With its focus topics for 2021, InsurTech Hub Munich, has its finger on the pulse: Smart Enterprise, Digital Health and Financial Home are on the agenda for this year’s Innovation Programme and Innovation Sprint formats.
InsurTech Hub Munich (ITHM) has defined its priorities for 2021: After scouting, which took place since the start of the year, and a thorough selection phase, the seventh edition of its major ‘Innovation Programme‘ will kick off in April. After the great success of last year’s digital health programme, ‘H+’, the new ‘NXT: Enterprise‘ programme again is entirely dedicated to one topic.
“During the first half of 2021 we are focusing on Smart Enterprise solutions covering the four fields People, Process, Product and Tech”, explains Christian Gnam, Managing Director of ITHM. “The objective is to assist our partner companies in becoming ready not only for the ‘new normal’ but the post-pandemic ‘next normal’.
Three months of serious matchmaking and business development
Up to 30 startups will be hand-picked according to the challenges and pain points of ITHM’s member companies – but also with regard to their potential of disrupting the industry. They will take part in three months of serious matching and business development with the hub’s corporate partners, run through a dedicated curriculum including pitch coaching or a sales training from renowned investors and tailored mentoring sessions.
During all stages they get assistance by ITHM’s ten-strong team. “We’ve even coined a term for that: ‘Concierge services’“, says Programme Director Esther Eva Prax. “This means that we walk the walk with both parties, brief and prepare them before meetings as well as moderate the discussions to reduce friction and become concrete rather than being a merely inspirational activity. We enable both sides to form meaningful collaborations that last way beyond the programme.”
“This is exactly what makes InsurTech Hub Munich so invaluable”, comments Tom Van den Brulle, Global Head of Innovation at Munich Re and Chairman of the ITHM Board. “We are interacting very closely, frequently discussing challenges and trends in our industry. At the same time the hub is an important independent voice, which often enough presents us with ‘wild card’ ideas and thus reminds us to think outside of the corporate box.”
Van den Brulle comments: “Add the networks’ diversity and one can easily understand why the ITHM community keeps growing constantly: Where else are insurers big and small, tech heavyweights like Microsoft, NTT Data or SAP, investors and representatives of the academic and governmental world brought to the same table?”
Innovation Sprints, Collab Initiative and Innovation Circle
Two shorter programmes, so-called ‘Innovation Sprints‘, are scheduled for the second half of 2021: One will continue the digital health focus of 2020`s H+ programme, the other is dedicated to the timely topic of ‘Financial Home’. “We witness a vast customer demand for digital interfaces and a bundling of offers from different sectors – financial services and insurance – on one platform. This trend of constructing one ‘Financial Home’ is not original to but certainly accelerated by the pandemic situation,” asserts Gnam.
Johannes Wagner, Head of Startup Cooperation at Versicherungskammer Bayern and founding partner / board member of ITHM, endorses: “In times of upheaval, it is more important than ever to look ahead and try new things. The cooperation with institutions as the InsurTech Hub Munich broadens our perspective and secures everyone involved a place at the cutting edge of the industry. “
Since 2020, ITHM also hosts a format dedicated to larger, well-established startups, so-called scaleups. In cooperation with Plug And Play Tech Center it will deliver the third and fourth edition of the ‘Collab Initiative‘ during spring and fall season of 2021. In addition, ITHM‘s 21 partner companies are regularly invited to join the ‘Innovation Circle’, exclusive knowledge transfer events featuring workshops and talks by top-notch speakers.
On top of that, the hub adds to and co-hosts various conferences and pitch events with its close allies Digital Insurance Agenda DIA, Bitkom, de:hub Initiative or Süddeutsche Zeitung throughout the year. “To stay up to date, we recommend joining our mailing lists and consulting the events calendar on our website”, closes Gnam, “but most of all we hope to be able to meet in person again later this year!”
Text: Markus Walter