€70,000 fintech disruption competition launched for reinsurance industry

5 Apr 2016

A new competition for entrepreneurs looking to add another layer of disruption to a banking environment that’s already in flux has been launched, with Hannover Re putting up €70,000 to find ways to improve the reinsurance industry.

In a competition that runs concurrently in Dublin, Berlin, Boston and Johannesburg, the first stage of the Irish leg of Journey Re takes place at the Guinness Storehouse on 21 April.

150 entrepreneurs will be whittled down to 20, who will take part in a two-day workshop in May. From that the six finalists will be offered jobs with Hannover Re and divided into two teams – the winning teams overall, at a final in Berlin in December, will win €50,000 and €20,000.

Oddly, the entrepreneurs need know nothing about the reinsurance (or fintech) industry, which is a layer of banking generally hidden away from public consciousness. Rather, the organisers just want people with ‘big ideas’, and a willingness to challenge the status quo.

Applicants don’t even need any specific business ideas. “Entrepreneurial drive and a flair for innovation,” is what Debbie O’Hare, CEO of Hannover Re in Ireland, wants.

“In establishing Journey Re, we were conscious that a lot of start-up and entrepreneurship competitions provide little in the way of financial support or security to applicants,” said O’Hare.

“We’re looking for high-calibre candidates for this competition and we’re willing to invest so that the best and brightest entrepreneurs take part.”

Main image of euro currency via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic