It is no secret.
Organisations are investing heavily in both finding and partnering with startups to drive innovation. A recent report by CB Insights on the State of Innovation highlighted that “41% of executives said their companies are extremely at risk or very at risk of disruption”. Great things happen when you pair the domain expertise, networks, distribution channels, customers and resources of a large organisation with the speed, talent and emerging technology of startups. It radically increases the likelihood of success for both parties, while in turn decreasing the risk of the incumbent being disrupted.
Startup Accelerator Programs are an effective and popular tool to connect and partner with startups. For instance, both Charter Hall and Village Roadshow have just run successful accelerators. The startups in each program worked closely with Charter Hall and Village Roadshow on some exciting, business model aligned solutions and continue to do so after the completion of the program. Many organisations are looking to invest in startup partnerships but are not ready for a program of the size and scale of an accelerator.
Rather than invest in a full end to end accelerator, NTUC Income (Income), a national insurance cooperative in Singapore, recently partnered with Collective Campus to scout startups across Australia and New Zealand that are solving two specific problems they have identified as a business. Income understands the immense benefit of partnering with startups, not only locally but globally to solve business problems. An open innovation initiative, Future Starter offers the start-up community and innovators the opportunity to share their ideas, develop proof-of-concepts (POCs) and deploy 'live' trials with Income.
“By extending our reach and partnership with a regional network of official accelerators and VC partners, Income, through Future Starter, aims to leverage the collective strengths of our partners and accelerate our efforts to become an anchor player in the insurtech ecosystem. We are confident to see high-quality proof-of-concepts via Collective Campus within an accelerated time frame and together, we look forward to strengthening Income as a digital insurer,” said Mr Peter Tay, Chief Operating Officer of Income.
It is no surprise that NTUC Income is taking this approach. Insurtech, which encompasses start-ups working across technologies and solutions for the insurance industry, is tipped to be a $175B and $72B market by 2020 for underwriting and claims processing services respectively. With local ANZ Insurtech companies such as Huddle and CoverGenius making waves in the Oceania region, Income sees great potential in leveraging their capabilities and capitalizing on innovations to be at the forefront of the of the insurance industry, rather than be disrupted by it.
Future Starter comprises of an online application process and pitch event at Collective Campus. Start-ups who are successful at the Future Starter pitch event will be invited to undertake a POC in Singapore, partnering Income and funded by the company. ANZ Insurtech startups working across artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and security are encouraged to apply to the program at (startupchallenge.collectivecampus.io) by July 15th.
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