Zurich Insurance Group, represented in the Middle East by both Zurich Commercial Insurance and Zurich International Life (Zurich) in different lines of business, has joined nine other partners in a strategic alliance with DIFC Innovation Hub to revolutionise the insurance startup ecosystem and drive unprecedented growth through its FinTech Accelerator Programme.
The exciting collaboration, which began in 2017 with Zurich Commercial Insurance and is now joined by Zurich International Life, aligns with Zurich’s unwavering commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and cultivating start-ups into flourishing organisations in the region. Together with the DIFC Innovation Hub, Zurich aims to empower start-ups in the insurance sector and reshape the landscape of innovation.
The FinTech Accelerator Programme seamlessly blends with Zurich’s Innovation Championship, a testament to the company’s commitment to enabling innovation. Since its inception in 2018, the Zurich Innovation Championship has received an overwhelming response, with over 4,500 proposals to date. Zurich has successfully partnered with 30 participating start-ups, making exceptional strides in the start-up ecosystem. Earlier this year, they received an impressive 120 submissions from the UAE, further bracing the local start-up community.
Peter Englund, Senior Executive Officer of Zurich Commercial Insurance and Mufazzal Kajiji, Chief Executive Officer of Zurich International Life highlighted the significance of strategy and mindset in the context of the Middle East emerging as a vibrant start-up hub for innovation. They stated, “Through this accelerator programme, we want to be at the forefront of empowering entrepreneurs to realise their vision where participants can strategically drive their businesses, cultivate a growth mindset, pitch technology-driven solutions, and bring society-impacting ideas to life. By leveraging the focused support, connections, and mentoring provided by this accelerator programme, we anticipate an even more remarkable response, as it aligns with the evolving needs of our customers in this dynamic region.”
The collaboration with DIFC Innovation Hub truly marks an exciting milestone in Zurich’s pursuit of nurturing insurance start-up talent and cultivating an innovation-driven environment. Through the FinTech Accelerator Programme, Zurich remains committed to fostering entrepreneurship and providing start-ups with mentors.
Over 3,000 entrepreneurs have entered The FinTech Accelerator Programme combined to date, with more than 150 FinTechs, RegTechs, InsurTechs and Islamic Finance start-ups having successfully graduated from the programme, delivering over 100 proofs-of-concept (POCs) with leading financial institutions in the region.
Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO, of DIFC Innovation Hub, said “At DIFC Innovation Hub, we are delighted to partner with Zurich, a global leader with a strong commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation. Our FinTech Accelerator Programme offers an unparalleled platform for ambitious start-ups, and with the support of Zurich, we can collectively shape the future of the InsurTech industry. We see this as a pivotal moment on our path to foster an environment that drives creativity, advancement, and agility for the start-up community.”
The 9th edition of The FinTech Accelerator Programme is set to open with an in-person boot camp at the DIFC Innovation Hub, packed with workshops led by industry experts and thought leaders. The workshops will provide insights into local laws and regulations, upcoming market trends, technology trends, recruitment strategies, and funding avenues. The FinTech Accelerator Programme provides start-ups with an exceptional environment for growth, innovation, and success.
Startups can sign up for the three-month programme here. The programme includes a selection process based on the suitability of the start-up’s technology to the experts’ strategic priorities for the year.