Throwback: Innovation Journey New York by Dr. Stefan Ziegler

by | Oct 9, 2019 | Blogposts | 0 comments

Together with members of InsurLab Germany we travelled to New York from 18.09. – 20.09. to the Innovation Journey. Dr. Stefan Ziegler, Managing Director of Ecclesia Versicherungsdienst GmbH, gives us a personal insight into the eventful days and offers us a small excerpt of the various Meet-ups and Get TogethersGet-Together that took place during this trip.
September 18, 2019:
On the day of arrival, I took the opportunity to participate in the “optional” program, which begins with a tour of the “Amazon Go Store” on Park Avenue in New York. Until now I had only a rudimentary idea of a “Go Store”.
A Go Store is a rather small shop located in New York diagonally opposite the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. There are about 30 stores in the United States. At the moment, these stores are still a larger field trial, but if successful, it will be rolled out across the board (initially in the United States).
At present, only food can be purchased in the stores. Purchasing is controlled via an app. The stores are equipped with numerous cameras and motion sensors, so that a “transparent” shopping experience takes place by entering and logging in. All products that are taken off the shelf are immediately assigned to you personally. If products are put back, they are cancelled at the same moment. When leaving the store, the shopping cart is simultaneously debited and a digital receipt is generated via the app. There is no need for a cash register statement. During the visit, not only a movement profile is created in the store, but also a consumption profile and a theft is no longer possible due to the “all-round monitoring”.
We then attended a pitch night organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce at SAP NextGen. Here, seven German start-ups presented their solutions to a jury of investors to generate potential interest. This was followed by feedback from the jury for the participants. At the end, snacks and drinks offered the opportunity to network.
September 19, 2019:
The second day took place full day at AWS (= Amazon Web Services) in the Executive Briefing Center. The event had a strong marketing character, as AWS sells its own cloud services.
After a round of questions about our expectations regarding the cloud, all available services were presented to us in detail by AWS employees.
In addition to customer examples, the entire morning was devoted to topics such as big data, voice-controlled systems and analysis options for cloud-based cloud-based platforms.
Security and compliance will also be discussed in detail, with the impression that American colleagues have a basic understanding of (German) data protection and regulation. It is exciting that the AWS system offers equal openness with regard to import and export of data, i.e. one no longer binds oneself to a provider, but can also withdraw one’s data at any time.
Overall, the morning’s conclusion is that there has been a paradigm shift in cloud usage. Particularly with regard to the insurance industry, it is stated that insurance experts and IT managers must always work and communicate at eye level if business success is to be achieved later. It shows that Amazon’s solutions are always customer-oriented.
Start-up pitches took place again in the afternoon: The presentations focused on the insurance industry and practical cases.
Claim Genius has developed an app for car damages, which is operated by artificial intelligence. Currently, this app is only available to private providers.
Unqork, on the other hand, sees itself as a cloud cloud-based provider for the development of customer applications in the insurance, financial services and real estate sectors. The special feature here is that the development of these applications is possible without programming knowledge. In the USA, Liberty Mutual and Marsh are among the renowned customers.
Montoux, a start-up company specializing in pricing strategies for life and health insurance from an actuarial perspective.
Leadcloud focuses on data exchange between insurance partners, the “data integration platform”. A specially developed portal is designed to facilitate data transfer faster and more efficiently.
In the evening, we were invited to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) event, which will focus on the opportunities and risks of digital transformation. After a half-hour online strategy game on the topic of IT investments, a round-table discussion was held with American experts about disruption and digital change of business models in the insurance sector.
September 20, 2019:
On the last day, we were at the SOSA Cyber Center, the location of the Israeli company SOSA , which – together with the Venture Capital Fund JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners) – was asked by New York Economic Development Corporation to help transform New York City into the global leader in cyber security and innovation. New York now has 9,000 start-ups, over 200 private and public universities, 326,000 engineering jobs, 400 venture capital funds and 47 Fortune 500 companies. According to the speakers, New York is currently the world’s leading financial center and number two in global digital ecosystems. A panel discussion on FinTech and InsurTech innovations will be followed by the presentation of three more start-ups:
LeO  uses artificial intelligence to build an interactive communications platform that can act as a white-label ChatBot for the insurance industry, customer service and sales functions. Currently, however, only ChatBot functionalities are available.
Cytegic offers a cyber risk management application that can be used to calculate the impact of cyber cyber risks on a company’s ROI. The first potential customer in Germany is Hannover Re.
Envelop Risk is a global cyber risk specialist that combines insurance expertise with artificial intelligence and develops cyber risk models consisting of insurance products, pricing and sales approaches. Among others, MS Amlin is involved in this start-up.
We then visited Slice in the Office Space WeWork on Union Square. This start-up generates cloud cloud-based digital insurance solutions, currently in the areas of real estate sharing, cyber and car sharing. Slice stands among other things for the idea of offering insurance protection only on time. In cooperation with insurance companies, Slice offers above all the possibility to develop ideas for digital insurance solutions and to make them marketable quickly & efficiently using Slice solutions (“prototyping”). In this way, the complex integration into existing systems can be postponed to a point in time at which the market success has been proven – otherwise the product is simply discontinued (“fail fast”).
A successful intellectual page change with many impulses, which has once again made clear that digital innovation is one of THE topics for our industry and that disruption can also result from the topic of package solutions (e.g. in the automotive sector).