This open innovation platform will enable mature start-ups from anywhere in the world to tackle contemporary industry challenges on a collaborative basis with MetLife experts.
Eight start-ups will be chosen to compete for a $100,000 contract. Start-ups will also have access to MetLife's ecosystem, gaining the validation that comes from being a Fortune 50 customer.
Chosen finalists will receive the following benefits:
- A three-month online programme which the participant may access from the comfort of their home.
- No upfront equity will be required.
- There will be a flexible curriculum where the participant might work on the areas that they have personally identified.
- MetLife will pay for finalists to attend an immersion week in Singapore.
- The potential to obtain a $100,000 contract.
- Finalists will have access to key personnel so that they might build their internal champion network and long term relationships.
- Finalists will have the opportunity for accelerated growth, which will change their trajectory.
- Finalists will benefit from publicity and exposure through tapping into the MetLife PR and VC network.
Furthermore, each start-up will be partnered with an internal MetLife champion who will enable the partnership between the start-up and MetLife and will help to drive both technology and innovation. The MetLife champion will also help to bring the start-up substantial internal traction.
This programme is markedly different to an accelerator or incubator program. This is because of the focus upon developing strategic relationships between MetLife and the winning start-ups, with the first three months of interaction being viewed as being only the beginning of a long-term relationship.
MetLife is a large scale provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management, operating in almost 50 countries across the globe. MetLife currently has around 100 million customers.
LumenLab is described as being "MetLife's pioneers for disruptive innovation", focusing upon creating new products and services rooted in technology and data. LumenLab are committed to instilling a culture of innovation at MetLife, discovering new businesses and reshaping the nature of customer engagement at an industry level.
The purpose of this open innovation platform is to match start-ups with relevant opportunities within MetLife Asia, so that they might work together effectively to co-create innovative, feasible solutions that will address contemporary industry challenges. MetLife has identified 15 business challenges and wants to engage the start-up community to tackle these problems on a collaborative basis.
Although specific restrictions have not been stipulated, interested parties should contact the funding provider in the first instance should they have any queries regarding their eligibility.
Mature start-ups are welcome to apply that have solutions that will address the problems stated by MetLife. The product itself should already be being used or otherwise should be ready for deployment. The team should be complete, and should have a minimum of four full-time members. Seed or Series A funding should have already been raised.
Applicants should have a solution to one of the following challenges:
- Challenges for new business model
- Embedded insurance. Life insurance popularity has decreased due to the failure of the industry to keep pace with evolving consumer behaviour. Start-ups are needed that can enable the distribution of risk products in non-traditional places. A customer acquisition engine is required that will embed insurance with alternative distribution partners into incidental channels. The start-up should consider how to embed risk products in areas where customers are already spending time.
- Micro-moments. MetLife is looking for Big Data, technology or business that will shorten insurance duration or that will allow for specific risk coverage and that may be turned on and off in accordance with wishes of the customer.
- New Underwriting Model. Start-ups are required that are generating data sets, particularly in the field of genomics, that may be used to alter the basis of underwriting in life insurance. MetLife would like to reshape predictive models and to integrate the information into pricing, underwriting and loss forecasting. Tools that could enable automated underwriting would also be included within this.
- Grow the Pie. Models are required that will greatly increase the amount of people who will try out a MetLife risk product in some manner. This may include a la carte pricing, shorter duration or bundling.
- Challenges for customer engagement
- Increase frequency and number of customer touchpoints. MetLife is looking for digital solutions that will increase the amount of interactions that can be had with a customer. Aspects may include health and emotional health, affinity group or setting financial goals. Other aspects may include social media analytics and other heuristics in order to identify key moments. Ideas are also welcome that will drive personalization and connectedness, helping MetLife to build deeper relationships with policyholders.
- Increase Share of Wallet. Digital solutions are required that can help to identify life moments such as births and retirement, providing information to agents that would be useful for cross-selling and new services. Solutions are also welcome that can help in regards to Robo-advisors in the financial planning sphere and both health and financial simulators, as well as digital platforms that can help to manage and simplify pensions and retirement products.
- Sales processes
- Improve lead tracking and sales tools for our agents and intermediaries. Tools are required that will simplify data input, providing an intuitive analytics dashboard for management.
- Accelerate agent/HR on-boarding. Innovative on-boarding tools are required that may be captured in a single platform that spans across markets. Digital solutions should help to simplify the experience; shortening the learning curve, accelerating on boarding, improving productivity and monitoring progress.
- Improve agent productivity. Digital solutions are required that will help MetLife to create a data driven experience for agents. These solutions should gamify the sales and bonus process, allow self-tracking and comparisons, make self-service attractive and improve productivity.
- Don't abandon me. Platforms are required that will make it simpler to buy policies and that hand-hold the customer to the completion stage. Start-ups should consider how MetLife might get users who do not purchase or who are close to being approved to complete the final steps to approval.
- Operations processes.
- Validate the customer's identity. Technology is required that will help MetLife to fulfil KYC norms, voice analytics that will enable MetLife to verify customers during call centre interactions or achieve faster identification (ID) verification.
- Find me a doctor. An app is required that will provide information, rating and appointments for both doctors and hospitals which should enable claim submission and guidance.
- Link my hospital to MetLife. Digital platforms are required that will link medical records with MetLife. Products should bring together data from disparate healthcare systems that will streamline and automate claims and underwriting processes.
- Digitise application process. MetLife are looking for digital tools that will ensure that the insurance process is seamless. An end to end digital platform for policy sale, admin and claims is required that may be direct but should support advisor-assisted platforms.
- Automate me! Tools are required that will make system implementation simpler in terms of eliminating repetitive tasks.
- Data driven prediction system. Intuitive tools are required that will allow MetLife to make accurate predictions using their data, in particular regards to claims data. Predictive models should allow MetLife to forecast claims and, wherever possible, to take preventive action.
Information regarding match funding has not been given. Interested parties should contact the funding provider directly for further information.
The $100,000 contract is intended for the purpose of developing the winning business solution.
This competition has now closed. The last deadline for applications was 29 January 2017. Information regarding future deadlines will be given once available.
Interested parties should complete the online application form. Start-ups will be evaluated throughout a multi-phase selection process that will examine business plan viability, the merits and competitive differentiation of the technology, team strength and alignment with the strategic focus of MetLife.
Eight companies in total will be selected. The shortlist will be announced 17 February 2017 and the program will commence 20 February 2017. Finalists will be asked to attend a demo day in Singapore, taking place 19 May 2017, where they will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions. The judging panel will include top senior stakeholders from MetLife such as Chris Townsend, President of Asia for MetLife.