Manulife and global venture accelerator firm Brinc launched today a program to search for startups to fast-track digitization and build digital solutions to improve the health and financial wellbeing of customers across Asia.
The Manulife BOOST program gives startups from around the world the chance to pilot their technology with leading international insurer Manulife, fine-tune their product offerings and potentially scale up their solutions to reach millions of customers in Asia. The program is looking for startups that ultimately help people better manage their finances, develop healthier habits and ensure a more secure future, particularly in a post COVID-19 environment.
A Manulife customer survey conducted in eight markets across Asia in late May 2020 showed that a lack of financial preparedness amidst COVID-19 was a key concern for people already worried about their physical and mental health. Less than half of respondents (46%) said they have over six months of savings to survive if they suffered a sudden loss of income. The same survey also showed that more than six in 10 people across Asia use online services to make life better during the pandemic. The results underscored the importance for insurers to help their customers become financially healthy and respond to shifts towards digital habits.
“There’s a lot of room for us to partner with startups to help our customers improve their health and financial wellbeing,” said Mark Van den Broek, chief information officer and chief operating officer, Manulife Asia. “This includes leveraging new technologies to deliver simpler and intuitive digital experiences for all our customers. We’re very excited to be partnering with Brinc and working closely with game-changing digital startups to redefine Asia’s life insurance sector and help make every day better for our customers.”
“At Brinc, we’ve been accelerating health, wellness and medical technologies since 2014, and with Manulife as our trusted partner, we are ready to support the next generation of startups from around the world,” said Bay McLaughlin, co-founder and chief operating officer, Brinc. Manulife brings a wealth of expertise and experience that will be invaluable to startups as they refine their innovative solutions and tap into the rapid growth of the Asia market.”
Selected startups will get to work closely with business and tech leaders at Manulife on proofs of concept to validate and potentially scale their solutions. In addition, the startups will gain access to tools, resources and expertise via Manulife’s network of innovation labs globally where teams of business strategists, experience designers and engineers work with startups to explore innovative technologies that could shape the future of the insurance industry. The selected startups can also tap into Brinc’s global network of mentors, investors and service providers with entrepreneurship and venture expertise.
The Manulife BOOST program is now accepting applications from startups and scaleups around the world until Feb. 15, 2021.