to learn a new way to approach starting a business or launching a product.

  • By the end of the 2-day Lean Startup Workshop, you will be able to:
  • Define Lean Startup and learn how to use the methodology in your business
  • Identify the steps needed to apply the methodology
  • Learn how to map out the process and whether for a business or a product
  • Re-define how to prepare, experiment and present the start of a new idea
  • Learn how to measure success while using the method

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!

Train the Trainer Masterclass [Jun 7]

Elevate your coaching style and way of facilitating innovation sprints

Take advantage of the opportunity to allow your innovation coaches, managers and innovation leaders to expand their knowledge on the topic and learn new skills from our Innovation Coaches. Being a topic of collaboration, allows us to collaborate with your teams and share the tools we use, the way we coach and the style we implement in our innovation sprint experiences.

Join this online workshop to add new styles of facilitating, communicating during innovation sprints, present and tell a stories to engage project participants.

By the end of the Train the Trainer Masterclass, you will be able to:

  • Identify your preferred facilitation and coaching style and learn ways to flex said styles
  • Add new exercises and tools to use during your sprints
  • Review the art of giving feedback and telling a story
  • Learn skills that you can use to motivate and inspire
  • Define your next version of you as an innovation coach and facilitator
  • Be part of a community of innovation coaches and facilitators present to support each other

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!

Location

Online, virtual

Google Sprint Masterclass [May 3]

Explore what you can accomplish using Google Sprint and learn how to ensure you keep solving problems in just five days

Google Sprint is a methodology that uses the understanding of Design Thinking and helps you solve complex problems in five days. The process is strategically designed so that solutions are defined within an equivalent of a working week, and same as with Design Thinking saving money and time.

Join this workshop to learn another design methodology that you can implement in your daily projects.

  • By the end of the one-day Google Sprint Workshop, you will be able to:
  • Understand what Google Sprint is
  • Recognize the differences between Lean Startup, Cookhouse Labs methodology and Google Sprint
  • Learn when you can use this methodology to make the most of it
  • Identify the benefits of a Google Sprint
  • Practice the methodology and receive feedback on the spot

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!

Location

Online, virtual

Design Tools Masterclass [Apr 5-6]

Take your design thinking knowledge to the next level with our Design Tools Training!

Working in Innovation is more than coming up with creative and unique ideas. It is about how you present the ideas to your potential customers during the important phases of interviews and testing and of course, when you present them to your sponsors. If you have been to a design thinking workshop at our labs or elsewhere you know the emphasis we put on creating a prototype. And let’s be honest, knowing what tool to use and where to start is not an easy task.

Join this workshop to learn about the fundamental Design Tools and which ones suit your business needs, which are the most challenging and the easiest to use. Let our UX/UI designer walk you through the process of choosing the right tool.

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!

Location

Online, virtual

Lean Startup Masterclass [Mar 29-30]

Learn about the Lean Startup methodology and how you can implement it on your future projects.

Lean Startup is a methodology that supports the development of products, services and businesses and teaches how to achieve this development within a short period. The process includes fundamentals of design thinking and it define a new way to start and launch a business and/or product.

Join this online workshop to learn a new way to approach starting a business or launching a product.

  • By the end of the 2-day Lean Startup Workshop, you will be able to:
  • Define Lean Startup and learn how to use the methodology in your business
  • Identify the steps needed to apply the methodology
  • Learn how to map out the process and whether for a business or a product
  • Re-define how to prepare, experiment and present the start of a new idea
  • Learn how to measure success while using the method

How can I join?

This training is exclusively for members of Cookhouse Labs. Here’s how you can get started with your Cookhouse Labs membership!