“What is widely agreed amongst academics and practitioners is that uncertainty is a key element of innovation. This uncertainty means that innovation, more than any other economic activity, is reliant on knowledge.
As such firms cannot innovate in isolation, organisations must engage with partners to acquire ideas and resources.“
For a second year running we’ve engaged the Bath MBA cohort; the quote above is a direct steal from their report which I’ve just finished reading.
Their challenge this year was to identify the factors that affect the route of corporate new venturing.
Something I’ve been particularly keen to explore is why some companies are more suited to an acquisition strategy, while others should innovate through partnerships and/or internal labs. More than this though, I’ve wanted to develop a framework to work through with clients when exploring this stuff:
If you’re in that position of recognising there’s a whole load going on in the new ventures space but aren't too sure what to do about it, this might be just the thing. Drop me a line and I’ll be happy to run you through it. Better still, get some of the MBA team to work with you on it.
Amazon to sell life, health and general insurance
What Sø.Nws would be complete without me talking about Amazon’s insurance play? This time in India.
According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, it aims to carry out the business of ‘soliciting, procuring and servicing insurance as a corporate agent’. Having spent a chunk of time immersed in the Indian Insurtech scene earlier this year, I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
At the moment, you’ve a handful of decent size players out there - PolicyBazar, Digit and Acko (who Amazon led a $12m investment round into earlier this year). Then there’s the likes of Flipkart who have applied for an insurance license and Alibaba-backed Paytm, who already holds one.
Bring all that into a market expected to be worth $280 billion by 2020, and I imagine this move by Amazon will not only change the way insurance is sold in India but drive the country towards digitisation and hitting those numbers much faster.
It was fun, don’t get me wrong. I got to hang out with Lucy Porter, who was surprisingly tiny, and present the award for the Accelerator/Fund of the Year to the guys at SBC InsurTech London.
Whilst en-route to the awards, one of my new dad mates messaged me. He was also in black-tie; the difference being he was in Hollywood collecting an Emmy. Maybe that'll be us next year.
The Zurich World Championship
A shout out to anyone running an Insurtech who might not yet have come across this one.
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) has launched a new global competition to collaborate with the best and the brightest start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The Championship focuses on Insurtechs with established products or services and will give the winners the opportunity to apply their solutions to Zurich’s customers in selected countries.
Running in more than 20 countries worldwide, the Championship is looking for start-ups in the fields of mobility, smart homes and buildings, digital health, financial planning and a wildcard category has been created to allow entrants to look at unique capabilities to our environment(s).
The closing date for start-ups to apply is the end of next week, so go check it out.
Healthy living powered by Zombie insight
We caught up with Mike Tinney, Founder & CEO of Fitness Interactive eXperience (FIX) for this week’s Spøtlight. These are the guys behind a 6-week, zombie-based game called The Outbreak, who were recently selected for MetLife's Digital Accelerator.
If you’re in the world of health insurance, have a read. There’s a load of interesting stuff in there, in particular their focus on building an incremental behavioural change engine.
A world of meetings
Over the coming weeks I’ve a tonne of client, new business and partner meetings. If you’re about in London, New York or Montreal and fancy meeting up do shout.
Equally if you’re heading to Vegas for InsureTech Connect, I’ll be over from next Saturday.
Sø.Nws is brought to you by Sønr, which in turn was created by Tällt.
No one is quite sure what's happened to all the vowels but if you did want a market scanning and innovation consultancy to work with, we're pretty excellent.
Our vision i to accelerate corporate innovation and entrepreneurship by providing intelligence on the trends, competitor playbooks and global disruptive tech, and to create new opportunities with ambitious organisations around the world.