Global Innovation and Collaboration: What to Expect in 2021

As we approach the end of 2020, one of the questions we frequently hear is, “What do you see on the horizon of 2021?” 

The answer: A whole new year of opportunities to innovate, collaborate, and network with like-minded thought leaders around the world! 

We’re delighted to share that our 2021 Events Calendar is now live, chock-full of exclusive innovation events for our global members! Whether you’re curious about our innovation Masterclasses or interested in experiencing a Design Thinking sprint yourself, there’s something for everyone in our 2021 menu — so let’s dive deeper into what we’ve got planned for the New Year. 

Before We Begin… 

At Cookhouse Labs, we have a lot to be thankful for. We wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to our community for supporting us on our global journey to #MakeInsuranceBetter. As a token of our appreciation, we’re offering a 50% Virtual Discount on our Annual Memberships! The offer expires on December 31st, 2020, with Memberships starting at only $250 CAD monthly — don’t miss the exclusive opportunity to innovate with our global network of member organizations in 2021! 

Customized Innovation Consulting Services 

Since 2007, we’ve been mastering co-innovation and co-creation at Cookhouse Labs. Our experts have enabled 50+ organizations to become innovation anticipators, designing their own futures. We are happy to announce our new specials — a menu of virtual innovation services that cater to your individual organization’s co-creation needs. Whether you choose from our Innovation Masterclasses, Sprints, or Tools, there is something on the menu to satisfy everyone’s taste buds! 

Our members receive a special 25% discount on our consulting services; check out the full list of services here

Open Co-Creation Sprints 

Experience Design Thinking in action in our week-long co-creation projects!  

Collaborate with other members as you tackle key challenges in the insurance industry. Our Certified Innovation Experts will guide you through the 5 stages of the Design Thinking methodology and support you as you build your MVP. At the end of the project, pitch your solution to an audience of your colleagues and global industry experts! 

Wondering what our innovation sprint experience is like? Check out some of our previous project infographics and recap blogs — for example, this blog on The Recipe to Attract and Retain Young Talent

Exclusive Access to Young Talent 2021/22 Projects 

Every year, Cookhouse Labs invites its members to work with a team of E-commerce and IT students to specifically tackle one of their business challenges. Over the course of 1 semester (and up to 250 hours), each student team will work exclusively with our member organizations in guided Design Thinking sprints, facilitated by Cookhouse Labs innovation experts. 

Are you interested in your own guided global student project dedicated to tackling a challenge in your organization?   

Get in touch with our Innovation Team to become a member! 

All-new Innovation Masterclasses 

Join our Innovation Team for virtual Masterclasses on a variety of useful innovation methodologies to apply to your organization! Here are some of the sessions our members can attend: 

Design Thinking 
Solve real industry problems by developing customer-focused solutions in a short amount of time! Use this methodology to innovate quickly, channel creativity and when used correctly, save a significant amount of time and money when launching new products or services. 

Google Sprint 
Tackle critical business challenges, validate product/service ideas, and test your prototypes in this five-day process that any team can use! 

Lean Startup 
Identify what your customers really want and get your products into their hands faster with this tried-and-tested, cost-effective innovation methodology!  

Design Tools 
Learn the fundamentals of design theory to help turn your ideas into MVPs — then try your hand at building your own Lo-Fi mockup under the guidance of our Senior UX/UI Consultant!  

Train the Trainer 
Add new styles of facilitating, communicating, presenting, and telling stories to engage your project participants!  

Brand-New Food for Thought Series 

Stay up-to-date with the latest InsurTech trends, hear valuable insights from industry trailblazers, and discover up-and-coming startups in our brand-new webinar series! Every session will focus on a current industry topic and feature a special innovator with intriguing stories and experience to share with our community. Our first webinar will be held in January 2021 — keep an eye on our LinkedIn page to find out who next month’s guest speaker will be! 

Exciting Global Design Thinking Ideathons 

We’re back with our much-anticipated global ideathons!  

Preparations are currently underway for our SummerHack 2021: Global Design Thinking Ideathon and our 24-Hour Global WinterHack 2021 — and we’re looking forward to welcoming insurers, startups, vendors and students from around the world back into our innovation space! Whether you’re joining us as a SummerHack corporate team or mentoring a WinterHack team of young talent, there’s experience to gain and big prizes to win in these fun races against the clock! 

If you missed the excitement of our last ideathon, we recommend taking a look at a summary of the event — click here to access the blog, “WinterHack 2020: A Global Race To Digitize Insurance”. 

We’re excited to begin another year of global innovation and collaboration with our community! Our first event of the year is our free Introduction to Design Tools” session on January 14th, 2021, where we share key components when creating a prototype and what 2 key items to look for when choosing the right tool. We invite you to check out the events listed above and other perks of becoming a Cookhouse Labs Member — hurry, our 50% Holiday Discount ends December 31st, 2020! 

From all of us at Cookhouse Labs, we wish you a safe and wonderful holiday — and we can’t wait to see you in the New Year! 

24-Hour Global WinterHack 2021 [Nov 18-19]

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

Last year, we hosted our first virtual global 24-hour hackathon, SummerHack 2020. After the overwhelmingly positive response, we’re excited to announce we’re back with WinterHack 2021!  

Who can attend? 

  • Academia and insurance organizations from all over the world! Each team must have between 3 to 5 participants to compete in this Hackathon 
  • Insurers and Brokers who are unable to provide a full team can instead become mentors, providing industry expertise to a student team. In this case, our event team will assign an insurance organization to a student team 

How does it work? 

  • Register your team using the registration form below, and we will get back to you with further details 
  • Prior to the Hackathon, you will receive access to prep material and your team’s unique communications channel 
  • During the event, our facilitators will guide you through the Hackathon process and will provide valuable information, templates, and support on how to apply the Design Thinking methodology to drive the best results for your solution 
  • You will receive the challenge at the beginning of the Hackathon 
  • At the end of the Hackathon, each team will present their solution in a joint final presentation to a wider global audience, and the winning team will be selected and announced by our committee of insurers 

When is the Hackathon? 

  • Start: Wednesday, November 18th, at 8 am EST 
  • End: Thursday November 19th, at 9 am EST 
  • Final Presentations: Thursday, November 19th, at 9.30 am EST 

What’s in it for you? 

  • Learn the Design Thinking methodology, as well as how you can apply it 
  • Gain tips and tricks from certified experts featured in our virtual Masterclasses 
  • Show your skills and impress our judges with your team’s extraordinary results 
  • Build Lo-fi prototypes to show the opportunities of IoT insurance 
  • Connect with experienced innovators (local and international) 
  • The achievement of conquering a 24-Hour Hackathon! 

What’s the prize? 

To be announced soon! 

How do I join?  

  • Enter your email address below to join our mailing list — we will send you updates on our upcoming events and how to join the excitement! 

Other questions? 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Insiya Meherally, our Community Manager, at insiya.meherally@cookhouselabs.com

WinterHack 2021: Final Pitch Event

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

Last year, we hosted our first virtual global 24-hour hackathon, SummerHack 2020. After the overwhelmingly positive response, we’re excited to announce we’re back with WinterHack 2021!  

SummerHack 2021: Final Pitch Event

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

After the success of last year’s event, Cookhouse Labs is proud to present SummerHack 2021: Global Design Thinking Ideathon! Join some of the world’s best insurance organizations, startups, and student innovators for 2 days of exciting insurance innovation, ideation, and competition!  
 

SummerHack 2021: Global Design Thinking Ideathon [May 18-20]

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

After the success of last year’s event, Cookhouse Labs is proud to present SummerHack 2021: Global Design Thinking Ideathon! Join some of the world’s best insurance organizations, startups, and student innovators for 2 days of exciting insurance innovation, ideation, and competition!  
 

Why should I join?  

  • Re/insurers and Brokers: This is your chance to connect with your internal teams and global talent to put your agility and creativity to work while creating real business solutions to digitize insurance  
  • Startups and Vendors: Take this opportunity to network and work alongside insurance organizations looking for fresh ideas and new business connections  
  • Students: Show current and future business leaders why you should be their #1 pick for a career in InsurTech!    
      

Event Format  

  • 2 day virtual global event + 3 hour final pitch  
  • Facilitated ideathon following Design Thinking methodology in breakout sessions   
  • Ideathon period: Tuesday, May 18th and Wednesday, May 19th, 2021  
  • The 2-day ideathon period will be held in 3 different time zones — Eastern Standard Time, Central European Time, and Singapore Time — from 9 AM to 6 PM  
  • Final Pitch Event: Thursday, May 20th at 8 AM EST  
      

How does it work?  

  • During the matching process, Re/insurance organizations can invite startups, vendors, and student innovators to join their corporate teams to provide ideas, expertise, and skills, such as UX/UI Design  
  • Guided hackathon — our innovation experts will provide the right guidance on methodologies and tools to achieve best results following the Design Thinking Methodology  
  • We will provide prep material, including Design Thinking Masterclasses and a guide on how to structure your time according to the stages defined in the methodology  

Challenges  

  • 4 different challenges related to the theme (to be announced!), covering commercial and personal lines, health/life, and P&C insurance   
  • Challenge statements will be released during the kickoff event  

Language  

  • Event language is English, including facilitation, support, and final pitch (including submission documentation)   
  • Teams can work in their preferred language  

Questions? 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Insiya Meherally, our Community Manager, at insiya.meherally@cookhouselabs.com

How do I join?  

  • Enter your email address below to join our mailing list — we will send you updates on our upcoming events and how to join the excitement! 

This Ideathon is the perfect platform to connect with experienced innovators, both local and international. As you show your skills and impress our judges with your team’s extraordinary results, don’t forget to network and have fun! 

WinterHack 2020: Final Pitch Event

Winterhack 2020

Our gift to you in these challenging times: Open and Free for Insurers, Reinsurers, Brokers, Insurance-Related Startups and Vendors, and Students.
Click here to register to attend the Final Pitch Event!

Cookhouse Labs is proud to present WinterHack 2020: Global Design Thinking Ideathon, in collaboration with InsurLab Germany and msg.  Witness results from some of the world’s best insurance organizations, startups, and student innovators as they race against the clock in 2 days of exciting insurance innovation, ideation, and competition around the theme “Digital Ecosystems”! 
 

WinterHack 2020: Global Design Thinking Ideathon [Nov 3-5]

Winterhack 2020

Our gift to you in these challenging times: Open and Free for Insurers, Reinsurers, Brokers, Insurance-Related Startups and Vendors, and Students.
Click here to register!

Cookhouse Labs is proud to present WinterHack 2020: Global Design Thinking Ideathon, in collaboration with InsurLab Germany and msg. Join some of the world’s best insurance organizations, startups, and student innovators for 48 hours of exciting insurance innovation, ideation, and competition around the theme “Digital Ecosystems”! 
 

Why should I join? 

  • Re/insurers and Brokers: This is your chance to connect with your internal teams and global talent to put your agility and creativity to work while creating real business solutions to digitize insurance 
  • Startups and Vendors: Take this opportunity to network and work alongside insurance organizations looking for fresh ideas and new business connections 
  • Students: Show current and future business leaders why you should be their #1 pick for a career in InsurTech!   
     

Event Format 

  • 2 day virtual global event + 3 hour final pitch 
  • Facilitated hackathon following Design Thinking methodology in breakout sessions  
  • Hackathon period: Tuesday, November 3rd and Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 
  • The 2-day hackathon period will be held in 3 different time zones — Eastern Daylight Time, Central European Time, and Singapore Time — from 9 AM to 6 PM 
  • Final Pitch Event: Thursday, November 5th, 2020 at 9 AM EDT 
     

How does it work? 

  • During the matching process, Re/insurance organizations can invite startups, vendors, and student innovators to join their corporate teams to provide ideas, expertise, and skills, such as UX/UI Design 
  • Guided hackathon — our innovation experts will provide the right guidance on methodologies and tools to achieve best results following the Design Thinking Methodology 
  • We will provide prep material, including Design Thinking Masterclasses and a guide on how to structure your time according to the stages defined in the methodology 
     

Challenges 

  • 4 different challenges related to the theme “Digital Ecosystems”, covering commercial and personal lines, health/life, and P&C insurance  
  • Challenge statements will be released during the kickoff event 
     

Language 

  • Event language is English, including facilitation, support, and final pitch (including submission documentation)  
  • Teams can work in their preferred language 
     

How do I join? 

  • Click here to access the official event platform!

This Hackathon is the perfect platform to connect with experienced innovators, both local and international. As you show your skills and impress our judges with your team’s extraordinary results, don’t forget to network and have fun! 

How to Disrupt Insurance in 24 Hours

Only 3 days left to SummerHack 2020!

If you’re joining us as a Hacker or Mentor this summer, you’re probably wondering how you’ll create a disruptive IoT-powered solution in just 24 hours. To help you prepare for our upcoming virtual hackathon, we’ve put together this quick guide on how to disrupt the insurance industry using Design Thinking in time for Friday’s deadline!

What is Design Thinking?

Previously in the insurance space, most insurers took the approach of creating solutions based solely on assumptions and hoped that their products or solutions would resonate with target audiences. Design Thinking reverses this logic by first identifying the root(s) of the problem, observing how people think and behave, and gathering customer insights. From there, they create practical solutions. Using this methodology invites teams to look at a problem through the eyes of the customer, put themselves in their shoes and fully empathize with the customer – who is ultimately the people impacted directly by the solution.

