The BongoHive Fintech Challenge

In September this year, we started conducting the second edition of the BongoHive Fintech Challenge. In this edition called ‘Inclusive Insurance, we were looking to work with early and growth-stage fintech startups who are creating solutions that bridge the inclusive finance gaps in the insurance sector. The fintechs were required to develop solutions that address one or all of the following current challenges in the Zambian financial landscape: Digitisation of Insurance Systems; Education on Insurance; Inclusive Products for Women. Two winning ideas would then receive $28,000 worth of technical support to develop their solutions. Read more about the challenge statements here, and you can also learn more about the challenge by watching the information session

We’ve also written up an article that explains a bit more about inclusive insurance and the results from our insight formation sessions that resulted in the “Inclusive Insurance’ edition of the BongoHive FinTech Challenge – read it here. 

Here is what happened during the BongoHive Fintech Challenge from the application period, up to the pitch event.

Application Period

The application process first started with insurance firms who weregoing to work with the fintech startups. This was followed by a call for applications for The fintechs. The application period for the fintech startups was open for 3 weeks between 5 August and 27 August 2021. We received a total of 45 applications. Five insurers and five fintech startups were selected to participate in the challenge. 

The fintech participants were; AI Care, Analytix Risk Consultants, Finanza Tech, Hobbiton Technologies, and Mellow Fund. And these were the participating insurers ;Hollard, Mayfair, Madison General, Madison Life, and ZSIC.

Sprint Week

After selecting the participating insurers and fintech startups, we proceeded to Sprint Week. The sessions during Sprint Week were focused on helping the fintech startups and insurers define and adapt their approaches and make them customer-centric. The sessions also helped the fintech startups to enhance their ideas further by introducing them to foundational business modelling and customer identification concepts. The sessions were delivered by BongoHive trainers, with the support of FSD Zambia and industry experts.

Coaching sessions

Following the successful completion of Sprint Week, we went on to conduct coaching sessions. We conducted both one-on-one and group coaching sessions to help the fintech startups further develop and validate their solutions. This was followed by speed dating sessions between the fintech startups and insurance companies to allow the teams to learn more about one another and explore potential collaborations to build and scale inclusive insurance products.

Pitch Day

After a 3 month incubation period, it was time for the startups to pitch their solutions that address financial inclusion gaps within the Insurance sector to a panel of judges which included: Shipango Muteto  – Board Chair, Microinsurance Technical Advisory Group, Namakau Ntini – Acting Deputy Registrar Insurance – Pensions and Insurance Authority and Chinedu Koggu – Co-Founder and CEO, Pro Base Limited.

The 3 startups that made it to the Pitch Event are Analytix Risk Consultants, Hobbiton Technologies and Mellow Fund. Only two winning ideas were needed to win $28,000 worth of technical support to build their prototypes. After a deliberation and selection from judges, Hobbiton Technologies and Mellow Fund carried the day.

HobbitonTechnologies is a Zambian Owned dynamic financial technology company with strong focus on the capacity markets, digital savings, insurance and payment aggregation.

Mellow Fund simplifies the overall insurance process by providing a platform for customers to buy policy completely online and in a fraction of time. They provide a wide array of insurance policies including health, motor, agriculture and life. 

But, the challenge is not yet over. Hobitton Technlogies and Mellow Fund are proceeding to the Product Development phase to build their prototypes. We will then host a Demo Day next year for the startups to showcase the solutions that they will build.