Zurich announces Aussie Innovation Champion

Zurich has announced the winner of the Australian round of its fifth annual Innovation Championships, with Canberra-based fintech Haast selected to take on other regional winners across the globe.

Haast offers a range of artificial intelligence-backed multimodal solutions to index, search, and audit content and create automated workflows. One of Haast’s key marketing compliance solutions, for instance, enables businesses to confirm marketing strategies and promotional offers are compliant and accurate across all digital platforms.

The platform submitted by Haast to the Innovation Championship enables businesses to automatically scan and monitor digital assets for compliance issues before and after they are published.

Kunal Vankadara, co-founder of Haast said the company was “thrilled” by the win, adding he was “excited by the possibility to elevate and scale our platform with the support of Zurich’s strong global presence and deep technological insight”.

Shaneen Marshall, chief of technology and strategy at Zurich Australia & New Zealand said: “Investing in innovative, AI-driven digital solutions is critical for ensuring we continue to provide high-quality and efficient customer experiences.

“The Zurich Innovation Championship provides an important avenue for us to support and propel startups and their groundbreaking solutions to customers and the broader community, whilst simultaneously driving Zurich’s local ambition to be Australia’s leading digital insurer,” Marshall said.

Haast will now present to Zurich executives based in Switzerland against other regional Championship winners from across the world.

In 2024, the competition’s categories were: Commercial Insurance, Digital Simplification, Life & Health, and Retail Property & Casualty (P&C).

Two winners from each category will then receive up to US$100,000 (AU$153,000) in funding and enter a four-month accelerator program to test their solution on desirability, feasibility and viability.

The 2024 Zurich Innovation Championship attracted more than 3,300 applicants globally.

In its fifth year, the Zurich Innovation Championship offers start-ups the opportunity to work with Zurich on solutions to key challenges within the insurance sector.

Local insurtech Kanopi won the Australian round of last year’s Innovation Championship, putting forward its modular, low-code software development solution that supports insurance product development.