December 10, 2020
HONG KONG – Manulife and global venture accelerator firm Brinc launched today a program to search for startups to fast-track digitisation and build digital solutions to improve the health and financial wellbeing of customers across Asia.
Startups can apply for a spot until 15 February 2021 at: https://www.brinc.io/manulifeboost.
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.
Mark Van den Broek, Chief Information Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Manulife Asia, said: “There’s a lot of room for us to partner with startups to help our customers improve their health and financial wellbeing. 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.”
Bay McLaughlin, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Brinc, commented: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Manulife and the launch of the Manulife BOOST program. 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. 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 15 February 2021. For more information, visit https://www.brinc.io/manulifeboost.
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we operate as Manulife across our offices in Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. We provide financial advice, insurance, and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2019, we had more than 35,000 employees, over 98,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving almost 30 million customers. As of September 30, 2020, we had C$1.3 trillion (US$943 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made C$31.2 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 155 years. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.
Brinc is a different breed of venture capital and accelerator platform. Core to our business is the belief that the world’s biggest challenges can be solved by entrepreneurs, who we like to call GAME CHANGERS. Brinc believes that deep technology focused startups can fundamentally change how we move, what we eat, how we feel and where we live for the better if they are given the right backing. Brinc’s mission is to support and mentor founders and their teams from around the world and provide investment to help them grow. Brinc currently operates 12 sector-focused accelerator programs across six markets and has made 140+ investments around the world. Brinc & Artesian have also come together recently to launch the BrincArtesian Emerging Markets Access Fund which may invest and provide follow on capital to teams admitted into the Manulife BOOST program. Learn more at www.brinc.io.
 These findings are based on the Manulife Asia Care Survey of 2,400 insurance customers across eight markets in Asia. The survey was conducted in late May 2020, covering Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. For more information, visit: https://www.manulife.com/en/news/covid-19-anxieties-prompt-healthier-fitter-lifestyles-in-asia.html.