Zurich Innovation Championship: Creative start-ups present their ideas

Protagonists of the Zurich Innovation Championship in Switzerland

Zurich Innovation Championship: Creative start-ups present their ideas

At the Zurich Innovation Championship, start-ups develop pioneering solutions for the insurance world of the future. This benefits both sides.
The insurance world is evolving rapidly: Digitalization is changing work processes and communication channels, while prevention and sustainability are becoming ever more important. Customers expect to get services that are faster, more straightforward and better suited to them. At the same time, in an increasingly confusing world, there is a growing desire for orientation.

An outside perspective helps

This offers new opportunities but also new challenges for established insurance companies like Zurich. Anyone who wants to be successful in the future needs to adapt flexibly to changing customer requirements – in what they offer but also in their processes. Here, an outside perspective can often help in finding answers that bring our customers genuine added value.

370 start-ups – 370 ideas

That’s why, for the fourth time now, the Zurich Group launched a global call for start-ups to present their ideas as part of the Zurich Innovation Championship. The aim here was to find solutions relating to the themes of “insurance reinterpreted / insurance reinvented, simplification, prevention and damage limitation as well as sustainability”. Zurich Switzerland, too, received applications from around 370 start-ups by the end of 2021. Approximately 100 concepts were passed on to 40 Zurich experts from various divisions who then examined and evaluated the ideas and discussed them with the start-ups. Sixteen concepts were selected for the “Rumble Days” and allocated slots for presentation to the jury. The six start-ups with the most promising ideas took part in the “Super Day”, and a winning Swiss project was selected from among them.

PRECURE goes the distance

The eventual winner was a start-up in the field of preventive healthcare whose idea aligns perfectly with the strategic orientation of Zurich Switzerland. It is a Danish start-up called PRECURE that developed an elastic stocking that people with tennis elbow can pull over their arm. With a click, a sensor mounted on the stocking transmits information about the person’s arm movements to a personalized app. As soon as the person makes a harmful, load-bearing movement, the device vibrates to raise awareness of the need to make lasting changes in behavior. PRECURE's other products include a vest to analyze and prevent back pain and a device to prevent chronic shoulder pain.

Inspiration beyond the event

From the perspective of Zurich Switzerland, the Zurich Innovation Championship was a valuable experience, concludes Ece Tuchschmid, Head Claims Business Development at Zurich Switzerland. “The start-ups operate in a much faster, more agile way than a big company, and this fresh momentum can only be a good thing for us, even beyond the Zurich Innovation Championship.” Innovations-Manager Sergio Beer had this to say in summary: “The Innovation Championship has helped us to become more creative and agile partly through the interdisciplinary cooperation across entirely different areas.” He is convinced that the participating start-ups have also benefited: “They had the opportunity to present their ideas to a major company and received valuable feedback that will help them continue developing going forward.”

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