Zurich Innovation Championship wants IOM startups to sign-up!

Article | February 24, 2023

Businesses could win unique chance to help shape future of insurance

Isle of Man startups are being urged to take part in the fourth edition of a global competition which offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with Zurich on the future of insurance.

Startups can sign-up here until February 27th for the competition which is run by the Zurich Insurance Group and is being promoted locally by Zurich on the Isle of Man. Businesses can enter one of five categories – Customer Experience, Commercial Insurance, Distribution Partnerships, Digital Enablement, and Sustainability. The first three editions of the championships have resulted in 30 ongoing collaborations globally, so this year’s event provides another fantastic opportunity for local businesses to work with one of the world’s leading insurers which has a global history spanning 150 years, and 40 years here on the Island.

A spokesperson for Zurich on the Isle of Man said: “We have had a great response from businesses here on the Island for previous editions of the championship, and during that journey we have had the privilege of meeting many inspiring business people. With the wealth of experience and knowledge in insurance here – and the Island’s international reputation as a centre of excellence for innovation – we have no doubt that that we will see even more great ideas being put forward for this year’s championship.”

Ericson Chan, Zurich’s Group Chief Information and Digital Officer, says the Innovation Championship ‘fosters a new way of thinking and allows us to get access to ideas and solutions we may not yet have ourselves’. He added: “For the participants, it is an opportunity to grow their business and pitch technology-driven solutions that can help meet emerging and evolving customer needs."

Paolo Mantero, Group Chief Strategy Officer, said: "Previous championships have shown that the most value comes from startups with ideas to disrupt single parts of the value chain, or enablers, rather than challengers looking to disrupt the whole industry. Our goal is collaborating together and bringing together the best of what we and the startups have to offer. This is where innovation can make a real difference.”

The Zurich Innovation Championship has become an integral part of the company’s innovation drive. Since the first edition in 2018 there have been more than 4,500 submissions, and Zurich is now collaborating with 30 of the participating startups.

This year, the Zurich Innovation Championship is developing into a yearlong tournament from January to December. Ten members of Zurich’s global leadership team will pick 2-3 winning initiatives per category by end-April. In the subsequent accelerator phase (end-May to end-September) project funding of up to US$100,000 will be provided for each of the winning startups, together with mentorship from Zurich leaders and external experts.

The Zurich Innovation Championship works with leading players in the startup ecosystem, including F6S, Plug and Play, and SOSA.