woman looking in the future

Zurich Innovation Championship 2020

Do you have what it takes?

Zurich is launching its second Innovation Championship. Are you a startup or entrepreneur with bold thinking and groundbreaking ideas that can help us protect the next generation? This is your chance to join our second installment of our global startup tournament, this year with the theme “Protecting the Next Generation”.

As a leading global insurer we are looking for outside inspiration on how to tackle challenges around climate, health, automation and other issues that are expected to put a strain on the next generation. Together with you, we want to make a lasting impact in a changing world and build a more sustainable tomorrow for our customers globally.

You have a fresh new solution that might not entirely fit this year’s challenge? We also offer a “Wildcard” category.

How the Zurich Innovation Championship works: there will be three stages of the Zurich Innovation Championship, narrowing finalists from Country, Regional and Global rounds. By August 2020 we will have three winners..

What are the prizes?

The three winners of the Global round will partner with Zurich to bring their pilot plans to life in their chosen market or markets. The prize package comprises:

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Resources to implement pilot program

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Exposure through press release and/or media channels

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Recognition from Zurich Group Leadership Team

Focus on sustainability

Find more information on how we approach sustainability here:


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Sep 24, 2019

Launch Date

The Zurich Innovation Championship is open for submissions

Dec 17, 2019

Submission deadline

All applicants will have to submit their applications to be eligible.

Feb 21, 2020

Local evaluation

Shortlisted startups will be evaluated by the countries they applied to. Startups are expected to travel to present to the juries.

Sep 2020


The winning startups will start a pilot with their selected countries.

Our 2019 winners

chisel logo

Chisel AI developed a natural language and AI processing solution that allows global insurance brokers and carriers to complete administrative and process-focused tasks up to 400-times faster than a human and with much greater accuracy.

zestai logo

Zesty.ai harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to help global property/casualty insurers better assess risk by using machine learning to model catastrophic and attritional property losses with unprecedented accuracy.

Soldier.ly logo

Soldier.ly, a pioneering company founded by an Australian veteran, has developed the world’s first smartwatch stress detection app that provides users with real-time assistance and interventions.

life nome logo

LifeNome’s XHealth platform combines precision health and wellness with precision underwriting to create a powerful combination of healthier customers and significant costs savings for life insurance companies.


Zurich has established collaborations with the following organizations for the Zurich Innovation Championship:


Contact us

If you would like to know more about the Zurich Innovation Championship, or have any questions for our team, please contact us at:


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is it?

    The Zurich Innovation Championship is a competition for us to find startups and entrepreneurs with groundbreaking ideas to collaborate with us in bringing compelling products or services to our retail and commercial customers.

  • When can I apply?

    Applications for the Zurich Innovation Championship 2020 closed on 17 December 2019 at 11pm CET.

    However, as we are sure that there are many more groundbreaking ideas out there, keep your eyes open for one of the next innovation challenges.

  • How many rounds are there?

    There are three rounds: country, regional and global. The overall winners of the country-level competitions will be selected in January 2020 and will go on to our regional rounds in Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America and Europe and Middle East. The overall winners of the regional round, to be selected in June 2020, will then take part in a final, global round, taking place in August 2020.

  • What will I need to do in each round?

    You will to present your product or service that we could pilot in one of our participating countries. In the country round we want you to demonstrate how relevant your product or service is to the local market, and how you differentiate from competitors. In the regional round we would like you to further demonstrate business impact to the region and the value to customers. In the group round, we will be looking for evidence that the idea could scale globally and sustainably.

  • Who picks the winners?

    Winners will be chosen by juries of Zurich subject matter experts, innovation leaders, and senior business executives. In regional and global round external experts may be invited to join the jury.

  • When will the winners be announced?

    The global round winners will be announced by the end of August 2020. Winners are subject to due diligence.

  • What are the prizes?

    You will be benefitting from working with a global leader with millions of customers in several ways: The gold, silver and bronze winners of the global round will receive significant financial and other resources to implement pilots in the country of their choice, exposure through our various communications channels and recognition from the Zurich Group Leadership Team. Country and Regional round winners will receive prizes determined by each respective country or region.

  • Who will pay my travel costs during the competition?

    For startups that reach the Global round, Zurich covers flight (economy class) and accommodation for up to two external people per startup For other occurring costs, please liaise directly with the local teams.

  • I applied for the Zurich Innovation Championship 2020. Who owns the intellectual property around the pilot submission?

    Startups will retain the IP for the own products and services. If the startup later collaborates with Zurich to co-develop new products or services with Zurich resources, a separate discussion around IP will take place.

  • I applied for the Zurich Innovation Championship 2020. What will happen to my business plan submission?

    Confidentiality agreements will be established between Zurich and startups that enter the competition. After the competition, Zurich will retain the submissions from startups as a pipeline of innovation, and may contact startups for future collaboration opportunities, regardless of whether they win the global final prize.

  • How do you define ‘pilot’?

    A pilot is the implementation of a small-scale program with predefined hypothesis. The aim is to validate that the products or services offered by startups can add value to Zurich customers. Pilots are a precursor to the official launch of new products or services and their potential rollout regionally or globally.

Download FAQs

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    Frequently Asked Questions


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