Stages of Design Thinking

The following are the stages of the Design Thinking process:

  • Empathize with the customer and other stakeholders
  • Define the opportunity or problem
  • Design a solution
  • Create and build a Minimum Viable Product/Concept/Service
  • Test the solution with customers and users

How to Use Design Thinking at SummerHack 2020

While the stages listed above may sound time-consuming, it’s possible to walk through each of them within a short timeframe. As a reminder, our Innovation Team will be available via regular check-in calls to answer any questions and provide support on how to follow Design Thinking to develop impactful solutions.

Below, we’ve broken down the 24-hour hackathon period using the Design Thinking process to help you structure your time (should you choose to do so) and succeed in SummerHack 2020!

Thursday, July 30th

9 AM – Empathize

At 9 am EDT, the Cookhouse Labs team will announce our IoT-based challenge and you will have 24 hours to create your solution!

Your Design Thinking journey begins with the first stage, Empathize. This is where you will begin to understand your target group, which can be done in 2 ways: internet research and interviews with your target group. You can’t create a customer-centric solution without putting yourself in the shoes of the customer, and a good way to do this is to speak directly with the potential customer and listen.

Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:

  • An Empathy Map to help you visualize how the user thinks/feels and documents their pain points
  • Your Persona, a character that represents the type of customer/user of your solution. For example, in our last project about mitigating small business bankruptcy, we created the persona of Fiona, a small business owner in Toronto

1st Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 11 am to 12 pm!

3 PM – Define

The next stage focuses on constructing a point of view based on the user’s needs. Here, you will take time to reflect on what the user has shared with you and to visualize their experience. By doing so, you can define what problem you are trying to solve, which will help you shape a better experience for the user.

Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:

  • A Journey Map, which is a narrative of your user’s steps to accomplish a specific goal. This is mapped out in 2 layers: a timeline of the user’s actions and their thoughts/emotions while completing each task. You want to identify areas where the user encounters obstacles or barriers along their journey
  • How Might We (HMW) statements, which are short questions that focus on specific problem areas from the Journey Map and identifies the benefits or gains the solution will bring. In the same project about bankruptcy mitigation, our team created 20 HMW statements and selected, “How might we reduce the risk of financial impact of current economic events?”

2nd Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 3 pm to 4 pm!

7 PM – Design

After selecting a single HMW statement to focus on, it’s time to ideate! This stage is all about connecting to your inner child and using your imagination to come up with multiple solutions to the problem your team identified. Quantity is important here, so remember to list as many possibilities as you can!

Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:

  • Multiple possible solutions to tackle the challenge in various timeframes
  • A chosen idea to begin prototyping!

3rd Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 7 pm to 8 pm!

11 PM – Create

Once your team has voted on a winning idea, you are now ready to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You will begin by creating a low-fidelity prototype, which could take the form of a sketch, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation.

Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:

  • A sketch of your Lo-Fi prototype to help visualize and test the solution

4th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 11 pm to 12 am!

Friday, July 31st

3 AM – Test

Now that the solution has taken shape, it’s time to test and retest the idea with different users. The objective is to receive feedback on the content, design, and usability of the prototype and is usually done via surveys and interviews. It is important to remain open to feedback and fully engage with the potential end-user in order to understand their thoughts and improve your prototype. Note that if it is not possible to test with actual personas, you can either test within the team, with friends or connections you have in your network, your Mentor, or ask the Cookhouse Labs team if they have a chance to check out your solution.

Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:

  • A final MVP that is ready to be presented

5th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 3 am to 4 am!

7 AM – Wrap-Up

In 2 hours, you will submit your final solution!

At this time, you should begin to practice your presentation and prepare any materials required (such as PowerPoint slides). Remember, you will only have three minutes to pitch your solution to our panel of judges!

Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:

  • Submitted your solution on our platform, including a brief description and any additional materials
  • Prepared your presentation for our Live Pitch Event beginning at 9:30 am

6th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 6 am to 7 am!

To provide even further support, our Innovation Team has prepared a Design Thinking video series to walk you through each stage in more detail, which you will have access to before the event.

And remember – along the way, you will have support from your Mentor, an industry expert dedicated to providing your team with valuable knowledge and expertise.

And with that, you are now ready to disrupt the insurance industry!

We wish all our teams the best of luck for SummerHack 2020! We invite our community members to join the Live Pitch Event on Friday, July 31st at 9:30 am EDT to see the exciting solutions our teams of student and corporate innovations develop.

To receive an invite, please register here.