Your startup could be the next big YES in the Zurich Innovation Championship

Can you help Zurich make the world a smarter, safer and more sustainable place? We want to see your boldest solutions. Let’s innovate together and tackle the toughest challenges of the future. Enter the Zurich Innovation Championship today.


Ladies and gentlemen. Zurich is here to say yes. Yes to more innovation. Yes to building a greener future. And yes to what others might think are impossible, crazy, can’t-do-that-here ideas. Perhaps even yes to your innovative solutions and great startup, and ultimately, yes to a great future collaboration.

We know what you’re thinking. Big companies are boring, dull and lacking in ideas. They are experts in all the ways we tell each other ‘no.’ Well, Zurich is out to change that.

Zurich is launching our second ‘Zurich Innovation Championship.’ You and your startup, or people you know and their startups, have a chance to compete and win the opportunity to bring great solutions to life with Zurich and its customers.

“Zurich takes innovation seriously and it shows,” said Ron Glozman, CEO of Chisel AI, last year’s Championship gold winner. “They are looking for real business value from the technologies they are evaluating. If you are an insurtech startup with a strong business case, the Zurich Innovation Championship provides a global stage to showcase your solution and get invaluable feedback from an insurance industry leader.”

The Zurich Innovation Championship is one of the truly great ideas we’ve had, if we do say so ourselves

Starting on September 24, 2019 Zurich will accept ideas for the Zurich Innovation Championship. We’re looking for solutions that meet the criterion of ‘enterprise-readiness’ – ready to be piloted within Zurich.

Successful entries will be for-profit startups with commercially viable technologies and innovative business models prepared to go live in pilots with Zurich. We’re specifically looking for a clear focus on solving global issues and making a positive contribution to society, in keeping with Zurich’s aims to develop risk insights, prevention and incident mitigation services that can be applied globally to areas like health, mobility, travel, cyber risk, pension plans, and, of course, climate change. There is also a ‘wildcard’ prize for the best startups with ideas that can bring about real change but don’t fit neatly into the sustainability category.

“We believe the Zurich Innovation Championship is a good way to learn from the brightest and most talented young companies out there. Challenges facing society will be solved by innovators and entrepreneurs focused on creating a better future by thinking out of the box,” said Justin D’Atri, Sustainability Change Manager at Zurich.

Bringing sustainability to life through innovation

Sustainability is a strategic priority for Zurich. Putting the planet and society first is good for our customers and supports our aim to be one of the world’s most responsible companies.

“The competition is part of our mission to help customers become more sustainable and resilient, while fostering the growth of startups that bring innovative new approaches that work,” said Giovanni Giuliani, Group Head of Strategy, Innovation and Business Development.

Breaking into the big time with Zurich

The value to start-ups? They get to work with one of the world’s leading insurers, an established brand with a nearly 150-year track record, to break into the world of working with big customers and get the opportunity to scale up their great idea. By progressing through the challenge, they get exposure to a major customer base and can enhance credibility with investors.

Startups that participate can also continue to independently raise funds.

Does your startup have what it takes?

The submission deadline is December 17, 2019. Early bird alert! Those entries we receive by October 24 will get a free coaching session! The entries that are most promising will be selected for a ‘country’ round. Each of the participating countries within Zurich (last year it was 21) will work with the winners to develop solutions that fit with Zurich’s focus on sustainability and innovation.

Those entries that make it through the first round will enter a regional challenge. Final winners will be selected by Zurich’s top executives including our Group CEO, in August 2020. Their solutions will be developed locally and may even be introduced in markets worldwide. Last year’s four Innovation Championship winners offered viable approaches that are now being introduced in our company to employees and customers.

Now what?

How do you know if your startup is right for the competition? Let’s say you’ve worked on a solution that would generally match the ambitions set out here. You are confident that this is your own, and it could work for a large number of customers. You don’t shy away from pitching your ideas to an audience. You can work to a deadline and in a corporate environment.

Winners have the opportunity to develop pilot programs in the local businesses to make their products and services available to Zurich’s customers in selected countries and regions – and their pilots might eventually even be rolled out globally. Just ask last year’s winner if you don’t believe us.

“The Zurich Innovation Championship provides insurtech startups with an ideal platform to showcase their technologies and business cases to key executives,” according to gold winner Chisel AI’s CEO Ron Glozman. “Zurich knows how to do innovation right and collaborating with them has been an amazing experience.”

We’d love to hear from you. Here’s the link to sign up:

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